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Adam Kenway's cool custom hill climb bike from the National Championships

The Vitus Pro Cycling rider came third at the National Hill Climb Championships at the weekend, and was atop a 5.5kg Vitesse Evo with tons of nifty weight-saving features...

If you're familiar with the wonderfully eccentric annual tradition that is the British hill climb season, you'll know that the riders often go to extreme lengths to make sure their bikes and bodies are super light so they're hauling as little weight as possible uphill.  

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Vitus Pro Cycling rider Adam Kenway initially discussed going for the national title with his bike sponsor less than a month before it took place in Stockbridge, South Yorkshire on Sunday, and Vitus managed to get this impressive full custom bike manufactured and shipped in time for the event.   

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The frameset and fork are both 'Raw' versions of the Vitus Vitesse EVO models, stripped of paint with the only detailing being the hollowed out red Vitus logo; saving 200g from the original frame/fork weight. The wheels are Lightweight's Gipfelsturm, which weigh just 1075 grams for the pair, dressed with Continental's Podium TT tubular tyres. 

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The brakes are a custom set of the (now discontinued) Planet X Ultra Light CNC calipers, with the pads cut down to save more weight. Kenway dusts them off especially for the hill climb season each year. 

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Arguably the most intriguing modifications are at the front end; the Fizik r1 bars have been cut right down, and even the left Dura-Ace brake lever has been chopped to save a couple more grams. Why not just do away with the brakes and levers all together, you may ask? That's because National Hill Climb rules state that your bike must have two working brakes, but there's nothing specifically to say you can't hack them up a little bit... 

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A Rotor Aldhu 3D+ chainset is used with a single chainring, and above you'll see the mechanic extra carefully fitting the Sram Red chain; the reason being that it's fitted as short as possible to reduce weight from excess links. Here is the bike's full spec: 

Frame: Vitus Vitesse Evo RAW frameset
Fork: Vitus Vitesse Evo RAW forks
Brakes: Planet X – Lightweight with pads cut down.
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace (with the left lever stripped and cut down)
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Cassette: SRAM Red
Chainset: Rotor Aldhu 3D+
Chain: SRAM red (as short as possible) 
Wheels: Lightweight Gipfelsturm 
Tyres: Continental Podium TT
Saddle: Sella Italia c-59
Stem: Ritchey WCS 
Bars: Fizik r1 (with the drops cut off)
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace 

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Kenway was third in the men's National Hill Climb final in a time of 2:21 mins, just 2 seconds behind Calum Brown (Team B38-Underpin Racing) in second place and three seconds behind winner Andrew Feather (BCR Racing) in 2:18 mins. In the women's race, Fiona Burnie (GS Metro) was crowned national champion finishing in 3:05 mins, followed by Mary Wilkinson (Yorkshire RC) just 0.9 secs back and Kate Mactear (University of Bristol CC) in 3:15 mins. 

Where else do you reckon Adam could have trimmed weight on his custom hill climb machine? Let us know in the comments.    

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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