Vitus 979

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
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Trigger
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Joined: 6 Aug 2010, 11:54am
Location: Derby/Notts

Vitus 979

Postby Trigger » 15 May 2020, 1:42pm

What are thoughts on these? I really like the look of them but the thought of ancient aluminium forks gives me the heebie-jeebies :shock:

I was thinking for mainly shorter faster rides, I am on the slightly larger side than ideal at 85kg (slowly coming down, goal being 75kg) but they do look a bit spindly, combined with the horror stories of alloy forks I'd be a little bit nervous riding it on our poor roads. Is the fork an alloy steerer as well or just the blades/crown?

Rod Goodfellow
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Joined: 22 Aug 2017, 12:02pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Rod Goodfellow » 15 May 2020, 2:14pm

I had a 60cm one of these new in 1983 and used it as my time trial bike for about 10 years before it was relegated to fair weather training and pleasure use.It still is and did 36miles this morning.I love it,and I am about 78kg. Whilst it was the TT bike I got another similar 2nd hand which was used as a poor weather trainer but on that one eventually the seat tube became unglued from the bottom bracket shell without any disastrous consequence,just some movement of the chainrings in relation to the front mech when putting extra effort in.I still have the forks from that one and I have just checked them-alloy blades and crown,steel column. Hope that helps!

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby reohn2 » 15 May 2020, 2:17pm

Trigger wrote:What are thoughts on these? .........


Not with a bargepole.
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rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Vitus 979

Postby rjb » 15 May 2020, 2:38pm

Mick F will be along shortly. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8111&hilit=vitus+mick :wink:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

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Trigger
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Location: Derby/Notts

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Trigger » 15 May 2020, 2:53pm

reohn2 wrote:
Trigger wrote:What are thoughts on these? .........


Not with a bargepole.


Yes, I do wonder that even if I were to acquire one then that niggle in the back of my mind would never go away whilst riding it. I do like to turn a bigger gear and honk on the bars so I'm not sure I could ever relax when in use, a bit like riding an unexploded bomb.

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Mick F
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Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Mick F » 15 May 2020, 2:57pm

Yes, here I am! :D

Absolutely lovely and wonderful frame.
Absolutely gobsmacked at how it rode. Wonderfully buttery smooth and light as a feather.

The bike - as a complete bike - was sold to me by a gent I met in Tavistock. He gave me his phone number and address, and I went round to collect it. The groupset was Campag mixture with a Super Record rear mech needing a new jockey cage-plate, and the front mech Record.
Down tube shifters Simplex(?) retroshift and Campag Record callipers and levers.
Cinelli 1R stem, Cinelli 'bars and a Brooks Colt saddle on a Campag seatpin.
Rims were fine - can't remember them - the spokes were rusty chrome and the hubs Campag Record large flange.

Sold all the bits - after buying a new rear mech cage plate - but I still have the Cinelli 1R stem. I dismantled the wheels then rebuilt them with SS spokes then sold them. Still have some of the old spokes.

I rebuilt the bike using all of Mercian's components whilst Mercian's frame was being refurbished. I had to buy a longer seatpost so I could ride it as the frame was much too small for me.

Took it out for many a ride, and fell in love with it. Pity the frame was too small, but I sold the frame when Mercian's frame was complete.

I was having an affair with a floosey! :D
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8202
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Vitus 979

Postby Mick F » 15 May 2020, 3:20pm

Just checked.
Rode 200miles on the Floosey from end of Oct 2007 to end of Nov 2007.
Longest ride 36miles.

I'd still have that frame now had it been bigger. Mercian was made to my specific requirements and is 60cm

Vitus Duralinox 979 frameset
74deg parallel 53cm .............................................7cm too small for me ........ nearly three inches.
25mm seat tube.
Total weight of frame and forks (plus headset) was a VERY light 1.9Kg
Mick F. Cornwall

pliptrot
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Re: Vitus 979

Postby pliptrot » 15 May 2020, 4:21pm

A bike shop owner told me -when a Duralinox frame was just a dream (they were 250 quid in 1984)- that Sean Kelly rode one of these and if there was a chance of a bunch sprint in a race they would change it in the last 20km - just in case. Apocryphal? Probably. Too flexible and fragile? Certainly. I borrowed one once in Italy, and was unimpressed that I could flex it so much with my 70kg. Tubes coming unglued are the stuff of many a tale.

whoof
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Re: Vitus 979

Postby whoof » 15 May 2020, 4:45pm

I used to have one. It was light and looked nice. It was also incredibly flexi. I don't turn a big gear, in fact quite the opposite but when riding I could look down and watch the bottom bracket move from side to side. If you got off if and
pressed your foot down on a pedal the amount of deflection was incredible.

