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Vitus Dominer – DH for under 2k? Review

Vitus Dominer – DH for under 2k? Review

The Vitus Dominer is a more than capable DH MTB with a great spec for £1999

Vitus Dominer1

Vitus is a brand we know a lot about (have a couple in the shed) and write a lot about.

Vitus bikes are generally well designed, look good and offer great value. This DH machine is no different! The question everyone will be asking is, is the Dominer worth the £2k and what are the alternatives at this price point.

First off lets look at the Dominer’s frame and spec.
We have 200mm travel front and back with Rockshox Boxxer Team up front and a Rockshox Vivid R2C on the back. Absolutely no complaints on either of these, both complete performers and retail at around £1100for the pair alone!
The Dominer Frame is T6 6061 Aluminium and looks great. In Vitus’ own words the suspension platform ‘features a floating horizontal shock mount (FHSM) and actual main pivot location (AMPL) designed to provide the most efficient pedalling and suspension action’.

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Drivetrain is Shimano Zee with nice little points like a KMC chain (wouldn’t ride anything else) and every dependable E.Thirteen device. Brakes are also Shimano Zee, in my experience no one but the most burley of racers will notice the difference between the more expensive Saints and the cheaper Shimano Zee’s, especially if you opt to upgrade the Zee’s to the vented pads. We have 203mm rotors front and back and the Zee model is BR-M640.
Wheels duties are provided by Novatech hubs (Vitus own brand) laced onto WTB rims which are tubeless ready. The tyres are Maxxis High Roller 2.4″, some people love them some hate them with a passion, give them a try and see if you get on with them, otherwise flog them off on Ebay and upgrade to Schwalbe or Continental.
Nukeproof 760mm bar with stem and FSA headset – No complaints, maybe worth an upgrade to a wider bar if you are a gorilla or like to pretend to be Greg Minnaar.
Stated weight is just under 17kg, not light but not too bad at all, certainly not in the realms of DH bikes a few years past which weighed in at a hefty 21kg +.

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The Ride.
The Vitus is somewhat surprisingly pretty easy to ride considering it is a 200m travel DH machine. Its not toooooo slack but not at all outdated geo wise (63deg head angle). The Vitus has a pretty neutral riding position and you feel very stable even at lower speeds. Its easy to chuck the bike about and the frame offers a good degree of pop especially when you get the shock dialed in to your weight. It seems like the kind of bike you want to take out in your local woods and piss about on. Remember when you were 14 and would just twat about – this bike makes you want to do that again – but faster.
Its not the lightest bike, you are not going to want to do any enduro loops on it, but if you don’t mind pushing up the steep slopes then this could be the one!
The entire bike is very neutral and considered. Nothing requires an upgrade straight away, nothing will annoy you. The ride is neutral and the tyres are forgiving, the bars are average width and the groupset is dependable. That last coupkle of sentances make the Vitus seem a little boring, its not at all, its massive fun, its just not a thoroughbred race machine and you wouldn’t expect that at this price!

The Vitus Dominer – Available direct at CRC for only £1999



Alternatives at under £2k

Actually quite a few strong ones!

Norco Aurum offer options: between £1599 and £1885 the more expensive Aurum coming with a Carbon Frame and similar kit to the Dominer with RC Kage rear shock and Boxxer fork, Zee group and maxxis tyres. See the Norco Aurum c7.3 here….

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Another option is the GT Fury Elite with its expensive Fox rear shock and cheaper RockShox Domain R Forks. It is a proven racing frame and offers an unrivaled racing poise and geometry.
You can find the GT Fury here for £1999…

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SOLD OUT // Giant Glory 1 – Pretend to be a world champ!

SOLD OUT // Giant Glory 1 – Pretend to be a world champ!

Now you too can pretend to be Danny Hart for a reduced price of £2699.
A really nice looking bike with a top kit and over a grand off the RRP.
With the glory if your still slower than a special-needs school trip in the snow, then maybe its time to take up XC instead?

  • Frame: AluxX SL aluminum, Fluid Formed TM, 8.0″/203mm Maestro Suspension
  • Fork: RockShox Boxxer R2C2 200mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Vivid coil R2
  • Handlebar: Giant Contact AM
  • Stem: Giant Contact DH
  • Seatpost: Giant Connect SL
  • Saddle: Fi’zi:k Tundra 2 Manganese rails
  • Shifters: SRAM X7 trigger 9 speed
  • Front: Derailleur MRP G2SL guide
  • Rear: Derailleur SRAM X9
  • Brakes: Avid Elixir R hydraulic discs 203/185mm rotors
  • Brake Levers: Avid Elixir R
  • Cassette Sram: PG970 11-26
  • Chain Shimano: HG93
  • Crankset: Race Face Atlas FR 38T
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face X Type, External
  • Rims: DT Swiss EX500
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350 rear, Giant Tracker front
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C / DHR 3C 26X2.5″

Full details available here…

Dirt Mtb

Ship your bike anywhere in Europe for just £19

Ship your bike anywhere in Europe for just £19

Unfortunately the original deal has now expired.
*UPDATE August 2014*
Please check out the following list of cheap couriers for some really good deals for international delivery or large parcels up to 35kg. Prices do change weekly so please find the latest and best prices on each site (they can vary a lot!!)

