vitus mach e urban electric bike review

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The Vitus brand is sold directly to consumers via Wiggle and Chain Reaction cycles and is synonymous with great value for money and good quality.  I recently had the chance to test out their Vitus Mach E urban (Alivio) electric bike and I was so impressed with it, I brought one! Read my full review below to see why I think it’s one of the best all-around e-bikes currently available.


The Vitus Mach E Urban e-bike brings a breath of fresh air to the £2000 price bracket.  For starters it’s very light (for a crank drive e-bike) – weighing in at just 17.3kg,  it comes in at a whopping 6kg lighter than the similarly priced Bosch-powered Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance. Another big plus point is the excellent Shimano Steps E6100 crank motor and powerful 504Wh battery pack.

vitus mach e urban electric bike

Although styled and marketed as an ‘urban electric bike’ it comes across as an incredibly versatile machine that is equally happy on city streets or moorland gravel tracks.  The frame geometry means it’s not only comfortable but responsive and stable to ride.  If you wanted to use this as a gravel/adventure bike you could fit 650b rims with 47mm wide gravel-specific tyres or stick with the capable 700 x 40 Vee G-Sport tyres already fitted.

Riding the Mach E brought a big smile to my face. It reminded me of the more expensive BMC Alpine Challenge AMP Cross Two electric bike. Riding without the e-assist wasn’t a problem – which is one of the things that attracted me to it (along with the price).

The Shimano Steps E6100 motor (also found on the aforementioned BMC) epitomises everything a good e-bike motor should be – lightweight, quiet, smooth and very responsive to rider input. The claimed battery range is a massive 185km in Eco mode – I have personally achieved a range of just under 100 miles (with one bar left on the battery indicator).

2021 Vitus Mach e urban electric bike

I borrowed the test bike from a friend and was so impressed with it, I decided to buy one. When I went onto Wiggle and found the 2020 model had been reduced to a very reasonable £1649.99, the temptation got the better of me!  The latest 2022 model will be available soon, so check availability now.

So why did I decide to buy the Vitus Mach E?

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting another electric bike for some time now.  Riding an E-bike helped get me back into cycling and lose nearly 4 stone in weight (25kg) – I progressed to road cycling (in 2017) and have since covered over 12,000 unassisted miles.

weight loss transformation before and after losing weight riding an ebike

Since I started this blog a couple of years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of testing out many different models of e-bikes. They’re getter lighter, more efficient and a lot of the latest electric bikes provide a more natural cycling feel. Long gone are the days when e-bikes were ugly, cumbersome machines that were inefficient and quite frankly, unpleasant to ride.

I ride anywhere between 75-120 miles per week, purely from a recreational (and fitness) perspective. It’s fair to say that I’ve been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug, but I also realise I’m not getting any younger and staying fit isn’t just important for me, but it also inspires my kids to be more active.

Since I started riding a regular bike in 2017, I have completed many 100+ mile days in the saddle and lots of epic rides around the South West of England. I’ve seen my fitness increase to a level that I never thought possible and at 51 years of age I feel fitter than I did as a teenager.

So why have I decided to buy another electric bike? Well, for starters the Vitus Mach E is going to be complementing my current cycling regime not replacing it – I’ll still be putting in the miles on my regular road bike.

My primary reason for buying an e-bike is to enable me to ride on recovery days (at a lower intensity), but I’d also start factoring in more regular 100-mile bike rides.  Cornwall can be a very unforgiving place for an older cyclist. There are no flat roads in the area I live, you’re either cycling uphill or downhill. On an average local ride, I regularly climb 3500ft (1066m) over a typical 30-mile ride. If I do 60 miles then it is usually nearly 6000ft of climbing.

This isn’t too much of a problem if you’re a lightweight rider, but I’m  6’1″  (185cm) tall and weigh 17 stone (107kg), I’ve always been a big lad – it’s just the way I’m built! Consequently, the constant hill climbing does take it out of me and if I do go on a long ride, when I get home I usually flake out. Which isn’t particularly helpful for my wife!

strava map of 107 mile bike ride

I always said to myself that at one stage I would buy another e-bike, but certain criteria needed to be met. I wanted an electric bike that was fairly lightweight, so I could pedal it unassisted for at least 50% of the ride and it needed to have a decent battery to give me a potential range of around 100 miles. It also had to cost under £2000.  I wanted an e-bike that would essentially ride like a regular bike but would flatten out some of the more brutal climbs and enable me to ride longer distances at a better pace, but without me crumbling when I (eventually) got home.

