I have been for 35 years on BMX, mountain bike and road pretty much everywhere. Bikes tend to last me a long time, as I start with a frame which can last and upgrade components as they need maintenance over time. This new Vitus just arrived today, and will be replacing my 2005 Giant TCR. 13 years with a bike, it was time for a new one. This review accounts for the self assembly of the bike, then taking it for a 20 mile ride on roads I know well, including segment times. I will update this page later with more information and photos.
Order and delivery
Great experience with CRC, I live in the US and the price included import duties and affordable shipping. I ordered the bike on Monday and it arrived Friday morning via DHL. Delivery driver gave me a call an hour before, outstanding experience.
Bike was well packed. There is no scratch or visible damage. Everything was easy to assemble, although the box kit contains some parts and screws which are not obvious what they are for. The documentation for assembly is OK and would benefit from more visuals and a cheat sheet of what all the items in the kit are.
Gears and brakes
Gears worked out of the box for the most part. A couple of them are not exactly in line, I need to look into this and am assuming it is just a tension adjustment to make. But brakes are configured incorrectly, which is why I am taking a star away in the rating. All bikes I ever rode were rear brake right side, front brake on the left. It is reversed on this bike, and I don’t remember seeing a survey from CRC asking about my preference. I did see this on Wiggle.com… but ended choosing CRC. It is not a major defect, but really frustrating having to deal with re-wiring.
Confusion on specs and positive surprise
The current specs and Q&A state that rims and tires are not UST, while this very model on Vitus.com does state that tires are UST. I was ready to be mildly disappointed, and opening the box: both rims and tires ARE UST. This is wonderful, CRC and Vitus please update the descriptions.
First impressions on 20 mile ride
I believed my previous road bike to perform well, as it had a Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheelset, Hutchinson 23mm performance tires and overall a good weight and setup… but an aging 2005 model nonetheless. The new Vitus immediately felt more rigid and efficient. It felt like it required less effort for the same output, and checking Strava segments, I did 6 PRs on climbs and flat sections on routes I went through almost 100 times, and I don’t feel at the top of my form. In 13 years, bikes have definitely gotten more efficient. My back hurts a bit as the position is not exactly the same as the old bike, and small changes do this. I trust this will fix itself after more position adjustments. The frame and overall comfort are fine, especially going from 23mm to 25mm tires.
Overall this bike is a tremendous value at list price, and even more at the promo pricing. The direct-to-consumer model that Vitus and CRC are using offer prices you could hardly get on any other brand in the market with equipment like this. But: you need to know how to assemble the bike, and you need to know your dimensions and the size you need to avoid the hassle of product returns.