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Discussion Starter #1
Acquired this one recently:


Francois Mitterand era Vitus mountainbike frame. Glued alloy.


Bolted brake bosses, bolted cableguide. The black plastic in the monostay is a cover, not an elastomer


Bolted dropouts and cableguide






The mech cable are guided hidden under the downtube. Dirt is kept out by a removable cover




Not square, not round


The rear brake cable is guide through a slot in the toptube. One can also opt for an U-brake


No slot seatclamp. The seatpost is clamped by two parts moving to each other.


More French: Stronglight needle bearing headset



The Vitus is great for building a clean, minimalistic Vintage ride

Would like to learn more on Vitus bikes. Have already been told that this one is probably 91/92. Thought it was a bit older than bonded alloy Miyatas, but apparently it isn't. Is there a link with Alan?
 

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Interesting frame. Pretty unique.

The graphics look a lot like an early-80s Peugeot. Are you sure it's not a Peugeot? They built with Vitus tubes.

Check out this the bike that's on the bottom of this page. It's steel, but has the same orange decal treatment.
https://home.wanadoo.nl/peugeotshow/images/1983_2.jpg
 

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Cool a Vitus frame I use to have one of them but with the Vitus fork for sure far less pretty than the switch blade,,
they rode like crap but so pretty to look at, love the cable routing under the down tube all protected, exelent use of extrusion technology......

Also your YoEddy looks amazing specially with the contrast of the snow,, I do miss mine a lot what a great bicycle that was.

thanks for the memories..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is indeed not the original fork. It is new ex Koga stock.

laffeaux said:
Interesting frame. Pretty unique.

The graphics look a lot like an early-80s Peugeot. Are you sure it's not a Peugeot? They built with Vitus tubes.

Check out this the bike that's on the bottom of this page. It's steel, but has the same orange decal treatment.
https://home.wanadoo.nl/peugeotshow/images/1983_2.jpg
Cool brochure! Also a '83 carbonbike in it. Pretty early.

I do not think it is a Peugeot. Even think it is more plausible Peugeot labelled Vitus frames 'Peugeot'. In Holland we also had Jan Janssen (yellow jersey '68) branded Vitus frames. I have an ad, but it doesn't provide details, except for there were 2 models mtb. Never saw one live.

Thanks to Google I found out a shop overhere has such a Jan Janssen Vitus (a roadbike):

 

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Cleavage Of The Tetons
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We had one in the shop I worked at at the time...

We also had a custom, true temper, ultra thin wall, steel Bruce Gordon Mt. Bike frame. (I wish I had that now!!) Anyhoo, we used to have people heft each for comparison of technologies...The Vitus was crazy heavy! The Bruce Gordon was sub 4, I think, which was REALLY light for steel at the time for a mountain frame. I do believe Alan was involved as well. Dunno for sure.
 

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Rumpfy said:
I actually saw one of those in person...heavy, heavy frame! Oof!
They were also extremlly Expensive, Very Flexible, feature super slack angles, 18 1/2" long chainstays ( if i remenber correctlly) and a wheel base longer than a truck (specially with the Original aluminum Bonded fork) but at the time pretty much all they other frames were kind of that way so was not a really big deal..

most of the clearance and sizing issues, were do to the lack of flexiblity in the contruction methods ( you need a special injection mold for every size headtube and i beleive the rest of them are "Universal" and can be used on every size as long as the angles are the same and the top tube is totally paralel to the ground (I don't think they ever made a bike with a slope toptube for really small people)...
also the need to have Gentle Radius in all the lug work made for really long chain and seat stays with out much tyre clearance, and also a great bonding overlap (road bike Vitus were famous for coming un-bond) so they were not that light.

