Italian brand Viner started back in 1947. But in more recent times financial troubles lead to it being acquired by the ever expanding Planet X empire to sit alongside their broad stable of marques including British classic name Holdsworth, titanium specialist Titus, plus On-One and of course Planet X.
The Mitus 0.6 is every inch a race bike. Its short in wheelbase at just 990mm, low at the front with its 557.5mm stack and 155mm head tube, and sharp angled with a steep 73.5 head angle and 73 seat. It’s also light at 900g for the frame, but mightily stiff with it – no surprise when you consider this is the bike the IDEA 2010 pro team will be using for 2015.
The finishing kit on the bike showcases Planet X’s talent for picking lesser-known yet high-quality brands – by not following fashion it's been able to put together a seriously good package for the money.
Up front there’s a pairing of Selcof bar and stem. The latter is a work of CNCed art – smooth-lined, massively stiff and great looking to boot, though we’d have preferred a longer unit than the 100mm one supplied. Should you choose to buy a Mitus that can be changed, however, as Planet-X build bikes to order. The lay-back seatpost also comes from Selcof – its large carbon head tapers sharply to a standard round post. It's top-class, and offers plenty of comfort-giving flex when out on the road.
The wheels are also impressive – Ambrosio Excellight SSC rims, handbuilt on mirror polished Ambrosio Zenith hubs with stainless double-butted spokes are a great advert for the traditional wheel. The box-section rims have a perfect brake surface, the hubs are noticeably smooth and the two-cross spoking gives the wheels plenty of life, adding to the responsiveness of the whole bike.
The rolling stock is further enhanced with a brilliant set of tyres, in the form of Vittoria’s Open Corsa CX – an impressive choice on a bike at this price.
The groupset is wholly Campagnolo Chorus with no omissions or corners cut. Campagnolo always impresses with the rapid nature of its shifts and the positive mechanical feel throughout. If you're anything like us you’ll also appreciate an Italian bike being fitted with Campag – it just feels like that’s how it should be.
The Mitus ride is firm, yet never uncomfortable with a very positive response to pedal inputs. The 0.6 seems to pulse forward with every pedal stroke willing you to push yourself faster. It's geared accordingly for an out-and-out race bike, combining a standard 53/39 with a close ratio 11-25 cassette. That makes it seriously quick, though you’ll also need some serious legs to push on at speed on steeper slopes. That said we made it up and over every climb of our test loop, and in fact the Vitus felt less of a handful than we'd expected thanks to its lack of overall mass.
The handling is sharp, indeed incredibly quick to respond, and if you're not completely focused that can make this bike something of a handful. Late into our big test ride, when our minds have turned to a post ride drink (and perhaps a cake), we caught ourselves out reacting late in a fast corner – we just didn’t expect the bike to respond quite so quickly.
With the long low ride position (despite the short stem), tall gearing and sharp handling the Vitus certainly isn’t a bike for everyone, but if you like your bikes light, fast and with lightning quick handling you simply won’t find better (or better equipped) for the price.