Vitus Substance CRS-2 eTap AXS Rival gravel bike review

An incredible value gravel bike for long distance adventures

Vitus Substance CRS-2 eTap AXS Rival gravel bike review
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Offering a comfortable and confident ride, the Substance CRS-2 is a great for long distance gravel rides. The excellent SRAM AXS 2x12 Rival groupset is a rarity at this price point, but with its wide gearing range and close jump between the gears, it makes a perfect match for endurance qualities of this bike. It is worth noting that the geometry of the CRS-2 isn’t best suited for tight and twisty riding in the woods – if that’s what you’re after, you would be better off on a different bike, even if the spec isn’t quite as good.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent 2x12 SRAM AXS Rival groupset

  • +

    Good range of mounting points

  • +

    Confident and stable handling

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Internal rim width is a little narrow by today’s standards

  • -

    Not best suited for tight and twisty riding

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The Substance denotes Vitus’ range of gravel bikes, designed to be capable off-road and comfortable over long distances. The wide range of mounting options for bags and accessories make them well suited to multiday trips, should that be something you’re considering. This CRS-2 eTap AXS model is Vitus’ top spec build, coming with SRAM’s 2x12 Rival AXS groupset which features electronic shifting and hydraulic braking.


  • Frame: Substance Carbon
  • Fork: Substance Carbon
  • Shifters: SRAM Rival eTap AXS 2x12  
  • Crankset: SRAM Rival D1 DUB Wide, 43/30t  
  • Derailleur: SRAM RIVAL eTap AXS 12 Speed, 36T Max
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1250 D1 10–36T
  • Brakeset: SRAM Rival eTap AXS D1 Disc
  • Wheels: Prime Kanza 650b Aluminium Disc wheelset
  • Tyres and clearance: WTB Venture TCS Road Plus 650b x 47 tyres (Max: 650b x 47mm or 700x42c)  
  • Head angle: 71.5 degrees
  • Chainstay length: 435mm 
  • BB drop: 68mm 
  • BB: SRAM DUB 386
  • Weight: 9.6kg (size medium, measured)

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