About

History

First emerging as a frame builder in 1970s France, Vitus Bikes played a pivotal role in pioneering the design and manufacture of lugged and bonded aluminium frames, the most iconic being the 979, groundbreaking at the time and still prized among collectors today.

Read About Our Journey

Why Vitus?

At Vitus Bikes we’re riders first and foremost. Road riders, Enduro riders, DH riders. Boy riders, girl riders, fast riders, slow riders. But riders all.The bikes we make are the bikes we want to ride and it’s this passion that drives our brand.

Vitus Offer You A Number of Great Benefits

Chain Reaction Cycles

CRC has grown from a small family-owned bike shop to the World’s Largest Online Bikestore, offering thousands of products to millions of riders around the globe. Driven by a passion for cycling since 1985, CRC is a vibrant team made up of many people just like you – people who love to ride their bikes.

The CRC Direct Selling Model

Vitus and An Post

Chain Reaction Cycles and Vitus Bikes are proud to support UCI Continental team; An Post Chain Reaction. This partnership marks another significant milestone in the history of the iconic Vitus brand

Latest An Post Chain Reaction Cycle News

Development – How A Bike Is Born

How does a bike evolve from the initial idea to the completed bike we find in the showrooms?

Learn About Our In House Development

Our Journey

From the cols of France to the glens of Antrim, the Vitus name has had a distinguished journey.

First emerging as a frame builder in 1970s France, Vitus Bikes played a pivotal role in pioneering the design and manufacture of lugged and bonded aluminium frames, the most iconic being the 979, groundbreaking at the time and still prized among collectors today.

In 1982 we engineered and developed the 979 Carbone, one of the very first frames to take carbon fibre technology from the aerospace industry and apply it to bikes. Our tradition of innovation continued throughout subsequent decades with frames which included the 1991 ZXI monocoque carbon frame, the spirit of which lives on in our latest generation of monocoque road bikes.
Today Vitus Bikes are proud to be a member of the Chainreactioncycles.com family and to benefit from the passion, innovation and expertise that has made CRC the world’s largest online bike store.

Without exception, each of the bikes – from our singlespeed commuter to the high-end carbon road model – won plaudits for their ride quality, build and great value. The reviews confirmed what we knew all along, and we intend to improve on these already test-winning models as we push forward with the development of this great brand of bikes.
“Credit has to be due to a brand that has come back from the ashes and rather than milk the prestige of the old days, has set its sights on the biggest players on the scene.” CYCLIST magazine.
Vitus bikes have been tested in many of the top cycling titles and websites across all disciplines. Our bikes have won group tests across Europe and are regarded as some of the best on the market.

“Ultegra and disc brakes at this price? It’s true, the Vitus Zenium SL is a bargain 4/5” Cyclist Mag, Nov 2015
“The Escarpe goes way out the boundaries of what we thought possible of short travel trail bike, an excellent choice for the weekend warrior who wants to try and push their riding limits without feeling under or over biked.” Enduro Mag 2015

“A well-balanced package that you could ride all year round and in all conditions, and feel comfortable doing so.” Cycling Weekly February 2015

“A race ready DH Bike that won’t disappoint at a price you won’t believe” IMB Magazine
“Astonishing performance for a £1900 bike – it’ll put a manical grin on your face!” or “Full Ultegra, race and sportive-ready, for £1,900? It’s a steal.” BIKESEtc November, 2015
” If the devil truly is in the detail, then the matt black Vitus Escarpe 290 Pro was forged in the furnace of hell. The new alloy frame is up there with the best brands, and there isn’t a single component that needs changing straightaway.” Mountain Bike Rider

“A sub-30lb build and a specification of bikes more than double its price. Vitus have made a big statement with this one.” DIRT100 2015

Having been a major part of competitive road cycling in the 1970’s and 80’s, 2013 saw Vitus return to the pro peloton with the An Post – Chain Reaction Continental Road Race Team. An incredible season which culminated in a stage win at the Tour of Britain, 2013 also saw victories with Pro Triathlete Lucy Gossage taking the honours at Ironman UK and Ironman Wales and three Irish National titles across road and MTB.

Why Vitus

At Vitus Bikes we’re riders first and foremost. Road riders, Enduro riders, DH riders. Boy riders, girl riders, fast riders, slow riders. But riders all.

The bikes we make are the bikes we want to ride and it’s this passion that drives our brand. As part of the Chain Reaction Cycles family Vitus offers you a number of great benefits.

