Vitus’s E-Sommet VRX is unequivocally a heavy hitting enduro e-bike. Thanks to its pretty well sorted geometry and wisely picked spec, it’s a bike that’s unshakably confident when pushed down the most technical terrain. Although due to its weight and plush suspension characteristic, the E-Sommet may be a bit too 'enduro' for some.
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Back in 2021, the E-Sommet saw quite the update, moving its battery within the downtube, and importantly, there was a change to its geometry to make it more comfortable when descending. The E-Sommet has also forgone its floating shock design in favour of a four-bar suspension platform and upped the rear travel to 167mm. The newer frame shape has adopted a flared seat tube too, making much more space for longer dropper posts and boosting the potential to size up, if you prefer a longer bike.
Speaking of that seat tube, its angle gets steeper as the bike gets larger in the range. Small and medium frames get a 77° effective seat tube angle which steepens to 77.5° on the large and 78° on the extra large. This has been done to offer what Vitus reckons is the best sagged saddle position across the range.
Vitus describes its range topping enduro e-bike, the E-Sommet VRX as a bike that offers tonnes of control when being sent through big descents, whether that’s in the bike park on along a huge mountain. But where it’s designed to be massively capable when tearing it down a hill, it’s also meant to happily, and quickly, get the rider back to the top for another run; that’s thanks to its Shimano EP8 motor.
Housed neatly alongside the Shimano motor in the full alloy frame, Vitus has squeezed a 630Wh battery into the downtube. I’m always happy to see the EP8 on an e-bike. Its natural power delivery and clever varying Trail mode make it my favourite motor on the market. It’s somewhat quiet too, purring only when it’s really being pushed. However, in this bike it does tend to rattle which can get a little distracting when plowing downhill.
Rather than using a key to get entry into the battery compartment, the E-Sommet requires the removal of three Allen bolts. While for me, this wasn’t an issue, this is undeniably an extra bit of faff if you’re often swapping batteries, or charging them off of the bike.
Elsewhere, we can find the RockShox’s top-end suspension; the ZEB Ultimate fork, and Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT shock, to be precise. The former offers up 170mm of travel and benefits from the Charger 2.1 RC2 damper and DebonAir air spring. The latter is trunnion mounted and, handles 167mm of squish on this updated bike.
Just like the motor, Shimano has the shifting and braking covered thanks to an XT 12-speed drivetrain and four-spot brakes matched with 203mm rotors to provide extra braking power to slow this hefty beast.
Nukerproof provides both the E-Sommet’s wheels, in the form of the Horizon rims laced to their own hubs and the cockpit, with an 800mm Horizon V2 bar paired with a 50mm Nukeproof Horizon stem. The Horizon Enduro saddle is perched atop a Brand-X Descend dropper.
Vitus E-Sommet VRX | The ride
Sitting aboard the E-Sommet VRX, there’s little to give its e-bike game away apart from its reasonably serious weight. Vitus claims it tips the scales at 24.8kg; it’s certainly a porker.
Of course, this is an e-bike, so weight isn’t so much of an issue and the proof of such is firmly in the pudding. It’s a reasonably comfy place to sit, though when tackling steeper and more technical climbs, I felt it could be difficult to weight the front wheel properly, due to the rather lofty, 649mm stack. This could be combatted with flatter bars and a negative rise stem; but only to a point.
When the upward gradients aren’t too harsh, the E-Sommet is roomy, and actually rather comfortable, thanks to the amount of squish in the suspension. As far as suspension platforms go, this one isn’t the most efficient in the world as there’s some noticeable bobbing under pedaling but in turn, that movement soaks up loads of trail chatter, making speedy trips back to the top of the trail feel pretty luxurious.
Now, mullet bikes (bikes with 29" front and 650b rear wheels) are something that I’m yet to be convinced of. I’ve ridden a bunch and I’ve never felt truly at home while riding them, however, the wheel setup works incredibly well on this bike. It makes sense because it helps hide the effect of the bike’s weight when cornering. In the case of the E-Sommet, it doesn’t take as much effort to lean and thanks to its low 35mm bottom bracket drop, it feels as if it’s on rails in the corners. Regardless of its weight and masses of travel, it's actually a fun bike to whip through the bends.
