2020 Vitus Nucleus: Everything you need to know

2020 Vitus Nucleus: Everything you need to know

The Vitus Nucleus has been the best value sub £500 hardtail for three years according to MBR. The 2020 Vitus Nucleus has seen a slight rise in price, but it still remains excellent value for money. There are a few different versions of the 2020 Vitus Nucleus you need to know about and in this post, I am going to talk about all of them to help you decide on which one to buy.

As soon as your 2020 Vitus Nucleus arrives, it is ready to go. You will be able to get riding without needing to pay for any extra upgrades before your first ride. The geometry is spot on and for a bike in this price range, has great specifications.

If you weren’t aware, Vitus is Chain Reaction Cycle’s own brand of bikes. The advantage this gives you is that such a big company has fantastic buying power, giving you unrivalled value for money.

The Details

The 2020 Vitus Nucleus comes in a variety of versions. You get a choice between 27.5″ and 29″ wheel sizes. The 27.5″ will feel agile and easy to change direction, while the 29″ wheels roll over rocks and roots better, allowing a smoother ride and a faster straight-line speed. So, your choice depends on your personal preference, but taller riders tend to go for the 29er.

The Nucleus is not a flashy high-end bike, but its design and components put more expensive bikes to shame. For a bike in this price bracket, the Suntour forks are pretty good. The fork is air-sprung, which is lighter than a coil spring and is adjustable. This adjustability allows you to dial in the optimum feel you want. The 27.5″ version has 120mm of travel and the 29er 100mm.

The handlebars are nice and wide, and use a short stem, giving you lots of control, especially when you are descending tricky terrain. You get even more control from the hydraulic disc brakes. These are easy to modulate and give great stopping power in comparison to the old style cable operated ones.

Many bikes in this price range come with poor quality tyres. But, the WTB Vigilante and Trailboss give a great balance between grip and rolling resistance.

Geometry

The geometry of the 2020 Vitus Nucleus is set up for aggressive riding. It is low and slack too, but without being too extreme to make it awkward on flat corners. Low and slack bikes are more stable on technical terrain. They also corner very well due to the low centre of gravity. This means riding the 2020 Vitus Nucleus is super fun, and you will be surprised about how capable it is on the trails.

On The Trail

The 2020 Vitus Nucleus has a perfect feel to it as soon as you jump on. It has a composed and capable feel, which gives you confidence on the trails.


Climbing is a breeze on this bike, but in comparison to its rivals, it excels on the downhills. The tyre choice is a good one, as they dig into the dirt and other surfaces very well. They have very good sidewall rigidity too, so they don’t roll, keeping the handling nice and predictable.
Even though it isn’t the longest travel mountain bike, the fork is quite plush for a bike at this price and gives you good control and grip on the front end.


The feeling you get from the 2020 Vitus Nucleus is one that makes you want to push harder and ride fast. This is why it is one of the most fun and capable hardtail mountain bikes you can buy.

Who is it For?

The 2020 Vitus Nucleus is the perfect bike for someone that wants to get in to the sport. It has a great specification and will be a serious amount of fun to ride. This is the most important thing, as your first proper mountain bike needs to be fun and reliable, if it isn’t, you can be put off very easily, and never want to ride again.

2020 Vitus Nucleus Models

2020 Vitus Nucleus 290 VR

2020 Vitus Nucleus - grey

The Nucleus VR is the entry-level mountain bike from Vitus. This 29″ wheeled version is very capable and great fun to ride. The components on this bike are great for its price, making it an ideal option for someone wanting to get into mountain biking.

