Gear News

Vitus Vitesse Evo Team – first ride

An Post-Chain Reaction team bike arrives for review - here are our first impressions

A French marque with a long history in frame building, these days Vitus are owned by Chain Reaction Cycles and have become the online retailer’s showcase brand.

They supply bikes to the An Post-Chain Reaction team – in fact, the flagship, £2,999 Vitus Vitesse Evo that’s arrived at RoadCyclingUK for review is exactly the same as the one you’ll see the An Post boys riding this season.

Early impressions: light and lively

Frame construction is a mix of Toray t800 and t1000 high-modulus carbon fibre built around an FSA BB386 Evo bottom bracket and asymmetric rear stays. It also uses sloping geometry, another feature becoming more popular as manufacturers look for extra ways to add more comfort to their frames.

Meshing together a combination of Shimano and FSA components, the drivetrain on the Vitesse is Dura-Ace derailleurs, shifters and cassette paired to FSA SL-K brakes and chainset. The Italians also provide the stem, bars and seatpost from their SL-K range too, so there’s tried and tested quality in the finishing kit and it gives the bike a smart, uniform look.

The whole build weighs in at a claimed 7.2kg for our 54cm test bike. I’ll be getting it on the scales to check the accuracy of that claimed weigh shortly, but it’s certainly a pretty light bike which is just as well as my new test loop includes a hill that steepens to 14 per cent near the top which isn’t necessarily my idea of a ‘warm-up’. More like a baptism of fire on every ride! It certainly seems, at first ride, to be a climbing bike at heart. There’s none of the aero styling that characterises a lot of modern bikes and, in fact, if I had to liken it to anything it would be a slightly shorter (wheelbase-wise) version of Canyon’s Ultimate CF, with a lower front end.

With that in mind I headed off to find some hills to ride, and after a few hours of up and down, I came away with a few initial thoughts on the ride. The first is that climbing on the Vitesse is fun. It’s light, responsive and the sort of bike that responds equally well whether you’re in or out of the saddle.

You definitely know this a race bike, though. It handles awful road surfaces with very little of the cushioning you’d get from an endurance-oriented bike and although I wouldn’t describe the ride as uncomfortable by any means, the stiffness that a bike designed to be raced by people with far more power than myself needs is definitely noticeable.

I’ll be logging more miles over the coming weeks, so look out for a full review of the Vitus Vitesse Evo Team in the not too distant future.

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