Vitus has given their long-running Escarpe all-mountain & Sommet enduro mountain bike platforms a complete overhaul, reshaped in carbon with completely revised suspension designs. Still aiming to deliver versatile mountain bikes at attainable prices, these two new bikes should be up to the most technical of trail riding, with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels…
All-new 2021 carbon Vitus Escarpe & Sommet mountain bikes
It’s always interesting to see what appears to be several distinct mountain bikes developed for different types or degrees of trail riding, all launched together. But both the new all-mountain Escarpe & enduro Sommet essentially share the same exact frame designs, tweaked for their own type of trails.
In fact, the two bikes share the same carbon front triangles, letting different seatstay/rocker/shock combos determine their travel.
Both 27.5 bikes share a front end, and the same for both 29ers. Then separate chainstays finish the adaptation to the varying wheel sizes.
In the end you get four distinct mountain bikes out of the share platform:
- 27.5″ Escarpe with 140mm travel & 150mm forks
- 29″ Escarpe with 140mm travel & 150mm forks
- 27.5″ Sommet with 170mm travel & 170mm forks
- 29″ Sommet with 162mm travel & 170mm forks
Based on what Vitus calls an “award-winning” platform that they already shared, these new Escarpe and Sommet bikes simplify their suspension to a more straight-forward Horst-link four bar design (like their Mythique) with a fixed lower shock mount.
That gave an impetus to rework kinematics entirely, straightening out shock curves for more progression – but keeping a flip chip at that lower shock mount to let riders steepen the head angle by 0.5° and raise the bottom bracket 6mm if desired.
The new designs are said to be more sensitive to small bumps, offer better support in the middle of their travel, and increase end-of-stroke support that makes them work better with coil shocks for riders looking to go that way.
At the same time, both bikes get reduced anti-squat to better free up suspension movement, plus reworked and more constant anti-rise for more balanced braking & handling interaction.
Updated All-Mountain and Enduro geometry
The overhaul also let Vitus boost the technical capabilities of both bikes – also both available with two wheel sizes as well. Both bikes get slacker head angles than before – 65° for the Escarpe, 64° for the Sommet – and less bottom bracket drop as well. Seattube angles also get steeper, even steeper on larger frames and with longer travel droppers for the bigger bikes as well – all to maintain more consistent sagged saddle position for all riders.
Each combination of 27.5″ Escarpe, 29″ Escarpe, 27.5″ Sommet & 29″ Sommet gets its own geometry tailored to wheel size and travel. So pick and choose which one best suits your trail riding or bikepark style.
New Escarpe & Sommet carbon/alloy frames – Tech details
While the old Sommet had a carbon option, now both Sommet & Escarpe bikes share the same construction: T700 carbon front triangle with a 6061 alloy rear end and 2-piece forged & welded rocker link. The new front ends are said to be stiffer than before without weight penalty, while allowing the adaptability with the alloy rear setup.
Both feature tapered headtubes, internal cable routing that exits under the 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket before reentering the chainstays, plus ISCG05 chain guide tabs, Boost 148 spacing, and room for up to 27.5×2.6″ or 29x 2.5″ tires.
The revamped frames move on larger sealed pivot bearings, get SRAM standard UDH hangers, 31.6mm seatposts, and are finished with tough downtube, chainstay & seatstay protection and a durable clear decal kit you can choose to stick on for additional frame paint protection.
The new bikes also have enough seatpost insertion for up to 150mm droppers on small, 170mm of medium & 200mm dropper posts on large and extra-large frames. Stock bikes though stick with 125, 150 & 170mm dropper travel, respectively.
2021 Vitus Sommet enduro bike – Pricing & availability
Three builds are available for either platform. Pick the new Sommet for bashing the roughest enduro tracks with either small 27.5″ wheel agility or 29er steamrolling, bleeding over into freeride territory.
The black £2400 / $3000 / 2800€ Sommet CR is the entry-level enduro build with Shimano Deore 12 & RockShox Yari RC/Super Deluxe Select R suspension for weight claims of 15.50kg & 15.77kg (27.5 & 29 respectively, all size M set up tubeless.)
The dark gray £2900 / $3500 / 3300€ Sommet CRS upgrades to SLX, a RockShox Lyrik Select fork & Super Deluxe Select+ RT rear shock, dropping to 15.25kg & 15.52kg.
The £3600 / $4500 / 4200€ Sommet CRX tops out in shiny white with a Shimano XT groupset, Fox 38 Factory GRIP2 fork, and Float X2 Factory shock, weighing 15.00kg & 15.27kg depending on your wheel size selection.
2021 Vitus Escarpe all-mountain – Pricing & availability
Or opt for the new Escarpe for all-mountain riding with more pedal-ly uphill bits, and choose 27.5 or 29″ wheels based more on how tight & rough your trails are, and your own personal preference.
The most affordable of all, the gray fade £2000 / $2500 / 2400€ Escarpe CR also gets a Deore 12 drivetrain, with a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Rail fork and RockShox Deluxe Select R rear shock, coming in at 14.85kg & 15.15kg.
The red £2700 / $3200 / 3100€ Escarpe CRS bumps to SLX, plus a RockShox Pike Select and Deluxe Select+ RL shock combo, coming in at 14.52kg & 14.82kg.
The black & gold £3500 / $4200 / 4000€ Escarpe CRX tops out with XT again, a Fox 36 Factory GRIP2 fork, and Float DPS Factory shock, weighing 14.00kg & 14.30kg depending on wheel size.
Both platforms are available now, exclusively online through Vitus’ Chain Reaction Cycles or Wiggle e-tailer partners.