Today, Vitus launch their range of 2019 bikes including specification updates over all models including the Sommet, the Sentier, Nucleus and the Escarpe. We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on two new Vitus hardtails before the launch, the Sentier VR 29 and the Sentier VRS and took a first look at them here.
The two bike we are going to be testing are the Sentier VR 29 and the VRS, the 29er is priced at a penny under a grand (£999.99) and the VRS which is a 27.5” bike is fourteen hundred quid (£1399.99).
We tested a Sentier VR 29 back in August 2017 and gave it four and a half stars out of five. Since then the bike has had a geometry makeover in 2018 and this year, the 2019 bikes get some big spec updates too.
Comparatively to the bike we tested, the 2019 29er bikes in the range have got, longer lower and slacker, a geometry update that was first seen on the 2018 bikes. The head angle is a degree slacker at 66.5 degrees and both the reach and the wheelbase have been stretched out too. The reach on this large frame is 446mm compared to 429mm on the last Sentier 29er we rode. This causes the wheelbase to lengthen but apart from that the rest of the bike looks pretty similar, there are nice long chainstays at 439mm, similar length seat tubes and 73degree seat angles across the size range.
It’s the same for the smaller wheeled VRS the reach got longer in 2018 and the headangle got slacker by half a degree.
Sentier VR 29 spec updates
Now you get a 130mm Rockshox Sektor RL fork rather than the lower spec Recons on the VR 29. There is still a 1x 11 drivetrain but now it’s a Shimano one with an 11-46T cassette to go with the Shimano MT500 brakes. That means a wider range of gears compared to the SRAM NX gear on last years bike so hopefully, you'll find winching up hills that bit easier.
Vitus Sentier VR29 Drivetrain
The other big change is the move from Maxxis tyre to Schwalbe, there is now a 2.3” Magic Mary on the front and a Nobby Nic on the rear rather than a Minion DHF and a Minion Semi Slick.
Vitus Sentier VR29 fork and tyre
It’s the same story over on the Sentier VRS too – but this bike gets 2.6” Schwalbe tyres set onto 29mm wide WTB rim which makes for a pretty good profile, especially of that front tyre. It's a tyre set up that is winter ready straight out of the box.
This bike also gets a fork upgrade, its now running 140mm Revelation RC’s with 35mm stanchions rather than Reba RL’s so should be a whole lot stiffer and more capable up front.
Vitus Sentier VRS Front Tyre
The VRS is a tad more expensive in 2019 than the nearest equivalent bike which was the VRS+ last year. For the extra hundred quid though you also get an upgrade to a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain giving you a couple more winching gears. It’s a SRAM full house too with the bike being finished off with Guide R brakes, another upgrade from two pot SLX brakes to the four pot guides.
Vitus Sentier VRS with Revelation Fork
Both bikes still have the Nukerproof saddle and cock pit components and the Sentier VRS keeps its internally routed dropper post. It’s worth mentioning that the VR also has routing for an internal dropper post and with the Brand X Ascend dropper post coming in at just over £100, its an upgrade that I’m sure will be high on buyer’s list. We’ve got a couple of the Brand X droppers in for test so we will let you know how we get on with those soon.
Vitus Sentier VR29 Saddle
Check back soon for a full review on both bikes once we've been out and given them a thorough testing.
For more information on the range head to www. vitusbikes.com
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