Having now ridden over 250 miles on the Vitus Mach E, I’m 100% certain I made the right choice!

Electric components

The Vitus Mach E Urban uses one of the best electric assist systems currently available. This exact system is found in more expensive brands like BMC. The battery is also top-notch offering a potential assisted range of up to 185km on a single charge.

Shimano Steps E6100 Motor Review

shimano steps ebike system with battery and display

Photo courtesy of Shimano

Motors nowadays are so much more refined than they were a few years ago, and even though the Shimano Steps E6100 motor was released in 2018, it has stood the test of time very well. Not only is the E6100 very light at 2.8kg, but the battery weighs in at 2.5kg making the whole system 5.3kg which is excellent for a mid-drive system like this. The Fazua Evation system is indeed lighter at 4.6kg, but the battery has half of the energy capacity.

I would say Steps E6100 compares favourably with the Bosch Active Plus system. The E6100 produces a very respectable 60Nm of torque and feels very lively in high-power mode. Having ridden both, I prefer the Shimano as it has a little more oomph, and the transition from assistant to unassisted (at the 25km/h cut-off) is almost imperceptible. The way the assist starts is also incredibly smooth.

shimano steps e6100 motor fitted to the vitus mach e urban electric bike

What I love about these high-tech mid-drive systems is they take your pedalling effort and enhance it. The torque sensor fitted to the Shimano Steps is very sensitive to changes in pedalling force and what you get is a very intuitive level of assistance.

Having ridden this bike a good few miles now, for me the sweet spot is ‘Eco’ mode – this is the most efficient assist level and amplifies your pedalling effort by 70%. I find this takes the sting out of the 15% climbs near where I live.  When using ‘Normal’ mode the motor gives 150% of assist – I use this if I need to go somewhere in a hurry. ‘High’ mode produces a massive 230% of assist and flattens out all but the steepest of hills. I can see maximum assist being very helpful for riders just getting back into cycling after either a long period without exercise or after an illness or injury – it is a game changer!

When compared with the Fazua Evation and X35 drive systems, the Shimano Steps E6100 produces considerably more assistance. It’s not a million miles away from the high-performance Bosch CX performance line or even the Shimano Steps E8000 e-MTB system.


shimano steps e6100 display

Another great thing about the E6100 system is the wealth of functionality and information available from the display. When you compare it to the entry-level Bosch Purion display, there’s no comparison.  There is the usual info like speed, trip computer, assist level and battery indicator plus other useful information like estimated battery range and pedalling cadence (rpm). You also have the option of removing the display altogether or downloading an app and using your Android or Apple smartphone as the display.

The display is clear and easy to read, and there is also Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity – you can even pair the display with a Garmin or Sigma Cycle computer (see below). You can also connect a lighting system and operate it using the display – useful for commuting in the winter.

Shimano also offers a companion app the Shimano E-Tube Project – this can be downloaded as an Android or Apple smartphone app, and there is a version for Windows for your laptop or PC. From here you can download firmware updates and even configure certain pedal assist characteristics. Through this app you can also turn your smartphone (or Garmin) into the display – there is a list of supported devices on the Garmin website.

504Wh Battery

The Shimano battery on the Vitus Mach E is the highest spec 504Wh version and uses high-quality Sony 18650 Lithium cells – even the more expensive BMC only has the 418Wh battery fitted. Shimano claims a range of up to 185km in ‘Eco’ mode which is based on a combined rider/bike weight of 100kg, riding on flat terrain – I’ve managed to squeeze nearly 100 miles from one charge, although the battery wasn’t depleted and the indicator was still showing one bar remaining (I didn’t have the assist on the whole time and only used ‘Eco’ mode). The battery charger is shipped with an EU plug, so you will need to purchase an EU to UK plug adaptor.

vitus mach e battery

Is the Shimano Steps system Waterproof?

Well, so far so good. I’ve ridden about 250 miles to date, nearly all of which has been on wintery, wet and muddy Cornish country lanes, with the occasional moorland gravel ride. I’ve ridden in heavy downpours, through fords and so far, no problems (fingers crossed).  After each ride, I give my bike a good wash (with a garden hose) and this hasn’t caused any problems. I wouldn’t recommend pressure washing though.

