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Thread: Vitus 979

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    Vitus 979

    Is it possible for my vitus 979 to have an Italian bottom bracket? Can I have a 7 speed ultegra with ergo shifters or do I need down tube shifters? Any help would be great.

    Thanks,

    Doug

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    WNG
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    979s are English BB, are you sure your frame is a 979? Maybe it's an ALAN?
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    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Pictures, pictures.....please..

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    Vitus 979 frames were available in Italian, French and English threading.

    Don't know about 7-speed Ultegra brifters/ergo shifters. Do you mean the 600 tri-color group? Not really certain, but it's my understanding that the shimano 600 (aka tri-color) group was renamed ultegra when it made the switch to 8-speed. Regardless, you should be able to use ultegra 8-speed with a 7-speed freewheel if you use the limit screws to block out one of the gears.

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I always thought it was called Ultegra when it switched from the silver 600 EX SIS to the great dark grey color and the term "Tri Color" was applied as sort of nickname to separate it from EX.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I always thought it was called Ultegra when it switched from the silver 600 EX SIS to the great dark grey color and the term "Tri Color" was applied as sort of nickname to separate it from EX.
    I have two examples and the 64XX series is labeled 600 and the 65xx series labeled Ultegra. Advertising when the group was rebranded often included a reference to 600. Interesting is that Ultegra head sets were still marked with a 600 logo for a couple of years following the Ultegra debut. The tri color badge had a meaning to Shimano, but I forget exactly what it defined. I think two of the colors represented sky and sea.

    Brad

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    But I don't think shipmano ever called it tricolor that just became slang for referring to the dark grey with the tri color sticker rather than the older EX versions. I am not actually sure I ever heard the term tricolor back in the early '90s just when I started hanging with this crowd a few years back.
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    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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    Senior Member Angry_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravencyclist View Post
    Is it possible for my vitus 979 to have an Italian bottom bracket? Can I have a 7 speed ultegra with ergo shifters or do I need down tube shifters? Any help would be great.
    I have a 1988 979 with a 7 speed free wheel. So you can get a 7 speed mechanism for it, as long as you have a 126mm rear hub. You should not cold set or spring a 979 for a 130mm hub - the stresses on the rear triangle may not be healthy.
    The frame is designed for bare cable routing from the down tubes. There are adapters that will allow shifter housing to be routed to the down tubes, and the bare cables run as usual. At the time, tri bar bar-end shifters were routed this way. Unless there is something unusual about the Ultegra shifter, they should work on the frame with adapters.
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    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    As noted, I think most, if not all 979's had 126mm rear spacing = 7 speeds will fit with a narrow (compact) spaced 7 speed FW and narrow chain....
    I have a Vitus Carbone that shares most measurements with the 979 frames and I run a Maillard "Super Compact" 7 speed FW with a Narrow Sedis/Sachs chain on it and all fit and work really well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    Vitus 979 frames were available in Italian, French and English threading.
    Interesting. I wasn't aware.
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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I always thought it was called Ultegra when it switched from the silver 600 EX SIS to the great dark grey color and the term "Tri Color" was applied as sort of nickname to separate it from EX.
    It went from "600EX" (62xx) to "600 Ultegra" (64xx) to "Ultegra" (65xx).

    Shimano used the tri-color banner as corporate colors from the late '70's, I think:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano1982/pages/00a.html

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    ^ There was also 600 Ax. I think that came after 600 EX.
    I distinctly remembering another version of 600, perhaps it was under the 62xx numbering, but it wasn't EX, which is Arabesque.
    This 600 group came after EX, updated sidepulls with left-sided cable routing, black wheel guides. 600 RD, and a new crank with no Arabesque engraving. Bought items from this group to build my brother's bike in the mid 80s. And the RD went SIS, but kept the look of the friction version.

