Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Made her my wife aka married, ball and chain, trouble and strife blah blah blah .
Sorry about the thread munga, cool bike and all but we're way off course now haha.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
Carbon vitii have been the subject of two retro review stories in Ride Cycling Review magazine. Issue 46, had Stephen Hodge's 1988 'Kas' Vitus, and issue 55 had a lightweight project !!! Spammer !!! on a 1987 Vitus Carbon 9. I built the Carbon 9 using all the lightest bits I could find from 1987 or earlier. It tipped the scales at 6.66kg, leading to the story's theme being 'The devil made me do it'. (6.66kg without pedals) I rode a 1983 Vitus (aluminium) for a few years, so had a particualar interest in them. I think these back issiues are available from the Ride magazine website.
Hey Warren, I really enjoyed the read about your 6.66 Vitus.
Whilst there is a lot of satisfaction out of building a full or complete resto, with a complete group; back in the day most riders rarely had one. Like yourself, I swapped out parts all the time, as new "technology" came on sale, or a lighter part was found.
I recently "gave up" on putting a full SR bike together (to ride L'Eroica), mainly because I could do the the money, but also due to the high cost of getting pieces in good condition. As a result, I plan to put together a "bitza" that I am sure I will enjoy just as much. It will be light, >25 years old, but it will have modern hoops.
for those playing at home. i broke my vitus on its maiden voyage.
st and dt came away from bb, then tt came away from st lug.
no broken bones, although i seemed to have lost some of my sense of humour.
You will laugh about it in time, well I hope.
The thing is your in one piece,
Can you get some of the glue from Adrian for it.
It's a shame it was looking good.
At least you still have a bloody nice groupset,
The maiden voyage of my Tommasini saw me have a major clip stack at my first stop.
The four cars at the intersection thought it funny but at the time I didn't now I look back it was pretty funny.
Woah, what happened when it broke? What do the lug connections look like?
At least you're right. And now I'm slightly worried about mine.
pics. if i can make nice, i'll take some pics and show you the lugs etc. right now i get a bit joe pesci when i look at it.
Last edited by munga on Wed May 22, 2013 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
i'd say age. there doesn't appear to be any modifications to the lugs or the tubes.
i was gonna say something relating to quangs restoration methods, but that'd just be mean.
quang i don't think you have anything to worry about, but make sure you put a lot of weight on those pedals before you leave the house. i got about 400m from home and was rolling through a roundabout at the top of my street. i live on a steepish kind of hill, and in hindsight, i'm surprised i got up the street.
ended up highsiding into the local residents' fence and looked around to see who/what had hit me. no cars for as far as i could see. spooky. i honestly thought someone had thrown a basketball or something at my bike. that's what it felt like. what it looked like was something else.
bike was held together by the cables. good old campy cables are definitely pre-stretched now.
rear seat stays got bent up a bit and the bb has a couple of slight marks.
ergo shifter copped a bit of rash and i'll have to check out the crank, but i think my left leg took most of the load.
luckiest stack ever.
It is generally not recommended to store Mungas, they don't keep well & you can't show off your collection in public anyway. Much better to stick to bicycles
Good of you to man up & apologise though
If you look way back through the archives of this site you will see a couple of comments I made a long time ago about the safety of old Vitus/Vitii. As they get older, the chemical reaction (oxidising) of the inside of the cast aluminium lugs, which are not anodised, must react with and weaken the glue. My 1983 model started coming apart in the early 1990's. I glued it up using the factory glue, and rode it a few more times, but could not get the thought of it failing out of mind, so hung it up.
Some came apart when they were virtually new. The importer at the time lost money on them due to this.
They look great on the wall as a display bike, great conversation piece.
I dont know what their design life was, but I dont think it was anything like 30 years.
Labour the point: They look great on the wall as a display bike.
Same goes for old ALAN frames. Ride them on your own, dont ride them in a group and put other people at risk.
I can vouch for this - a club mate of mine back in the late '80s/eary 90's had his fail twice within 6 months (first failure was repaired by the importer with the correct adhesive), and he was a <60kg junior; his father's Vitus also failed shortly after. Both frames were under 2 years old at the time.
Interesting reading. I'm still riding my vitus 979 pretty regularly, and reasonably often on some corrugated sections of dirt road, no problems yet. I'm about 85kg and the bike is a 58cm. Now I'm just a little concerned... will keep a close eye on it.
LG = Low Gear
i think it's a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, LG. I've not heard of that many vitus failures, and even less with the alans.
admittedly, there are probably more failures than with traditional lugged steel frames, but hey, we're talking about epoxy bonded tubes. it happens on yachts, airplanes, and bicycles.
you takes your chances.
personally, it hasn't put me off the concept. if the vitus is deemed repairable, i'll get it repaired. epoxy bonding technology has moved on a bit in 30 years.
I think a bottom bracket falling out of frame when you are riding it is plenty enough warning to others not to ride these frames when they are old. They always look fine, but you cannot see the deterioration of the glue, and even if only a small percentage of them actually fail, say one in ten, that is way too many. Fork failure is the dangerous one. In my original post in April 2010 I said "you probably wont die" when when one of these fails. I'll update that now to, "but then again, maybe you will."
In the 1970's and 80's, ALAN had a worse reputation for failure than Vitus.
Virtually the entire scratch bunch in Gippsland was on Vitus's in the 1980's for a couple of years. I turned up in about 1990, having been off the the bike for a couple of years, and one of the other riders (Australian Road Champion) said to me "I'm not happy riding with you if you are riding that thing". Everyone else had pensioned theirs off well and truly by then.
They were very light for the time, mine was just over 8kg with standard Suntour Superbe parts, no tricky bits, which is why we rode them. Plus the fact that they looked fantastic.
Sean Kelly rode these bikes through the 1980's. An Aussie bike mechanic asked him how the frames were standing up to the demands of the pro races, and Kelly replied, "pretty good, but I dont know really, they give me a new one every few weeks". (Or words to that effect)
I dont want to turn this into a Vitus or ALAN bashing thread, as I have a strong affection for both, and the latest products from both companies are no doubt fine, but we are talking about 25 to 30 year old epoxy here.
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