Vitus’s vast range of bikes appears to be going from strength to strength thanks to gradual updates in a bid to keep up with the latest geometry and suspension trends.
As a new addition to its range, the Mythique is a short-travel trail bike available with 27.5in or 29in wheels, but it’s the VR model’s asking price that’s really piqued my interest.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR frame and suspension details
The rear suspension has plenty of support while being fairly supple. Steve Behr
Built around a Horst Link suspension system that has 130mm of travel, the 6061 alloy frame has Boost rear axle spacing and a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. The more expensive models in the Mythique range have slightly more travel.
It has externally-routed gear and brake cables along the top of the down tube, with bottle cage bosses in the same location. There’s a port at the bottom of the seat tube for an internally routed dropper post, although this bike has a fixed seatpost.
The frame has a relatively elegant silhouette that’s mirrored across Vitus’s range of full suspension bikes, all with the same Horst Link suspension layout.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR geometry details
The suspension kinematics are well considered. Steve Behr
Touted to have modern geometry, the Mythique’s figures certainly look reasonable for a 130mm travel trail bike.
The large bike I tested has a 468.3mm reach, 621.86mm effective top tube, 1,224.65mm wheelbase and a 445mm chainstay that’s shared across the bike’s sizes.
The head angle is 66.63 degrees and the effective seat tube angle comes in at 76.26 degrees.
Sizes: S, M, L*, XL (* tested)
Seat tube length: 470mm
Seat angle (effective): 76.26 degrees
Head angle: 66.63 degrees
Top tube (effective): 621.86mm
Bottom bracket drop: 33.01mm
Head tube length: 130mm
Vitus Mythique 29 VR specifications
For £1,250 / €1,450 / $1,500 / AU$2,200 it comes as no surprise that the Mythique doesn’t have a dropper seatpost, but this doesn’t mean the rest of the bike has a compromised spec.
Impressively, Vitus has managed to spec a 10-speed Shimano Deore mech and shifter mated to an 11-46 tooth Sunrace cassette and Sunrace cranks. This is topped off with Shimano’s MT401 two-piston brakes and 180mm rotors front and rear.
Shimano’s brakes performed well. Steve Behr
It’s got X-Fusion RC32 forks with 130mm of travel, and externally adjustable rebound and low-speed compression. The X-Fusion O2Pro-R rear shock comes with rebound adjustment.
The grips were comfy. Steve Behr
The WTB 30mm internal width rims are clad in Schwalbe Magic Mary and Hans Dampf rubber, which is a genius move by Vitus’s product managers because tyres can make or break a bike.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR ride impressions
As soon as the bike was pushed hard, issues with the forks quickly became apparent. Steve Behr
I took to the trails in darkest depths of winter to see how much fun I could have on this impressively priced full-sus trail bike.
I tested the bike on a range of waymarked loops, bikepark-style runs, secret and natural trails, and everything in-between at BikePark Wales, some lesser-known spots in the Welsh valleys, and at the Forest of Dean.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR set-up issues
I had a few small issues when setting up the Mythique. One problem is that the bottle cage bosses sit where the brake and gear cables are routed along the top side of the down tube. This means to fit a bottle cage you need to push the cables off to the side.
This isn’t a problem in itself, but one of the cable securing brackets fouled the bottle cage, meaning it didn’t fit flush with the frame. This issue could have been easily rectified with better cable bracket spacing.
It’s a shame the bottle cage interferes with the cable routing mounts. Steve Behr
The other problem I noticed was that the seatpost can’t be inserted very far into the seat tube before it reaches the kink in the seat tube.
This means it’s hard to find a balance between having enough seatpost to extend to the correct height and it being short enough to slide down far enough for the descents. Once again, a minor inconvenience, but worth noting.
The kink in the seat tube stops the seatpost from being inserted far enough. Steve Behr
Vitus Mythique 29 VR climbing performance
The Mythique’s smoothness impressed me as it absorbed small, square-edged hits with utter competence while under power or freewheeling, seated or standing.
It took these hits smoothly and under control, and was almost impossible to overwhelm through deeper compressions like puddles and holes, even when I was seated.
Considering this smoothness, it was surprising to find very little pedal bob even when I was pedalling with choppy stokes at a high cadence. The shock’s damping and overall suspension platform coped remarkably well.
Pedalling hard translates to a welcome forward motion when you push on, and the bike’s 14.4kg weight was a breeze to speed up ascents.
Its tautness and spacious geometry meant it was easy to control on even very steep climbs; the front wheel not wandering or lifting when things got techy or twisty. It certainly didn’t feel cramped.
The effective 76.26-degree seat tube meant I still ended up angling the saddle’s nose down and pushing it as far forward in the seatpost’s rails as possible.