Bike components

The components fitted to the Vitus Mach E are about right for the price point. It’s nice that there are Shimano flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes and Vitus’s brand rims with thru-axles. The gearing is provided by the dependable Shimano Alivio, which works fine.


Alivio is at the lower end of Shimano’s MTB groupset range, but in my experience, it is reliable and works well. The Alivio RD-M4000 rear derailleur has always been my ‘go-to’ mech when I’ve wanted to use a wider range gear cassette on my touring bike and road bike. It will easily work with an 11-36 cassette and I have successfully used an Alivio derailleur with an 11-40 rear cassette with no noticeable reduction in shifting quality.

shimano alivio rd-m4000 rear derailleur

The Vitus gearing is probably more suitable for undulating terrain – it comes as standard with an 11-34 9-speed cassette in combination with a 44t chainring. I found this gearing a little too high for the steep hills in Cornwall, so I initially replaced the rear cassette for a Sunrace 11-40 9-speed. I was also going to change the front chainring for the optional 38t that’s available, but I’ve now changed it to a complete 11-speed system with an 11-46 rear cassette. Mid-drive electric bike motors are more efficient at higher pedalling cadences, so if you live in a very hilly area you may want to consider this upgrade when purchasing the Mach E.


The brakes are excellent Shimano UR300 flat-mount hydraulic brakes with 160mm rotors. I find they work very well (once sufficiently bedded in and warmed up) and provided the right amount of modulation and bite. They also look very neat and the levers are comfortable to operate.

shimano ur300 flat mount hydraulic brakes

Wheels and tyres

The wheels are Vitus’s own branded components. They have the obligatory thru-axles and are shod in 700 x 40 Vee Tire Co G-Sport E-Bike tyres which come in a very nice ‘gum wall’ finish. These tyres seem to be a good all-rounder for road and a bit of gravel riding, although I couldn’t find a lot of information about them on the internet. They do make for a very nice ride and the manufacturer claims a good level of puncture protection. I’ve decided to fit a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres to mine as I had a nearly new pair knocking about.

I initially thought the wheels looked and felt quite tough, but within 150 miles of poorly surfaced Cornish back lanes (and a heavy rider), I had a broken spoke. This wasn’t too much of a problem for me as I had spare spokes and a truing stand. Whether this was a one-off, due to a combination of my weight and bad roads it’s hard to say, but I decided to err on the side of caution and purchased a Shimano RS170 wheelset  – if you decide on this upgrade, remember to get a pair of Shimano 160mm centre-lock disc rotors. I’ve used budget Shimano wheelsets on all of my bikes and they stand up to a fair amount of abuse.  The RS170s are fairly narrow, and Shimano recommends a maximum tyre width of 38mm.

vitus mach e urban with shimano rs170 wheelset

Frame and finishing kit

The frame and finishing kit on the Vitus are very nice indeed. The frame is made of 6061 T-6 alloy and there is a full carbon fork (including a steerer) and an ACROS Aix-Low R3 tapered headset. The geometry is aimed at comfort/endurance with a nice slack head angle and dropped seat stays.

vitus mach e urban e bike

I was also pleasantly surprised with the Vitus saddle. Usually, when I get a new bike I fit a Charge Spoon saddle, but I will see how I get on with the supplied saddle as my first impressions were favourable.

The handlebars weren’t too wide at 620mm and the seat post and stem also looked to be well-made and finished off.

Who is the Vitus Mach E electric bike aimed at?

The Vitus Mach E Urban does have a broad appeal. I can see this bike being popular with a wide range of cyclists. It’s perfect for commuting through busy city streets or leisurely country rides. I can even see the potential for credit card touring – with a potential range of over a hundred miles on a single charge, you could cover some serious daily mileage on a bike like this.

I have already fitted a pannier rack and set of SKS mudguards to my bike, so it’s ready for winter rides and errands to the local shops. If you’re after a day-to-day runabout the Mach E would be an excellent choice.

It will also make a great training e-bike and would be perfect for a rider who is looking to get back into the saddle after an injury. My friend who lent me the test bike also rides a road bike and he uses his specifically for a 15-mile daily commute – no more turning up for work sweating buckets!

vitus mach e urban e bike from the rear

My Vitus Mach E Urban

Below is a timeline from my first receiving my bike – I have added subsequent updates and photos further down. As of 10/11/20 I have covered nearly 250 miles and added a few significant upgrades.

