Tested : Pete’s Vitus Sommet 297 CRX Review.

Lots of travel, sensible geometry, Mullet wheels, carbon front triangle and daft spec for the money puts the Vitus Sommet in with a good shout of being a flyer.

The bigger brother to the excellent Escarpe, the Vitus Sommet, especially in its 297 CRX guise is truly worthy of consideration both for its performance and bang for your buck.

Pete has spent some time flinging it down mountains large and small over the last month or two.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox 38 Float Factory 170mm fork
  • Fox X2 Float Factory shock
  • Shimano XT 12-speed drive
  • Shimano XT 4-piston brakes
  • Nukeproof Horizon V2 wheels
  • Brand-X Ascend dropper
  • £3,999.99 RRP
  • VitusBikes.com

With much the same spec as the Escarpe CRX, the Sommet CRX is also silly spec for the £3,999.99 asking price. You get a Fox 38 Factory fork, X2 Float Factory shock, full XT drivetrain as well as 4-pot brakes and 203mm rotors. Wheels are Nukeproof Horizon units, as is the cockpit. You even get an EXO+ MaxxGrip Assegai out front and a Double Down High Roller II in MaxxTerra out back.

There is nothing you would need to change out of the box to send this bike onto the podium or spend some serious time in the mountains. Even the grips are comfy. A full Factory set of dampers too, means you can get this bike running exactly how you want it.

Geometry

On the Medium Sommet 297 you get a 443mm reach and a 410mm seat tube, the latter has more insertion hence the growth in dropper length. Head angle is 64 degrees with a size-specific 76.5 degree seat tube angle. Chainstays are suitably short at 435mm on a wheelbase of 1225mm.

From the off, this bike was charging. On the ups you need a little more leg power compared to the Escarpe thanks to the extra weight as well as the drag from the large and heavier rear tyre. The front end also felt a little tall out of the box but nothing a few spacers dropped couldn’t solve. Grip provided by the rear end and the wonderfully supple X2 shock meant that as long as you had the legs and the skills, you’d be winching your way high onto the hill.

Initially, the forks on the Sommet with the air volume spacers removed felt plush as anything, soaking up the small hits while dealing with the medium to larger hits well too. On a bike that can go as fast as this, the 38s didn’t feel too stiff either. The shock felt good but a little dead and a few rides in, took four low speed and two high speed rebound clicks off and the bike came to life.

Since then, I have gone down all of my favourite hills, plus some new ones, and trails faster than I have on any other bike. The only time this was ruined was by poking a hole in the rear tyre pushing on when I probably should have been reining it in a touch. Plug fitted, reinflated and off we went. The bike hasn’t skipped a beat since.

In the few months I have ridden the Sommet it’s given me the confidence to push my riding on a fair old whack. The bike just continues being predictable regardless of how fast I decide to push, and the only thing keeping it from going faster is my brain’s ability to process trail as fast as the bike can go.

It’s difficult to explain just how good the Sommet 297 CRX is without resorting to lazy hyperbole, but going this fast off road on a bike that hasn’t put a foot wrong despite some seriously chunky riding is impressive. Add to that the price tag that still doesn’t make any sense to me as to how this bike is so cheap and you really do have a winner. Even the colour is sweet.

What do we think?

Vitus are going to have to fight Pete to get this bike back. It’s that good.

We love:

  • Ludicrous spec for the money
  • Dialled geometry
  • Sweetspot suspension
  • Confidence-inspiring
  • That colour

Could do better:

  • Zilch

You can check out the full details on the Vitus Sommet 297 CRX on their website here.