The Vitus Dominer is a more than capable DH MTB with a great spec for £1999
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’.
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 +.
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 Its not toooooo slack but not at all outdated geo wise (63deg head angle).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!
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….
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…