Vitus App'n Society

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Vitus App'n Society

Postby Saro28 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:01 pm

Well I have one and I know one other member with one (even betterer than mine) so thats enough to start something. Anyone else is welcome to jump in.

I bought the frameset recently, Vitus 979 with headset, and had the groupset on standby for about 12 mths or more, complete Suntour Superbe. Full cleanup and service of the parts ready to build up. The alloy was in great condit' so it was easy to clean up just some minor rust on steel/chromed bolts etc. The seat tube is 25mm (int'l) which is a little out of the norm so I have a SR in there now and the FD will be SS Pro (endless band) when it arrives. Replacement hoods for the brake levers is a big prob' so not sure where that will end up atm. Since these pics I have changed the tyres to Schwable Blizzard Blue and it looks sooooooo much better. Being as strrong as I am I snapped the bolt for the seat clamp (metal must've being fatiuged) of course a specific fit so waiting for replacement bolt now too.

Image

Image
blue tape is to stop brake arm damage

Image

Image
with Rolls seat

Image
Diff' wheel with blue tyres, modern race seat

Dare I say, the pics don't do it justice :roll:
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by BNA » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:51 pm

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Kid_Carbine » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:51 pm

I don't have a Vitus bike but have had dealings with two of them.

The first one was a repair/restoration for a friend & it was French threaded so I presume that it was an earlier vintage. It had been sourced as an incomplete bike from a bike shop [Jack Walsh's] when it closed down & it had been in storage for quite some years after the broken-off rear derailleur hanger had been welded back on. It was a good repair.

Apparently this was a problem for at least some of them as I remember reading about it somewhere on the net so it might be a good idea to never lay it down on the drive side.
Fortunately the French threaded bottom bracket & headset were in good serviceable condition so no real dramas there.
It ran Shimano Arabesque components so I suppose that dates it in the early 80's & I built some seven speed Dura Ace hubbed wheels for it.

It turned out well & the owner is happy with it.

The second one I bought for its Dura Ace components. Again, no wheels & the frame was a mess.
As far as I know, the Italian ALAN frame was glued & screwed but this Vitus seems to have been just glued & it was all coming apart with several tubes badly bellmouthed at the lugs so it had been riden for a while in a debonded condition. Some fool had a death wish.
I removed the head tube,complete with fork, by simply pulling on it & I still have it here.

Fortunately this one was English threaded so I presume that it was a newer model.
Again, I remember reading something about instances of debonding of the frame tubes at the lugs so it might be something to just keep an eye on from time to time.

I sawed the downtube to salvage the whole shifter section & simply disposed of the remainder of the frame, .... in three separate pieces, the damage was that bad.

You have a beautifull bike there & Suntour certainly made some truly Superbe components so you won't go wrong with that groupset
eBay is full of listings for 25mm seatpins so you should have no trouble sourcing a fancy one if you decide you want a change.

I have the same shifters on a blue [steel] bike that I am building & it would seem that they were packaged as Mavic, Simplex & possibly Huret [I got it wrong in my own thread]. Apparently they are also regarded by at least some in the vintage cycling fraternity as the best you could get. They have very little internal resistance when pulling the lever back [against the derailleur's springs] but elevated resistance when pushing the levers forward [with the derailleur's springs assisting the shift.]
I suspect that the intention was to make the pressure of shifting about the same in both directions & apparently it worked well.

I wish you good fortune in recruiting members to your appreciation society.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby spirito » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:06 pm

Kid_Carbine wrote:

I have the same shifters on a blue [steel] bike that I am building & it would seem that they were packaged as Mavic, Simplex & possibly Huret [I got it wrong in my own thread].


Shifters are Simplex and rebranded/no branded for Mavic, Galli and some others.

