The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc adds hydraulic disc brakes to Vitus's top-notch frameset. It adds a bit of extra weight too. Does the disc brake version perform?
The Vitesse Evo is the top-of-the-line bike from Vitus bikes. The rim-brake version is ridden by the An Post-Chain Reaction pro team. This year, Vitus has introduced the Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc, kitted out with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and shifting and Vision Team 30 alloy wheels.
It shares the rim-brake version’s geometry and highish gear ratios, but gets a heavier, beefed-up frame and fork to handle the extra braking forces.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc retains the rim brake version’s racing geometry with a compact sloping frame made from high-modulus unidirectional carbon fibre. There’s a wide down tube and PF30 bottom bracket shell for efficient power delivery. Vitus’s head tube is quite short and frame angles are steep with a short wheelbase for a lively ride. The seatstays are bridgeless, which adds a little extra comfort.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc’s fork is made of the same high modulus carbon fibre.
Forces acting on bikes using disc brakes differ from those where rim brakes are used and the frame needs to be beefed up to deal with these powerful brake forces. The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc weighs around a kilogram more than the rim-brake version, which we’ve tested previously in a more racing spec. The added weight probably in part reflects this reinforcement.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc is equipped with Shimano Ultegra shifting with a compact 50/34 chainset. This is coupled to an 11-25 cassette rather than the more usual 11-28 or wider range, so the number of lower ratios is more limited. Despite this, the Vitesse Evo Disc is easy enough to climb with, with its good power transfer helping.
Brakes are Shimano’s BR-RS 805 with 140mm rotors front and rear. Although in theory 160mm rotors improve stopping and reduce heat build-up, in practice, the Vitesse Evo Disc brakes well in UK conditions. Good brake discipline and not dragging the brakes is likely to mean that the brakes continue to work effectively on more challenging foreign descents in warmer climes too.
Vitus uses Shimano’s higher spec RS 685 hydraulic shifters in the Vitesse Evo Disc. They look nicer than the lower spec levers and are effective and comfortable to use.
Wheels are Vision Team 30 Disc. With a claimed weight of near 2kg, they are no Lightweights and you can feel their inertia when accelerating. But they are robust and with their wide internal rim width support the 25mm Michelin Pro 4 Service Course tyres well. The tyres come up close to 28mm wide on the rims, so they can be run at lower pressures for a more compliant ride.
Other kit is a mix of FSA for the bars and stem and Vitus own brand for the carbon seatpost and the saddle.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc is a comfortable ride, despite its racing heritage. You can tick off the miles nicely and the handling is controlled and predictable. The extra-wide tyres smooth out road imperfections well and give lots of grip, even in wet or damp snow conditions, despite the absence of tread.
On faster straights, there’s plenty of speed and I was fine climbing even steeply pitched hills, even though the 34/25 lowest gear is a bit higher than most bikes designed for the endurance rider, and despite the additional weight of the disc brakes and beefed up frameset.
The compact frameset results in quite a short seat tube even on the size 54 bike tested. It was a bit awkward to get a larger 750ml bottle in and out of the bottle cage, although with a 500ml Elite Fly bottle there was no problem.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc provides a lot of bike for £2,000. With disc brakes still a bit more expensive than rim brakes, it’s unusual to find a disc brake bike kitted out with Ultegra hydraulic for under £2,000.
Vitus has made a few judicious swap-outs on the Vitesse Evo Disc, with a 105 cassette and Shimano’s cheaper brake calipers. The Vision wheelset is a bit heavier than its competitors, but should prove durable. And the Vitus finishing kit is fine for a bike at this price.
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc is good value at £2,000 for a disc-brake road bike. It rides well and the wider stance of the Michelin Pro4 Service Course tyres on the Vision wheels means that there’s plenty of comfort built in. Vitus has made a few swap-outs to reach this price point, but they’re all sensible, although the bike would be livened up by a set of lighter wheels. The highish gearing might deter some potential buyers, but is easily remedied by swapping for a wider-range cassette.