Specifications

  • Frame: Nucleus 29″ Hardtail 6061-t6 Alloy Construction
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 Boost Air 100mm 29″
  • Headset: FSA No.57b
  • Bottom Bracket: Square Taper Cartridge, 73mm / 113.5mm
  • Handlebar: Nukeproof Neutron 25mm Rise, Width – S760mm, M760mm, L780mm, XL800mm, 31.8mm bar diameter
  • Stem: Vitus 50mm
  • Grip(Tape): Vitus Tapered, Single Composite Clamp, Sticky Rubber
  • Front Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 29″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Rear Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 29″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Front Hub: Vitus MS6F Boost 15mm x 110mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Rear Hub: Vitus K68R Standard Spacing 135mm x 10mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Front Tyre: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ x 29″ Comp with high Grip Compound
  • Rear Tyre: WTB Trailboss 2.25″ x 29″ Comp
  • Spokes: 14G Stainless DB with Brass nipples
  • Chain: KMC Z9 EPT Anti Rust
  • Crankset: SR Suntour XCM, 36/22T
  • Front Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 160mm
  • Front Derailleur: microShift MD-462B, Downswing, Dual-pull, Band-On 34.9mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M2000, SGS 9-Speed Shadow
  • Left Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 3-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Right Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 9-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Freewheel: Shimano Altus CS-HG200-9, 9-Speed, 11-36T
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Neutron
  • Seat Post: Vitus 31.6mm X 400mm, Zero Offset
  • Seat Clamp: Vitus 34.9mm Seat Clamp with Quick Release lever

2020 Vitus Nucleus 275 VRW Womens Bike

2020 Vitus Nucleus - 275 VWR

The VRW is the women’s version of the 2020 Vitus Nucleus. The main things to notice are the shape of the crossbar and the fact that it only comes with 27.5″ wheels.

Specifications

  • Frame: Nucleus 27.5″ Hardtail 6061-t6 Alloy Construction
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 Boost Air 120mm 27.5″
  • Headset: FSA No.57b
  • Bottom Bracket: Square Taper Cartridge, 73mm / 113.5mm
  • Handlebar: Nukeproof Neutron 25mm Rise, Width – XS740mm, S740mm, M760mm, 31.8mm bar diameter
  • Stem: Vitus 50mm
  • Grip(Tape): Vitus Tapered, Single Composite Clamp, Sticky Rubber
  • Front Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Rear Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Front Hub: Vitus MS6F Boost 15mm x 110mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Rear Hub: Vitus K68R Standard Spacing 135mm x 10mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Front Tyre: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ x 27.5″ Comp with high Grip Compound
  • Rear Tyre: WTB Trailboss 2.25″ x 27.5″ Comp
  • Spokes: 14G Stainless DB with Brass nipples
  • Chain: KMC Z9 EPT Anti Rust
  • Crankset: SR Suntour XCM, 36/22T
  • Front Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 160mm
  • Front Derailleur: microShift MD-462B, Downswing, Dual-pull, Band-On 34.9mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M2000, SGS 9-Speed Shadow
  • Left Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 3-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Right Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 9-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Freewheel: Shimano Altus CS-HG200-9, 9-Speed, 11-36T
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Neutron
  • Seat Post: Vitus 31.6mm X 400mm, Zero Offset

2020 Vitus Nucleus 275 VR

Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes 2020 - 2020 Vitus Nucleus

Specifications

  • Frame: Nucleus 27.5″ Hardtail 6061-t6 Alloy Construction
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 Boost Air 120mm 27.5″
  • Headset: FSA No.57b
  • Bottom Bracket: Square Taper Cartridge, 73mm / 113.5mm
  • Handlebar: Nukeproof Neutron 25mm Rise, Width – S760mm, M760mm, L780mm, Xl800mm, 31.8mm diameter
  • Stem: Vitus 50mm
  • Grip(Tape): Vitus Tapered, Single Composite Clamp, Sticky Rubber
  • Front Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Rear Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Front Hub: Vitus MS6F Boost 15mm x 110mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Rear Hub: Vitus K68R Standard Spacing 135mm x 10mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Front Tyre: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ x 27.5″ Comp with high Grip Compound
  • Rear Tyre: WTB Trailboss 2.25″ x 27.5″ Comp
  • Spokes: 14G Stainless DB with Brass nipples
  • Chain: KMC Z9 Ept Anti Rust
  • Crankset: SR Suntour XCM 36/22T
  • Front Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 160mm
  • Front Derailleur: Microshift MD-462b Down-swing, Dual-pull for 9-Speed drivetrain, Band Type(34.9mm)
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M2000, SGS 9-Speed, Shadow Design
  • Left Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 3-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Right Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 9-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Freewheel: Shimano Altus CS-HG200-9, 9-Speed, 11-36T
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Neutron
  • Seat Post: Vitus 31.6mm X 400mm, Zero Offset