If the story about Sean Kelly is true it would be because in a sprint he would be putting his effort into frame bending rather than forward motion.

I've also been on a ride with someone who had one and they said their bike felt weird. Then whilst riding gently on the flat the top tube popped out of the head tube. No adverse consequences but not so sure if it had happened under heavy breaking at a junction at the bottom of a steep hill.

If you want a light framw are not too concerned about pedalling being turned into forward motion and keep an eye on the frame and forks it's a possibility, but I wouldn't get another one.

Chat Noir
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Location: York

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Chat Noir » 15 May 2020, 4:53pm

Read this excellent article by Peter Kohler to find out all about 979.
https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/ ... s-979.html

There's a lot of varied opinions about this stuff.

I have one, beautiful frame, 19 lbs weight, 59 cm, very fast and stable. I've had no issues with flex but I'm a fairly smooth peddler with no great power output and not especially light (particularly at the moment!).
Dawes Galaxy 1979; Mercian 531 1982; Peugeot 753 1987; Peugeot 531 Pro 1988; Peugeot 653 1990; Bob Jackson 731 OS 1992; Gazelle 731 OS Exception 1996; Dolan Dedacciai 2004; Trek 8000 MTB 2011; Focus Izalco Pro 2012

reohn2
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Re: Vitus 979

Postby reohn2 » 15 May 2020, 5:20pm

Trigger wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Trigger wrote:What are thoughts on these? .........


Not with a bargepole.


Yes, I do wonder that even if I were to acquire one then that niggle in the back of my mind would never go away whilst riding it. I do like to turn a bigger gear and honk on the bars so I'm not sure I could ever relax when in use, a bit like riding an unexploded bomb.

And Rodders up thread knows where his has been these past 36 years a second hand Vitus 979 could've been anywhere :shock: :? .

I remember Sean Kelly being asked about his preference for those frames BITD and saying,whilst he really liked them they went dead after a seasons racing,which in his day wasn't anywhere near as long as today's race calendar.
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Brucey
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Re: Vitus 979

Postby Brucey » 15 May 2020, 5:43pm

I tried one BITD and it was the flexiest frame I ever rode. It was so flexy that I could quite easily make the FD scrape both sides when pedalling even slightly more forcefully than normal, whilst seated. Well used ones often 'went baggy'; comfy though.

To this day I have no idea how Sean Kelly didn't tie the thing in knots.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

reohn2
Posts: 40711
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby reohn2 » 15 May 2020, 5:47pm

Brucey wrote:I tried one BITD and it was the flexiest frame I ever rode. It was so flexy that I could quite easily make the FD scrape both sides when pedalling even slightly more forcefully than normal, whilst seated. Well used ones often 'went baggy'; comfy though.

To this day I have no idea how Sean Kelly didn't tie the thing in knots.

cheers

Kelly was a very powerful rider in his racing days and I've always thought they couldn't have paid him enough to ride one :?
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Vetus Ossa
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Location: London, Paris, New York but mostly Plymouth.

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Vetus Ossa » 15 May 2020, 5:53pm

I have never understood why some people find them flexy, but many do so they must be for them.
I have owned five over the years and can honestly say that they are the nicest bikes I have ever ridden, and I include my custom built steel frames and carbon ones.
I sold my last 979 earlier this year which I hated doing as it was the best of the bunch, but as I am unable to ride unpowered bikes any longer it sadly had to go.
I have owned and sold many bikes in the past and have not been to saddened to move on the next one, but I will always regret having to let that one go.
I should say I have short legs and usually ride frames around about 52cm so accept that they are probably stiffer.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Brucey » 15 May 2020, 5:59pm

in fairness the frame I used for a while was larger than I'd normally use for racing , maybe 23" or so (cf 22"). It would have been a fair bit less stiff than a smaller frame. But honestly, to me, it felt as floppy as an old sock. Both the P.O. and the chap I sold it to found it less of a problem.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~