I got mine for free as a Perk, so I did not complain, but I almost never got to ride it, since she was kind of a "Limousine" and i was far more attract it to "little rabbits" with really short wheel bases & elevated chainstays at the time.

still a really cool bike and a exelent technological example of one of the greatest european frame manufacutres
 

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Discussion Starter #9
patineto said:
They were also extremlly Expensive, Very Flexible, feature super slack angles, 18 1/2" long chainstays ( if i remenber correctlly) and a wheel base longer than a truck (specially with the Original aluminum Bonded fork) but at the time pretty much all they other frames were kind of that way so was not a really big deal..
That is exactly the reason why I thought the frame was a bit older than my '91 bonded/bolted Miyata. I have a '91 Miyata Team and a '93 Koga Miyata ValleyRunner, so I I have a kind of tiny bonded alloy collection now :cool:


most of the clearance and sizing issues, were do to the lack of flexiblity in the contruction methods ( you need a special injection mold for every size headtube and i beleive the rest of them are "Universal" and can be used on every size as long as the angles are the same and the top tube is totally paralel to the ground (I don't think they ever made a bike with a slope toptube for really small people)...
Apparently Miyata made modifications more easily. For example the modifications that were made for the '91 modellyear:

"For '91: Slimmer dropouts and a reworked, slimmer bracketlug with intergrated chainsuckteeth. Frame now fitting 1.125" headset and 73mm bracket, instead of 1" and 68mm. Furthermore toptube cablerouting and bolted instead of welded seatstaybridge and brakebosses. For the 10,000 this enabled the use of carbon for the stays."

..and here we still speak of the same generation, so it are changes within a generation. For '92 there was already a completely new design.

When comparing the Vitus with both Miyatas I conclude the Vitus looks cleaner, more minimalistic. The '91 Miyata Team looks burly. The '93 Koga is very different and of a totally other generation with its slooping tt and short stays etc. Unfortunately I don't have pics of both Miyatas, but on my site can be viewed quite a lot.

On finishing: All frames are great. Maybe the Miyatas are a bit nicer because of slightly more refined lugs and clearcoat on the alloy. Miyata is very difficult to beat when it comes to finishing.

Can't compare the bikes on handling and weight. I haven't ridden and and weighted yet, although you, rideit and Rumpfy made me curious on the weight issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
robinmiller said:
You found it hanging on a tree while on a ride? Cool!
No, actually I got it from a friend who wants to entirely focus on steel :cool: (Yo Eddy, RaceLite, A la Carte, Scapin, Gazelle) I hung it in tree myself because I thought I would end up with nice pics by doing so. After the shooting I took it with me again.
 

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Elevation12 said:
That is exactly the reason why I thought the frame was a bit older than my '91 bonded/bolted Miyata. I have a '91 Miyata Team and a '93 Koga Miyata ValleyRunner, so I I have a kind of tiny bonded alloy collection now :cool:




Apparently Miyata made modifications more easily. For example the modifications that were made for the '91 modellyear:

"For '91: Slimmer dropouts and a reworked, slimmer bracketlug with intergrated chainsuckteeth. Frame now fitting 1.125" headset and 73mm bracket, instead of 1" and 68mm. Furthermore toptube cablerouting and bolted instead of welded seatstaybridge and brakebosses. For the 10,000 this enabled the use of carbon for the stays."

..and here we still speak of the same generation, so it are changes within a generation. For '92 there was already a completely new design.

When comparing the Vitus with both Miyatas I conclude the Vitus looks cleaner, more minimalistic. The '91 Miyata Team looks burly. The '93 Koga is very different and of a totally other generation with its slooping tt and short stays etc. Unfortunately I don't have pics of both Miyatas, but on my site can be viewed quite a lot.

On finishing: All frames are great. Maybe the Miyatas are a bit nicer because of slightly more refined lugs and clearcoat on the alloy. Miyata is very difficult to beat when it comes to finishing.

Can't compare the bikes on handling and weight. I haven't ridden and and weighted yet, although you, rideit and Rumpfy made me curious on the weight issue.

Thanks for the wonderful History tour....

For a Long time i was only aware of the Miyata's Presence only true the magazines, but when i came to California i got lucky to see some in person (among a few other legendary frames and components)and also work on them (Mostlly at American Cyclery in San Francisco) and i can only agree with the break true technology that they posses...

really inteligent design on a Era when mass production was a "okay" thing to persue..

thanks, for the link I will go into your site to look at them rigfht away..
 

