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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About to pull the trigger on a 20" for my just turned 6 year old.

Was pretty sure I was going to go with the Vitus 20, but after some suggestions from members here and from the lbs, disc brakes are looking like the way to go. With the Vitus 20 not offering disc, now looking at the Vitus 20 plus.

Looks nice, good geo, but not so sure on the plus tires all the time. I am thinking they will be nice on the trails, but not so sure about the pump track.

Anyone have experience with switching from plus to standard width tires on their 20" plus bike, whatever brand? What nonplus tires did you switch to?

Also, any thoughts on this Vitus 20 Plus? Any other bikes similar to this you would suggest I check out? Will be starting out on low elevation Lake Tahoe trails and pump track/bike park.

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim


Features:

Material: Lightweight 6061-alloy frame
Brakes: Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes with adjustable brake levers for small hands
Wheel Size: Quick release 20" front and rear wheels
Tyres: Kenda 2.6" tan wall tyres
Drivetrain: 7-Speed Drivetrain
Cassette Ratio: 12-32t Cassette Ratio
Chainring Teeth Count: 32t
Weight: 9.8kg/21.8lbs

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/vitus-20plus-kids-bike/rp-prod168789
 

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I've been a fan of the value of Vitus even tho I'm not a huge proponent of plus tires on kids. Vitus is apparently a decent company. I like that bike and have recommended to a buddy recently based on the cost if he can get it shipped for cheap/free.

That being said, I sent this to a buddy and he found REI's 20"+ plus bike to be like 50$ cheaper with disk brakes etc iirc. I haven't looked hard at it but it might be a nice option and is potentially sitting in a store for pickup and no shipping. Worth a look I'm guessing.

EDIT: (spec is a bit lower...A LOT heavier at 24lbs instead of 22lbs iirc. Is it really a 36t ring? thats silly if true)

https://www.rei.com/product/143168/co-op-cycles-rev-20-6-speed-plus-kids-bike
 

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The Vitus plus looks like you could throw a 24" in there no problem and the fork appears to be suspension corrected. Looks suuuuupppeeerrr slack though. I couldn't find the geo for it. Clicked the geo tab and it just sent me to a wheel size chart.

But, for $356 you could throw a couple bucks at it. Could turn into a respectable 24.
 

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The Vitus plus looks like you could throw a 24" in there no problem and the fork appears to be suspension corrected. Looks suuuuupppeeerrr slack though. I couldn't find the geo for it. Clicked the geo tab and it just sent me to a wheel size chart.

But, for $356 you could throw a couple bucks at it. Could turn into a respectable 24.
Agreed. Its a bit odd. Is there anything else with disk brakes in this price range that doesn't have a bad coil fork? GT Prime 20" seems ok for a V-brake option but I'd like to see if there is a disk option. A buddy's kid needs a bike in this price range.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been a fan of the value of Vitus even tho I'm not a huge proponent of plus tires on kids...
Ya, I am not so sure about plus either which is why I wondering about putting non-plus tires on a bike designed for plus tires. However, these tires are 2.6" and from experience, that means high volume with an actual width of 2.4" maybe 2.5".

Regardless, as the snow is fast melting on the trails across the street, I am now realizing I forgot how rough, rocky and loose they are, so having the extra cusion and traction would be helpful.

The Vitus plus looks like you could throw a 24" in there no problem and the fork appears to be suspension corrected. Looks suuuuupppeeerrr slack though. I couldn't find the geo for it. Clicked the geo tab and it just sent me to a wheel size chart.

But, for $356 you could throw a couple bucks at it. Could turn into a respectable 24.
I am not so sure a 24" would fit on the rear. As I mentioned, those "plus" tires are only 2.6" and it does not look like there is much room in the rear.

I emailed the Vitus and posted a question on chainreaction.com to see if I could get the correct geo chart for this bike. It shows the geo charts on chain reaction under the "size chart" link, but the numbers are wrong for the 20" plus. Bike looks similar to the geo on the vitu 20, so I am guessing the HA is 67.5 or 68.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the vitus 20 non-plus with geo chart superimposed with the vitus 20 plus. Keep in mind that the non-plus 20" is rolling on tiny 1.75" kenda small blocks.

Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel Bicycle fork


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Ya, I am not so sure about plus either which is why I wondering about putting non-plus tires on a bike designed for plus tires. However, these tires are 2.6" and from experience, that means high volume with an actual width of 2.4" maybe 2.5".

Regardless, as the snow is fast melting on the trails across the street, I am now realizing I forgot how rough, rocky and loose they are, so having the extra cusion and traction would be helpful.

I am not so sure a 24" would fit on the rear. As I mentioned, those "plus" tires are only 2.6" and it does not look like there is much room in the rear.

