Vitus has added an all-new e-MTB to the range called the E-Mythique LT, which is designed to bring big performance to a very accessible price point. This has been achieved by keeping costs low as well as working with Bafang to create an all-new drive system, a move that makes Vitus the first big brand to work with the Chinese e-bike powerhouse.
The brand's partnership with Bafang was borne out of the idea to blend performance and low cost. As a result, Vitus worked closely with Bafang to eke up to 95Nm of torque from the M510 motor.
Powered by a 630Wh battery, the M510 offers five power modes, eco, eco+, trail, boost and race to give the rider all of the options to help accommodate range and performance but importantly, at its maximum, it can output 400% of the rider’s input. To break those modes down, eco outputs a maximum power of 302W and maximum torque of 35Nm whereas eco+ ups those figures to 412W and 55Nm. Trail mode is akin to Bosch’s eMTB mode that outputs according to what the rider is putting in for a more natural feel with a maximum power of 495W and 75Nm.
Then the boost and race modes get a little interesting as they both offer a maximum power of 550W but the former’s torque maxes out at 75Nm whereas the latter’s tops out at the full 95Nm. While the changes in these two are somewhat subtle, race mode offers a lengthier overrun period and 400% assistance.
That motor is housed within a frame that’s not too dissimilar from the existing E-Sommet which is definitely a good thing as it reviewed rather well in our tests. Like its spendier sibling, it uses a 205x65mm trunnion mount shock that starts at a leverage rate of 2.83 at the very top of its stroke which gets more progressive as it moves through its travel resulting in a progression percentage at 27%. The aim of this is to offer a supported ride in the mid and end stroke of the travel. As a result, the E-Mythique can run a coil shock.
The suspension platform has been designed with just under 100% anti-squat at sag in a 34T:42T gear in order to achieve some suspension movement while pedalling for grip. But as the chain is shifted into faster gears, the anti-squat drops away to reduce feedback in chunky terrain.
The E-Mythique is offered with either 170 or 160mm of fork travel depending on the model chosen which affects geometry slightly. With a 170mm fork, the similarities to the E-Sommet continue as its geometry is almost identical. The E-Mythique boasts a 63.5-degree head tube angle, and a 77.5-degree seat tube angle and there’s a 445mm chainstay across the size range. A large model has a reach figure of 476mm.
The E-Mythique LT VR model is the one that dons 160mm of travel at the fork and as such, its geometry steepens by half a degree and its reach on a large frame stretches to 483mm.
As for the rear travel, this bike gets 160mm and again, similarly to the E-Sommet, it gets a mullet wheel setup with a 650b wheel at the rear and a 29in at the front.
Onto frame features. It’s internally routed for tidy cable management, there’s space for a water bottle and it’s made from 6061-T6 aluminium.
It’s then available in three models with prices starting from £3,300 and going up to £4,400.
Vitus E-Mythique VR e-MTB - componentry
On test, is that base level £3,300 build and it’s the bike that gets 160mm of travel at each end. For that relatively meagre asking price, you’re getting a respectable build that includes an SR Suntour Zeron36 fork and a RockShox Deluxe Select R shock. Shifting is then sorted by Microshift with its Advent X 1x10 speed drivetrain.
The E-Mythique VR rolls on a pair of WTB ST Light i30 rims that are laced to Vitus KT hubs and they’re wrapped with tyres from Vee Tire Co. and the Attack HPL.
Brakes are supplied by Tektro with the HD-M535 which are fully sorted with four-piston calipers and they’re mated to 203mm rotors. Of course, there’s finally that Bafang M510 drive unit.
Vitus E-Mythique VR e-MTB - First impressions
When we were told that Vitus’s latest e-MTB would strike that middle ground between budget-friendly and high performance, our interest was more than piqued, especially having spent some time with last year’s top-of-the-range E-Sommet VRX. So once the bike was unwrapped and set up, we headed over to our local playground that comprises plenty of up, with a reasonable variation of downhill trails.
Though what I’ve found to be the most impressive is the Bafang motor. It’s powerful but mighty adjustable thanks to the number of modes Vitus has built in. While my time on the bike was brief, I was sure to scroll through the modes in a number of scenarios and each of them proved to be useful, with the lower powered modes offering some output adjustability that focusses on maximising range, whereas the higher power modes offer a clear and useful boost when needed.
A great example is the motor’s race mode which I found super effective on the descents if anything. Putting in a quick half pedal both boosts forward momentum but it gives you a few seconds of overdrive, where the motor is still propelling you and the bike forwards but without any input on the pedals. This proved incredibly useful on trails with short and sharp climbs mid-way through, where I was able to maintain speed without expending effort.
The M510’s trail mode is an interesting one as it blends the higher and lower power modes, adjusting it according to how the rider is pedalling. So if you’re pedalling harder, it’ll assist more, and if you’re chilling on the pedals, it’ll just give you a gentle helping hand. It’s a feature that I appreciate on all e-MTBs that use it and that’s very much the case with the E-Mythique. However, it’s not quite as intuitive as that on spendier units. That’s simply because there’s a bit of a delay before the motor realises that you’re putting down the power, or reining it in a little. But it is just something to get used to and it's £350ish cheaper than Canyon's base-level EP8-equipped Neuron:ON 6 and any of Haibike's full sussers, so any compromise here can easily be forgiven.
The big difference between this motor and the likes of Shimano’s EP8 or the Bosch Performance Line CX is that it doesn’t run quite as smoothly. In the high power modes especially, I could feel the internal gears mesh together through the pedals. It’s a rather vocal bit of kit, too, as it whirrs with increasing volume when more power is dialled in. And when listening a little more carefully, I could hear the gear cogs at work.
Its geometry is very well thought out, allowing for great support when tackling steeper sections, while remaining reasonably maneuverable thanks to that little rear wheel, and short rear end.
It climbs impressively, too, even when the motor is cranked up to full whack. Just to find the limits of traction, I pedalled up a quiet bit of a downhill trail and utilised the full 400% of assistance and, not only did it make it possible, but the motor and tyre combination delivered reliable traction, only breaking free when the trail was particularly soft.
Because it’s so similar to the E-Sommet (almost exactly the same in fact) it rides almost identically, which is a great thing. It’s fast, composed and capable when descending but it’s gentle and easy to manage when climbing. The work Vitus has carried out on the suspension kinematic is clear, too, as it keeps the rear wheel glued to the ground and reduces feedback through chunky sections. However, that reduction in feedback can make it feel a little vague. But that is something of a compromise for its comfort.
The really big story behind the E-Mythique LT is the level of performance that Vitus has managed to pack in while remaining reserved in its pricing. This is the base-level bike with very budget friendly componentry but it’s a bike that I’ve been able to ride with as much confidence as I have aboard bikes twice its asking price. While plasticky in feel, the Tektro brakes summon up plenty of power and the Microshift drivetrain is one that seriously punches above its weight.
While I prefer much less rebound damping, the SR Suntour fork does its job well enough, too. Owing to the fact that Vitus has built the bike with all of the modern standards, it’s a bike that can easily be upgraded should you want to.
In its pursuit of combining performance with a low price tag, Vitus looks to have done a solid job with the E-Mythique LT CR, especially in its work with Bafang to create a competitive and user friendly drive system. In a culture where expensive components are held with such snobbery, it’s both refreshing and exciting to be reminded that a great riding bike doesn't require the remortgaging of your house or a sale of your nan.
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