My Vitus Mach E arrived quicker than expected and the delivery company had taken good care of it as the box was completely unscathed. The whole bike took less than 20 minutes to assemble. Unfortunately I forgot to order an EU to UK plug adaptor for the battery charger so had to wait a couple of days before I could take it for a good spin.

I decided to fit the nearly new Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres I had spare, as I’ve used this brand on my touring bike and never had a puncture, despite covering over 10’000 miles. I also fitted a pair of LifeLine Ergonomic grips, a set of SKS commuter hybrid mudguards and a lightweight Tortec Ultralite Pannier rack.

vitus mach e urban fitted with mudguards and pannier rack

With all the extras fitted and taking into account the extra weight of heavy-duty tyres, the top tube bag, tyre pump and saddle bag (with a toolkit and spare inner tube) I weighed the bike and was surprised to find the total weight came in at a whisker under 19.2kg – which is impressive, when the similarly equipped Cube Touring Hybrid One 400 weighs 24.9kg and has a less powerful battery.

I’ve yet to take her for a long ride, but early indications as to the battery range look promising. At the time of writing, I have ridden about 25 miles (with 2200ft of elevation gain) in ‘Eco’ mode and only used one bar from a total of five on the battery indicator.  Incidentally, I kept the assist on for the whole ride, which is something I wouldn’t usually do, so I’m quite confident of being able to do 100-mile rides on a single charge. I also fitted a Sunrace 11-40 9-speed cassette, which has lowered the gearing enough that I can comfortably climb an 8-10% gradient without the assist on – Very useful if I were to run out of battery power after a long ride.  I’m still toying with the idea of fitting the optional 38t front chainring to lower the gearing even further, but I will see how I get on. The Shimano Alivio rear derailleur indexes perfectly with the larger cassette, all I needed to do was adjust the ‘B’ screw a couple of turns in.

vitus mach e urban fitted with an 11-40 9 speed cassette

All in all, I’m pleased and don’t regret my purchase. I’m looking forward to many, many miles.  The only problem is I’m already getting crazy ideas, about fitting drop handlebars with Shimano GRX 1 x 11 groupset – I generally prefer drop handlebars on a bike, but the cheapest gravel e-bike I could find was about a grand dearer and had half the battery capacity. The GRX groupset with Shifters, hydraulic brakes, derailleur and cassette would set me back around £500, so it would still work out substantially cheaper than the cheapest electric gravel bike – maybe something for next year!

Update 25/10/20 

I’ve had the Vitus for a week and have now ridden a total of 97 miles with 9200ft of elevation gain (as of 25/10/20) and still have one bar left on the battery indicator! I reckon, I could manage another 20 or so miles before the battery shuts down, which is very good going. Bearing in mind, I’ve only used ‘Eco’ mode so this will vary depending on the rider’s ability. At the end of the week, my legs still have a little bit of soreness, but not as bad as usual. The cadence sensor is a really useful metric, and the motor has allowed me to keep my pedalling cadence in the 80-100rpm range (while still putting my power through the pedals). I will be getting a heart rate monitor and posting a separate article showing HRM data from the e-bike ride vs regular bike ride on a hilly 30-40 mile route.

vitus mach e pictured by a gate overlooking the sea

Update 10/11/20

I’ve now covered just under 250 miles and apart from a broken spoke, everything is going well. I’m riding about 25%  more miles per week (despite the awful weather) and find that riding the Vitus at a fast pace using ‘Eco’ mode, allows me to ride that little bit further, more often without the consequences of getting too tired.  Interestingly, even though I rode the Vitus for a week straight, then went back to my regular road bike there was no decline in my performance, if anything it’s improved my endurance a little.

I have spent a bit of money on upgrades though, which I personally feel have made it the perfect e-bike for me. After I repaired the broken spoke, I decided to fit a Shimano RS170 disc wheelset, which was available for a great price at Chain Reaction.  This wheelset is not only lighter than the stock items, but they seem to roll better. As I’ve mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve always used Shimano wheelsets and found them to be robust and great value for money (plus they look quite smart as well).

vitus mach e electric bike ride

Another major upgrade I’ve done changes from the Shimano 9-speed to SRAM NX 11-speed gearing. Although I was quite happy with the shifting performance of the Shimano Alivio drivetrain, I wanted a bit more gear range without having to sacrifice the higher speeds afforded by the 44t chainring. The SRAM NX rear derailleur works flawlessly with a Sunrace 11-46 cassette, and the SRAM trigger shifter provides a buttery smooth gearshift on par with Shimano XT.

