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Brand new £1,149 carbon fibre sportive bike from Chain Reaction Cycles gets a once-over

Vitus Bikes are available exclusively through Chain Reaction Cycles, and they've just sent in this brand new £1,149 carbon-framed Venon for testing. Vitus was bought by Chain Reaction Cycles a few years ago, and since then they’ve been  producing a smart range of road bikes with input from 'Brand Ambassador - Sean Kelly'. Sean of course rode a Vitus to many of his great victories.

The Venon disappeared from the 2013 range but is back for 2014, having been taken back to the drawing board. It’s billed as a sportive bike and features a brand new frame constructed from T700 high-modulus unidirectional carbon fibre. Vitus say the bike has been designed with comfort in mind, as you’d expect for a sportive machine, with shaped and skinny seatstays intended to smooth out the road.

Also providing extra comfort for the rider is the taller head tube. Slotting into it is a fork also made from the same grade of T700 carbon fibre, with a tapered steerer tube, something we’re seeing trickle down to much bikes of this price much more, when once they only featured on top-end bikes. 

While comfort has been a clear design criteria for the revamped Venon, it’s clear from the oversized bottom bracket and chainstays that it should deliver when the pace gets going.

Available are five sizes from 49 to 60cm, we have the 55cm in for testing. Geometry, if you’re interested, is 395.51mm reach and 482.79mm stack,  551mm effective top tube, 150mm head tube, 992.4mm wheelbase and a 73° head angle and 74.3° seat angle.

This is the entry-level Venon costing £1,149, and there are another three bikes using the same frame but posher components, stretching to the Venon VRS costing £1,699. The groupset on this model is a mix of Shimano Tiagra shifters and derailleurs with an FSA Omega chainset. It’s a compact 50/34 which in combination with the 11-28t Tiagra cassette should provide ample ratios for scaling the steepest inclines.

Braking duties are taken care of with the Tektro R315 dual pivot calipers. The Venon also features a chain catcher, mounted to the seat tube to ensure the chain can’t fall off onto the bottom bracket shell.

Wider tyres are sweeping through the industry, offering more comfort and traction with no increase in rolling resistance, and it’s good to see the Venon equipped with 25mm Kenda tyres. They’re mounted to smart-looking wheels Vitus branded wheels with a 30mm deep-section rim profile and alloy hubs.

 

The handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle all wear a Vitus Elite label, the parts are all made from aluminium and a nice touch are the colour coded decals. The all-important weight is 9kg (19.8lb) on the nose.

The Venon is heading out to be tested now. We came away impressed with the £1,799 Vitesse we tested last year, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new Venon performs. The £1,000 to £1,200 road bike market is a fiercely competitive place, and we've had a few similarly priced bikes in recently. Most recently there's the Trek Domane 2.0 of course, the Mekk Poggio 1.5 road bike and also the HOY Sa Calobra 003. We'll let you know how we get on soon.

More at www.vitusbikes.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

7 comments

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gmac101 [184 posts] 3 years ago
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This is nothing to do with this bike - but why do Tektro put that piece of black tape on their brakes for delivery - see photo 18
Does anybody know?  7

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rojre [37 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd be interested to know the answer to the bit of tape on the Tektro brakes as well gmac101. I'v got that bit of tape on the brakes that came with my Kona and its still there after a the whole of last summer on that bike and i was asked but couldnt give an answer. Im worried the bike will fall to bits if i take it off.

Avatar
CanAmSteve [257 posts] 3 years ago
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gmac101 wrote:

This is nothing to do with this bike - but why do Tektro put that piece of black tape on their brakes for delivery - see photo 18
Does anybody know?  7

I suspect a wee bit of trolling, but it's not just Tektro (Shimano and SRAM also do it) and it is to prevent an uninstalled brake arm from being marred by its partner. With no cable tension to keep the arms "sprung" they rub against each other, possibly creating a mark that one-of-those-customers would whinge about  1

I suppose removing the tape could be seen as part of bike prep, but then leaving it on "proves" new parts were used. Bit like those plastic seat covers and paper floor mats in new cars (well, the last time I actually sat in a new car...)

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pedalingparamedic [94 posts] 3 years ago
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"Geometry, if you’re interested, is 395.51mm reach and 482.79mm stack"

Wow, they sure are mightily accurate figures!!

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 3 years ago
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A sportive bike, designed with comfort in mind, but with 482mm stack on a 55cm frame? The 56cm Madone H2 is 577mm. Is it *really* nearly 10cm lower at the front? I couldn't ride it, and I'm not *that* inflexible, the Roubaix or Domane for example would be too tall for me.

Avatar
gmac101 [184 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
CanAmSteve wrote:
gmac101 wrote:

This is nothing to do with this bike - but why do Tektro put that piece of black tape on their brakes for delivery - see photo 18
Does anybody know?  7

I suspect a wee bit of trolling, but it's not just Tektro (Shimano and SRAM also do it) and it is to prevent an uninstalled brake arm from being marred by its partner. With no cable tension to keep the arms "sprung" they rub against each other, possibly creating a mark that one-of-those-customers would whinge about  1

I suppose removing the tape could be seen as part of bike prep, but then leaving it on "proves" new parts were used. Bit like those plastic seat covers and paper floor mats in new cars (well, the last time I actually sat in a new car...)

No trolling intended - The only new bike I have had tektro brakes! Thanks for the explanation - I thought it might be something like that

Avatar
LM805 [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Will the review for this be up soon?

I swear I have seen that frame before...

I might be mistaken but is that an open mould frame?