Vitus Mach 3 VRX Urban review

Urban specific Metrea-equipped machine made-over for 2019

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Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £900.00 RRP | USD $1,050.00 | AUD $1,500.00
Vitus Mach3 VRX Urban

Our review

Lively and nippy flat-bar bike with excellent braking and good comfort
Pros: Nippy handling, good visibility, great braking and a decent weight
Cons: The single-ring setup is simple and elegant but leaves a highish bottom gear
Skip to view product specifications

Metrea? A Greek goddess? One of the Marvel Avengers superheroes? Nope, it’s a bit more prosaic: it’s Shimano’s urban bike-specific groupset launched back in 2016 but still not seen that often. As for Mach 3, I don’t think you’re ever going to approach three times the speed of sound on this Vitus, which is pretty much the classic commuting ‘hybrid’ that most of us would imagine.

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That’s also how Vitus pictures it, calling the Mach 3 “a dedicated flat handlebar urban bike that’s geared towards commuting and darting around the urban jungle”. But Vitus continues: “It’s also perfect for getting away from it all and setting off on relaxing rides in the countryside at the weekend.” Is it right?

Vitus Mach3 VRX Urban
Braking from Shimano’s hydraulic discs is impeccable with power and control.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The copper finish is lovely – not sure about that kinked top-tube – and the Mach 3’s up-to-date features include radically dropped seatstays for rear-end comfort, mainly internal cable routing, a tapered full-carbon thru-axle fork and Metrea’s single-ring chainset and hydraulic flat mount brakes.

Vitus Mach3 VRX Urban
Metrea’s single-ring chainset.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The 42t chainring is paired with an 11-32 Shimano 105 cassette, which would have been seen as wide-ranging not that long ago. But two other bikes that I also have on test have ultra-wide cassettes with an 11-42 spread.

The Mach 3’s 42×11 combo gives a decent 106in top gear (a little below 50×12) but the bottom gear (roughly equivalent to 34×25) left me puffing and grunting my way up Bristol and Bath’s steeper slopes, of which I’m not exactly starved.

A pair of small bar-ends would have helped here, giving greater leverage when climbing out of the saddle. And I’d have also preferred flattened handlebar grips rather than the Mach 3’s round rubber grips – but that’s subjective and they’re easy and inexpensive to replace.

Vitus Mach3 VRX Urban
On the flat, the Mach 3 nips along delightfully, helped by quick, crisp gear changes.
Robert Smith

On the flat, however, the Mach 3 nipped along delightfully, helped by quick, crisp gear changes from the Metrea’s right-hand thumb-shifter and Shimano’s excellent hydraulic brakes, offering power and precision with minimal effort.

The handling is everything you want for urban riding. The position is upright for excellent visibility, the short stem makes for lively, fast-acting steering and the straight 62cm bar isn’t too wide to dodge through gaps in the traffic.

At less than 10kg the Mach 3’s decently light too. The 35mm Schwalbe Kojak tyres are, of course, slick and offer more comfort than a cheap suspension fork on tarmac and much better control, and though reasonably light they do feature a puncture-protection layer.

Vitus Mach3 VRX Urban
Solid, comfortable commuter bike with good kit and great brakes.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Practicalities are taken care of by rear rack mounts and front and rear mudguard fittings with plenty of clearance for full-size fenders. These contribute to a bike that really does hit the spot for commuting, even my 17-miler – though that route is largely flat.

Once again bar-ends would have helped with comfort. The Vitus Mach 3 is easily good enough for longer countryside rides, but the bottom gear might make any hillier away days hard work. But it’s a solid, comfortable commuter bike with good kit and great brakes.

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Vitus Mach 3 VRX Urban geometry (M)

  • Seat angle: 73.5 degrees
  • Head angle: 71 degrees
  • Chainstay: 43.7cm
  • Seat tube: 48cm
  • Top tube: 56cm
  • Head tube: 13.6
  • Fork offset: 4.8cm
  • Trail: 7cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 6.5cm
  • Bottom bracket height: 28.3cm
  • Wheelbase: 1,050mm
  • Stack: 39.9cm
  • Reach: 55.1cm

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $1500.00GBP £900.00USD $1050.00
Weight 9.83kg (M)
Brand Vitus

Features

Available sizes XS, S, M, L
Headset FSA full integrated
Tyres Schwalbe Kojak 700x35
Stem Vitus
Shifter Shimano Metrea
Seatpost Vitus 27.2mm
Saddle Vitus
Rear derailleur Shimano Metrea
Handlebar Vitus
Bottom bracket BSA
Frame 6061 aluminium
Fork Full-carbon, tapered
Cranks Shimano Metrea 42
Chain KMC X11
Cassette Shimano 105 11-32
Brakes Shimano UR300 hydraulic discs
Wheels Vitus 700c