I now feel the bike is set up perfectly for my needs. Even with the upgrades the total bike stands me in at just under £2000. I’ve done a couple of 40-mile-plus rides and it’s comfortable but with a nice sporty riding position. Not once have I experienced any back or neck pain, and the pins and needles I sometimes get in my hands (on my road bike) are practically non-existent. All in all, I’m over the moon with my purchase and I will be doing a series of separate articles ishortly(along with some YouTube videos) called ‘The Ebike Diaries’ where I’ll be sharing some of my rides along with tips for increasing your fitness by riding an e-bike.

my vitus mach e urban electric bike with upgrades

Update 06/12/20

I’ve now covered over 500 miles on the Vitus since receiving it on the 17th of October. It’s still going like a dream, despite getting it lagged in muck on every ride, and then subsequently cleaning it after each ride.

The battery range seems to be improving slightly (as expected) and I’m quite confident to be taking it on a 100-mile ride over the Christmas break. Recently I have had the chance to test out a Ribble CGR AL e electric gravel bike courtesy of Ribble Cycles, and it’s been interesting comparing the two different bikes side by side. The Ribble is a lot lighter in weight at 13.4kg, but the small X35 ebikemotion hub motor doesn’t provide anything like the assist of the Shimano Steps E6100 unit.

In fairness to the Ribble, it’s so light that you can ride it easily with the assist off, and it is aimed more at riders who already have a degree of fitness and are maybe just looking for a little help once in a while.

Below are some comparison charts of heart rate monitor data of me riding the Vitus vs Ribble on the same route under similar weather conditions. It’s interesting to note that my heart rate is about 10 bpm lower on some of the climbs despite staying in ‘eco’ mode on the Vitus and using ‘full power’ mode on the Ribble (beneath the red line).

heart rate data from the vitus mach e and ribble cgr al e

Another interesting thing is there is a 4.3 miles undulating segment and my average speed is marginally faster on the Vitus at 17.5mph vs 17.1mph on the Ribble (even though the Vitus is nearly 6kg heavier).

I’m going to be doing the same ride next week on my regular road bike (unassisted) so it will be interesting to see the difference. Below is the heart rate zone data from both rides.

heart rate zone comparison between the ribble cgr al e and vitus mach e

It’s not a particularly scientific test, but I think it gives a rough idea of the difference between the two motor systems. Incidentally I lost one bar out of five on the battery indicator from my Vitus and the Ribble lost 35% from its 250Wh internal battery (according to the accompanying smartphone app).

Having said that the Ribble is a cracking bike and great fun to ride, it certainly felt livelier when there was no assistance, and the fact it’s very light and looks like a regular gravel bike will appeal to a lot of riders. Read my full review of the Ribble CGR AL e here.

ribble cgr al e gravel e bike review

Update 21/12/20

Yesterday I completed my longest ride yet on the Mach E – a 57-mile loop of Bodmin moor with lots of climbing (and bucket loads of rain!). I kept the bike in ‘Eco’ mode for the entire ride, start to finish and the battery indicator dropped down to one bar just before the finish – usually I wouldn’t use the assist for large portions of a ride like this, but the weather was appalling, and I wanted to complete the ride as quickly as possible.

I’ve completed a similar route on a regular bike, and my average speed was 2mph less over the same distance – my average heart rate for this ride was 121 bpm with a max of 160 bpm and calculated calories used 1595kcal – I was still pretty tired after the ride, and have a bit of soreness in my legs the following day.

Below is a 3D view of the route


I wasn’t thinking about getting another electric bike until next Spring, but after I had a go at this and saw the discounted price for the 2020 model, I couldn’t resist it. For me, it ticks all the right boxes – smooth mid-drive, long-range battery, great handling and comfort, and not too expensive. I’ve yet to test another e-bike that comes close to the Vitus Mach E Urban at this price. Even the £2199 price tag for the 2021 model is very reasonable, especially when you consider the BMC Alpine Challenge AMP Cross Two costs nearly £500 more, uses the same E6100 motor, but only has the 418Wh battery fitted.

