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  1. #1
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    difference between Alan and Vitus?

    Dare I ask such question? I never like them but always like to try new technology just to see what the edge was over the other guys when racing. I have never own one. I did have a Look carbon from the early 90s. Love every bit of that bike. I see Sean kelly killing everyone in the field.

  2. #2
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Difference in technology: ALAN's were screwed and glued (the tubing threaded into the lugs) and Viti were just glued into the lugs. ALAN was a private factory from Italy, Vitus was a consortium of several French outfits with backing from the French gvt. I don't know much about the difference in alloys or glues they used, and I guess that varied over time. Both used cast lugs. Geometries don't seem to display much difference, both are mostly square build, long trailed and ample clearanced bikes, quite typical of the era. Performance wise I can't really compare the companies, I've never ridden a Vitus (but I'm mad about my ALAN). I'm currently bidding on a Vitus for my girl, see how that turns out. I imagine that one will be quite a bit stiffer, as it is a diminutive 48 cm frame.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    ALAN and Look. Made in Italy or Made in France. To me they are completely different apart from being made of aluminium and having anodised tubes. I think they both had problems with the tubes loosening in the frame but that certainly wasn't every frame. I know the ALAN's seemed to be more reliable as time went by. I think you had loyal fans of each frame and these loyalties probably still exist today.

    Sean Kelly really put the Vitus frame on the map and I think he would have drawn bike riders to that marque. As for ALAN, they had a wonderful run as being the top frame in cyclocross for about 20 years and had about 7 world championships to its race credits. Both marques were used in anger in top professional races like the Tour de France.

    Today both frames are collected and loved; you just have to pick which 'camp' to belong to.

  4. #4
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    The guy I use to race with have had his own shop for a long time. he told me about the Vitus coming apart and he was one of the very few authorize repair guy in N America. The ride must be very similar between the two similar to modern Looks and Time. I really like to try one of those Time frames.

    I don't think Looks were ever made in Italy. May be some of their early steel frames, but I doubt it. My Look had a big Made in France on the frame.

  5. #5
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    LOOKs are French, but rumor has it that some of the Reynolds 753 frames of Hinault and Lemond fame were build by an American (for Lemond) and even a Dutchmen, Jean Legrand. This was most likely because building in 753 required a special licence back in the day.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
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  6. #6
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    Wonder why they did that in those days? Especially all the way in N America. I know Della Santa has been building frames for LeMond for a long time. What's wrong with Italian (Back then, even today, I think they are the best with steel) or French custom builders?

  7. #7
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Not that there's anything wrong with them, but personal factors like preference, local availability or friendship might also come into play. Plus, good builders can have very long wait lists, especially if you want a frame that only a certain number of certified builders can build (as is the case with 753). I believe that the country of origin has nothing to do with the skill of the builder, but is just a matter of culture in which they apply their skills.
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  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by look171 View Post
    The guy I use to race with have had his own shop for a long time. he told me about the Vitus coming apart and he was one of the very few authorize repair guy in N America.
    Vitus and Alan had different failure modes: Vitus would fail by adhesive failure, which was often repairable; Alan tended to failure by cracking at the lugs (usually head lugs) and was not repairable.

  9. #9
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Vitus and Alan had different failure modes: Vitus would fail by adhesive failure, which was often repairable; Alan tended to failure by cracking at the lugs (usually head lugs) and was not repairable.
    Ouch, seems I've took a bet on the wrong horse! It IS repairable tough, by screwing in a new lug. It's btw the most important thing to check when buying an ALAN, so you potential ALAN owners beware!
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Everything in life is about bikes. Except bikes, bikes are about power.

  10. #10
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    On an Alan I do ride no handed, but not very often. On a Vitus a hand must remain on the bar at all times.

    Both climb great, not so great on the way down

  11. #11
    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    I know zero about either brand. But. I recently acquired a Vitus 992 alum. frame bike, and it seems to ride quite nicely. It had some shifting issues (8 speed downtube indexed) which I sorted out but it had noticeable clicking and popping coming from the bottom bracket area. I tightened up the chainring bolts, pulled the bottom bracket, cleaned it and the shell, re-installed. Held my breath and...no popping! I was half sure it was the frame but fortunately it was not. It has a proprietary headset and seatpost, hopefully both of those parts will last for a while. Weighs 21.8 lbs.
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  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
    Ouch, seems I've took a bet on the wrong horse! It IS repairable tough, by screwing in a new lug.
    True -- if you happen to have a replacement lug available.

  13. #13
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    True -- if you happen to have a replacement lug available.
    But off course, I keep a couple next to my grand collection of hen's teeth and the spare bits for my square hole saw.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Once the Frame got to Italy, back then, the repair of AlAn frames was pretty low cost, I got an estimate..

    airfreight to ship it across the Pond to get it there, was not..

    tubes were like Plumbing pipe, and Turnbuckles, tapered thread,
    1 end RH the other end LH thread,
    so turning the tube pulled on both lugs.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    It wasn't too bad with getting repairs done for discombobulated Vitus frames with "Guywires Cycle Tech" in Canada, till I think just a few years ago, but last time I checked, they are pretty much gone and just selling off the very last few spare parts they have through email. Although Calfee might still patch up a damaged tubes on a Vitus Carbone, but I don't think they want to deal with any C&V cast aluminum lugs though.

    Chombi
    Last edited by Chombi; 07-05-11 at 03:30 PM.

  16. #16
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

    tubes were like Plumbing pipe, and Turnbuckles, tapered thread,
    1 end RH the other end LH thread,
    so turning the tube pulled on both lugs.
    Ah, so that's the trick I wonder how hard it would be to this yourself and start to crank out custom frames Off to the framebuilders subforum! kidding. would be awesome though, build your own bike with plumbing taps and tubes from the hardware store.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Everything in life is about bikes. Except bikes, bikes are about power.

  17. #17
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    "build your own bike with plumbing taps and tubes from the hardware store." QUOTE Italuminium.


    The greatest problem would be to find anyone that could supply a left hand NPT die. (or tap)

    The fitter's of today just use unions to make/break connections; they don't even use swept tee's

    anymore, just regulars.


    Regards,
    J T
    Last edited by J T CUNNINGHAM; 07-06-11 at 02:40 AM.
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  18. #18
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    the left hand die isn't hard to get.

  19. #19
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J T CUNNINGHAM View Post
    "build your own bike with plumbing taps and tubes from the hardware store." QUOTE Italuminium.


    The greatest problem would be to find anyone that could supply a left hand NPT die. (or tap)

    The fitter's of today just use unions to make/break connections; they don't even use swept tee's

    anymore, just regulars.


    Regards,
    J T
    Taps won't be that much of a problem. Casting lugs, on the other hand, is not something to be taken lightly. There's one easy way out though, and that is to make a tensegrity wire supoorted frame (as being build by velognome here), so one could use plain couplings and let the geometrie be decided by mounting the ST and HT on fulcrum. Turnbuckles are easy to come by.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Everything in life is about bikes. Except bikes, bikes are about power.

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