£2000 disc brake option for pro-level Vitus Vitesse Evo

We travelled to Calpe in Spain to test ride the latest addition to the Vitus Vitesse Evo range. In the snow.

Vitus has been selling its Vitesse Evo bike for a few years now. It’s UCI approved and the machine used by the An Post-ChainReaction Cycles team. This year, Vitus has added a new disc braked version to its range. We’ve liked the rim braked version when we’ve tested it.

Buy nowVitus Bikes Vitesse Evo Ultegra 2017 Disc Road Bike at Chain Reaction Cycles for £1662.99 (opens in new tab)

To accommodate its disc brakes, the Vitesse Evo Disc has 12mm thru-axles front and rear rather than quick releases. Its seatstays have also lost their brake bridge. But the frame’s overall geometry remains the same as the rim braked version – no bad thing as we’ve previously found it spot on.

Vitesse Evo Disc comes with 12mm thru-axles and 140mm rotors front and rear

Vitus equips the bike with Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes with Shimano’s higher spec RS685 levers, a 50/34 Ultegra compact chainset and 11-25 cassette. There’s an FSA PF30 bottom bracket bearing to fit the frame.

Vitus has specced 140mm disc rotors front and rear. They look a bit neater than 160mm rotors and should provide plenty of stopping power for all but the heaviest of riders.

25mm Michelin Pro4 tyres come up wide, giving good grip

Wheels are FSA Vision Team 30. The 25mm Michelin Pro 4 Service Course tyres come out very wide on them, looking closer to a 28mm. This means there’s lots of rubber in contact with the road and they can be run at lower pressures for a more comfortable ride. With tyre-to-road adhesion often being the weakest link in braking with discs, it’s welcome. There’s still plenty of clearance around the frame too.

Finishing kit is a mix of FSA for the bars and stem and Vitus own brand for the saddle and carbon seatpost. Vitus quotes a weight of 8.48kg (that’s 18.7lb) for a size 54cm frame. It will be made available for racing by the An Post-ChainReaction Cycles team too.

Carbon seatpost and saddle are Vitus branded

Vitus is the own-brand marque of ChainReaction Cycles and its bikes are available through ChainReaction’s website (opens in new tab). The Vitesse Evo Disc is priced at £2000. From February, Vitus bikes will be sold by Wiggle (opens in new tab) too, following the merger of the two web retailers.

Buy nowVitus Bikes Vitesse Evo Ultegra 2017 Disc Road Bike at Chain Reaction Cycles for £1662.99 (opens in new tab)

More hydraulic discs lower down the Vitus range too

Elsewhere in Vitus’s range, its sportive/endurance-oriented Venon, which had mechanical disc brakes in 2016, will have hydraulic disc calipers for 2017. The highest spec SL models in the alloy Zenium range will also have hydraulics, while cheaper models retain mechanical calipers.

Watch: Eight things to know about disc brakes

First ride impressions

We rode the Vitesse Evo Disc in the rain up one of the hills outside Calpe and in a snow shower along the winding, hilly coast road to Moraira. It’s stiff enough to climb well, with Vitus saying that the thru-axles help improve rigidity over the rim braked version.

Lowest ratio with 11-25 cassette may be a bit too high for hillier UK routes

The compact chainset coupled to the 11-25 cassette gives an adequate gear range, although a wider range cassette would give a bit more versatility when tackling steeper climbs.

And we were very impressed with the bike’s wet weather descending. The disc brakes and wide tyres gave a really planted feel in the rain on sweeping descents back into Calpe, allowing corners to be attacked with confidence and no fear of loss of grip or braking efficiency.

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Paul Norman
Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.