I’m absolutely over the moon about my purchase. I was able to do a fairly tough 25-mile ride with sore legs from the previous two days of riding. I still worked up a sweat, but the lowest power setting just made the steep climbs more palatable. I didn’t feel the need to go beyond ‘Eco’ even on a short 15% climb, the power was enough for my liking.

All in all the Mach E is a great e-bike. It looks great, but most importantly it’s versatile and will appeal to a variety of riders. A big thumbs up all the way!

Check availability on  Chain Reaction Cycles

Thanks for reading this article. If you own a Vitus Mach E Urban, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have any questions relating to this bike leave a comment and I will reply within 24hrs.

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  1. Hi Tony, I found your really informative article at the right time as I’m currently reading lots of reviews on various hybrid style electric bikes none of which have been as helpful as yours. I have a Specialized Roubaix which I’ve enjoyed riding for a couple of years especially in France with some friends each summer for a couple of months. Last year after riding 1800 miles on my final ride before coming home I blacked out, crashed, broke 3 ribs and back in the UK was strongly advised to have an ICD fitted just in case an arrthymic incident reoccurred, they still said it would be very unlikely, so as you do I took the advice and now have one! I’ve not ridden since it occurred a year ago nearly exactly! I want to return to some cycling to regain my fitness but probably less intensely as I have been doing. Hence an electric assisted hybrid with less aggressive set up and flat bars seems like a good idea to explore. I love the look of the Ribble endurance road bikes but feel that drops won’t necessarily help me to enjoy less intense rides so a more relaxed frame with straight bars might be better. As you can imagine I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of bikes around the hybrid type range that are now available. Reading your assessment of the Vitus and your personal experience with it has struck a chord with me because it seems like it should definitely high on my list of strong possibilities. I like the lowish weight, the motor system sounds very good and a more powerful battery seems like a good idea. The frame looks fine too. I want to be able to ride in tarmac sometimes with my friends who want me to start cycling again as well as going on some canal oaths and tracks around Chester where we live. Do you think I’m on the right lines in looking more carefully at the Vitus given the info I’ve written about here – I’d be very interested in our thoughts if you have time to reply.
    Funnily enough we spend time with friends each year in September/October near to St Austell – I’ve played golf at the chalk St Austell course but not cycled unfortunately!
    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Richard,

      I think for the price, the Vitus is hard to beat. The standard wheelset and tyres add a lot of unnecessary weight to the bike. I reckon a set of Fulcrum 6 or similar with 32c Conti’s and you’d save close to another KG in weight and reduce the rolling resistance. Another lightweight favourite of mine is the Specialized Vado SL which is currently on offer for around £2500. It’s around 15 kg and has the same geometry as the Sirrus hybrid. I’ve ridden the Vado SL and the assist is very subtle and battery range is surprisingly good.

      Another option would be something like the Ribble Gravel AL e, it’s got drop bars but has a more relaxed riding position and comes in at around 14 kg.

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.


  2. Hi Tony, thanks for the great review, it convinced me to buy the bike and I haven’t been disappointed! I saw your comment about adding drop bars to the bike, how serious were you about this as I’ve had similar ideas. My goal would be to keep the original alivio drive train rather than replacing everything so that I can trial the new position and switch back if necessary. I’ve read that certain road parts are compatible with this alivio 9 speed derailleur such as the shimano sora drop bar shifters however I would unfortunately need to swap out the hydraulic brakes. Do you have any suggestions for parts or any advice on whether this conversion would even be a good idea?

    1. Hi Tom,

      I decided against it in the end, as it was going to cost a lot for the GRX shifters etc. I can confirm Sora STi shifters work perfectly with Shimano Alivio 9-speed – I had that set-up on a bike a few years back. Regarding brakes, I would go for either TRP Spyre flat-mount mechanical calipers or Juin-Tech flat-mount hydro-mechanical calipers. Both are cable operated and will work with Sora. I have used the TRP brakes before and they work very well for mechanical brakes. The Juin-Tech have been reviewed extensively on YouTube and they get good reviews.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more info, let me know.


