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Vitus Venon CRi review

11 Dec 2018
Verdict:

Great value and a sporty geometry makes the Venon CRi a decent all-round adventure bike

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Shimano Di2 • sporty geometry • Tubeless-ready
Against 
Cheap tyres • Slightly harsh ride • Slightly lacking in finishing touches

This review was first published in Issue 48 of Cyclist magazine

Vitus is a direct-sale brand supplied online through Wiggle/Chain Reaction and as you might expect, very competitively priced. The Venon is the endurance bike within the brand’s extensive line-up.

With a full Ultegra Di2 setup and carbon wheels, the specification is outstanding on paper, and it’s a handsome-looking machine, too.

Although billed as an endurance bike, geometry is still fairly sporty, and the head tube not too tall, which will suit riders who prefer a more aggressive riding position. 

Buy the Vitus Venom CRi from Chain Reaction Cycles

On the road, the initial impressions are of a bike with lively yet predictable handling as we’d expect, and the frame is impressively responsive which helps on climbs, although it didn’t offer quite the level of comfort we were hoping for.

This could in part be down to the budget Continental Ultrasport II tyres fitted. Even with their 28mm width, we felt plenty of feedback through the frame, especially at the front end.

The good news is that these are easily changed, and even better, the Prime RR38 wheels are tubeless ready – switching to quality tubeless tyres (at an approximate cost of 80 quid) would see an instant and significant improvement in comfort and all-round performance.

With their 38mm-deep, disc-specific carbon rims, those wheels are a great all-rounder option for most riders in most conditions.

Bolt-thru axles are another bonus, boosting lateral stiffness in cornering, although the design is slightly fiddly to use.

We don’t need to tell you that Ultegra Di2 performs flawlessly, while the semi-compact 52/36 chainset and 11-30 cassette give a good spread of gears for tackling all terrain – though a 50/34 chainset or 32-tooth largest sprocket might suit some riders better on very hilly rides.

Elsewhere, the Ritchey cockpit is kind to the hands and wrists on long rides, though we’d consider upgrading the bar tape to something with a bit more padding.

Our 54cm bike weighed in at 8.4kg. A highly respectable weight for a bike of this nature.

Ratings

Frame: 8/10
Components: 9/10
Wheels: 9/10
The ride: 8/10 

Verdict: The Venon offers great value, with Di2 shifting standing out on the spec list. With sportier geometry than some endurance bikes, a few minor tweaks would transform the Venon into a sportive-conquering all-rounder, ideal for tackling that century ride or epic sportive in all-day comfort.

Buy the Vitus Venom CRi from Chain Reaction Cycles

Spec

Frame Vitus Carbon T700-HM. Vitus Carbon through-axle fork
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050
Brakes Shimano R8070
Chainset Shimano Ultegra R8000, 50/34
Cassette Shimano Ultegra R8000, 11-30
Bars Ritchey Comp
Stem Ritchey Comp
Seatpost Vitus Carbon  
Saddle Fizik Antares R5
Wheels Prime RR-38 carbon clinchers, Continental Ultra Sport 28mm tyres
Weight 8.43kg (size 54cm)
Contact vitusbikes.com
Price: 
£2,639

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