I did feel that confidence was slightly hindered in the twisty stuff due to the Maxxis High Roller II draped around the rear wheel. It’s a tyre that definitely has its place as it lives up to its name, rolling quickly, which helps boosts battery life in this case, but it’s a tyre I’ve never gelled with. I’ve found that it’s not the most predictable in the corners, so when hitting berms as hard as this bike encourages, it can easily break traction if you take the corner with even a slightly square line. It’s also a little lackluster under braking too, especially once the sharp edges begin to wear.
What is good though, is that it’s specced with Maxxis' strongest (heaviest) Double Down casing, meaning that the tyre should easily cope with everything an enduro focussed e-bike will have to contend with. We can put this tyre choice down to Vitus’s aim to make this a mountain goat uphill, so we’ll let the brand off here. I have no issues with the Assegai at the front though, it's a great bit of rubber.
As you might imagine, the E-Sommet makes the most sense once it’s pointing downhill by offering a confidence-inspiring stance when faced with descents that you would normally be reluctant to commit to. To start, Vitus has made some solid decisions with the bike’s geometry, making it stable then using the 650b rear wheel to retain some agility with a tighter rear end. The 478mm reach is certainly respectable, helping the rider achieve a commanding stance over the bike, while the 64° head angle pushes the front wheel further in front aiding that fork to soak up nasty hits and boosting support. The smaller rear wheel also opens up a whole load of space over the back of the bike, which comes in handy when tipping the bike over steep rolls.
Add all of that suspension travel and the E-Sommet becomes a bike that’s very easy to ride quickly. And of course, the added weight of the drive system forces the suspension to really earn its money. What’s clear though, is that the ride this bike offers is nothing short of plush. It’s like riding a mountain bike-shaped armchair; comfortable, but lazy.
Lazy is a harsh word to describe this machine but its ability to tame big trails forces it well within its enduro bike categorization. Show it something mellower and its big bike characteristics are stark. It's big and very squishy, and its rear end can feel a little vague which is something you don't really want when riding anything but big and technical trails. If you’re one who prefers leaping over roots, fancy jibs, and airtime, you’ll have to put the effort in too. Though we have to be honest with ourselves here, this is an enduro bike that’s made to go downhill at break-neck speeds and if that’s what you want from a bike, the E-Sommet delivers.
Pair the travel figures with the fat head tube and 38mm stanchioned ZEB fork, and the bike refuses to bat an eye at even the silliest of line choices. Point it at a garden of tech and it’ll easily plow over it without surrendering its line. The E-Sommet is planted, confident, and absurdly capable.
While Vitus has done a great job with the E-Sommet’s descending performance, the brand has smashed it in terms of value for money. Yes, it’s all based around an alloy frame but the kit choices that have been made result in huge performance for a relatively low price.
The Nukeproof Megawatt in its Elite build comes in at £6,000 but its value doesn’t look quite as nice as it gets Shimano SLX shifting and braking, rather than the XT stuff on the E-Sommet VRX. It also gets Fox Performance Elite suspension though its geometry is fairly similar.
With the snappily named Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC TM 750 27.5, Cube does offer up some interesting competition. This bike is priced the same as the Vitus but it benefits from SRAM GX shifting, a carbon frame, and Magura MT7 brakes. So value is looking better here but its geometry isn’t quite as progressive with a 65° head angle, 460mm reach on a large, and 76° seat tube angle. If you’re looking for an all-out enduro bike, the E-Sommet trumps the Cube with its slightly more agro shape.
Vitus has done a very respectable job with the E-Sommet VRX. It summons up tonnes of confidence when flung downhill and it’s impressively easy to ride quickly. Although, while the little rear wheel claws back some agility, it’s very much an enduro bike, which hinders all-out versatility. If you’re looking to go quickly up and downhill, can live a bit of wheel lift on steeper climbs, and often ride big, chunky trails the E-Sommet VRX is just the bike.