  3. Hi Tony thanks for reply. I was erring to small but if i understand correctly i would then end up with a raised seat & little adjustment on handlebar height / geometry. Therefore maybe medium. But I measured my hybrid today & its mid between S & M of vitus on crank to crossbar so when standing I am just resting crotch area of cross bar so another 1cm with Vitus may be too much at medium height. God knows but i think medium just on basis of the technician at Wiggle’s advice & if at your size finding the L more a medium then a small for me maybe as the technician said. On another note why did you sell the vitus? I ask because my initial instincts were the boardman (weight, battery removal as I tour mostly, rideability if battery fails in middle of tour). But then the Vitus would get me back into mountainous areas / distances I used to do. Being new to e bikes I just don’t know how supportive the Boardman would be when going gets tough. On your testing what is your view of an average cyclist hitting hills with the Boardman or going for those longer distances where I would need to be really frugal with the battery eg 100km with paniers. My gut tells me I would need the power & capacity of the Vitus especially as age progresses. Lots of questions here but I am finding your knowledge invaluable.Thanks …Steve

    1. The Vitus does have a sloping top tube, so you shouldn’t have any problems with standover height. The Vitus climbs hills much better than the Boardman. In my area, we have a couple nasty climbs with around 500 ft of elevation gain over half a mile, and the Vitus had no problem. Similar climb on the Boardman in full power, felt the same as the Vitus in the middle setting. Also, the Vitus is surprisingly easy to pedal without assist, there’s no perceptible drag from the motor. As much as I enjoyed riding the Vitus, I started putting in a lot more miles on my road and gravel bike. One more thing that I might have mentioned in the article – the supplied wheelset wasn’t all that great in my opinion. The cup and con bearings on the front wheel were not very well greased, and I had a couple of broken spokes on the back within a couple of months. For a fairly cheap upgrade, I would go with Mavic Allroads – they are currently on offer at Merlin cycles. I have 3000 miles in them on my gravel bike, and they’re still smooth and true, despite regular off-road trips up Dartmoor and wet weather riding.

      All the best,

      1. Hi Thanks for this. I am going to order the Vitus today. I think along with my normal hybrid it will get me to heights & distances of many years ago which i guess is why i started thinking of an e bike. Which particular Mavic wheel set do you recommend? Is it a straight swap i.e just swap over the spindles, cassette tyres & tube with brakes discs as supplied? Thanks for your help. (NB wiggle were adamant a medium which was also advised by some members of Vitus group on Facebook so will go with this)

        1. Hi Steve,

          The wheelset is Mavic Allroad 700c – it’s tubeless ready, but you can use tyres with tubes if you prefer. They are compatible with thru-axles, which is what the Vitus has. Here is the link:

          If you fancy trying tubeless tyres, I use Panaracer Gravelking SS in 700 x 38c. Good tyre for all-year round riding and a bit of light off-road riding. Hope you enjoy the bike, let me know what you think when you’ve had a chance to test it out.


  4. Hi Tony. Really enjoyed reading your reviews of the Vitus Mach e & the Boardman Hyb e bike. These are the 2 that I’ve narrowed down to but think that the Vitus will suit more for longer hillier rides & then my normal Hybrid for flatter rides / tours. Incidentally the Boardman seems to be obsolete now with Fazua unable to supply & I’m told they are swapping to Shimano. However, couple of questions if I can? Is the vitus still going strong especially the battery / motor? I’ve heard of lots of issues with the e mountain bike range.
    Also any advice on sizing from you or anyone else reading? I’m 5’8″ with 29″ inside leg so this puts me in the small frame sizing when you look at the Vitus website. Other bikes I am normally Medium. Chatted with Wiggle & initially they said small but then an advisor who had one thought i would be a bit cramped on the small & suggested medium. CRC wouldn’t advise either way. So really not sure. I’m 62 so height will only go one way but hopefully not for a while. Thanks …Steve

    1. Hi Steve,

      Yes, that’s correct about the Boardman. There also seems to be issues getting replacement batteries for the Fazua motor. I eventually sold the Vitus. I had no problems with it, despite covering nearly 2000 miles in a relatively short space of time, and riding it through a very wet British winter. I still see the new owner from time to time, and it’s still going strong. I’ve heard of the occasional issue with the E8000 and new EP8 motor, but problems seem rare with the E6100 motor.

      Regarding sizing, you are on the cusp of small / medium frame. I would have said medium, and a lot of the sizing charts suggest the same. But a lot of bike fitters recommend going for the smaller option, and making the necessary adjustments with saddle height, and stem length. Unfortunately the latest Vitus Mach E has an integrated stem / handlebar. I did find the original handlebar gives a very sporty riding position – I eventually fitted a handlebar with a 35 mm rise and 9 degree backsweep, and it was much more comfortable on longer rides. I usually ride a large frame (56-58 cm), but if anything the Mach E in large felt more like a medium to me.

