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 Its not toooooo slack but not at all outdated geo wise (63deg head angle).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…
|Proceed FST Trail Frame – Ex Display Model now Half Price|
NOW SOLD OUT
This Bavarian big hitting trail frame is now half price at only £479 with a lovely Fox DHX shock. 150mm to 175mm travel.
This is a Ex-Display unit, hence the bargain price & very limited stock.
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…
To be honest, unless your a serious racer and need a race license I never thought it worthwhile to join British Cycling. It seems times are changing and the various levels of BC membership have a number of worthwhile bonuses to help us Mountain Bikers do what we love.
Now I wont bullshit about, some of the Membership benefits are a joke at best, but from only £13.50 a year there seem to be some real benefits that we can all get our hands on.
I will run you through the different membership levels.
Ride membership: £24 a year
They say its ideal for commuters and hobby riders – I think it suits any mountain bike riders who don’t need (or want) a race license.
Up to £10m third party liability insurance.
Free legal support and advice from the BC legal team.
Save a minimum of 12% at the British Cycling Wiggle shop
Save 10% at Halfords stores nationwide
Pre-sale and discounted tickets to major UK cycle events
Save up to £23 a year on magazines including Cycling Plus, Procycling and Mountain Biking UK (no dirt mag tho :()
Save 40% on AA Membership
Get a free copy of Rouleur and Privateer worth up to £10 each
Save 10% on bike insurance – guaranteed lowest price bike insurance
Save 10% on Cycle Rescue, an emergency roadside recovery service for cyclists
Then they have various race license memberships.
Starting with the Race Bronze membership. This is £13.50 a year and includes most of the benefits of the Ride membership.
The most expensive and comprehensive membership they offer is the Race gold membership which is £64 a year and has the additional benefits of a full racing license and 15% off bike insurance.
If you need a race license or just like the sound of these additional benefits then why not jump on-board with the British authority for bicycle racing. You might even be able to convince them that Downhill mountain bike racing is the premier form of bicycle competition! (which we already know) 😉
|Nukeproof Generator Rear Hub – only 330g|
A proper downhill and freeride specific hub at a very good price!
Need a new chain guide – your sorted then! The Sunline v1 travel guide comes with a polycarbonate bash guard and ISGC or ISGC 05. At its usual price of £110 this was a great piece of kit, now at £40 this is a no brainier. Choice of max 37t or 40t and a 5 year ‘bash’ replacement policy.
With 64% off the rrp these are selling out fast over at CRC…
• Made from 6061-T6 aluminium, Nylon + fibreglass plastic.
• Bash-guard made of polycarbonate
• All new design with “breakaway” allows the lower arm of the boomerang to flex out of the way upon impact
• 5-year “bash” replacement policy to original owner
• Designed for use on long travel, full suspension frames
• Includes lightweight bash-guard with no holes for mud to pack in
Gwin (and Tracey also) is absolutely flying in this years MTB World Cup series with 2 wins out of 3. With the big winning margins he is pulling out of the bag there is a lot of talk that this years Trek Session frame is possibly one of the fastest downhill frames ever.
In previous years there was Internet clatter about dented frames and thin tubing – This year this frame has been improved and is pretty much a bench mark for DH racing in 2011.
Comes with a 3 Years Frame warranty & a 1 Year Paint and Sticker Warranty.
Equipped with a Fox DHX RC-4 custom DH race-tuned shock.
Hardly a bargain at £2599 but this is what you pay for a absolute top end DH mountain bike race frame and its at a competitive price with the Santa Cruz and Commencal.
Check it out over at Evans…
A great addition to any cyclist’s coffee table, get the full photographic insight into Steve Peat’s world championship winning season in 2009. Foreword by the Legendary Rob Warner, Photo’s by Victor Lucas and of course captions and insights from the big man himself!
Get your hands on a glorious glossy hardback copy for only £24.99
|The BMC Trailfox 2009|
Wow deal of the month if not the frame deal of the year for sure!!
Dirt Magazine have been giving this 6″ travel offering from BMC good reviews in the magazine and there are a number of glowing reviews from various peep all over the internet.
Normally this frame retails at £1599 – Its currently available in a 2009 paint job for only £599. That’s a big grand off the RRP and a fantastic price for a great all mountain frame equipped with the FOX rp2 shock and a little thing called VPS.
|The BMC Trailfox 2011 Carbon looks pretty sexy too! Although this one might set you back a little more than the £600 you can pick up the 2009 version for!|
If your interested get in there super fast as these are sure to sell out in a flash.
More details after the jump…