Vitus, the in-house bike brand of Chain Reaction Cycles, have launched a 2016 range which includes seven disc-equipped road bikes.
Those seven bikes are based on three frames: one, the Venon, Vitus’ endurance chassis and revamped for 2016, is made from carbon fibre, and two, the Zenium and Zenium SL, are made from aluminium.
Vitus’ commitment to disc brakes mean every bike from the middle of their road range is fitted with disc rotors, with only three bikes based around the entry-level, aluminium Razor frame and three bikes built around the top-of-the-range Vitesse Evo chassis, as used by the An Post Chain Reaction team and a frame we reviewed earlier this year, coming with rim brakes.
We stopped by the Vitus stand at the Cycle Show to check out the 2016 range – here are the highlights from the collection.
Vitus Venon VR Disc and Venon Disc
The Venon frame has been revamped for 2016 and is Vitus’ endurance chassis, designed with sportives, century rides and comfort in mind. The frame is made from T-700 high-modulus carbon fibre and Vitus say they’ve revised the layup over the old Venon to improve the comfort of the frame without, of course, affecting power transfer.
The frame is paired with a full carbon fibre fork and Vitus have opted for 15mm and 12mm thru-axles at the front and rear, rather than quick releases, but they’ve also sought to futureproof the frame by allowing the rear axle to be switched to 135mm x 9mm quick release via a QR converter kit, available to buy separately.
Anyway, there are three bikes in the Venon range and two caught our eye at the Cycle Show. The Venon VR Disc is the most expensive disc-equipped bike that Vitus offer at £1,799.99 and it comes with a complete Shimano Ultegra groupset, which seems good value to us, and Fulcrum Racing 5 Disc wheels. The brakes are TRP Spyre stoppers, and they’re excellent mechanical disc brakes, but it’s also a shame Vitus don’t have a disc brake bike with hydraulic disc brakes, given the extra modulation and performance that comes from a hydraulic brake. Claimed complete bike weight for the Venon VR Disc is 8.49kg for a 54cm bike.
Otherwise the Venon range also includes the Venon Disc, which is available for £1,349.99. It’s built around the same frame as the Venon VR Disc and uses the same TRP Spyre brakes but comes with a Shimano 105 groupset and Fulcrum Racing Sport Disc wheels. Claimed weight is 8.73kg. There’s also a women’s model, the Venon L Disc, for the same price.
Vitus Zenium SL Pro Disc
Moving into Vitus’ range of aluminium disc bikes and, as we’ve already mentioned, there are two frames. The lightweight Zenium SL frame is made from hydroformed 6066-T6 triple-butted aluminium, while the slightly heavier (but more affordable) Zenium frame is made from triple-butted 6061-T6 aluminium. Like the Venon, it’s thru-axles for the Zenium SL and Zenium bikes.
The £1,499.99 Zenium SL Pro Disc caught our eye, with the Shimano Ultegra groupset, Fulcrum Racing 5 Disc wheels and TRP Spyre disc brakes (that’s the same build kit as the Venon VR Disc) keeping the claimed weight respectably low at 8.55kg. Otherwise the Zenium SL Disc gets a Shimano 105 groupset for £1,299.99.
If you move down into the regular Zenium range then there are two bikes: the Zenium VR Disc with Shimano 105 for £999.99 and the Zenium Disc with the latest iteration of Shimano Tiagra (complete with four-arm chainset) for £899.99. Both bikes have Fulcrum Racing Sport Disc wheels.