For 2022 I am lucky enough to be riding and racing a 2022 Vitus Sommet 29 CRX in size large. This is a bike I know really well, having ridden two previous versions of the frame including the identical 2021 model Sommet 29 CRS that I reviewed before becoming a brand ambassador back in January.
It was the Sommet platform that made me approach Vitus to become one of their riders for 2022 and beyond, and it is a platform that continues to impress bike testers, racers and every day riders alike.
This year’s models take high performance value for money to a new level, with prices sky rocketing across the industry, you just can’t beat the build and frame quality of the Vitus for the money. My bike retails for £3999 and is literally ready to take on an Enduro World Series straight out of the box with 170mm/160mm travel and a top parts list from Fox and Shimano.
First things first… that racing green paint job is a real head turner, especially when the sun hits it and you see the subtle metallic flecks in the paint, and all protected by factory fitted frame protection, a feature normally only seen on high end boutique brands.
I am 177cm or just under 5’10” and I feel like the size large Vitus frame fits me perfectly. I have ridden longer and shorter bikes over the years (7 years testing bikes and 35+ bikes ridden), but for me, the 471mm reach just fits me like a glove, blending the stability I want at speed with the ability to navigate the tightest turns. Stand over is plenty low enough and it comes with a 170mm drop seat post in large and XL bikes so I never have to worry about the saddle smashing me in the nuts.
As I mentioned, the build kit on this model is second to none, with the Sommet 29 CRX coming equipped with Fox Factory 38 forks and the Factory X2 rear shock. These parts alone would cost you over £1800 if you are lucky enough to find a set for sale these days. Shimano XT gears and brakes do the pedalling and stopping and they do both incredibly well. They are literally fit and forget with the XT levers offering a good level of adjustability and a solid, consistent bite point.
My Personal Setting and Upgrades.
I have spent a lot of time and effort to get this bike perfect for me and the riding I do, and these are the upgrades and suspension settings that I am using.
You can’t walk around the pits of the World Cup or EWS without seeing dozens of these fitted to the fastest bikes in the world. Why? Because they really work! It effectively prevents the forces from the chain from restricting the free movement of the rear suspension as you go into your travel. No more pedal kick back. Improved braking. Better traction, especially deep in the travel. My bike is quieter and more planted. I don’t have back to back timing to back it up, but I feel faster. YouTube video coming soon.
As you may know, the Sommet CRX comes in a mullet version as well as 29 inch. I actually received the 29″ model and using the flip chip on the rear shock, converted it to mixed wheel with a 27.5″ Nukeproof Horizon rear wheel. The reasons I did this are two fold. 1. The 29″ bike was available sooner and I really wanted the new bike in time for a trip I had planned. 2. The 29″bike has longer, 440mm chain stays and this is a feature I personally prefer, so I figured that despite the hassle of switching wheels myself, I would end up with a setup that was better for my riding.
Carder TenFour Pedals
I am a dedicated flat pedal rider, and probably always will be. Having ridden dozens of flats over the years, I loved these TenFours for their clean design and outrageous grip. They are also based just down the road in Devon where they are manufactured. It makes a nice change when most components are shipped from the far east. I am also running a purple anodised set of Carders on my E-Sommet and I love them!
Rimpact Tyre Inserts
One of the early players in the game, and in my opinion the best balance of protection, weight, cost and ease of use. It really is that simple. Life is too short for wrestling Cush Core and I enjoy riding too much to waste time with punctures, so Rimpact was an obvious choice. They are also local, based here in Bristol. I am running the Pro insert in the rear for more protection and the lighter Original model in the front where they give me increased traction for minimal weight penalty.
PNW Components Loam Lever
I had this in the tool box from my testing days and it was a no brainer to put it on the new whip. It is really well made, looks amazing and transforms a budget (but still solid) dropper post like the Brand X Ascend into a dropper system to rival posts at twice the price.
Fox Factory 38 Fork 170mm Travel:
1 Token (It comes with 2 fitted, but I prefer the more linear feel of fewer tokens.)
Fox Factory X2 Shock: