review: Vitus E-Sommet 297 VR Mountain Bike (2021)

dave_uk

Member
Nov 15, 2021
103
53
uk - Staffordshire
Vitus E-Sommet 297 VR Mountain Bike (2021)

After 3 months owership...

This beast climbs the muddy off-road wet hills like a tank. No bunny-hops or long wheelies with this heavy thing! Quite a contrast to my other bike: 10kg Scott Spark FS/full carbon MTB, but that has no motor.

This Vitus uses the Shimano Steps E7000 60Nm (motor and controller) I found work well, the display screen, however, the display screen is a little small and not easy to see the mode (ECO, TRAIL, or BOOST) selected with a quick glance as you are riding. I tend to listen to the beep of the changer to confirm the mode has changed.

Charging: have you noticed a strange electronic component delivered with your bike? Its for charging the battery off the bike. When the battery is off the bike you can check the charge left, push the on button and it will flash green (once for 20%, twice for 40%, thrice for 60%, etc).

A note on motor noise: some state its noisy (which on first ride I did agree) but when compared to other similar bikes its no more noisy. Riding next to a Giant Fathom, or a Trek motor noise is comparable.

What changes have I made from the stock bike?
- added fenders front and rear
- cut handlebar width down to 29 inch from original 31 inch, which for me is too wide
- replaced rear shocker - now using a Fox DPX2 and added an off-set bush to make it a little higher ( Offset MTB Shock Bushing Rear Shock Hardware MTB Suspension bushes. Fox Rockshox | eBay ).
- larger rear tyre, from 2.5 to 3.0 (yes it fits), this has given the bike a little more height.
Both the larger rear tyre, and the off-set bush now means I have far less pedal-strikes off road.

Suspension is now just right for me (76kg) I have setup the front and rear pressures correctly for my liking (if this is your 1st pneumatic suspension bike then you will need a high-pressure pump to change the setup - your normal pump will not do - or go to your local bike shop and pay them to get it just right for you).

What I like:
- climbs well
- suspension now good (with the improvement of the rear Fox shock)
- brakes good
- gear change good/OK
- dropper is very useful (first time I have had a seat dropper, great for the times when you have to bale out then restart from a difficult position off-road)

What I do NOT like so much:
- battery not easy to remove, for the most part is limited by the poor battery cover (compared to the Giant which has such an elegant battery/frame design the Vitus is very poorly designed, almost an after-thought).

I have to mention the-elephant-in-the-room with this bike: the odd wheel sizes (what a mullet!). The front is 29" and the rear 27.5". Does it work? I think it does, not caused me any issues so far, and the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 (at twice the price) uses the same odd wheel sizes. The Nukeproof does benefit from a lighter higher quality wheelset, and higher spec suspension units, which makes the Nukeproof just over 1kg lighter. That 1kg lower weight is expensive to achieve.

Well, even stating the bad parts of this bike it is still a competent off-road tank for the cost. The spec is good for many components and whole bike works well once you change the rear X-fusion shock for something better (the rear x-fusion shock is shocking)..

What do you think of yours?
 
Last edited:

Gary

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The Megawatt is pretty much exactly the same weight as the ESommet.
It's not twice the price at all though. Like the ESommet it comes in 3 models ranging from £5k to £7k working out somewhere around £1-1.5k more expensive for similar spec. the comp (cheapest MegaWatt) comes with a superior EP8 motor and RS suspension.
The two frames share a lot of identical features/parts and were clearly manufactured by the same factory.
Nukeproof and Vitus are both owned by the CRC/Wiggle so parts wise the two brands both use a lot of the same components.
I don't own either but have ridden both in a few different sizes. Geometry and sizing is really similar and both bikes as are their suspension characteristics so unsurprisingly both bikes ride fairly similarly. The main difference is the very slighty longer chainstays on the Mega which aid flat out stability and climbing (very slighty)
Unless you bought a size way too large for you neither the MegaWatt or 21 ESommet is a difficult bike to hop, manual or wheelie.
 

dave_uk

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Nov 15, 2021
103
53
uk - Staffordshire
....Unless you bought a size way too large for you neither the MegaWatt or 21 ESommet is a difficult bike to hop, manual or wheelie.
Not sure what you mean, but the bike is the exact size for me (medium), I can get it to wheelie, but only for short bursts. As for hops, forget it.

No wonder really as the whole bike with my large water bottle, tools, spare tube, fenders, etc, it tops out at just under 30kg!
 

Gary

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Doesn't really matter mate.
If you have the technique right and the bike's not too long for you. It can definitely be bunny hopped.
Using mtb bunny hop technique any decently fit adult mtb rider should be able to bunny hop an 80kg trials bike (ignition off or in neutral ). If they cant it's their technique that needs working on. If they're simply not fit enough that's different matter.
 

Mybrainaches

Member
Jan 27, 2019
42
30
Sheffield
The Megawatt is pretty much exactly the same weight as the ESommet.
It's not twice the price at all though. Like the ESommet it comes in 3 models ranging from £5k to £7k working out somewhere around £1-1.5k more expensive for similar spec. the comp (cheapest MegaWatt) comes with a superior EP8 motor and RS suspension.
The two frames share a lot of identical features/parts and were clearly manufactured by the same factory.
Nukeproof and Vitus are both owned by the CRC/Wiggle so parts wise the two brands both use a lot of the same components.
I don't own either but have ridden both in a few different sizes. Geometry and sizing is really similar and both bikes as are their suspension characteristics so unsurprisingly both bikes ride fairly similarly. The main difference is the very slighty longer chainstays on the Mega which aid flat out stability and climbing (very slighty)
Unless you bought a size way too large for you neither the MegaWatt or 21 ESommet is a difficult bike to hop, manual or wheelie.
Would be really interested to compare to the old e sommet like mine. Can’t help thinking they went backwards… what are your thoughts Gary?
 

Gary

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I still have the 2019 ESommet and in many ways its a better bike than the 2021 or the Megawatt.
It's 3kg lighter for a start.
Depends what you want from an Eeb though.
 

CJaMTB

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May 9, 2020
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I still have the 2019 ESommet and in many ways its a better bike than the 2021 or the Megawatt.
It's 3kg lighter for a start.
Depends what you want from an Eeb though.
What does your 2019 bike weigh? Is that with any fitments, mudguard, tools and the like? I think there's around a kilo difference between the new VR and the other models, mostly down to battery size, though am looking forward to weighing mine on delivery and after rebuilding (which I expect will weigh more).
 

Mybrainaches

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Jan 27, 2019
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30
Sheffield
It’s 22 kg. I do t keep tools or anything else on the bike as these are better in a bag or pocket on your person. Have tried a few different newer bikes and they all seem a bit blunt. The bike handles really really well. To me it seems 22 kg is where the weight starts to become really noticeable. Would love to get my hands on a rise.
I do pedal as much as I can with the motor off to ease range anxiety, if with other ebikers as the range isn’t the same, but works well for me. Might get an extra battery for the park.
will be really interesting to see which way the market goes. I think 20kg will be the aim for A lot of bikes.
 

Gary

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What does your 2019 bike weigh? Is that with any fitments, mudguard, tools and the like? I think there's around a kilo difference between the new VR and the other models, mostly down to battery size, though am looking forward to weighing mine on delivery and after rebuilding (which I expect will weigh more).
mine is lighter than most at 21kg but my point was the 2019 is 22kg out the box. The 2022 is 25kg+
 

Gary

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will be really interesting to see which way the market goes.
I'd say it's already gone. in the quest and complete failure to *hide" EMTB's batteries full power big battery Eebs are pretty much all horrendously heavy now which made way for a split and lighter less capable bikes like the Rise, SL, E-Caliber etc. Not forgetting a few more niche options with fazua style motors
 

CJaMTB

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May 9, 2020
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It’s 22 kg. I do t keep tools or anything else on the bike as these are better in a bag or pocket on your person.
In terms of handling, the weight is better on the bike. It keeps the CoG lower down and makes for a more stable ride. Obvs ebikes have plenty of low down weight already, but as a general rule, the lower the weight the better.
 

Mybrainaches

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Jan 27, 2019
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Not sure if agree that loading up the bike makes for a better ride. Gary : Definitely agree that the capability of old e sommet is phenomenal. Flickable, pointable jumpable, fast. Lush!
 

CJaMTB

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May 9, 2020
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Not sure if agree that loading up the bike makes for a better ride. Gary : Definitely agree that the capability of old e sommet is phenomenal. Flickable, pointable jumpable, fast. Lush!
I didn't say better, I said more stable. Either way, having more weight on your back won't ever improve ride quality.
 

Mybrainaches

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Jan 27, 2019
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Ok cool always interested in other options. My experience is that keeping weight off the bike improves the ride. Not a massive fan of backpacks but do like my new fanny pack!
 

Gary

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Most current 25kg Emtbs offer more stability than world cup DH bikes.
Just how fast do Ebikers think they're hitting rough trail sections that they'd be craving a higher level of stability than a WC race bike? Of course there may well be other reasons for a rider to want a ridiculously stable mountain bike but I certainly wouldn't consider it the norm.

increasing stability generally reduces agility.
The stability of an mtb can be increased in a number of ways. eg. from geometry changes like increased wheelbase, slacker H/A. or lower BB height as well as from increasing the bike's weight. but don't make the mistake of thinking weight increase in just any part of the bike bike offers the same stability gains. for optimum stability you want a low COM and low COG. Compared to many external battery frame designs newer overbuilt Emtbs with larger internal batteries and larger fork CSU actually increase weight higher up and further from the bike's BB area so not only are they less maneuverable/nimble/agile. they're not necessarily any more stable.
wheelsize can make a pretty big difference too but i'd rather not open that can of worms .

and yes. it is somewhat subjective.
 
Last edited:

CJaMTB

Well-known member
May 9, 2020
401
377
Dartmoor
Ok cool always interested in other options. My experience is that keeping weight off the bike improves the ride. Not a massive fan of backpacks but do like my new fanny pack!
Yeah, I use one of those, keeps the weight lower down on your hips but off the bike too (y)
 

CJaMTB

Well-known member
May 9, 2020
401
377
Dartmoor
Most current 25kg Emtbs offer more stability than world cup DH bikes.
Just how fast do Ebikers think they're hitting rough trail sections that they'd be craving a higher level of stability than a WC race bike? Of course there may well be other reasons for a rider to want a ridiculously stable mountain bike but I certainly wouldn't consider it the norm.

increasing stability generally reduces agility.
The stability of an mtb can be increased in a number of ways. eg. from geometry changes like increased wheelbase, slacker H/A. or lower BB height as well as from increasing the bike's weight. but don't make the mistake of thinking weight increase in just any part of the bike bike offers the same stability gains. for optimum stability you want a low COM and low COG. Compared to many external battery frame designs newer overbuilt Emtbs with larger internal batteries and larger fork CSU actually increase weight higher up and further from the bike's BB area so not only are they less maneuverable/nimble/agile. they're not necessarily any more stable.
wheelsize can make a pretty big difference too but i'd rather not open that can of worms .

and yes. it is somewhat subjective.
Haha, yeah, very many factors go into making a bike what it is. Good to see the number of enduro rigs that now have a low slung shock, a la Santa Cruz and Spesh, to name just two. I do know that ebikes, with the inherent stability gains due to their weight, have had a few folk experimenting with lead weights, but strapped low down. Some ebikes are of course going down the route (sensibly I feel) of having the motor rotated, to lower the internal battery and hence CoG. For me, I've got my SL for nimble/playful riding (which it does great with the mullet wheelset (which I had to go with, as my short legs meant my ass kept getting buzzed!)) and will have the E-Sommet for bombing the rowdy, steep stuff. Probably the best I can do, given that I can't pedal anything analogue. I also got the size S E-Sommet!
 

dave_uk

Member
Nov 15, 2021
103
53
uk - Staffordshire
Wait, weight! This is my thread! Sorry...

Anyhow, anyone notice there is space above the battery? Yes there is, and its just the right size for some basic tools, a pair of gloves and a small rag all rolled in a plastic bag, it just fits;)

And if you want to make your battery cover easier to remove see my mod here
 

dave_uk

Member
Nov 15, 2021
103
53
uk - Staffordshire
Hi Murph?

I had already done quite a few miles on the bike when I did the review, and I still think the same about it. Still no new problems, which is good.

I did have a incident with the battery: Vitus 2022 bikes out now. - EMTB Forums
but think that was just that I did not "slam" it home when fitting the battery as it has not happened again.
 

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