Vitus’s basic Escarpe gets the same smooth floating suspension system and proper bomber character of the £3,300 Pro, just in a heavier overall build.
- Vitus Sommet CR review
- Which is faster: hardtail or full-suspension?
- Best cheap mountain bike upgrades
While it’s not stiff by Yari standards or as controlled as a Fox, the Manitou Minute Comp fork provides 140mm of smooth travel with a 15mm Hexlock axle for reasonably obedient steering.
135mm of rear travel feels like more, thanks to the clever floating shock arrangement working through the split seat tube and rearward path of the first part of the travel. That means the Escarpe can be charged into serious rock gardens without choking or getting thrown off line. It can handle ballsy drops without flinching too.
It’s stable enough when pedalling to keep climbing bearable, despite the 14.5kg weight, and the fast rolling Trail Boss rear tyre also helps mobility.
The Vigilante front tyre uses a High Grip compound to let you make the most of the slack head angle and precise and powerful 50mm stem and 760mm bar. While the steep seat tube means the 620mm top tube feels short in the saddle, the 450mm reach give it easy stability and confident cornering when standing and there’s an XL option if you want to go really long.
The 142x12mm rear thru-axle keeps things tight out back and it also gets a chain guide mount and internal dropper routing so you can upgrade appropriately for really rowdy riding. That’s a good job as well because rowdy is definitely what the Escarpe does best and it’s a real bargain if that’s what you like best too.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.