Vitus Bikes first emerged as a frame builder in 1970s France. They now describe themselves as part of ‘the Chainreactioncycles.com family’ which gives a hint as to where you’ll find their current range of bikes.
The Vitus name has been around for a while. For many, they're remembered for their bonded 979 aluminium frames in the late Seventies and early Eighties. The small diameter tubes were revolutionary at the time and offered plenty of comfort but at the expense of a certain amount of rigidity. They were also known for being early adopters of carbon.
Nowadays Vitus offer direct sales through Chain Reaction Cycles. Their current range of road bikes comprises (in escalating order of price) the Razor, Zenium, Venon and Vitesse. Let’s take a look at what distinguishes them from each other.
The versions here are from the 2017 range. A 2018 selection is probably imminent, as many manufacturers are already shipping 2018 model year bikes. Prices listed are RRP, but are currently all about 10% cheaper on the site.
Just to keep you on your toes, there’s a Razor, a Razor VR and a Razor VRL. Throw in a few of last year’s models and it all becomes a bit overwhelming.
The standard version of the Razor comes with Claris gearing (an eight-speed rear cassette with a 50x34T chainset), a carbon bladed fork and Vitus alloy wheels. From there, the VR and the VRL – which is a ladies’ version of the VR – are upgraded with Sora gears with a nine-speed cassette.
Next up, the Zenium, with its even more alphabetically-complex sub-categorisation. Here we get a standard version, an L, a VR Disc, an SL Disc and an SL Pro Disc. As you probably guessed, the entire range features discs.
The standard version features an alloy frame, a full carbon fork, Shimano Tiagra gearing with a 10-speed cassette and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels. The L is the women’s version of this bike, while the VR Disc steps up to 11-speed 105.
Slightly more expensive than the VR Disc is the Zenium SL. It boasts a ‘superlight’ alloy frame with hydraulic brakes and the same Shimano 105 gear setup. The SL Pro is much the same but further improved with a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset and hydraulic brakes.
The Venon sees us move into carbon fibre territory. There’s a men’s and women’s version of the bike plus a Venon VR. The former have a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels, while the VR is further enhanced with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Vision Team 30 wheels.
Top of the range is the Vitus Vitesse, for which there is an EVO, an Evo Disc, an EVO VRi and an EVO Team. These are based around the UCI-approved carbon fibre frame that was raced throughout the 2016 season by the An Post Chain Reaction team.
The EVO features a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. The Disc version also get Ultegra with hydraulic brakes while the EVO VRI brings electronic gears in the form of the Shimano Ultegra Di2 system. Finally, the EVO Team boasts the majority of a Dura-Ace groupset with a fully carbon FSA crankset and Vision Team 30 wheels.
[This article was last updated on August 10, 2017]
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Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.