Vi­tus Vitesse Evo CRI £3,199.99 |

Michelle Arthurs-bren­nan gets to grips with a jack of all trades

Cycling Weekly - - TECH BIKE TEST -

“On smooth roads, it felt fast: planted to the tarmac, di­rect and an­i­mated”

De­vel­oped along­side the now dis­banded An Post Chain Re­ac­tion team, the goal with the Vitesse was to cre­ate an all-round race bike that would be ca­pa­ble of ev­ery­thing from the Spring Clas­sics to the high moun­tains of France.

So it’s a jack of all trades, which leads me to ques­tion: is it a mas­ter of none?

Avail­able with rim or disc brakes, the Vitesse is the light­est bike on of­fer from Vi­tus and is also very stiff, us­ing a BB 386 Evo and asym­met­ric chain­stays.

Of course, with great stiff­ness can come great dis­com­fort. In a bid to al­le­vi­ate this, Vi­tus has used a 27.2mm car­bon seat­post and kept the seat­stays skinny.

As a race bike, the ge­om­e­try is de­signed with a need for speed. In reach, our size 52 was a tad shorter than a Spe­cial­ized Tarmac and a Can­non­dale Su­per­six Evo, but only by 4-5mm, so noth­ing that couldn’t be solved by swap­ping the 100mm stem for a 110mm. The drop is a bit shal­lower than the Tarmac, but greater than on the Su­per­six by 2mm, so we’re firmly in road race ter­ri­tory.

It took a ride or two on the Ul­te­gra Di2 disc-equipped test bike to ad­just to the lay­out com­pared to my stan­dard, but it felt pretty spot on once I’d made some changes to the fin­ish­ing kit. Be­hind the 40cm han­dle­bars — stan­dard for a uni­sex bike of this size — I felt like I was at the wheel of a trac­tor but as soon as I swapped them for a 38cm of my choice, the Vitesse im­me­di­ately came alive. On smooth roads, it felt fast: planted to the tarmac, di­rect and an­i­mated.

The frame car­ries a no­tably pos­i­tive drive which seemed to push me up the climbs, and tucked into my best at­tempt at an aero crouch, it felt speedy on the flat too.

What let it down were rough roads, where what had felt like a stun­ningly di­rect and nat­u­ral ride was re­placed with the tinny clat­ter of harsh car­bon — even when rid­ing at 80psi.

I like a fast, stiff race bike as much as any­one — but faced with a stretch of un­made tarmac, I don’t want to feel like I’ve been trans­ported to the rock gar­dens of Afan for­est.

Spend more on the frame and sac­ri­fice the swanky spec, and you could have both stiff­ness and com­pli­ance, in­stead of only the for­mer, as is the case here.

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