Vitus Energie VR | £1,199 | 9.03kg
The alloy frame and full carbon fork of the Energie VR have been constructed predominantly with cyclo-cross racing in mind, but with a nod to customers wanting to turn the bike to gravel/adventure riding too.
Tubing profiles, especially on the top tube and down tube, are designed to counter side-to-side movement and also for comfort so that the rider can take the fastest line, no matter what the obstacle, without getting rattled to pieces.
The SRAM Rival 1 set-up not only keeps things simple and lightweight during a race, but also creates space for really decent mud clearance, allowing the bike to take up to 45c tyres for 700C wheels and even 29x2.1, or 50c if you’re running 650b wheels and are really wanting to head out on the trails, as well as the ability to run mudguards thanks to the integrated mounts.
With carrying in mind, a rounded underside to the top tube has been included in the design.
We hit the road with the bike straight out of the box. Its handling was, in a word, rapid. The Vitus was punchy and highly responsive to swinging in and out of corners and pulling away from junctions but it was on the off-road sections that it really shone. It did feel fast and with gear shifting simplified to one shifter, it leaves you to purely focus on picking your lines through the muddy, rocky trail. It was noticeably harder not having a smaller ring to spin in, but it did feel like the effort was rewarded by speed. Having to shoulder the bike on steeper sections was made easy thanks to a reasonably light weight of 9.03kg — it was a breeze to run up precipitous climbs with. When descending, both on tarmac and trail, we were surprised how much positive feedback the bike gave, allowing us to lean in to the corners more than usual.
The Vitus Energie VR is fantastic fun to ride and has the ability to make you grin from ear to ear on the race track, or stick on some mudguards and panniers and head off for an overnight bike-packing weekender.
Frame: 7046-T6 Lightweight Aluminium Fork: T700 Uni Directional Carbon-fibre Groupset: SRAM 11s Rival 1x hydraulic brake
Wheels: WTB STP i23 Rims, Novatec Disc Hubs
Tyres: WTB Cross Boss Contact www.vitusbikes.com
“You can take the fastest line no matter what the obstacle” score 9
Groupset The Vitus gets a SRAM groupset one up the pecking order from the Canyon CLEARANCE Energie VR frame has clearance for up to 42mm tyres