First Look Review : Pete’s Vitus eMythique LT 297 VR eBike.

The Vitus eMythique LT aims to offer the performance you expect from a top tier, full fat ebike, without the hefty price tag.

Despite being the base spec model of Vitus’ new eMythique LT range, the 297 VR model has plenty going for it. Pete gives his opening thoughts on the latest addition to the Vitus range.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • SR Suntour Zeron36 160mm fork
  • RockShox Deluxe Select R shock
  • Microshift Advent X 10-speed drive
  • Bafang M510 motor
  • Bafang M510 630Wh battery
  • Tektro HD-M535 4-piston brakes
  • WTB ST Light i30 rims on Vitus KT hubs
  • Brand-X Ascend dropper
  • £3,299.99 RRP
  • VitusBikes.com

Sitting at the start of the Vitus eMythique LT range, the 297 VR comes in at £3,299.99 RRP, a considerable quantity less than most ebikes that offers full fat, go anywhere ebike power. The range tops out with the VRX at £4,399.99. Designed to sit below the eSommet in terms of price point and offer an entry point into ebike performance, the eMythique LT 297 VR certainly isn’t expensive.

The beating heart of the eMythique LT is the Bafang motor. Anyone in the commuting circles will be familiar with it, but it’s a relatively unknown quantity in the mountain bike world. This motor was co-developed with Vitus and Bafang, with the team at Vitus cherry-picking what they liked about other motors to help create what they felt was the best motor going without the premium price tag. Five modes including Eco, Eco+, Trail, Boost and Race are available from the Bafang power unit.

That motor is fuelled by a 630Wh battery. Drive is handled by Microshift’s Advent X 10-speed drive. Suspension units are an SR Suntour Zeron36 fork and a Rockshox Deluxe Select R shock. Brakes are Tektro HD-M535 4-pot units that bolt to Vitus’ own KT hubs, laced to WTB ST Light i30 rims. Tyres are Vee Tire Co. Attack HPL, both co-designed in compound and casing with Vitus to offer good grip and support without braking the bank. Finishing kit is Nukeproof and Brand X. Simple, yet effective.

Geometry

The Vitus eMythique is available in S, M, L and XL.

With the 297 VR model coming with a 160mm fork, 10mm less travel than the higher spec models, some geometry figures are different for this bike.

Reach on the M is 456mm with a seat tube of 410mm. Head angle is 64 degrees with a seat tube angle of 78 degrees. Chainstay lengths are 445mm across the sizes with a wheelbase on the Medium of 1244mm.

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Opening moves

With the fork and shock being relatively low spec units, setup was a case of sag and rebound before setting lever throw on the brakes. Away we went. The quiet Bafang motor adding a hefty punch to my efforts from the get-go. In the hand, the eMythique feels quite weighty, but once moving it was quite the opposite.

There’s little feeling that this bike is very much a third of the price of some competing ebikes, so I was keen to find out where the crossover is in terms of performance. Why are we paying the price of a second hand Porsche for some ebikes? Have Vitus stumbled on the magic formula here? We’d soon find out.

Certainly the Bafang appreciated a high cadence, similar to a Shimano motor, but that’s nothing to do with the cost. Once you’re spinning away, that 95Nm torque on tap bursts into life, making light work of pretty much anything. That cadence requirement would need you to make the most of the narrower range of the Advent X cassette, but again, hardly a complaint at this stage.

I haven’t yet had a chance to do a ride where battery anxiety might become a thing, so generally, the bike has been in Trail or Boost, mostly the latter. Or if some trail maintenance or a swim is on the cards, just a cheeky slap into Race is as daft a proposition as it was on the top tier Orbea Wild, just without the quantity of overrun that the Bosch motor offers. That said, if you’re keen on giving it the beans at an ebike race, then the eMythique LT offers you that extra punch for a fraction of the price that most ebikes come in at.

Once you’re at the top of the trail, the eMythique LT is ready to go. Once up to speed, the bike is far more chuckable than the headline weight would suggest, and more than a lot of other full fat bikes do. The Tektro brakes have plenty of power but lack a bit of bite, but they do solid job of hauling the big green machine into line when things gets out of control.

When up to speed in the chunk, the 36mm chassis Suntour forks to deflect off some of the bigger hits, making for quite a lively ride when things get, lively. A stiffer fork out front would certainly help the bike go wherever you’re pointing it. That said, there will always be some compromises when it comes to speccing bikes at this price point and the eMythique, like its short travel, analogue brethren, offers a cracking base for future upgrades.

Other than that, there’s little to pick out with the eMythique 297 LT VR. I’m looking forward to getting some real time out on it and seeing what it can really do. Beyond the slightly twangy fork, the rest of the bike is definitely up to scratch.

You can check out the Vitus eMythique LT 297 VR over on their website here.


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