80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby biker jk » Fri May 24, 2013 10:10 am

"The carbon version had problems with the lugs and the resin - there were difficulties there" [Sean Kelly on the Vitus 979].
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by BNA » Sun May 26, 2013 2:00 pm

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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby spirito » Sun May 26, 2013 2:00 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:

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 dunno ... such a comment without verification and hearing the same from different sources is little better than fiction imo. Fwiw, I've heard and read the opposite. And amongst some knowledgeable cognoscenti we've not ever been able to recall Kelly DNF or bust a frame during racing. Nobody wins a Paris Roubaix on a suspect frame.


There are dangers with these frame .... as with an old frames or bicycle parts. If you're not sure then don't ride them ... if you have some experience or a mechanic that understands these or a framebuilder who knows what repairs to do then I consider them of little issue, but do advise to check them over. Repair is fairly easy, and not an issue as long as it's caught early.

I can attest these frames are in some ways stronger than people think ... and the forks in particular are very robust.

I'm not arguing ... just balancing out all the doom-gloom. I see more issues with junky low budget crap from the 70's that everyone seems to think will last forever and I see failing all the time.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby LG » Sun May 26, 2013 8:14 pm

Well I took my 979 out for a ride today and survived :D . I guess I'm hoping mine is as much of a known quantity as it can be having owned and ridden it regularly for a while, unlike munga's which broke on his maiden voyage. I usually have a routine inspection of the bike before each ride anyway, specifically looking at the lug joints. My hope/thought is that any separation of joint while riding will be seen or felt before it results in a complete collapse of the bike, and resulting damage to the frame (& me). Maybe I'm just an optimist.

Any update on structural damage to your frame munga? Your description of a bend in the seat stays doesn't sound good.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby spirito » Sun May 26, 2013 9:20 pm

munga wrote: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.


wow ... I completely missed this.

Sorry to hear bro, glad you're (relatively) ok.
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby bicyclepassion » Thu May 30, 2013 5:09 pm

My comments above on the Vitus frames come from 30 years and one month of owning an alloy 979, 5 years of selling them in the 1980's, and I am still in contact with the 1980's importer. I also have an aluminium ALAN, a Vitus Carbon 9 (BB reglued into it sometime), and an ALAN Carbonio. I love the look of these bikes, and am interested in them, but am no longer keen on riding them.

Surely the above accident described by Munga is enough to stop people from being optimists.

BTW, I did not invent the comment about the aussie bike mechanic who spoke to Kelly. Why would I?
If you read the comment carefully, I am not suggesting that kelly had any trouble with his Vitus frames, he simply said he got a new one pretty often. (Or words to that effect). Read into that what you will. I dont want to name the mechanic.
I rode my Vitus 979 for many thousands of K's (40,000?) before it came unglued the first time, glued it up, came unglued somewhere else. Then again. All in the chainstay, seat stay area. The first time I was descending the gap from Omeo to Swifts Creek, an 80kmh descent. The right hand rear dropout had come unglued, and was popping in and out. As it is a socket type joint, I was able to stop without mishap, but it was not a nice experience, to put it mildly.
As far as i know, it is impossible to tell if the glue joints have degraded with these frames, by visual inspection. Unlike an old steel frame, a glued alloy or carbon one can come apart almost instantly at the glued joint, no warning whatsoever.
It is not a matter of how many K's the bike has done, or how it was treated, or how perfect it looks. It is a matter of how old it is. Un-anodised aluminium corrodes. The glue breaks down. The joint fails.
I'll labour the point. If you insist on riding your early Vitus, please dont put your friends at risk by riding in a group.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby porkchops » Thu May 30, 2013 6:34 pm

I was under the impression that unlike the Vitus frames, ALAN frames are screwed, then glued, therefore less likely to have a catastrophic failure.

Any carbon, aluminium or steel bike can fail, by your reasoning you should ride only brand new bikes once then throw them in the bin.

I think I read that munga had had the frame repaired, he possibly should have had all the joints re-glued, but to damn every glued bike ever built because they may fail in my opinion is going way over the top.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby Mustang » Thu May 30, 2013 7:39 pm

Bad luck Munga, (only just got back to a computer, have been on Fraser Is for 3 weeks)
I ride my Vitus regulary on my own, its possibly the most comfortable bike I have. As its a 50cm frame its had small fry riding it all its life.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby spirito » Thu May 30, 2013 9:37 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:
Warren


Warren,

I'll take everything you have said and appreciate your input. My experience with these frames isn't small but nowhere near as much as yours. Sorry if I said anything wrong by you.

ciao, ben
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby LG » Fri May 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Warren, my optimism is dimming on reading your last post. It appears from your experience that the joint separation can be sudden and without warning - inspection and maintenance doesn't help. I am not a gambler. I've taken the pump bracket and clipless pedals off my Vitus, but will be keeping and admiring it for what it is, and probably using it for the odd slow ride along the cycle path.

I haven't done any research whatsoever, but hope there is or will be someday soon a reasonably priced method of dissolving the glue, separating all the joints and re-gluing with a modern adhesive without effecting the anodizing.
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Re: 80's Vitus Plus Carbone

Postby Mustang » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:44 pm

LG wrote:Warren, my optimism is dimming on reading your last post. It appears from your experience that the joint separation can be sudden and without warning - inspection and maintenance doesn't help. I am not a gambler. I've taken the pump bracket and clipless pedals off my Vitus, but will be keeping and admiring it for what it is, and probably using it for the odd slow ride along the cycle path.

I haven't done any research whatsoever, but hope there is or will be someday soon a reasonably priced method of dissolving the glue, separating all the joints and re-gluing with a modern adhesive without effecting the anodizing.


Joe Cosgrove in Brisbane can help you...just dont be in a hurry :lol:
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