Direct Sales = Value for you

Vitus offers direct sales through Chain Reaction Cycles. There is no middleman which means you deal direct with us and we can keep our prices low. Vitus develop and deliver your bike without any wholesalers or retail outlets. This allows us to offer you the best bike at the best possible price.

Direct Customer Contact

We are always there for you both before and after you make a purchase. We’ve designed, built and delivered your bike which means if you need assistance you can speak to exactly the right person. We offer a full tech back-up service through Chain Reaction Cycles including our online size and geometry charts and video bike fit guides.

Innovation and Design

By choosing Vitus you are assured of technological innovation and design that comes from true passion. Our in-house research and development team work with the latest technologies and materials, combining these with inspiration from our rich heritage and feedback from our test riders to produce bikes that are high in quality and value.

Pre Delivery Inspection

All Vitus bikes receive a fully delivery pre-inspection from our Cytech trained mechanics – preparing and packaging your bike so you can get out on the trails or tarmac with the least amount of fuss. As part of this process we ensure your gears and brakes are working correctly and check your spoke tension to ensure your wheels stay in shape.

You can be confident that your bike has been safely built whatever your mechanical skill level and we provide you with the necessary tools and simple instructions to get you rolling in no time. Our easy-to-follow videos are available on our website 24-7 to guide you along the way should you need them.

Secure Worldwide Shipping

Vitus Bikes are shipped through Chain Reaction Cycles: The World’s Largest Online Bikestore. All bikes are shipped fully insured and as mentioned above require minimal assembly on arrival.

We accept payment via credit card, bank transfer or Paypal and every transaction is safe and secure.

5 Year Warranty

All Vitus frame and forks are offered with a 5-year warranty. On top of this we also offer an extended 2-year warranty on all components. You can read our full warranty policy here.

Chain Reaction Cycles

CRC has grown from a small family-owned bike shop to the World’s Largest Online Bikestore, offering thousands of products to millions of riders around the globe. Driven by a passion for cycling since 1985, CRC is a vibrant team made up of many people just like you – people who love to ride their bikes.

We live and breathe sport and have a passion to bring you the best products at the best prices, in the fastest delivery time possible – something that you can trust us with doing throughout the entire Vitus range.

Smashing our personal best on the local enduro stage, entering our first triathlon or completing our first XC race; we’re using exactly the same equipment as we offer you on the site, so you can be sure that whatever level you’re at – from novice to professional – we’ve got the right equipment for you.

A combination of in-house expertise, years of riding experience and a consumer direct selling model (we cut out the middle-men) enables us to offer you high spec bikes at extraordinary prices.

Vitus and An Post

Chain Reaction Cycles and Vitus Bikes are proud to support UCI Continental team; An Post Chain Reaction. Following a great season in 2014, this year promises to be another fantastic time amongst the Pro peloton. This partnership marks another significant milestone in the history of the iconic Vitus brand, five years after it was revived by Chain Reaction Cycles.

Vitus Bikes provide race bikes for the An Post CRC team, including the top-of-the range Vitesse Evo and Chrono II frames. With a hard season of racing across Europe the An Post CRC team are ideally placed to provide valuable feedback to assist our continual research and development. For 2015 the team will continue to ride the Vitus Vitesse Evo and Chrono II models both of which are now available as part of our 2015 production range.

We’re proud to be supported by FSA, Vision, Continental and Prologo and it’s an honour to be associated with An Post, which continues to be a steadfast supporter of Irish cycling at every level. Team Manager and Vitus Bikes Brand Ambassador Sean Kelly commented: “The team at Chain Reaction Cycles have done a magnificent job of breathing life back into the historic Vitus brand, and this partnership is a natural progression as we aim to deliver An Post Chain Reaction Cycles Sean Kelly riders to the top of the podium – exactly where Vitus belongs.

Simon Cordner, Brand Manager at Vitus Bikes added: “I’m delighted to continue support of the An Post – Chain Reaction team again in 2015 as we continue the road back into the Pro ranks of road cycling. Working in partnership with the An Post Chain Reaction team is a natural fit, and it’s an honour to see the team racing on Vitus bikes. Having gained a number of National Titles in 2014, I’m certain that we will continue to be at the front of the peloton this coming season.”

How A Bike Is Born

THE BIRTH OF THE 2015 VITUS SOMMET

We speak to Enduro Mag about the design and creation of the new 2015 Sommet

The Vitus Sommet: From Paper to Metal, How a Bike is Born.

