Vitus is a brand with a racing pedigree that started in France i n th e 1970s, reemerging more recently via online store Chain Reaction and Wiggle. The Zenium Carbon Disc is a brand-new model for 2019, and as its name suggests it comes with a couple of highly appealing features -not least the fact it’s got a carbon frame.
At this price, you might expect the quality of that frame to be a bit questionable, but Vitus has come up with a superb one that has touches and a finish which help make this a bike well designed for British roads and conditions.
The cable routing is neat and features full gear cable outers, which are well suited to wet-weather riding as they keep the rain and grime out. The lack of an inline cable barrel adjuster for the front derailleur is a shortcoming, but adding one would be a cheap and quick-enough job.
The TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, meanwhile, offer great stopping power and are a step up from the more basic Promax units found on the Forme in our tests. The components are Shimano Tiagra and performance is decent.
Featuring a 10-speed drivetrain the shifters are reliable and comfortable, although lever throw is longer than 105 and above. While the compact chainset is what we’d expect, the 11-28 cassette may be a little over-geared for some, while a 11-30 or 11-32 would make the steepest of climbs a little easier.
The Shimano RS170 wheels are decent and given the price, exactly what we’d expect. The Vittoria tires, meanwhile, are of a nice width adding a degree of comfort – perhaps at the expense of a little road feel – while still managing to be relatively fast. Finishing kit is own brand and does a solid job. The bar tape perhaps feels a little thin, but that’s a minor gripe and an issue that’s certainly easy and inexpensive to resolve.
Often the core components of more attainable bikes like this can be limited, but here the overall blend and mix feels excellent. Any future upgrades would only add to what is an already impressive package.
Quality carbon frame – T700 carbon frame is impressive.
Comfort – Fitted with large-volume tires but with room to spare.
Value – Tiagra groups et and TRP Spyre brakes are an excellent combo at this price.
Not so good
Front derailleur adjustment – No inline barrel adjuster may make adjustment tricky.
28-tooth cassette – A 301 or 32t would make tough climbs easier if fitness is an issue.
Bar tape – A bit thin, but this would be a simple change.
The new Zenium from Vitus is a very impressive bike. While value for money is excellent, it also has a good-quality frame that’s been designed to suit British riding all-year round. Great comfort, excellent handling and a sleek, stealthy design all add up to a winning package.
Size: 54 cm
Weight: 9.66 kg
Frame: T700 UD carbon fiber
Fork: Full UD carbon fiber
Groupset: Shimano Tiagra, 10 speed
Brakes: TRP Spyre
Chainset: Shimano Tiagra, 50/34
Cassette: Shimano Tiagra, 11-28
Handlebar: Vitus alloy
Stem: Vitus alloy
Saddle: Vitus Endurance
Seat-post: Vitus alloy
Wheels: Shimano RS170
Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro, 700x28c (measured 29 mm)