2020 Vitus Nucleus 275 VRS

2020 Vitus Nucleus - 275 VRS

Specifications

  • Frame: Nucleus 27.5″ Hardtail 6061-t6 Alloy Construction
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 Boost Air 120mm 27.5″
  • Headset: FSA No.57b
  • Bottom Bracket: Square Taper Cartridge, 73mm / 113.5mm
  • Handlebar: Nukeproof Neutron 25mm Rise, Width – S760mm, M760mm, L780mm, Xl800mm, 31.8mm diameter
  • Stem: Vitus 50mm
  • Grip(Tape): Vitus Tapered, Single Composite Clamp, Sticky Rubber
  • Front Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Rear Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 27.5″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Front Hub: Vitus MS6F Boost 15mm x 110mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Rear Hub: Vitus K68R Standard Spacing 135mm x 10mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Front Tyre: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ x 27.5″ Comp with high Grip Compound
  • Rear Tyre: WTB Trailboss 2.25″ x 27.5″ Comp
  • Spokes: 14G Stainless DB with Brass nipples
  • Chain: KMC Z9 Ept Anti Rust
  • Crankset: SR Suntour XCM 36/22T
  • Front Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 160mm
  • Front Derailleur: Microshift MD-462b Down-swing, Dual-pull for 9-Speed drivetrain, Band Type(34.9mm)
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus RD-M2000, SGS 9-Speed, Shadow Design
  • Left Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 3-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Right Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 9-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Freewheel: Shimano Altus CS-HG200-9, 9-Speed, 11-36T
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Neutron
  • Seat Post: Vitus 31.6mm X 400mm, Zero Offset

2020 Vitus Nucleus 290 VRS

2020 Vitus Nucleus - 275 VRS

Specifications

  • Frame: Nucleus 29″ Hardtail 6061-t6 Alloy Construction
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 Boost Air 100mm 29″
  • Headset: FSA No.57b
  • Bottom Bracket: Square Taper Cartridge, 73mm / 113.5mm
  • Handlebar: Nukeproof Neutron 25mm Rise, Width – S760mm, M760mm, L780mm, XL800mm, 31.8mm bar diameter
  • Stem: Vitus 50mm
  • Grip(Tape): Vitus Tapered, Single Composite Clamp, Sticky Rubber
  • Front Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 29″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Rear Rim: WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0, 29″, 30mm inner diameter, 32 Hole, Pinned Joint
  • Front Hub: Vitus MS6F Boost 15mm x 110mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Rear Hub: Vitus K68R Standard Spacing 135mm x 10mm, 32h, 6-bolt
  • Front Tyre: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ x 29″ Comp with high Grip Compound
  • Rear Tyre: WTB Trailboss 2.25″ x 29″ Comp
  • Spokes: 14G Stainless DB with Brass nipples
  • Chain: KMC Z9 EPT Anti Rust
  • Crankset: SR Suntour Zeron, 30T, 170mm, GXP 73mm, 53mm BOOST
  • Front Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Brake: Tektro HD-M290 Wave Style Rotor; Rotor: 160mm
  • Front Derailleur: N/A
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M6000, GS, 10-Speed
  • Left Shifter: N/A
  • Right Shifter: Shimano Altus SL-M2000, 9-Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Freewheel: Sunrace CSMS2 10-Speed, 11-46T
  • Saddle: Nukeproof Neutron
  • Seat Post: Vitus 31.6mm X 400mm, Zero Offset
  • Seat Clamp: Vitus 34.9mm Seat Clamp with Quick Release lever

Are You Going To Buy A 2020 Vitus Nucleus?