The New Suspension Platform

Since Chain Reaction Cycles took over Vitus, the retail giant developed a comprehensive range of bikes from single-speed urban and commuter bikes to test winning Hardtails and suspension MTB’s. “Building on our award winning Escarpe full suspension bike we set out to create something “all new” with these bikes for 2015” says Vitus Bikes Brand Manager, Simon Cordner. “Our in house R&D team have worked for 18 months on this project with the ultimate goal to produce a new bike that not only looks good but also features cutting edge suspension performance.”

For 2015, Vitus wanted to step into the highly competitive enduro/trail sector with an entirely new suspension system. Vitus Bikes R&D Manager Dale McMullan explains that the 2015 platform required a fresh approach in looking at suspension kinematics. “We’ve designed the suspension points for these new bikes for ultimate performance and pedalling efficiency. The combination of pivot placement and leverage rate design offers the rider more active travel, active braking efficiency and a stable pedal platform without relying totally on shock tuning and setup. In approaching this project we also had to consider how we could integrate this design into a bike that would be both aesthetically appealing and meet the technical criteria for stiffness, weight and reliability.”

The Mechanics

After Dales bold claims, it was time to find out how the suspension system had been developed, this is where it all gets a bit technical so strap in. The initial suspension design process was carried out using the ‘Linkage’ software package, allowing quick adjustment of the pivot points to achieve the desired characteristics. Using this software, the pivot points can be moved around easily and the software instantly provides feedback on axle path, anti squat and endless kinematic details. After extensive optimisation, the team located the main pivot in a fixed high and forward position, in line with a 32T chain ring, providing natural anti squat/bob when pedalling in the most commonly used 1x 32T setup, without relying on excessive chain tension and none of the related pedal feedback. The Chainstay pivot was placed in-line with the chainstay eliminating any force directed to the shock linkage causing the shock to compress (aka pedal bob) due to chain tension. This pivot location also maximizes active suspension when using the rear brake similar to a floating brake design – but without the added weight.

Linkage software demonstrated there was significant initial rearward axle path helping to keep rider momentum. The leverage rate is designed to have a falling rate to sag point then go mildly progressive; this helps the bike sit comfortably in the sag position whilst also providing a stable platform. The lower shock mount moves forward with the suspension, this helps to keep a linear rate without falling off at full travel. This movement also reduces the shock angle change at full travel reducing side loads and improving shock life and reliability. Once the pivot points were finalized it was onto the next step of the process.

The Design

This is where the creative side comes in, once the pivots have been laid out in the design, a conceptual artist is free to connect the dots, creating the sweeping lines of a frame within these fixed parameters. The design is all important, the bike has to look good for it to sell well. Once the designs have been created, the graphic designer then works with an engineer to create a 3D model in the ‘Solidworks’ package. It is at this point where creative design meets real work practicalities, the engineer is faced with a difficult task of creating a frame that is strong in the right places, while trying to retain as much of the designers vision. Once the frame is mapped and created in SolidWorks, it can then be digitally manipulated and tested.

Testing

Before anything goes into production, using some computer trickery the team can simulate forces on the frame, repeating over infinite cycles to determine at what point the metal will succumb to fatigue. This is a crucial stage, engineers can see where forces are dissipated through the frame, and can identify potential problem areas. By adding some flex here and stiffness there, a frame can be optimised to ensure that forces are not focused on critical weld areas, and the weight can be fine tuned by removing material where it is not needed. It was amazing sitting and watching the 3D model of the Sommet spinning round on the screen, as Alan the engineer applied simulated forces and repeated them hundreds of thousands of times, the frame rendered up in colour, showing where the forces were concentrating. This is amazing technology for sure, but a computer simulation can only show so much, so once the design had been tweaked and optimised, it was sent offsite to be imagined in metal.

The Prototype

There is nothing more exciting to an engineering team to see their computer model made real. The team have been testing this prototype frame for a few months now, in every condition, and have already collected a few race podiums in the Irish Gravity Enduro series. Dale was delighted with how the bike rode, and was pleased to see that the properties he had engineered into his design could be felt on the trail. Riding the prototype helps to highlight any small issues, sorting out cable routing and identifying any areas that could do with a slight redesign. Once the team were happy with the design, it was back to the designer to choose colour schemes and graphics.

Production

The new Vitus Sommet is now almost ready to ship, and Chain Reaction Cycles will be the only retailer selling the bike. With 27.5” wheels, 155mm of travel and a low, slack and long geometry, and starting from just over £1600 for a complete build, this could be a very popular bike on the privateer racer circuit.

Article originally published on www.enduro-mtb.com/

Previous Models

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017