Wednesday, 24 December 2014


My niece liked the look of my Vitus when she saw it in the autumn, and I promised to look out for one for her on eBay. Within a couple of weeks this one popped up in France, but we missed out in the auction. 
Luckily it became available because the buyer didn't pay, so it's now being shipped over to The London Cycle Workshop. 

The flat bar set up should be perfect and we both think it looks great with the matching Brooks saddle and bartape. 
The French components also look rather cool, and the wheels are also pretty decent. 
I'm hoping I might be able to 'look after' the bike while Laura's travelling in 2015!

After we missed out in the original auction I found a Vitus that was built up with an eight speed Dura Ace Groupset with Tiagra STI shifters.

We won the auction, so now we´ll try both bikes for size, and the one she doesnt want I´ll either hang on to, or sell, or hide. The usual. 
The flat bar is a 55cm, which is a bit on the small side for me. This one is a 58cm which is much better...
I´m surprised how easy it still seems to be to find a Vitus 979 in good condition at reasonable prices considering the frame´s history (Sean Kelly et al), light weight and ride characteristics. 
Nice 58Km ride round Wimbledon and Richmond Park on the Dura-Ace/Claris Vitus. It rode pretty much like any of the modern road bikes I´ve ridden in the past. Loved it!
The Dura-Ace/Claris combination is unusual to say the least, but it works really well!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


I bought my son a Jamis hybrid bike a few years ago, but he's going to outgrow it soon, so when I saw this 50cm Vitus going cheap in France (complete except for wheels) I thought it might be worth seeing if he'd take to it. 
It was in decent nick and after a bit of a tidy ended up looking like this. 

It has an indexed Shimano 105 SLX gearset and brakes, a Stronglight chainset, and I found a nice set of wheels with Shimano 600 hubs in excellent condition. Better kit than my Vitus in fact. 

It looks great and even received a complement from the normally hard-to-please Nick Van Vader at The London Cycle Workshop. He actually wanted to buy it as it fitted him perfectly. No comment. 

The chainset has typical cyclo cross gearing (46/34) which happens to be ideal for an 11 year old. I don't think it was a cross bike, but who knows. 

Lucas is getting used to the downtube shifters, although he hasn't tackled any hills yet. To be honest, he'd probably prefer STI levers, but that's tough :(

Monday, 29 September 2014


The Vitus 979 'restoration' is now complete.

Nick in The London Cycle Workshop swapped the Ofmega triple chainset and Deore front derailleur (early nineties) for an eighties quite rare Shimano 600 Tri Colour triple chainset and vintage 105 triple derailleur. I tried to find a 600 front mech for a triple but couldn't track one down. I've heard that they do exist. If you have one, let me know!

Brooks bartape and Open Corsa tyres provided the finishing touches and although I'm still looking for a vintage Brooks Swallow saddle, I think the results look pleasing on the eye.
See previous post for more details of the build.

I used to be a bit of a Campag snob (not that I knew what I was talking about) but now have a bit of a thing for Suntour and some of the earlier Shimano groupsets. The 'Tri Colour' version of Shimano 600 looks especially neat.
600 became Ultegra, as you probably know.
The build is mainly 105 (derailleurs, shifters, hubs, brake calipers & levers), with the 600 triple chainset being the only correct period triple I could source.

I managed last year's Eroica Britannia on a very heavy Koga Miyata 'Gents Tourer' (just about), so the reasoning behind getting a triple wasn't so much for getting me round L'Eroica but more that I could keep the 12-24 gearing, and will now have a vintage bike 'for life'. I'm 58 at the time of writing, and now I won't need to swap to a triple when the legs start complaining.
Finally, the saddle will be swapped from my Brooks that is currently on my Surly.
And a Brooks saddle bag will complete the set up.