If so let me know, also if you have any questions or thoughts on this bike, please let me know in the comments section below.

13 thoughts on “2020 Vitus Nucleus: Everything you need to know

  • 05/11/2019 at 8:39 pm
    Permalink

    Hey thank you for the awesome review!  I really like these bikes, and I have been looking for a good one bike to by my wife for Christmas.  I really like the 275 VRW Womens Bike.  I am due for one too, so maybe we can buy each other one!  We like to ride up in the mountains during the summer time.

    Reply
    • 05/11/2019 at 8:42 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jessie,

      Thanks for your comment. The 2020 Vitus Nucleus is a great choice of mountain bike. The value for money is seriously impressive. Buy soon, these bike sell out quickly.

      Reply
      • 07/07/2020 at 10:36 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks for the very useful article.
        I am looking to buy a frame only to build a winter play thing/commuter. Is there any differences in the frames between a 27 or 29?

        Reply
  • 05/11/2019 at 8:41 pm
    Permalink

    I have struggled to choose which bike is best for me for quite some time now. I recently purchased a bike rack for my vehicle with the intentions on using the trails near my home during the summer. It is now coming into the winter months and I have yet to decide on a bike that is best for me!

    I really appreciate you sharing this information and completing these comparisons, they were very helpful. I am thinking I may have a Christmas present to myself in the works here!

    Reply
    • 05/11/2019 at 8:51 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Kara,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope this has been of help to you. I have also written about the best bikes for 2020, have a look at this for some possible alternatives.

      Reply
  • 05/11/2019 at 8:41 pm
    Permalink

    I love taking on hikes with my bikes..But who knew which one choose from that fit your needs..

    Some of these bikes I haven’t even seen displayed..

    Love love love the information you provided for each bike

    …So much detail about a bike, I’d never think writing about….It’s so we’ll thought out & detailed…

    You got me hooked! 

    Can’t wait to read more!

    Keep up the great work! 

    Reply
    • 05/11/2019 at 8:49 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Genia,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you liked my post, I hope it was useful for you.

      Reply
  • 29/04/2020 at 12:44 am
    Permalink

    Hi, thanks for your review, I’m getting the 29 version buy what’s your thought on the vrs over the vr? Is it worth the extra money?

    Reply
    • 30/04/2020 at 9:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi Chris, glad you found it useful. If you can spend the extra, go for the VRS. It has a better drivetrain with an extra gear, this will make climbing a lot easier. It will also give it longevity, as you won’t be so inclined to upgrade it to a new bike so quickly.

      Reply
      • 09/06/2020 at 4:43 am
        Permalink

        I want to buy the vrs but can’t find one …. any thoughts?

        Reply
        • 10/06/2020 at 9:53 am
          Permalink

          Hi Brandon,

          There is a bit of a shortage of mountain bike stuff at the moment with the pandemic. The VRS is a great choice, but unfortunately I think it is just a case of waiting for them to be available or finding a good second-hand one. Let me know if you find one and how you get on with it.

          Reply
  • 07/07/2020 at 10:43 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for the very useful article.
    I am looking to buy a frame only to build a winter play thing/commuter. Is there any differences in the frames between a 27 or 29?

    Reply
    • 08/07/2020 at 12:20 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Campbell,

      Thanks for your comment. The Nucleus is a good choice, as it is pretty versatile. The 29er has a little bit more reach, wheelbase etc and a slightly slacker head angle. There is not a lot in it really, but if you are taller the 29er may be a better option. I hope this helps, let me know what you decide and what you think of it.

      Reply

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