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well.. now that you found a new frame and won't need the yo eddy anymore i'll buy it from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yo is not for sale :) Still need it, one can have a flat tire when leaving ;)


patineto said:
Thanks for the wonderful History tour....

For a Long time i was only aware of the Miyata's Presence only true the magazines, but when i came to California i got lucky to see some in person (among a few other legendary frames and components)and also work on them (Mostlly at American Cyclery in San Francisco) and i can only agree with the break true technology that they posses...

really inteligent design on a Era when mass production was a "okay" thing to persue..

thanks, for the link I will go into your site to look at them rigfht away..
I have quite a few Miyatas. The golden Century on my homepage is one of them and this is another:


Like the Yo a terrible bike to own. I will be seriously ruined and depressed the day when I lose it in an accident or a fire :eek:

About a year ago three of those, NOS frame/fork/headset, were offered on eBay.com. They all went for about $65...... I still consider myself a fool I didn't buy at least one.

Unfortunately I do not own the titanium Elevation 8,000 (or Euro counterpart Koga TiRunner) and it is a shame I still don't have the FS Elevation 12,000 :mad: Last time I saw one offered is about 2 years ago.
 

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I'm french and these bonded/glued aluminum frames were the rage at the end of the eigthies and the very beginnig of the nineties. Vitus is a great manufacturer and its main activities laid not in frame manufacturing but in tubing supply for other brand, whether steel or aluminum, but with an emphasis on aluminum technology. It was the equal of columbus yet..The brand has com across a diffcult period in the mid nineties but is now in good shape, proposing a whole game of vpp-style frames. The factory is located in the center of france (Saint Chamond), near an historical center of mechanical industry (Saint Etienne).
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
vinny said:
I'm french and these bonded/glued aluminum frames were the rage at the end of the eigthies and the very beginnig of the nineties. Vitus is a great manufacturer and its main activities laid not in frame manufacturing but in tubing supply for other brand, whether steel or aluminum, but with an emphasis on aluminum technology. It was the equal of columbus yet..The brand has com across a diffcult period in the mid nineties but is now in good shape, proposing a whole game of vpp-style frames. The factory is located in the center of france (Saint Chamond), near an historical center of mechanical industry (Saint Etienne).
Thanks, interesting!

https://www.vitus.fr/

Some new skool Vitus bikes =>


Vitus Taillefer :cool: Pitbox


Rocco - burly chainstays ;)


Kult

Vinny, you say Vitus made frames and tubing, can you tell how to distinguish a Vitus frame and a non-Vitus with Vitus tubing?
 

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like reynolds or columbus, a brand X frame using vitus tubing should probably put some "vitus" stickers on it. But I think that nowadays the tubing activity has ceased for vitus.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
vinny said:
like reynolds or columbus, a brand X frame using vitus tubing should probably put some "vitus" stickers on it. But I think that nowadays the tubing activity has ceased for vitus.
I understand, but consider the following bike:



It is from the Jan Janssen brand, but actually I do not think it is built at the Jan Janssen factory (but I am not sure). Are there particular details from wich one can derive the entire frame is Vitus or only the tubing used is from Vitus? ...and for example the Peugeot on top the brochure page posted by laffaux, is it Vitus frame or just Vitus tubing?:

 

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I see what you wanna say.
I can't answer your question absolutely. What I guess however, the particular bonding technology with forged parts is too costly and take to much time for a brand X to buy only the tubing from vitus. The outsourcing and the rebadging which is well known nowadays has always been used in the bike industry. Concerning the particular case of Peugeot alu-bonded road frames in the early nineties, I'm sure that they were in-house products: the badges on the tubing did not mentionned vitus or columbus, but Pechiney, a french specialist of aluminum, not a bike tubing manufacturer at all. It's like C-dale mentionning Alcoa: C-dale get is tubing directly from Alcoa, shapes these tubes in-house and don't use the Easton more common sourcing.
 
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