Vitus 979

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
Trigger
Posts: 1459
Joined: 6 Aug 2010, 11:54am
Location: Derby/Notts

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Trigger » 15 May 2020, 6:48pm

I think I'm going to give it a miss, it's too 50/50 from reading people's experiences plus at this point in its existence you've no idea what kind of life it has had.

I'm going to keep an eye out for a nice light steel F+F and go that route instead. I'm fairly well versed on the Reynolds stuff but my Columbus knowledge is a bit sketchy, what are the lighter/racier frame sets from them worth looking out for?

Des49
Posts: 754
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Des49 » 15 May 2020, 10:00pm

I loved my 979, my first dedicated racing bike. To be honest I didn't notice the flex, but wouldn't know much better then. I was very strong and remember being told by the person behind me at the start of a hill climb that they were amazed the frame didn't break on the line as I it twisted so much as I started!

Never got to test the longetivity, at massive inconvenience my bike got stolen just before the final stage of a race in Ireland, guess it was the Sean Kelly appeal factor. Managed to borrow a too big 753 bike from another team's manager, really felt the rough roads compared to my comfy bike, but at least I got to finish.

I would say if you know how the frame was ridden and cared for it may be worth a punt. A friend who got one the same time as me did break his eventually, it went on the seat tube above the bottom bracket but after a lot of hard racing.

whoof
Posts: 2519
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby whoof » 15 May 2020, 10:20pm

Trigger wrote:I think I'm going to give it a miss, it's too 50/50 from reading people's experiences plus at this point in its existence you've no idea what kind of life it has had.

I'm going to keep an eye out for a nice light steel F+F and go that route instead. I'm fairly well versed on the Reynolds stuff but my Columbus knowledge is a bit sketchy, what are the lighter/racier frame sets from them worth looking out for?

Columbus Genius steel, (they are calling one of their carbon frames Genius).
I sold and Italian frame and forks for about £100 on eBay 14 years ago. It would probably fetch more now as it's retro.

Des49
Posts: 754
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Des49 » 16 May 2020, 8:52am

If you want a steel frame from the era of the Vitus 979 then Columbus SLX is a good tubeset to look out for. It gives a light classic looking frame, the tubing has a spiral ribbed pattern inside which can be felt if you feel inside the seat tube from the bottom bracket. SPX was a slightly heavier gauge.

User avatar
cycleruk
Posts: 5568
Joined: 17 Jan 2009, 9:30pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Vitus 979

Postby cycleruk » 16 May 2020, 11:49am

Used to time trial mine but really was a fraction to big. That was the main reason for selling but found it very comfortable and would have another .
Vitus.JPG
You'll never know if you don't try it.

Steve O'C
Posts: 93
Joined: 3 Mar 2013, 1:32pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Steve O'C » 16 May 2020, 7:56pm

I have an Alan Super Record. Similar bike but tubes are screwed and glued and I think the Super Record had thicker tubes to make it stiffer. My frame is 52cm and also rides beautifully.

02-IMG_8190.JPG


I have been slightly put off riding it by the stories of fork failure. I do not suppose there is any way of knowing if that is imminent?

Des49
Posts: 754
Joined: 2 Dec 2014, 11:45am

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Des49 » 16 May 2020, 8:47pm

Steve O'C wrote:I have an Alan Super Record. Similar bike but tubes are screwed and glued and I think the Super Record had thicker tubes to make it stiffer. My frame is 52cm and also rides beautifully.

02-IMG_8190.JPG

I have been slightly put off riding it by the stories of fork failure. I do not suppose there is any way of knowing if that is imminent?


Beautiful looking bike, especially with that nice Campag gear. That was one of the best colours I think.

Just be really vigilant for any creaks or slight wobbles.

I have had a cyclo cross Alan for a long time, not 30 years but must be towards that. Use it now as a fixed gear winter/mucky weather bike.
I had a cracked fork end a year or so ago. I did have a creak and suspected that Italian BB, but it continued and then as I got the bike out for a ride I wiped the end of the fork for a bit of what I thought was debris but found it was a crack. The end broke off when I undid the qr! Got a lovely 2nd hand steel fork from Yostumpy on this forum when I posted about it.

Now, just in the last week I have got another creak, have refitted and tightened the BB and really not sure where the creak is coming from, it is evading me so far. Not sure if it is from the front of the bike, only apparent when out of the saddle up hills. Could be the headset cups in the frame (a previous Campag headset became too loose a fit, but the current Tange was snug) or could be a frame joint, or handlebars maybe? Can't see anything yet though.

User avatar
Foghat
Posts: 102
Joined: 19 Mar 2013, 10:44pm

Re: Vitus 979

Postby Foghat » 16 May 2020, 9:02pm

I had a 979 in gold, which I bought to quickly replace a custom-built Roberts 753 frame that got trashed when a car hit me, around 1988 I think.

Like many, and as I was a big-gear masher back then, I found it far too noodley and sold it on a few years later. It was horrifying how far the bottom bracket would move if you pushed the pedals sideways.

I also disliked the way the seatpin-fastening screw bore a hole in my nice 25.0mm (or was it 25.4mm? I can't remember) Dura-Ace SP-7400 seatpin - an inadequate seat tube lug clamp needing an additional allen-head sort of grub-screw through the wall of the seat tube and into the wall of the seatpin. Ugh. Maybe not a good idea with a carbon-fibre seatpin.

And the damned thing would sometimes change gear all of its own accord when riding forcefully, if the down tube Super Record gear levers weren't done up super-tight.....but they would keep coming loose. I would always have to tighten the gear levers before sprinting.....if I remembered.

And the 74-degree seat angle was far too steep. I spent all of the late 1980s, the entire 1990s, and the early 2000s having to have frames custom-built with 72-degree seat angles, as seatpins never had enough layback and saddles never had rails with straight sections extending sufficiently far forward to get the saddle right back to where my knees were comfortable. Thankfully these days quite a few saddles do have nice long straight rail sections going far enough forward, and some seatpins do have decent layback, to mean the setback that historically I could only achieve with custom-built frames having 72-degree seat angles can now be gained much more easily with off-the-peg frames.

I certainly wouldn't contemplate buying a 30-year-old thin-tubed aluminium frame to ride.....I was pleased to see the back of my 979, which got replaced by a custom-built Roberts Columbus SLX (72 degrees), an off-the-peg TVT Carbone 92 (74 degrees....groan) as used by Pedro Delgado to win the Tour de France, and a Roberts Columbus EL-OS (72 degrees).