Vitus' short history since its revival, in partnership with online giants Chain Reaction, has seen a steady progression of bikes packed with value and good enough to race professionally with An-Post.
The Vitesse Evo Disc is its latest UCI approved frameset, it combines a lightweight high-mod carbon frame with flat-mount disc fittings and thru-axles front and rear, making it bang up to date with emerging disc brake tech.
My 58cm test bike features a mid-height, 175mm head tube, set at a steep 73.5-degree angle (though both head and seat angles vary dependent on size to maintain toe-overlap clearance and handling feel). The 73-degree seat angle keeps things similarly aggressive, and the on-bike poise makes the Evo every inch the bike born to race.
The Evo’s all-up weight may be only a middling 8.75kg, but out on the road this doesn’t translate into any sort of sluggish feel even on bigger climbs.
The running gear of the less often seen Vision Team 30 disc wheels have a claimed weight of 2.1kgs, but they spin up to speed well, while the wider 23.7mm x 30mm deep rim with an internal width of 18.9mm shape the excellent Michelin Pro tyres beautifully. This gives a wide, compliant profile that sucks up both the road ahead and the bumps underneath with ease.
The Vitesse maintains its pace on rolling and flat terrain brilliantly, and the close ratio 11-26 cassette eliminates any big jumps making it a great bike for smooth cadence riders.
On the road
I'm mightily impressed with the Vitesse’s composed handling, it's snappy enough to commit to a gap, yet balanced and stable enough to exploit fast downhill descents and rely on the excellent 805 hydraulic Shimano discs to get your speed regulated — this is one controllable, confident handling bike.
The on-bike feel is one that drifts towards the firm side, it's countered well by some compliance in the fork that reduces buzz reaching your fingers, and the great quality of the tyres adds to the impression that this bike was specced by a tech team that rides and doesn’t just ride Excel spreadsheets.
The FSA cockpit is from the mid-price Gossamer range and it’s the usual quality FSA fare. I like the mid-compact drop of the bar and the stiff, flex-free combo of bar and stem.
The negatives are the own-brand saddle, which while unobtrusively shaped and on the slender racy side, has a weird combination of narrow shape and soft padding. The glossy cover is slippery against Lycra and the squishy feel soon gives way to the stiff hull, meaning I never got truly settled or comfortable. Saddles are a personal thing and one of the first changes most riders make, so I can forgive its lackluster performance.
The Vitus is only available direct from Chain Reaction, so you need to be confident in your size requirements before ordering; thankfully the vitusbikes.com site is packed with details and a decent sizing guide.
So what it all amounts to is a very well-equipped machine for the money (it outclasses plenty of its rivals on spec costing £500 more). The firm ride isn’t overly so, and it handles sweetly. The finishing is good if the graphics and paint scheme are a little uninspiring, but if you want a bike that’s fast, fun and at a great price, you could do a lot worse than the Vitesse Evo.