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.


  5. Just to add another happy rider to these comments. I have had the bike for three weeks now and cannot stop smiling, even through the rain.

    It has been really helpful to pick up on suggested upgrades. I had assumed that I would need to extend my gearing as you have described, Tony, since we have a few decent hills here on the High Weald, but the superb response from the motor and the massive battery range (which I cannot foresee myself exhausting), means that this will be a nice to have rather than a necessity

    I may also be managing to convince my wife of the joy of cycling. Her response on taking it up to Boost mode was to lose 40 years.

    Roll on Spring.

  6. Very tempted to order one of these as an early Xmas present. I currently have a free 30 day loan (through the Cycling UK scheme) of a Specialized Vado Turbo SL 4.0 – first time on an e-bike and it’s a revelation – I can actually cycle to and from work now and the 24 mile round trip (with some hills) was too much for me on a regular basis on my unpowered hybrid. Trouble is I was foolish?/lucky? enough to choose the Vado SL for the trial, lovely but I can’t justify 3.5K on a bike. I saw you had ridden and reviewed both, how does the Vitus compare to the Vado SL? And is it going to be a disppointment after having this one for 30 days?

    1. Hi Ben,

      If I were to compare the two for performance, the Shimano Steps E6000 motor (in the Vitus) is noticeably more powerful. The Specialized SL motor is more subtle and doesn’t produce the ‘kick in the pants’ feeling of the Shimano Steps. Plus, the Vitus should give you a higher assisted range. Where the Specialized wins hands down is weight. It’s a good few KG lighter than the Vitus.

      If you’re looking for a bike that you only want to use the assist on hills, then the Specialized is probably going to be the better bet. The Vitus does feel heavy when the assist isn’t engaged, but the eco setting more than makes up for it.

      For the price the Vitus is unbeatable, and the frame is nicer than the Specialized and It has a full carbon fork with very comfortable geometry.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.


      1. Hi Tony, many thanks for the super fast reply, much appreciated. Higher assisted range and more grunt sounds fine to me! The eco setting in the Vado seemed very subtle though that may be more a comment on my fitness levels tbh. I did enjoy the smoothness of the delivery on it and the turbo mode was a joy when I got to the steep bits but sounds like the vitus would be just as much fun if not more. And potentially the increased grunt in eco could open up some longer runs for me. Some nervousness that I can’t try it for size first but there’s very little available at that light weight with crank drive, and I’m set on that after the Vado. Shame as the Ribble factory is quite close and the AL E looks great. But hub drive so out I think. Cheers again, I’ll let you know if I take the plunge. Looks likely tbh and the day I have to give back the Vado will probably clinch it! Cheers again, Ben

      2. CRC just dropped the price again (£1999) so I went for it – remains to be seen if my wife makes me wait for Xmas before playing out on it but will let you know how I get on with it. Cheers for the advice!

          1. Hi Tony, during mudguards now but there’s no fixing at the top of the fork. How did you fix this? Did you have to drill the mudguard and bolt thru it? Ok sorted it, fiddly but works!

  7. Thanks for all the advice Tony. Loving the bike so far. The 35m Marathons look great on the bike. A question for you on the mud guards. I ended up getting the same mudguards as you. I noticed one end of the mudguard can’t be pinned to the frame because there isn’t a screw point. Did you work around this with any magic ?


    1. Hi Jonathan,

      I threaded a couple of long, thin cable ties through the hole in the mudguard and secured them round the chain-stays behind the motor – it’s not the perfect solution but it stops the mudguard flapping around. Glad you’re enjoying the bike👍

      All the best,

  8. Tony,

    What size Marathon tyres did you fit? I bought 35mm and I’m looking for the right mudguards which come in 35mm and 45mm size. Would 35mm be too tight a fit you think?


    1. Hi Jonathan,

      I initially fitted Marathon Plus 35mm with 45mm mudguards, then I changed them for Schwalbe GT365 38mm – the latter has a more aggressive tread for unpaved surfaces / bridleways. You’ll definitely need 45mm mudguards.

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      It should be capable of taking a child seat, the frame comes across as being very robust. I have ridden with two panniers fully loaded with heavy shopping several times without any issues.


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