Vitus Escarpe 290 VR


To be fair, the low price is due to an ongoing price reduction from the original £1,700 / $2,703 / AU$3,740, only made possible because the bike is shipped direct to your door after a full setup check at the Chain Reaction Cycles megastore in Ireland. It’s hardly a level playing field for conventional dealers, but ultimately what value you put on help from your local shop is your decision not ours.

What’s undeniable is that you’re getting an incredible amount for your money. The most impressive part is the inclusion of a KS E-Ten external cable dropper post as standard. That means there are no immediate upgrades to be made to create a totally trail ready bike and also makes it clear that this is primarily a big hitting fun bike.

The monarch rl-augmented suspension starts plush but retains its poise when cornering:

The Monarch RL-augmented suspension starts plush but retains its poise when cornering

Manitou forks are a rare sight these days and while the Minute Expert is long in the tooth, it’s impressively supple, adjustable and well proven. A Hexlock 15mm axle keeps tracking accuracy bearable once you’ve got the hang of the awkward twist lock closure.