I emailed the Vitus and posted a question on chainreaction.com to see if I could get the correct geo chart for this bike. It shows the geo charts on chain reaction under the "size chart" link, but the numbers are wrong for the 20" plus. Bike looks similar to the geo on the vitu 20, so I am guessing the HA is 67.5 or 68.
I saw the reference to 20" Chain Reaction, but it was obviously referring to the standard 20 with the chainstay length, so I went to Vitus's sight and the link didn't redirect properly.

So it's just a guess on the rear end, and you're right, 24" might be a stretch in a stretched 20" rear end (I was mindlessly thinking 24 plus to 26), but depending on how long that bike is, it might fit. I think that rear looks long, and it's long around plus. I'm thinking slacker than 67.5. Who knows? Having the actual frame numbers would help.

Edit... I'm up a tree on a 24" fitting in there.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think that rear looks long, and it's long around plus. I'm thinking slacker than 67.5. Who knows? Having the actual frame numbers would help.
Ya, actual numbers would help. Hopefully get them soon, but I guess a long rear end is releative. Here is what the rip rock 20 looks like with a 390mm cs and some 20x2.8" plus tires and below that the Commencal Ramones 20+ with 20x2.6" and a 375mm cs. Both look longer than the Vitus, especially the rip rock. But hard to tell for sure.

Bicycle wheel Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle part


Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle fork Bicycle frame


Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim
 

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No you're totally right. I was typing without thinking and basically treating 20 to 24 like it was 24 to 26. Way different. Total brainfart.

Yeah, the Vitus is way shorter than the others too. Too bad the 22 thing doesn't have tires outside of BMX. That would be an avenue to persue.
 

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Vitus is apparently a decent company. I like that bike and have recommended to a buddy recently based on the cost if he can get it shipped for cheap/free.
LOL, Decent? Vitus is a "house brand" of Chain Wiggle/Chain Reaction which is no doubt the biggest online bike retailer in the world aside from Amazon. In no way are they still the "small French steel bike company" like they used to be in the 80's and 90's. That's the reason they can ship it for free to the US for free in 3-4 days. No right or wrong, but there are long threads on this website and others about Wiggle/Chain Reaction/Amazon essentially putting bike shops out of business all over the world due to them selling at bike shop costs or sometimes lower. We dealt with it all the time when I worked at a shop. But that's a whole other thread and plentiful to search out if you go to some of the other forums. ;)

https://reviews.mtbr.com/chain-reaction-cycles-inside-worlds-largest-on-line-bike-shop
 

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LOL, Decent? Vitus is a "house brand" of Chain Wiggle/Chain Reaction which is no doubt the biggest online bike retailer in the world aside from Amazon. In no way are they still the "small French steel bike company" like they used to be in the 80's and 90's. That's the reason they can ship it for free to the US for free in 3-4 days. No right or wrong, but there are long threads on this website and others about Wiggle/Chain Reaction/Amazon essentially putting bike shops out of business all over the world due to them selling at bike shop costs or sometimes lower. We dealt with it all the time when I worked at a shop. But that's a whole other thread and plentiful to search out if you go to some of the other forums. ;)

https://reviews.mtbr.com/chain-reaction-cycles-inside-worlds-largest-on-line-bike-shop
Ahhh, so that's how they are making these things dirt cheap? Oye...tough one. On one hand that 500$ mark is a magic number that parents seem to be able to stomach. I love seeing kids get a somewhat proper bike instead of a semi-mess-of-a-bike that then gets handed down to another kid to deal with. On the other it sucks that they are apparently a giant corp entity (correct me if I'm wrong).

It'd be neat if there was some easy way to have a non-profit, side business that just pumped out cheap 20"/24" hardtails with that cheap spec without a profit. Then you could get the big boutique brands that shun the kids scene (Santa Cruz) to donate in effort to grow the industry. Kind of like ski resorts giving your kid a season pass for 20$. Jochribs could probably bang the frames out overnight!
 

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But you do know though Svinny. I'd make a frame special for you. It would be my first one. Slacked TFO, so you could get your brobrah on, and convince everyone that you really do belong.

You know, be able to really pro ho it up.

Plus being my first frame, I'd know if my joints were holding up before I guinea pigged my son on one.

Gosh, this is sounding better every word I type. Hit me up, brah.

:);)
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ahhh, so that's how they are making these things dirt cheap? Oye...tough one.
If the choice was between an American made mtb and one made in China, then, ya, I would consider that a tough one. But those aren't the choices. The bike choices are all pretty much the same; Chinese made bikes that most likely all came out of the same factory and have pretty much the same parts that all came from the same place as well.

Went to my Lbs to check out 20" bikes. They carried one kind, Kona. Only had girls colors in stock and CS of 375 mm for non-plus frame. Should I have bought the pink Kona with the long chainstay for my son?
 

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To each their own Mack, and I get where you're coming from, but I'd have a hard time buying that bike or ordering from Chain Reaction. It's a slippery slope.