Fastlane Couriers – At the time of writing are offering some fantastic deals including Delivery to western europe (germany etc…) for around £15 up to 35kg with DPD on a 2/3 day service.


Worldwide Parcel Services  offer some good rates for cheap international delivery (Western Europe from £15).
With most couriers the problem with shipping bikes is the size of the bike box rather than the weight (as most bike can be shipped under 20kg). Option 1 is pack the bike as small as possible by removing the forks and wheels etc… Option 2 is to ship your bike in 2 packages, wheels in one, frame etc… in the other. Worldwide Parcel Servies offer good rates on Worldwide shipping with DHL, DPD and UPS so check out there website for more details on specific costs.

iPostParcels offer delivery with big name couriers including DPD UPS and Parcel Force/GLS

Parcel Hero – ultra fast service with good deals on USA deliveries.

Selling a bike or frame on ebay? Having a ‘pick up only’ option on your listing really puts off a lot of buyers and means you possibly wont be getting top dollar for your steed!
As any ebayer knows there are always loads of European buyers looking for deals on the UK site, many of you will have received mails asking if you will ship to Portugal etc…

Royal mail, parcel force and other delivery firms are currently charging about £140 to ship a bicycle to European destinations.

Absolute deal of the century is these guys are offering to ship a 20kg box with the dimensions 173cm x 113cm x 21cm for only £19 plus vat. DHL are the courier dealing with it and its on a Express European service which takes about 3 days for delivery.

I recently bought a bike from a bike shop in the UK and was quoted £80 by the store for delivery to myself in France. So instead I took them up on their offer of free UK delivery, had the bike sent to a relative in the UK and then shipped it over with this service. An absolutely huge bike box arrived on my french door step perfectly, 3 days later!

This is an absolutely great deal for anyone needing to get there bike to Europe on the cheap or selling it to a European based buyer. At £19 its cheaper than taking it on as excess baggage on Easyjet – so this would make a perfect option for someone looking to fly off on a riding holiday to the alps. – Why not just get your bike delivered to the hotel / riding hostel a few days beforehand – then its there waiting for you when you fly in!

Delivery’s are tracked and require a signature – they come with £50 worth of insurance as standard and you can insure further for 5% of the total cost. Its picked up from your door step on your chosen date and delivered by DHL express a few days later.

So if your selling or going off on your riding holidays definitely have a further look at this service!
Check out the site here!
Bikes delivered to Europe for only £19 …..

Unfortunately the original deal has now expired.

Please check Worldwide Parcel Services for cheap international delivery (Western Europe from £15).
With most couriers the problem with shipping bikes is the size of the bike box rather than the weight (as most bike can be shipped under 20kg). Option 1 is pack the bike as small as possible by removing the forks and wheels etc… Option 2 is to ship your bike in 2 packages, wheels in one, frame etc… in the other. Worldwide Parcel Servies offer good rates on Worldwide shipping with DHL, DPD and UPS so check out there website for more details on specific costs.

Dirt Mtb

Complete DH Bikes

Complete DH Bikes

The Mondraker Summum – Lightweight frameset for Hardcore Downhill. Great finishing kit means anyone but the most serious of racers wouldnt need to upgrade. Can i have one please? Its this or a second hand Mondeo at £3k.
Specalized Big Hits have always been a favorite for the budget rider. Personally I think this version of the Big Hit looks amazing. Great value at only £1100, which lets anyone on a tight budget get into the sport. Not the greatest of finishing kit on her, but I recon the Marzocchi Z1’s, Sram groupset and Avid juicy 3’s will give it there all until you can afford an upgrade. Definitely an absolute bargain at this price. 170mm travel on the back and 160mm on the front with a 20mm axle – This bike looks like an absolute blast!
To be honest if your looking to spend £4k on a DH bike you will already know about the Lapierre 920. Race proven frame with top class finishing kit. Was £5k Now £4k Saving you a whole grand (enough to buy the Big Hit as a training bike 😉
The big brother of the Big Hit, the Demo 8 is a favorite with Sam Hill fetishists and Downhill Racers alike. People assumed when specialized entered the DH racing market that they would develop a new platform for the cut and thrust of DH racing. Instead they tweaked their Freeride Demo frame and sent it down the hill proving first off there is fuck all difference between a long travel Freeride bike and a DH bike apart from components and secondly the average Internet commenting mountain biker knows nothing at all about bike design.  A  great frameset with quality finishing kit – thrashed by Hill and Fairclough, the demo 8 has become a solid and fashionable DH race bike. £3.3k saving you £700 from the RRP – enough cash to spend on a alcohol drenched trip to Morzine.


Chain Reaction Cycles Biggest Deals – Winter 2010

Chain Reaction Cycles Biggest Deals – Winter 2010

Chain Reaction always have some awesome component and kit bargains – here are a few bits of tried and tested kit we found with some great discounts!

Fox Suspension 32 Float RL Forks – Was £719 Now £300! Save £419

RaceFace Diabolus DH Riser – Limited Edition 2009 – Was £49.99 NOW £20!!! Save £30

Truvativ Holzfeller Chainset DH Double & Bash – Was £170 NOW £81! Save £89

Iron Horse Sunday Elite Bike – Was £3000 NOW £1750 Save £1250!!

Sombrio Forensic Cuffless Glove 2008 – Was £25 NOW £11 Save £14!

FSA Sky Pilot Headset – Was £42 NOW £14 Save £28