Vitus Vitesse Evo review

A pro ride without the pro price tag

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,900.00 RRP | AUD $4,008.00 | USD $2,450.00

Our review

A generous spec and a pro-approved frameset make this quite the bargain
Buy if, You want a great deal on a proper, pro-approved race bike
Pros: Stiff, racy and rewarding frameset; value for money
Cons: Focused and aggressive persona won’t suit everyone; looks a little… ordinary?
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As well as the delightful alloy Zenium SL, BikeRadar’s recent sojourn in Spain gave us the opportunity to ride Vitus’ top-end carbon frame, the Vitesse Evo. The Evo is the bike Continental team An Post-Chain Reaction has been racing for the last two seasons, and even if you plump for the cheapest spec, you still get exactly the same frameset the pros ride.


Understated and rich of spec

The evo offers an impressive spec for the money, with quality shimano ultegra components even on the cheapest model.

The Vitesse Evo’s carbon frameset is textbook modern race bike stuff, tied up in a package that’s refreshingly-gimmick free. Vitus has taken the radical step of not writing acronyms on every part of the frame, and it’s a design that’s mostly made of straight lines, making for a clean and uncomplicated, if slightly ordinary looking bike. Vitus claims a reasonable if not exceptional weight of 840g for the frame alone – not record breaking, but very respectable.

The frame’s stiffness comes courtesy of the obligatory oversized downtube, a huge BB386EVO-standard bottom bracket shell, and some substantial chainstays. Comfort-adding features are equally unsurprising, with slim seatstays, a profiled top tube and a sensibly narrow 27.2mm seatpost promising compliance. Aesthetic bells and whistles are limited to tidy fully internal cabling and a low key livery – the latter is part of the weight savings actually, as the frame sports waterslide decals and lacquer rather than any paint.

Waterslide decals and a coat of lacquer save weight over a full paintjob.

While the team uses Campagnolo groupsets exclusively, Vitus sells the Evo in three different Shimano-equipped builds, of which the mechanical Ultegra version on test here is the cheapest. There’s no short-changing on the components, with the only substitution being a good-quality KMC chain.

The wheels are Mavic’s cheapest version of the Ksyrium – not exotic, but dependable stuff, and higher in spec than the rolling stock many bikes at this price level get. They’re shod with 25mm rubber, and if you want bigger this isn’t the bike for you as clearances are fairly tight.

A racy ride for racy riders

I put the evo to the test in the hills around Calpe, Spain.

It’s a horrible reviewer’s cliché to say that a bike goes where you point it (I’ve never ridden one that didn’t), but there’s no doubt that the Evo’s taut frame contributes to a feeling of precision when you’re descending – it’s a thoroughly satisfying bike to throw down a hill.

My test ride, which my Garmin tells me took in 93km and 2457m of climbing, included long, technical descents with plenty of fast sweeping turns as well as tight hairpins.

The Evo felt right at home in this terrain and despite a lack of familiarity with the roads, I felt quite secure hammering down them with abandon, braking hard and late before turning in with my weight pressing on the outside pedal.

Simply put, this is a fun bike to ride quickly and this racy personality makes for pleasant ascending too. The comparatively modest Mavic clinchers did nothing to blunt its sprightly climbing abilities and those chunky tube profiles certainly seem to have the desired effect, with none of the fun-robbing flex of lesser machines evident.

If you’re getting dropped on the evo, the problem isn’t the bike.

If there’s a downside, I’ll need some rougher roads than the ones in Spain to find it. In that environment the bike excels, but the relative firmness over the rare potholes I did encounter suggests the Evo might feel a little too focused for UK riders who aren’t interested in going fast all the time.

It’s certainly not a harsh ride, but it’s relatively uncompromising, and in fit terms it’s fairly aggressive too.

The Evo isn’t unique in its abilities – it’s just a thoroughly competent machine and a well-priced one too. There are very few bikes under two grand that get the same frameset the pros are riding, so for that reason alone it’s worth your attention. We’d like to see some more daring colour schemes than the ones currently offered, but for our money, it’s quite the ride.


Also consider:

Lapierre Xelius SL 600

It’s a pro-approved frame with a smart selection of components bolted to it, it looks great, and the ride is excellent. Read our full Lapierre Xelius SL 600 review.

Specialized Tarmac Comp

With fine handling and a great drivetrain, the Tarmac Comp is ideal for a brand-loyal fan who wants a familiar, fuss-free, fast-riding bike for frequent forays in to racing and beyone. Read our full Specialized Tarmac Comp review.

BMC Teammachine SLR02 105

Some bikes are responsive, but the SLR02 is borderline telepathic. If every you want a demonstration, just stand on the pedals, anywhere. Read our full BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 review.

Product Specifications


Name Vitesse Evo
Brand Vitus

Available Sizes 49cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm 62cm
Rear Tyre Mavic Yksion Elite
Wheelbase (cm) 97.46
Top Tube (cm) 54.5
Seat Tube (cm) 50
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Spoke Type Mavic Ksyrium 25
Weight (kg) 7.59
Stem Vitus
Shifters Shimano Ultegra 6800
Seatpost Vitus
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Prologo Scratch Pro
Rims Mavic Ksyrium 25
Rear Hub Mavic Ksyrium 25
Brakes Shimano Ultegra 6800
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800
Headset Type FSA Orbit C-40-ACB
Head Angle 73
Handlebar Vitus compact
Front Tyre Mavic Yksion Elite
Front Hub Mavic Ksyrium 25
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800
Frame Weight 840
Frame Material High-modulus T700 HM-UD carbon
Fork High-modulus T700 HM-UD carbon
Cranks Shimano Ultegra 6800
Chain KMC X11L
Cassette Shimano 105 5800
Frame size tested 54cm