I have been shopping for a new mountain bike for a while now and I think I have found the bike for me. I have been looking at 2 bikes for about a month and I still cannot decide which bike to choose. Both bikes have the same drivetrain, brakes, seat post, are the same price and the only differences I can find are the rims and tires being WBT vs Mavic rims and Maxxis vs Schwalbe tires. Also, there are different variations of the fork. These 2 bikes are the Nukeproof Scout Comp and the Vitus Sentier VRS. Here are the links to the bikes so I am asking you to help me decide which bike to choose.
I can’t speak to the bikes themselves, or the forks, you mentioned. But I do currently ride on a set of the WTB ST i29 (27.5’s) rims. For what they are (inexpensive), they are holding up very well. I’ve ridden several other brands of rims, including Maxxis wheel sets, and so far, the WTB’s have not required straightening, whereas other brands I’ve used did in the same amount of miles ridden. The Maxxis’ I’ve used are a very close second, but also cost at least twice as much.
Unless you’re to short to get a good fit on a 29er or you have a strong personel preferrence for 27.5, I wouldn’t buy 27.5 hardtail. There’s a reason why nearly all XC hardtails come as 29ers. Not only do 29ers have better rollover but they are also more comfortable. I would go one step further and recommend getting a Plus hardtail that comes with 2.6in or 2.8in wide tires. Plus and Hardtail is a match made in heaven because it takes the sting out of that rigid rear end. The 29+ hardtail is the closest you’ll get to a full-suspension bike without having full-suspesion. Check out the Salsa Timberjack which comes with 29×2.6 tires.
After looking at both of them I’d suggest the Nukeproof. The spec on both of them is nearly identical, so what it comes down to is geometry. They’re also very similar there, but the head tube angle on the Nukeproof is slacker by a degree at 65, compared to the 66 degrees of the Vitus. This brings the bike very close to the geometry of mine, (2017 Orange Crush) and will help keep the bike stable on steeper and higher speed trails. This is also important because of the fact that there is no rear suspension sag when you sit on the bike, so the front will sag a little making your effective head tube angle a little steeper. Another thing to consider is the forks. I think that the charger damper in the fork on the Nukeproof is a slight upgrade from the motion control damper that the Vitus has, but this is probably a very minor upgrade.
Also I think the Nukeproof looks cooler, so there’s that.