I mean, if you look at that bike and compare it to the Ramones, it is hundreds less than a very similarly built and specced bike. How? The crushing buying power that this boutique 'Walmart' of sorts has.

“We don’t want shops to go away, we started as a shop,” says Duggan. “Now we have a retail store and we try to embed in the cycling community as much as possible."

Pure double talk. Guy should run for office.
 

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By the way GSJ1973, thanks for linking that article. Hadn't seen that and while I figured Chain Reaction was big, I didn't fathom how big.

...'But as Duggan later pointed out, often in the world of business “when you are small, you want to be bigger, and when you’re bigger, you at least want to be perceived as being smaller.”

I certainly perceived them as being smaller.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To each their own Mack, and I get where you're coming from, but I'd have a hard time buying that bike or ordering from Chain Reaction. It's a slippery slope...
Why would it be hard for you? Buying the bike with the best geo shouldn't be a moral decision. Is the bike industry that terrible at basic business acumen that is their new business plan? Guilt people into buying bikes from them that are less expensive at other retail outlets?

Retail is cut throat, especially brick and motor. I have been in brick and mortar retail for almost 20 years now. If you can't carry what the customers want, when they want it, in the quantity they want it and at a price they are willing to pay for it, then GTFO. Simple as that. Not going to shed a tear because of others poor business practices.

For example the bike industry put the nail in their own coffin when they decided that having bikes made as cheaply as possible was the most important thing. That is a very poor business decision as there is always someone out there willing to undercut you. And if you don't know that then you have no business in retail. What you want is differentiation, but you don't get that when all the bikes are made in the same factory with the same parts.

Also, going as cheap as possible and having all their bikes made in China opened the doors for letting more hands grab money from each transaction and then those hands wanted all the money themselves and figuring out a way so traditional retail outlets were not longer needed. Again, terrible foresight and a problem of their own making. The bike industry is all but dead anyways because of their poor business dicisions it has made and continues to make and we will be left simply with different outlets to purchase bikes and parts.
 

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Retail is cut through, especially brick and motor. I have been in brick and mortar retail for almost 20 years now. If you can't carry what the customers want, when they want it, in the quantity they want it at a price they are willing to pay for, then GTFO. Simple as that. Not going to shed a tear because of others poor business practices.

For example the bike industry put the nail in their own coffin when they decided that having bikes made as cheaply as possible was the most important thing. That is a very poor business decision as there is always someone out there willing to undercut you. And if you don't know that then you have no business in retail. What you want is differentiation, but you don't get that when all the bikes are made in the same factory with the same parts.

Also, going as cheap as possible and having all their bikes made in China opened the doors for letting more hands grab money from each transaction and then those hands wanted all the money themselves and figuring out a way so traditional retail outlets were not longer needed. Again, terrible foresight and a problem of their own making. The bike industry is all but dead anyways because of their poor business dicisions it has made and continues to make and we will be left simply with different outlets to purchase bikes and parts.
But you're outlining the manufacturers and bike companies with this. I totally get what your saying. But, it's the 'shops' that are left holding the bag for the bad decisions you cite.

And this isn't singular to the bike industry, as you know. I don't know what bike shops could have done any differently to change the way things have gotten. Kind of like being in a life raft out at sea in a NorEaster. You're going with it, and trying your best not to friggin drown. Not much else you can do.

I was a shop wrench from 97 to 05, off and on to 2012. I had considered owning a shop. I would never do it now.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But you're outlining the manufacturers and bike companies with this. I totally get what your saying. But, it's the 'shops' that are left holding the bag for the bad decisions you cite.

And this isn't singular to the bike industry, as you know. I don't know what bike shops could have done any differently to change the way things have gotten. Kind of like being in a life raft out at sea in a NorEaster. You're going with it, and trying your best not to friggin drown. Not much else you can do.

I was a shop wrench from 97 to 05, off and on to 2012. I had considered owning a shop. I would never do it now.
Like I said. Retail is cut throat and Darwinism is in full effect. Bike shops need to carry what customers want, when they want it, in the quantity they want and at a price someone is willing to pay for it, and big part of that is figuring out what customers want they cant easily get somewhere else. That is the job of any retail brick and motor. If you can't do that, you will be out of business no mater what you're selling. And right now, brick and motor bikes shops are not doing that. They need to find products I want, I can't easily get anywhere else and most importantly, have it available. If they can't do that, then the consumer has no need for them to exist.

Also, what do you suggest I do if I don't buy what is the best bike available to me. Should I have bought the pink Kona with bad geo? Should I spend the rest of my Saturday driving around to other bikes shops to see if they have anything in stock that might be kinda of like what I am looking for? I got a lot of **** to do today. I am not sure why I should have to waste my time to try and help them keep afloat because of their own incompetence.

*edit: just read over what I wrote and that sounded harsh. But I stand by what I said. Retail is cut throat.
 
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