BUYER'S GUIDE

Chain Reaction’s Vitus road bikes – a buyer’s guide

Get to know your Zenium from your Venon and your Razor from your Vitesse

Vitus Bikes first emerged as a frame builder in 1970s France. They now describe themselves as part of ‘the Chainreactioncycles.com family’ which gives a hint as to where you’ll find their current range of bikes.

The Vitus name has been around for a while. For many, they're remembered for their bonded 979 aluminium frames in the late Seventies and early Eighties. The small diameter tubes were revolutionary at the time and offered plenty of comfort but at the expense of a certain amount of rigidity. They were also known for being early adopters of carbon.

Nowadays Vitus offer direct sales through Chain Reaction Cycles. Their current range of road bikes comprises (in escalating order of price) the Razor, Zenium, Venon and Vitesse. Let’s take a look at what distinguishes them from each other.

The versions here are from the 2017 range. A 2018 selection is probably imminent, as many manufacturers are already shipping 2018 model year bikes. Prices listed are RRP, but are currently all about 10% cheaper on the site.

Vitus Razor — from £449.99

Just to keep you on your toes, there’s a Razor, a Razor VR and a Razor VRL. Throw in a few of last year’s models and it all becomes a bit overwhelming.

The standard version of the Razor comes with Claris gearing (an eight-speed rear cassette with a 50x34T chainset), a carbon bladed fork and Vitus alloy wheels. From there, the VR and the VRL – which is a ladies’ version of the VR – are upgraded with Sora gears with a nine-speed cassette.

Check out our review of the 2016 Razor VR

Vitus Zenium — from £899.99

Next up, the Zenium, with its even more alphabetically-complex sub-categorisation. Here we get a standard version, an L, a VR Disc, an SL Disc and an SL Pro Disc. As you probably guessed, the entire range features discs.

The standard version features an alloy frame, a full carbon fork, Shimano Tiagra gearing with a 10-speed cassette and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels. The L is the women’s version of this bike, while the VR Disc steps up to 11-speed 105.

Slightly more expensive than the VR Disc is the Zenium SL. It boasts a ‘superlight’ alloy frame with hydraulic brakes and the same Shimano 105 gear setup. The SL Pro is much the same but further improved with a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset and hydraulic brakes.

Read our review of the 2017 Vitus Zenium SL Disc.

Vitus Venon — from £1,599.99

The Venon sees us move into carbon fibre territory. There’s a men’s and women’s version of the bike plus a Venon VR. The former have a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels, while the VR is further enhanced with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Vision Team 30 wheels.

Read our review of the 2014 version of the Vitus Venon.

Vitus Vitesse — from £1799.99

Top of the range is the Vitus Vitesse, for which there is an EVO, an Evo Disc, an EVO VRi and an EVO Team. These are based around the UCI-approved carbon fibre frame that was raced throughout the 2016 season by the An Post Chain Reaction team.

The EVO features a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. The Disc version also get Ultegra with hydraulic brakes while the EVO VRI brings electronic gears in the form of the Shimano Ultegra Di2 system. Finally, the EVO Team boasts the majority of a Dura-Ace groupset with a fully carbon FSA crankset and Vision Team 30 wheels.

Mat took this for a spin back in January 

[This article was last updated on August 10, 2017]

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Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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