Very nice Vitus Mr. Saro. Looks a treat !!! 8)

I wish I wasn't so lazy to take some better pics of my Sean Kelly homage but here's a peek. "Tout Mavic" (nearly) and finished just in time do Melburn - Roubaix for it's test ride. I'm well aware that almost everyone has a Vitus fail story but my experiences over the years have been all positive. The characteristic ride was perfect for the cobble sections, floated where other bikes seemed too jarring to ride. Great frames, and considering they were commonly around 30% more expensive than even the most sought after Italian exotica they're quite a bargain if you keep your eye's open.

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby spirito » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Kid_Carbine wrote:.. several tubes badly bellmouthed at the lugs ...


The main tubes are externally butted, and swage thicker at the ends where they met the lugs.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby cycles gitane » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:33 pm

spirito wrote:
Kid_Carbine wrote:

I have the same shifters on a blue [steel] bike that I am building & it would seem that they were packaged as Mavic, Simplex & possibly Huret [I got it wrong in my own thread].


Shifters are Simplex and rebranded/no branded for Mavic, Galli and some others.

Very nice Vitus Mr. Saro. Looks a treat !!! 8)

I wish I wasn't so lazy to take some better pics of my Sean Kelly homage but here's a peek. "Tout Mavic" (nearly) and finished just in time do Melburn - Roubaix for it's test ride. I'm well aware that almost everyone has a Vitus fail story but my experiences over the years have been all positive. The characteristic ride was perfect for the cobble sections, floated where other bikes seemed too jarring to ride. Great frames, and considering they were commonly around 30% more expensive than even the most sought after Italian exotica they're quite a bargain if you keep your eye's open.


Two very nice bikes. Well done on the details.

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Saro28 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:23 pm

Melburn - Roubaix 2012, Team Vitus :lol: :lol:

Thanks for sharing your experience with Vitus KC :shock: , I'm now alert but not alarmed :wink: I'm gunna stick with it and I hope it sticks with me :wink:

See ya in Melb'n Mr S 8)

PS: nice to see it off the work stand :lol:

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Last edited by Saro28 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Semar » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:47 am

The other appreciation societies seem to be for, please forgive my directness, sow's ears that have been turned into silk purses. :wink:

This is entirely unnecessary in the case of the extraordinary elegance of Vitus. Whether it is the sparkling anodized, the silky, plain aluminium or the carbotubed models, all are beautiful.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby spirito » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:01 pm

Semar wrote:The other appreciation societies seem to be for, please forgive my directness, sow's ears that have been turned into silk purses. :wink:



You weren't direct enough. My frame/fork, shifters and brakes came to me for $160 including shipping ($35). I'd rather spend money on a silk purse than waste it on a nondescript sow's ear.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:34 am

spirito wrote:
Kid_Carbine wrote:.. several tubes badly bellmouthed at the lugs ...


The main tubes are externally butted, and swage thicker at the ends where they met the lugs.


Sadly, some tubes were so badly belmouthed that in places I could slide a paddle-pop stick between the tube & the lug.
The head tube was held in place by gravity & good luck. [I pulled it from the frame by hand]
It was sad to see what had once been an exceptionally fine bike [Dura Ace groupset remember] come to such an unfortunate end.
None the less I saved the fork if anyone wants it.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby spirito » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Kid_Carbine wrote:
None the less I saved the fork if anyone wants it.



Might sound kinda weird but a pedestrian walked out from a pub, drunk and on the phone right into my path on a bike lane at full speed tonight. I'm OK (thanks to my helmet) but my bike's not ... I'm in the market for at least a fork. I'll check the bike in the morning to see what the extent of damage is.

Image


Pedestrian? He got into a car with friends and drove off. It's a little tricky to explain but if anyone works for the RTA or the NSW Constabulary feel free to PM me as I need a favour to ask.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby kevinwulf » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:23 pm

WTH!
:(
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Semar » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:04 pm

Image


Drunks make softer landings. :wink:

If it came down to a Vitus or a bum, the Vitus should have been preserved. Bums are everywhere.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby rkelsen » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:19 pm

Ouch! :cry:

Lucky Kid_Carbine saved the fork from his. This forum is great!
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Kid_Carbine » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:32 am

Spirito

I have replied to your PM but now that I can see your photo I suspect that I may not be able to help as the steerer on my fork [& the head tube that still houses it] appear to be quite a bit shorter than yours.

