Alright so I’ve been jealously watching youtube videos for awhile now and I’m trying to get into the mountain bike game. I’ve scoured across countless bike manufacturer’s websites and have narrowed my choices down to two bikes. I have a budget of about $1000 and love hardcore hardtails so I want a bike that you can fit a massive fork on. Anyway I’ve narrowed my choices down to the Ghost Kato X 4.9 AL, the Raleigh Tokul 3,and the Vitus Sentier VR+. I’m wondering if either is a good choice or if there is something better out there! Thanks!
All of them are probably all specced similarly with components, so they’re all probably of similar value. If I was to choose one I would go with a Ghost or the Raleigh, but only because I haven’t heard too much about Vitus. Have you thought about researching and looking at used hard tails, or even full-suspension bikes within your budget? Often you can find someone getting rid of a pretty lightly used bike after they find out that the sport isn’t for them. I’ve saved a lot of money buying used over the years. Just a thought.
the Raleigh head angle is a bit steep, the Vitus and Ghost are more aggressive. Of the three I like the Vitus best. But you might also look at the Nukeproof Scout, it is even has a bit more aggressive head angle than the Vitus.
I personally ride a Sentier (2017, VRS), and that bike is nearly unstoppable. With a dropper post on it, it is unstoppable. In 2018 it appears that they’ve only made things even more hardcore (plus tires, slacker angles, and longer reach), so I think the bike would suit you well given your tastes.
As for the other bikes, I haven’t heard much about the Kato (although those tires are certainly not hardcore) but have heard many great things about Tokul. Phil Kmetz, a respected Youtuber, praised the Tokul for its robust build, and the Daily MTB Rider called it “best hardtail for the money.” However, the build of the Sentier (especially with the tires) is significantly better than both the Tokul and the Kato. In addition, if you’re truly after that massive fork, the Sentier’s has 140mm of travel (vs 120mm on the other two) with room for a larger fork (I currently have a 150mm fork on my Sentier).
The Sentier will take anything you throw at it, including a rock slab like this one.
At the end of the day, all three bikes will serve you well. Don’t worry, you’ll still be grinning ear to ear at the end of each ride no matter which bike you choose.