A complete overhaul for 2016, could the Vitus Dominer be all the downhill bike you’d ever need for comparatively little cash? We take a look at our latest delivery to find out
It’s a given that the Direct Sales Model is the only way to get maximum bang for your buck (other than waiting for the end of season sales – and who’s going to wait that long?) and as more companies latch onto this the better legitimate choice there will be for all of us. It wasn’t so long ago that when it came to Downhill race ready bikes a couple of grand would really only get you something pretty basic. Low end forks, shock, wheels, brakes and finishing kit often bolted onto a pretty decent frame where the ethos was very much upgrading was the way to go in order to get the bike you really wanted in the first place.
Vitus belong to the cycling behemoth Chain Reaction Cycles and as such Vitus bikes are only available online through CRC which in turn lowers the costs by cutting out the middle men. So what do you get for your £2250? An awful lot it so happens. The bike is dripping with solid components starting with the always reliable and universally popular Rockshox BoXXer Teams. We were sad to see the Marzocchi 380CR get dropped for 2016 but given the fragile situation Marzocchi have found themselves in recently it’s hardly surprising. The BoXXer Teams are like a trusty comfort blanket, if all else fails they can be relied on. They are easy to set-up and you will always get decent performance out of them with very little tweaking.
• Wheel size – 27.5”
• Travel – 200mm, Horst link suspension with horizontal floating shock mount.
• Recommended fork travel – 200mm
• Construction – 6061 T6 triple butted
• Large 15mm main axle with Collet lock security
• Shimano 150×12 Trough axle system
• Sizes – S, M, L
• ISCG 05-mounts for chainguide compatibility
Full Build Spec
Frame – Hydroformed 6061-T6 Aluminium
Forks – RockShox BoXXer Team
Shock – RockShox Vivid R2C
Chainset – Shimano Zee FC-M645
Chain Guide – E.Thirteen LG1+
Cassette Shimano 105 CS-5700
Rims – WTB Frequency Team i25 TCS
Front Hub – Novatec DH61 Disc
Rear Hub – Novatec DH82 Disc
Tyres – Maxxis High Roller II
Brakes – Shimano Zee BR-M640
Finishing Kit – Nukeproof
Headset Cane Creek
Weight 16.86kg/37.17lbs (size M)
RRP – £2250
Out the rear you have an equally reliable Rockshox Vivid R2C. Again it’s a pretty easy shock to dial in and though it won’t do anything to blow your mind out on the trails its relative simplicity makes it a safe bet. We were pleased to see that Vitus have stuck with the Shimano Zee groupset and brake set-up. We can’t say enough good things about the Zee kit. It just works. And given its price point and performance we struggle to see why most racers would want anything else.
The WTB Frequency Team Rims are a nice touch and it’s a relief that Vitus didn’t choose to cut corners here and stick on something cheap and cheerful. The WTBs are good mid-range rims that do the job nicely. As a bonus the High Roller II’s are pretty much the go-to tyre for Downhill duties and we will never complain about seeing a pair of these on any build. We were also pretty happy to see Chain Guide duties were managed by the E.Thirteen LG1+. We loved this chain guide when we first saw it at Core Bike last year and we still do. The finishing kit is wrapped up with a mix of Vitus own brand and Nukeproof including the superb NP Warhead bars and Direct-Mount stem.
The frame itself has a much more aggressive lower slung design compared to the 2015 model. 63 degree head angle, 200mm travel – the usual and much trusted numbers. We really love the new stealthy gun metal grey paint job with the flashes of orange. A serious looking machine. With just a few initial runs in some less than pleasant conditions the bike has most notably a rapid amount of acceleration for such little effort. Given the muddy slop it had to push through we were really surprised just how quickly power was transferred to the rear wheel. It is plenty stable, which is a good thing because this bike moves. It was hard to truly gauge how well the bike hooked up on the techy stuff as the conditions of the trails weren’t lending themselves to smashing rock gardens and railing berms but needless to say on first impressions we weren’t expecting a bike that comes in at under 2250 quid to feel quite this good so quickly.
We’re hoping for some slightly drier trails over the coming months so we can get some more runs and uplifts in on the Dominer. We’ll have a full review soon.
Available from Chain Reaction Cycles