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TECH NEWS

Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS gets Shimano’s new Ultegra R8100 groupset

Excellent road bikes gets an upgrade to 12-speed; SRAM builds are available too

The Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS Di2 that impressed us hugely when we reviewed it last year has been given a fresh paint job for 2022 – switching from grey to this slate blue – along with Shimano’s  new 12-speed Ultegra R8100 groupset with semi-wireless shifting.

Shimano launches 12-speed Ultegra R8100 groupset that’s Di2 only

The Vitus ZX-1 Evo was introduced last year and Stu Kerton called it “an absolute rocket ship” in his review on road.cc.

Read our review of the Vitus ZX-2 Evo CRS Di2 

“It's not just quick, this thing is in superbike territory,” Stu said. “Get down in the drops on a flat section of road and it's a time trial bike without the aerobars.”

2022 Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS Di2 - 1.jpeg

The Vitus ZX-1 Evo frame is stiff without feeling harsh, offering a good level of feedback from the road without unnecessary chatter from road vibration. It's a bike that feels punchy, responding to extra effort with no wasted power.

In terms of steering, it is balanced, direct and easy to control. It’s quick but not to the point of being twitchy, an utter joy to ride.

Vitus put an emphasis on aerodynamics with the ZX-1 Evo; it’s said to exhibit “up to 45% less drag” than the previous model. There’s barely a round tube anywhere and the fork is integrated into the down tube and head tube for a smooth transition. Vitus has also followed the trend of directing the cables/hoses through the handlebar and stem before dropping them down into the spacers and head tube.

The highlight as far as components are concerned is the recently updated Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset. It has gone from 11-speed to 12-speed and features semi-wireless shifting, meaning that the two derailleurs are wired to an internal battery but the shifters communicate wirelessly with the rest of the system.

2022 Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS Di2 - 2.jpeg

Shimano has also redesigned the shifters, derailleurs, cassette, chainset and brake callipers. It claims that the derailleurs shift significantly faster than previously.

Vitus has chosen a 52/36-tooth chainset and an 11-34 cassette with a 160mm rotor up front and a 140mm at the rear. It's a good setup for a road bike.

When it comes to the cockpit, Vitus sticks with the Vision Metron 5D ACR an all-in-one handlebar/stem unit. It's full carbon fibre with a shallow drop that allows you to get aero without having to dislocate your spine.

Vitus hasn't scrimped on the wheels, speccing carbon Reynolds AR 58/62 DBs; that's 58mm deep for the front and 62mm for the rear. This is a serious set of wheels and the performance on the road is impressive. You get the aero advantage of those deep rims without being buffeted about on windy days.

The 2021 Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS Di2 was fitted with Schwalbe's One Performance tyres but these have been swapped to Michelin Power Road TLRs this year. When we reviewed them we found that they offered an impressive blend of performance, grip and durability, although they required a bit of effort to fit.

Read our review of the Michelin Power Road Tubeless tyre

Loads of bikes have gone up in price over the past year thanks to increased production and transport costs and higher demand. The Vitus ZX-1 Evo CRS Di2 was £3,999.99 when we reviewed it last May. It’s now £4,599.99. Ouch! That’s a big increase but that’s the way of the world at the moment.

The Vitus ZX-1 Evo won’t be available in Shimano builds for a while. We’re probably looking at May 2022 for those. These non-Shimano builds are available now, though:

Get more details on the ZX-1 Evo from the Vitus website

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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