More like this one I'm afraid.
Anyway, I have sent the requested measurements & I wish you well.

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Mustang » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:24 am

Any you guys still have a VITUS?
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Saro28 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:27 am

Mustang wrote:Any you guys still have a VITUS?


yep, just like that one ^^^^^ up there :D
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Mustang » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:46 pm

Saro28 wrote:
Mustang wrote:Any you guys still have a VITUS?


yep, just like that one ^^^^^ up there :D

Are you damaged?
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Mustang » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:13 pm

When I bought my Vitus I unknowingly purchased it with a Uniglide cassette (12/21) (7 speed), with a chain ring count of 53/39 on a 51cm frame.
My first ride seems Ok on the flat, but I suspect I'm going to run out of puff on the hills?

Research on Sheldon Brown site suggests one can use a Hyperglide cassette ,(as Uniglide cassettes above 21 teeth are almost impossible to find) file out the wide spline section & use it on your Uniglide hub with the original 12t cog holding everthing together.

Has anyone performed this surgery with success? alternative to my problem I guess is new wheels & hub, with a 12/25 cassette, but as its Sant'e group with Sant'e hubs I'm reluctant to do this. Rear space is 125mm.
Image of Uniglide cassette, in good condition.With external ? thread
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Last edited by Mustang on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Saro28 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:01 pm

[/quote]Are you damaged?[/quote]

sure I am especially around the edges, but compared to some, I'm fairly normal, well normal in my terms but how do YOU define damaged :? Musthang?
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Stuey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:47 pm

Saro, can I ask what the groove is on the inside of the shifters on the frame mount? Not the cable groove, but the other one. The shift lever seems to have a protrusion which may or may not have anything to do with it...

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby spirito » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:40 am

Saro's quite sensitive to people asking him about protrusions. Just sayyin' ..
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Mustang » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:28 pm

spirito wrote:Saro's quite sensitive to people asking him about protrusions. Just sayyin' ..

I got that idea already :lol: :lol:
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby Saro28 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:57 pm

Mustang wrote:
spirito wrote:Saro's quite sensitive to people asking him about protrusions. Just sayyin' ..

I got that idea already :lol: :lol:


Talk about my protrusion all day if thats ya thing but just don't mention my damage, it's very personal :wink:

.........and about that protrusion of mine, I'm not sure of the brand, but these shifters have the protrusion to stop the shifter from going past the stop point when it meets another tab/protrusion/end stop. Full stop >.

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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby rkelsen » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:45 am

Saro28 wrote:I'm not sure of the brand

:shock: Aren't they those Simplex Retrofriction things that some people break their necks trying to find?
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Re: Vitus App'n Society

Postby high_tea » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:05 am

Mustang wrote:When I bought my Vitus I unknowingly purchased it with a Uniglide cassette (12/21) (7 speed), with a chain ring count of 53/39 on a 51cm frame.
My first ride seems Ok on the flat, but I suspect I'm going to run out of puff on the hills?

Research on Sheldon Brown site suggests one can use a Hyperglide cassette ,(as Uniglide cassettes above 21 teeth are almost impossible to find) file out the wide spline section & use it on your Uniglide hub with the original 12t cog holding everthing together.

Has anyone performed this surgery with success? alternative to my problem I guess is new wheels & hub, with a 12/25 cassette, but as its Sant'e group with Sant'e hubs I'm reluctant to do this. Rear space is 125mm.
Image of Uniglide cassette, in good condition.With external ? thread
Image
Vitus Images


Yeah, I did this to get a 34T rear sprocket on my old roadbike. It was pretty straightforward. I got lucky and didn't have to file out any splines either. Indexing was fine, as I recall. ISTR having to use the top two sprockets but that might be my mind playing tricks. Anyway, I followed SB's description and it all went fine.
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