Vitus Escarpe and Sommet 2015 prototype mountain bikes - first look

All-new frame designs for 2015

Vitus Bikes has released details of three of its upcoming mountain bikes for 2015. Currently at prototype stage, the three alloy framed models are designed for aggressive trail riding and all share a new suspension platform.

Build options and prices are still TBA but we hope these bikes will offer the sort of value that Vitus is now renowned for.

Escarpe 275

The 2015 Escarpe 275 frame will offer 135mm of travel from a new Horst link rear end. Looks closely and you’ll notice the shock is no longer fixed to the front triangle; instead it’s attached to a floating mount that mount moves forward with the suspension. This helps to keep a linear rate that doesn't tail off at full travel.

The beefy 15mm main pivot is located in a high and forward position in a placement that has been optimised for the use with a 32-tooth 1x set-up. This, combined with the position of the chainstay pivot, should make for a bike that minimises pedal-induced suspension movement yet remains fully active under braking.

Another benefit of the position of the main pivot is that the Escarpe boasts a rearward axle path for 55mm of its suspension travel, something that should work in the rider's favour when it comes to maintaining momentum on the trail.

The Escarpe's shock is no longer fixed to the front triangle

Vitus has continued use of its long, low and slack geometry for 2015, with the Escarpe 275 pairing generous top tube lengths across all sizes (S-XL) to a relatively compact 435mm (17.13in) rear end. The head angle sits at a descent friendly 67 degrees, while the 74.5 degree seat tube should come in handy for getting back up again. We’ve yet to receive details on the final specs but know that the Escarpe 275 frame is recommended for use with a 140-150mm travel fork.

As you’d expect, there’s internal routing for a dropper post while ISCG05 tabs, and a removable direct front derailleur mount provides the versatility required for most drivetrain options. There’s also a bolt-on down tube protector to fend off rock strikes.

Escarpe 290

The Escarpe platform is also available with 29in wheels. You get the same 135mm of travel but the head angle steepens by one degree. Out back the chainstay length increases by 15mm, but nearly all other dimensions are identical to the 650b frame. Once again it’s offered in sizes ranging from S to XL.

Sommet 275

The Sommet 275 is Vitus’ enduro bike. It has more suspension travel and more aggressive geometry than the Escarpe 275. That same Horst link rear end now offers 155mm of travel via a longer stroke shock and there’s room for up to a 170mm travel fork up front.

It also has a longer front centre than the Escarpe and the head angle drops to 66 degrees, but the Sommet retains the same 74.5 degree seat angle of its shorter-travel sisters.

Vitus has offered great value trail bikes with solid performance for a few years now, but they’ve never been particularly pretty – these three bikes buck that trend and we hope they are as good as they look. 

Production bikes should be available to purchase in November. Stay tuned to BikeRadar for more on the 2015 Vitus range.

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