Updated for 2021, the Vitus Vitesse EVO is a lightweight, disc-only race bike, and the ride of choice for the Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK UCI Continental team.
The Vitesse EVO range starts at £1,999.99 / $2,599 for a bike with Shimano 105 and I’ve been testing a £3,699.99 / $4,499.99 model with Ultegra Di2.
The new bike has a similar overall personality to its predecessor. It’s stiff, fast and fun, but best suited to performance-oriented riders – others may find it too firm and focused for the everyday.
Vitus Vitesse EVO frameset and geometry
We’ve covered the standout features of the updated Vitesse EVO frameset in our launch story, but the key details are that it’s built around a frame weighing a claimed 910g for a medium with paint, plus a newly redesigned 370g fork.
Vitus has upped lateral stiffness in all the key areas and, while there are no specific claims about drag reduction, the new design features aero tube profiles.
Like so many others, the new Vitesse EVO also moves to dropped seatstays, a favourite way for designers to to add rear-end compliance.
Standards-wise the Vitus is very up-to-date, with 12mm thru-axles front and rear, flat-mount brakes and a BB386 EVO bottom bracket shell.
There’s also room for 30mm tyres, and apparently most 32s will fit too depending on the rim-tyre combo.
Where some new bikes have moved to fully integrated cabling, Vitus has taken the middle road, with the front brake hose running into the left fork leg, and the rest of the cables sharing a port on the non-driveside of the frame.
A nice little detail that I really like is the seat clamp. It’s a pretty standard looking wedge design that sits flush with the top tube but, unlike most, the bolt is angled forward, meaning you can access it with a standard multi-tool without the seatpost getting in the way.
In geometry terms, the Vitesse EVO is pure race bike, with this medium sporting 387mm of reach and 547mm of stack. The wheelbase is at the shorter, racier end of the spectrum too at 991mm.
Vitus Vitesse EVO CRS Di2 build
It’s not the top-of-the-range model, but the Vitesse EVO CRS offers a seriously appealing spec, with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, Reynolds AR 29 DB carbon wheels and a mix of carbon and alloy finishing kit.
To keep costs down, Vitus has opted for the full Ultegra Di2 groupset minus the chain, from KMC, and the cassette, a Sunrace 11-32.
Chain substitutions are very common but the latter might raise eyebrows among groupset purists.
Saying that, it performs just fine and features a red anodised spider that will appeal to component bling magpies.
At 29.5mm at their broadest point, the Reynolds wheels are very slightly wider than they are tall, and the internal width of 21mm is well suited to bigger tyres.
Despite this, Vitus has opted for 25mm Schwalbe One TLE tubeless tyres – a perfectly respectable choice, but it’s a little disappointing not to see the top-spec Pro One on a bike like this, and most riders would probably be better served by 28s too.
My test bike arrived set up fully tubeless, incidentally, but bikes are supplied with tubes fitted so buyers will need to swap in the supplied valves and add sealant.
While carbon seatposts are de rigueur at this price, carbon bars are not, so the Prime carbon bar is a welcome choice for the cockpit. I can’t fault any of the finishing kit, although, as ever, saddles will be a personal thing.
This medium test bike weighs 7.6kg without pedals, which is pretty respectable for a bike with discs, although not exceptional.
Riding the Vitus Vitesse EVO
The Vitesse EVO is a race bike through and through, and with that comes a super-stiff frameset with a relatively uncompromising ride quality that belies its slender aesthetics.
In fact, it’s strongly reminiscent of the original Vitesse Evo I rode back in 2016, and that’s no bad thing as long as you’re in the mood for going fast.
You could take some of the edge off with fatter tyres, but as standard the Vitesse EVO is a firm ride that puts you in touch with the surface beneath you.
It’s engaging and accurate, but this isn’t the sort of road bike that lends itself to gravel diversions – it’s very much an on-tarmac racer.
The Vitesse EVO feels light, taut and efficient when you’re climbing and with a semi-compact crank and a wide range 11-32 cassette the range of gears is ample.
Ultegra Di2 needs no introduction incidentally – it’s still one of our favourite groupsets and it’s as good as ever here, and seems to work perfectly with the Sunrace cassette.
Vitus made mention of having redesigned to fork to eliminate disc rub and I certainly didn’t suffer any, although this is something you’d be more likely to experience with a SRAM groupset anyway because the brake pads run closer to the rotor than Shimano ones.
In any case, it’s nice to see bike designers paying attention to this because minor disc rub is an annoyance on many bikes.
As a lighter rider, I really appreciate the Reynolds AR 29 DB wheels, which seem to be almost completely immune to wind.
My testing coincided with Storm Francis battering the UK and despite gusts topping 50mph, I found them remarkably controllable, presumably thanks to that super-blunt rim section.
I suspect those of you with competitive ambitions would prefer something with a taller section and more explicit aero features, but as an all-round choice the Reynolds are ideal.
Vitus Vitesse EVO verdict: a capable race bike that will suit competitive riders
The Vitus Vitesse EVO offers a very competitive spec for the money and it’s matched to a frameset that delivers the goods, as long as it’s a racy ride you’re after.
It might be too focused for more casual riders, but if you’re looking for a proper race bike with up-to-date features and don’t want to spend Tarmac SL7 money it’s worth your attention.
|Price||AUD $6399.99EUR €4199.99GBP £3699.99USD $4499.99|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL|
|Handlebar||Prime Primavera X-Light Carbon|
|Tyres||Schwalbe One Performance TLE 25mm|
|Stem||Prime Doyenne 6061 aluminium|
|Shifter||Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2|
|Seatpost||Prime Primavera carbon|
|Saddle||Vitus Ti rails|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Ultegra Di2|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Ultegra Di2|
|Bottom bracket||BB386EVO press-fit|
|Frame||Vitesse Evo Carbon|
|Cranks||Shimano Ultegra 52/36|
|Cassette||Sunrace CSRX1 11-32|
|Brakes||Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc|
|Wheels||Reynolds AR 29 DB carbon clincher|