With a dropper post the bike would be greatly enhanced. Steve Behr
The elephant in the room is the lack of dropper post. Because the bike’s a trail bike, you’re likely to tackle undulating terrain with short climbs and short descents. In this sort of scenario, a dropper is a fantastic tool and really enhances flow.
The Mythique VR could really do with a dropper post and I frequently got frustrated having to manually drop or lift the post from the frame when I’d normally carry speed up a climb. A Brand X Ascend post is only a £164 upgrade away, however.
The Shimano gears worked well but the bike could do with an easier gear. Steve Behr
On steep climbs I was also left wanting for a slightly smaller chainring or larger cassette range. The 32-46-tooth ratio of the Mythique’s easiest gear wasn’t quite enough for my tastes.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR descending performance
For the price, it’s a pretty good bike. Steve Behr
When descending, the Mythique’s characteristics were dominated by the fork’s underdamped travel and flexible chassis.
To compensate for the fork’s lack of damping control, particularly though compressions, berms and successive holes, I inflated the air spring to 110psi.
While this did limit the bike’s front-end smoothness to some extent, I found the extra support it gave me over technical terrain was worth the trade-off.
The fork is the first thing you’ll want to upgrade. Steve Behr
That said, no amount of set-up wizardry can compensate for the fork’s chassis. As soon as I hit steeper, rougher and gnarlier terrain with successive bumps and compressions the front end began to feel soft as it flexed back and forth under the stress of having to damp and support my weight pushing through the bars.
The front end protested against being ridden hard, and I found the headset continuously worked loose despite the bearings, races and headset cups being installed correctly. These twangy sensations were a bit of a let-down because the rest of the bike felt good.
Unlike the fork, the rear end was hard to overwhelm, even through the roughest terrain and remained supple enough to absorb the smaller hits and provide grip. This was down to a combination of the bike’s suspension kinematic and the tune on the X-Fusion shock.
Despite the fork, the bike was fairly calm and planted, and relatively stable through a wide range of trail types, excelling on flatter, flow-based trails. If I really started to push hard through turns, I could feel the rear end’s low-speed damping faltering, but an increase in air spring pressure helped overcome this.
The Nukeproof/Vitus cockpit posed no problems. Steve Behr
I found it especially easy to corner with committed and defined inputs. Simply dropping my heels and leaning in around berms meant that fun, G-force generated sensations were easy to unlock.
Similarly, when pushed hard through compressions and pump bumps the bike accelerated well, akin to how I’d expect a more expensive bike to perform.
It jumped well too, and there were no surprise kicks from the suspension, even when I loaded the bike into take-offs with plenty of commitment.
Generally speaking, the geometry felt good for a 130mm travel trail bike. However, with the speed available thanks to the 29in wheels and general competence of the frame, a slacker head angle would likely improve the ride without any negatives.
Along with the forks, the head angle felt like one of the biggest things holding the frame back.
The Magic Mary tyres impressed. Steve Behr
The Schwalbe Magic Mary in Addix soft compound front and Hans Dampf rear tyres are a fantastic addition to a bike of this nature. They provided excellent levels of predictable grip on pretty much most terrain types and should help you explore trails that would normally be out of a 130mm-travel trail bike’s depth.
Just be mindful that Vitus has specced the thinnest sidewall tyres to keep the bike’s weight down, so your appetite for gnarly trails might exceed their puncture resistance.
Shimano’s brakes performed well. Steve Behr
The Shimano MT401 brakes impressed me, even in really sloppy and wet conditions, and their bite point remained stable and constant throughout the test period.
The Nukeproof Neutron bars and Vitus stem, coupled with Vitus’s single-ended lock-on grips, didn’t cause any harshness to reverberate into my hands or arms.
Vitus Mythique 29 VR bottom line
In grey, it’s a good looking bike. Steve Behr
The Mythique VR is a good bike for the price. Okay, so it doesn’t have a dropper post and the fork’s got questionable performance when things get pretty rough or gnarly, but how regularly is someone buying this bike going to take it down an off-piste singletrack? I’d hedge my bets on not that often, so the likelihood of coming unstuck is quite low.
The frame and shock are both smooth and capable when they need to be and the frame feels like it’s got plenty more to give with a few choice upgrades.
By spending an extra £200 on the VRS model, which costs £1,450 / $1,800 / AU$2,499 / €1,699, you get a dropper post, 12-speed SRAM Eagle drivetrain with wider range cassette, and a fork with 34mm stanchions instead of the 32mm ones on the VR.
Alex enjoyed riding the Vitus VR. Steve Behr
I’d say those upgrades are worth considerably more than the £200 extra it will cost you to go up a model, and if you’re looking to buy a Vitus Mythique on a budget it’s worth scraping together the extra cash to get the VRS model because you’re going to have a much better time on the trails.