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TECH NEWS

Vitus updates ZX-1 road bike “with a 45% reduction in drag”

New bike is also claimed to be lighter and stiffer while offering hidden cables at every price point

Vitus has redesigned its ZX-1 road bike to provide “up to 45% less drag than the previous ZX-1 when built as a full bike” – which is a massive claim.

Read our review of the Vitus ZX-1 

Despite claiming the above drag reduction, Vitus says that “we’re not going to tell you this bike will make you X seconds faster over X distance,” preferring to acknowledge the rider’s influence on how fast the bike will be.

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS Di2 - riding 1.jpg

“We know there are plenty of other ‘real world’ factors that can’t be accounted for in a wind tunnel, like what height your socks are, what helmet you’re wearing... or are you not quite flexible enough to get really low?”

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - front.jpg

The new ZX-1 has been in the wind tunnel, Vitus says, simply to validate their design decisions. If you are one of those riders that can tuck down low at the front end then the stack/reach ratio of 1.4 in the size medium will certainly help you to cut through the air. That is roughly the same as the model that it replaces although the effective top tube is a tad longer and the head tube is taller than that of the model we had in the office for a sneak peek back in 2017.

Drilling down into the geometry chart, the size medium has an effective top tube of 551mm. Down at the bottom of the bike, the front centre is 591mm, the chainstays measure 410mm, and the bottom bracket drop is 69mm. The wheelbase is kept to a tight 991mm. The head tube measures 129.6mm and this sits at an angle of 72.4º.

Those measurements are rather typical of modern aero race bikes that look to make a tucked down riding position accessible to regular riders.

How to read a bike geometry table: the numbers made easy

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - bars 1.jpg

When we reviewed the original ZX1 CRi back in 2018, we found that it offered a smooth ride, fantastic handling, and represented good value for money. For 2021, the ZX-1 has been made even more slippery in the wind, according to Vitus. Deeper tube shapes have been used in a totally redesigned frameset and you’ll also find a fully integrated front end for a clean look.

Vitus says that the new frameset reduces weight while also increasing stiffness. The lightest build that Vitus is advertising is the ZX-1 EVO CRX SRAM Red eTap AXS at 7.9kg.

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - fork.jpg

That’s not going to wow the weight weenies, but from the spec sheet, it is clear to see that the ZX-1 is designed to be fast on flat and rolling terrain. The build that we mentioned above comes with Reynolds AR62 tubeless-ready carbon disc wheels and a Vision Metron 5D ACR one-piece carbon bar/stem. Both of these parts have been chosen for their aero performance over anything else.

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - seat stay.jpg

Lower down the price range, Vitus switches away from the rather expensive Vision bar to a separate handlebar and stem. For the stem, Vitus opts for the FSA SMR ACR that allows it to run the brake and shift lines through a neat cover under the stem. The handlebar that Vitus specs is the Prime Primavera Carbon Aero. The bar again features internal routing though, unlike the Vision bar on the more expensive models, there will be some small sections of cable on show at the stem faceplate area.

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - bar and stem.jpg

While fully hidden cables have almost become the standard for road race bikes in the last year or so, there are a few different ways of achieving this aesthetically pleasing and slightly aero feature. Vitus, along with several other manufacturers, leans on FSA’s ACR (Aero Cable Routing) headset system.

FSA ACR consists of a regular lower headset bearing, with all of the magic happening in the upper headset bearing. This has been made larger than it needs to be for the standard 1-1/8in steerer tube. A compression ring sits between the steerer and the upper bearing with slots in it for the various brake and shift lines.

While the tech isn’t new, it is one of the few non-proprietary systems in use, meaning that several brands have used the technology. More bikes using the standard increases the likelihood of more aftermarket products becoming available.

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS - saddle and post.jpg

Finishing the bike is a carbon seat post that is specific to the ZX-1 frame, Reynolds AR 58/62 tubeless disc-brake wheels, Schwalbe One Performance TLE 25mm tyres and a Vitus Ti rail saddle.

The only deviation from Reynolds wheels comes at the ZX-1 EVO CR ETAP AXS (£3,599.99) which features SRAM's latest Rival ETAP AXS groupset. Your money seems to be going on the new groupset as the wheels are downgraded to the alloy Prime Attaquer Discs (£349.99).

ZX-1 EVO CRX ETAP AXS - £5,399.99

  • Weight: 7.9kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - SRAM Paceline Centrelock, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD 12 Speed
  • Wheels - Reynolds AR 58/62 DB Carbon Clincher, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - SRAM DUB 386EVO
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - SRAM Red AXS D1 DUB, 48-35T STEM N/A
  • Chain - SRAM Force D1
  • Handlebar - Vision Metron 5D ACR Carbon
  • Cassette - SRAM XG-1270 D1 10-33 12 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

ZX-1 EVO CRS ETAP AXS - £4,199.99

  • Weight: 8.2kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - SRAM Paceline Centrelock, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - SRAM Force AXS HRD 12 Speed
  • Wheels - Reynolds AR 58/62 DB Carbon Clincher, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - SRAM DUB 386EVO
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - SRAM Force AXS D1 DUB, 48-35T
  • Chain - SRAM Force D1
  • Handlebar - Vision Metron 5D ACR Carbon
  • Cassette - SRAM XG-1270 D1 10-33 12 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - SRAM Force eTap AXS D1
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

