The Vitus brand was revitalised last year when it was taken over by mail order giants Chain Reaction Cycles, and a small range of road and hardtail mountain bikes carrying the famous name is now in shops.
For 2012, the company have grand plans, with racing legend Sean Kelly on board to help with the road side of things and designer Brant Richards, the man behind Ragley and Nuke Proof's latest kit, tasked with expanding the range into new areas.
Earlier this month, during a visit to Chain Reaction's headquarters, Richards revealed to us that he's working on two new full-suspension bikes, a carbon 29er and a time trial/triathlon frame. Cyclo-cross and commuting bikes are also being considered, and current models will be refined.
"We're looking at building gradually, year on year, to having a comprehensive range," said Richards. At this stage he's remaining tight-lipped about the details of the new bikes, but we did manage to find out some information about the full-sussers. There'll be a 140mm-travel trail/all-mountain model, tentatively called the Raid, which will be available with two build options.
Vitus designer Brant Richards is keeping his new full-supension bikes under wraps... but we managed to bag this sneaky shot!
The entry-level version will come with a RockShox Recon Silver fork, Monarch RT3 shock and 3x9 SRAM X5 groupset for around £1,200, while an extra £600 will buy you an upgrade to 2x10 SRAM X9 and a RockShox Revelation.
The other bike is called the Blitz and is designed to be run with a 120mm-travel fork despite only having 100mm at the rear. Expect similar spec options and prices. Based on some artist's impressions we were given a sneak peek at, both bikes are likely to use a classic four-bar suspension design (only bikes sold in the US are affected by Specialized's chainstay pivot patent).
Being designed by Richards, you can pretty much guarantee they'll offer sorted handling, with short stems, decent width bars and relaxed angles. We'll bring you more news on the 2012 bikes as and when we get it. Check out our image gallery for a look at this year's models, which we previewed in the autumn.