The Vitus Escarpe mountain bikes are entry level and midrange treats for trail and all-mountain riders. With some choice Shimano componentry and performance-ready specs, these bikes do shine on the trails. On the downside, they are heavier than average, but they do pick up some great speeds.
Since the 70s, Vitus has been producing some brilliantly stiff and impressive rides. The Escarpe models are geared for the entry level and regular trail riders. We took them out to the nearby trails, the roughest we could find, and tested them out.
These bikes look amazing, no doubt, but they are pretty heavy compared to most bikes in their class. If you’re just starting on trail and mountain riding or you don’t intend to compete, then this won’t be an issue for you.
The bikes we tested had good travel, handled well throughout the test rides, except for the one little issue we had with the wheelset on the Escarpe 290 VR. They felt a little sluggish for our liking, and took a bit of time to pick up speed. Once they do get going, they’re smooth and fast. The VRS was the most responsive, with excellent traction and acceleration. The gearing is superb on steeper and longer climbs.
Suitable for all mountain riding
Mostly smooth and fast on the trail
Solid traction and acceleration on VRS
Good gearing and componentry (Shimano SLX and Deore)
Good for new and regular trail riders
On the heavy side
Sluggish wheels on some models
Overall, these are excellent bikes for the trail and for endurance riding, but they’re not meant for the enthusiast or competition.
We certainly liked the Vitus Escarpe bikes, but we would only recommend it if you need a bike to hit the trails with leisurely and frequently. If you are looking for something to get into competition or practice with, there’s better out there.