Vitus updates its Zenium and Substance bikes and goes carbon

New reasonably-priced carbon fibre options

Vitus Bikes aims to deliver “the best bikes at the best possible prices,” and with two new carbon models, the Zenium Carbon and Substance CRX, it looks to be living up to that mantra.


Vitus Zenium Carbon 2019

The 2019 Zenium features a carbon frame and fork
Laurence Crossman-Emms

The Zenium has been in the Vitus range of road bikes for the best part of a decade, and for good reason: this popular bike is known for its great value and all-round performance. It’s an everyday road bike that lends itself comfortably to a commute or a club outing, a weekend ride or the occasional race.

Vitus has changed everything and nothing with this latest Zenium. That is to say, it remains a workhorse, still every bit an affordable all-rounder, but it is reinvented in carbon fibre: fork and frame.

Vitus’s new Zenium CR
Laurence Crossman-Emms

Up front, a carbon fork and steerer keeps handling sharp, stating the Zenium’s continued intentions as race capable. At the other end of the bike, the seatstays are dropped (lowered in terms of their upper junction with the seat tube), which Vitus claims adds further comfort to the ride. This summarises the bike — nippy and capable, yet also forgiving and dependable.

There are three Zenium Carbon build options with an Ultegra option available later in the year.

The Zenium looks like a steal at under £1,000, equipped with mechanical TRP disc brakes and Shimano Tiagra drivetrain.

Our Bike of the Year Zenium CRW test bike comes with Shimano 105 drivetrain
Aoife Glass

The Zenium CR and CRW are slightly pricier, both costing £1,399, with near-identical build kits (except for some female-specific finishing kit on the CRW), including hydraulic Shimano 105 disc brakes and 105 drivetrain.

We have a Zenium CRW on test as part of our Bike of the Year, so you’ll be hearing more on that model soon.

Lever reach and bar and stem sizing specific to the women-specific Vitus Zenium CRW
Aoife Glass

The Vitus Zenium is available to buy exclusively from Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle

Vitus Substance 2019

Vitus Substance Carbon

The Substance is Vitus’s go-anywhere road bike. It isn’t billed specifically as a gravel bike, but as more of an all-rounder that can be ridden on all road surfaces and is ready for adventure. For 2019 there are three models in the Substance range: the Substance CRX, Substance and Substance FB.

The all-new carbon Substance CRX’s 650b wheels with high-volume 47c tyres and its luggage mounts should hint at the bike’s potential to take on the roughest of routes through the outback.