ZX-1 EVO CRS Di2 - £3,999.99

2021 Vitus ZX1 EVO CRS Di2 - riding 3.jpg
  • Weight: 8kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - Shimano ST-R800, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - Shimano Ultegra R8070 11 Speed
  • Wheels - Reynolds AR 58/62 DB Carbon Clincher, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - 386EVO 24
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - Shimano Ultegra R8000 52-36T
  • Chain - KMC X11
  • Handlebar - Vision Metron 5D ACR Carbon
  • Cassette - Sunrace CSRX1 11-32 11 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2 11 Speed
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

ZX-1 EVO CR ETAP AXS - £3,599.99

  • Weight: 8.2kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - SRAM Paceline Centrelock, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - SRAM Rival AXS HRD 12 Speed
  • Wheels - Prime Attaquer Disc, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - SRAM DUB 386EVO
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - SRAM Rival AXS D1 DUB, 48-35T
  • Chain - SRAM Rival D1
  • Handlebar - Vision Metron 5D ACR Carbon
  • Cassette - SRAM XG-1270 D1 10-33 12 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - SRAM Rival eTap AXS D1
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

ZX-1 EVO CRS - £3,099.99

  • Weight: 8.2kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - Shimano ST-R800, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - Shimano Ultegra R8000 11 Speed
  • Wheels - Reynolds AR 58/62 DB Carbon Clincher, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - 386EVO 24
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - Shimano Ultegra R8000 52-36T
  • Chain - KMC X11
  • Handlebar - Prime Primavera Carbon Aero
  • Stem - FSA SMR ACR
  • Cassette - Sunrace CSRX1 11-32 11 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - Shimano Ultegra R8000 11 Speed
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

ZX-1 EVO CRS - £2,799.99

  • Weight: 8.3kg
  • Frameset - ZX-1 EVO Carbon
  • Rotors - Shimano ST-RT70, F-160mm R-140mm
  • Groupset - Shimano 105 R7020 11 Speed
  • Wheels - Reynolds AR 58/62 DB Carbon Clincher, Tubeless
  • Bottom bracket - 386EVO 24
  • Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Performance TLE 700x25
  • Crankset - Shimano 105 R7000 52-36T
  • Chain - KMC X11
  • Stem - FSA SMR ACR
  • Handlebar - Prime Primavera Carbon Aero
  • Cassette - Sunrace CSRX1 11-32 11 Speed
  • Seat post - Vitus ZX-1 AERO Carbon
  • Shifters - Shimano 105 R7020 11 Speed
  • Saddle - Vitus Ti Rail BRAKES SRAM Red eTap AXS D1
  • Thru-axle - Vitus Switch F-100x12mm R-142x12mm

Vitusbikes.com

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9 comments

Avatar
jimt | 2 years ago
0 likes

I wonder if the front derailleur hanger is removable? Id like the option to run 1x on a bike like this.

Avatar
AidanR | 2 years ago
1 like

And as a full system - including rider - what's the reduction in drag? 1%?

Avatar
EddyBerckx replied to AidanR | 2 years ago
0 likes
AidanR wrote:

And as a full system - including rider - what's the reduction in drag? 1%?

Nope, else aero bikes wouldn't be measurably faster for the same effort and no one would buy them. They are definitiely faster (well, a decent one would be)

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
0 likes

It's not as clear cut as that.

At the pro end 1% gaisn certainly justify the spend.

At lower levels poeple like bikes that the pros use, and also bikes that look cool.

I know I am significantly faster on my canyon aeroad than any other bike I have, but there are several factors and seperating the effects is not easy. I suspect the ranking of the advantages is as follows

1) more aero riding position - most of the drag is the rider, can the same low profile be achieved by adjusting stem, bars and spacers?

2) More aero wheels, - changing standard wheels for 50mm dep section on a bike produces a noticeable speed increase riding solo on the flat.

3) weight - it is lighter saving 2kg certainly counts going uphill

4) aero savings on the frame

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
0 likes

Call me a pedant but 1% is measurably faster.  Its probably also closer to the real world gain for an average rider than any manufacturers PR brochure.

Avatar
GMBasix replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
5 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Call me a pedant but 1% is measurably faster.  Its probably also closer to the real world gain for an average rider than any manufacturers PR brochure.

I wouldn't call you a pedant.  If you were, you wouldn't have omitted two apostrophes!

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to GMBasix | 2 years ago
0 likes

laugh

Avatar
andystow replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
0 likes
EddyBerckx wrote:
AidanR wrote:

And as a full system - including rider - what's the reduction in drag? 1%?

Nope, else aero bikes wouldn't be measurably faster for the same effort and no one would buy them. They are definitiely faster (well, a decent one would be)

They're comparing it to the previous ZX-1, which I'm assuming was also a decent aero bike.

Avatar
the infamous grouse | 2 years ago
0 likes

you know you've scored a winner when your top-end bits end up specced OEM on a house brand build. well done vision.

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