Is the new Vitus ZX-1 EVO the best value aero bike of 2021?

The ZX-1 EVO is an all-new aero bike from Vitus that takes a full bike rather chassis-only approach

Vitus ZX-1 Evo aero road bike

Vitus has introduced an updated version of the ZX-1 aero road bike. The ZX-1 EVO is said to be lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic than its predecessor – that’s a given, of course – but the real story here is the value, with the £2,800 base model coming with a Shimano 105 groupset and, most notably, carbon Reynolds wheels.

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The original ZX-1 was a big success for Vitus and became the bike of choice for Vitus’s pro team riders.

Even with the success of the ZX-1, Vitus looked at revamping the bike to further improve aerodynamics but also incorporate the geometry and handling of its lightweight race bike, the Vitesse EVO.

The result is a bike that’s fully integrated, with Vitus using FSA’s clever SMR ACS stem to move all the cables and hydraulic hoses inside.

The range includes six bikes from £2,800 to £5,400, all sharing the same frame and offering impressive value on paper, at a time when aero bikes appear to be more expensive than ever.

What you need to know about the new ZX-1 EVO

  • Lighter, stiffer and more aero than the previous ZX-1
  • Every model gets full cable integration designed in partnership with FSA
  • Every model gets carbon aero bars as standard
  • Geometry is based on the Vitesse EVO
  • Size-specific fork for the same ride quality, whatever the size
  • Six models from £2,800 to £5,400

Usually, when we get wind of an aero-road bike launch, we’d expect a barrage of aero claims, advantages over rivals with grams of drag trimmed and watts saved, etc. However, Vitus’s approach has been much simpler.

For the ZX-1 EVO, Vitus admits that out in the real world there are too many variables that make most aero claims fairly meaningless to you and me. Even to the extent of naming examples: sock height, helmet choice, rider flexibility, and even if you can super-tuck (though not in any races, of course).

What’s also refreshing from the brand is that it’s the whole bike, not just an aerodynamic chassis, that gets the aero treatment. This means that no matter which model you choose, from the base Shimano 105 model up to the flagship Red AXS, every bike gets aero wheels, fully integrated cables and a carbon aero bar.

This is typical for pricier bikes, of course, but on the entry-level ZX-1 CR EVO Shimano 105 model (£2,799) you’d expect to have to upgrade to something aero – most of Vitus’s competition still spec a ‘training’ wheelset – but it gets full-fat Reynolds AR 58/62 aero wheels (that’s a 58mm deep front and 62mm deep rear).

These wheels on their own retail at around £1,200, so are impressive to find on a sub-£3,000 bike. Not only that, you get the clever internal routing design of FSA’s SMR ACS stem and a full carbon aero bar from Prime.