    Addendum: just clicked the link to the catalog....600 Ax was listed as 63xx.
    Last edited by WNG; 01-30-14 at 12:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    Interesting. I wasn't aware.
    At least that's what my fallible memory tells me. I used to own a Vitus that was English/ISO and I know most examples are English/ISO threading, but there were a great many Vitus frame built over the years. It's been my understanding that English, French and Italian threading were all options. English/ISO is certain, French is more than plausible, but Italian got me second-guessing myself...so off to the information superhighway...I found an old Vitus 979 brochure HERE at the equusbicycle.com website. If you click to page three [LINK], you will note that the bottom bracket is indeed offered in English, French and Italian threading.

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    Nice detective work! The site showed another revelation....wasn't aware of a Lozenge tubed model...ovalized aero seat and down tubes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    It went from "600EX" (62xx) to "600 Ultegra" (64xx) to "Ultegra" (65xx).

    Shimano used the tri-color banner as corporate colors from the late '70's, I think:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano1982/pages/00a.html

    Right the 64XX stuff was mixed, some Ultegra, some 600.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    But I don't think shipmano ever called it tricolor that just became slang for referring to the dark grey with the tri color sticker rather than the older EX versions. I am not actually sure I ever heard the term tricolor back in the early '90s just when I started hanging with this crowd a few years back.
    Yeah, Tricolor seems to be a nickname that started on one of the forums (RBR?) in the '90s.

    Brad

    PS From an early thread I found that the colors represent Earth, Sky and Sea.
    Last edited by bradtx; 01-30-14 at 08:34 AM. Reason: PS

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    ^ There was also 600 Ax. I think that came after 600 EX.
    I distinctly remembering another version of 600, perhaps it was under the 62xx numbering, but it wasn't EX, which is Arabesque.
    This 600 group came after EX, updated sidepulls with left-sided cable routing, black wheel guides. 600 RD, and a new crank with no Arabesque engraving. Bought items from this group to build my brother's bike in the mid 80s. And the RD went SIS, but kept the look of the friction version.

    Addendum: just clicked the link to the catalog....600 Ax was listed as 63xx.
    Yep. 600AX, 600EX, Dura-Ace AX, Dura-Ace EX all in one year. Can you imagine trying to keep all the spare parts straight? No wonder shops didn't want to stock Shimano then.

    (Apologies to everyone for the thread-jacking.)

    Back in my days at Euro-Asia Imports, I'm pretty sure we had a couple French-threaded 979 framesets from bygone days. I bet they're still there.
    Last edited by Jeff Wills; 01-30-14 at 07:05 PM.
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    I found a vitus fork for my frame. Can I use a new threadless headset or do I have to use a threaded headset? The steerer tube has threads at the top but not crisp.

    Thanks

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    Threaded.
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    The vitus fork I purchased was too short. I bought a carbon fiber fork to install. I got tired of waiting. Bottom bracket, crank, fork and headset will be installed by this weekend. I am thinking of installing an old Cinelli stem and handlebars instead of new type of stem and handlebars. I will attached pics this weekend.

    Doug

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    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Yes, correct steerer tube length is critical when getting a replacement fork. Too short a steerer tube usually means a fail, while finding one with a little bit too long a steerer tube is still workable with spacers, as long as it's not way too long.
    Anyeay, you might be happier with the more period correct C&V aesthetic results if you use the threaded headset and older style quill stem and bars.

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    Just jumping in in the 979 love. I just picked one up, it is pretty much an exact copy of the first true race bike I ever had, same color, same size. It is going to get the full Mavic treatment and then taken to Italy for the 2014 L'Eroica. This will be my third time, and it will be for speed this year.
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    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikegeek1968 View Post
    Just jumping in in the 979 love. I just picked one up, it is pretty much an exact copy of the first true race bike I ever had, same color, same size. It is going to get the full Mavic treatment and then taken to Italy for the 2014 L'Eroica. This will be my third time, and it will be for speed this year.

    Please post pics when you have the bike ready!

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    Senior Member Eric S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry_Monkey View Post
    You should not cold set or spring a 979 for a 130mm hub - the stresses on the rear triangle may not be healthy.
    I inherited a Bridgestone Radac, which is pretty much a Vitus copy. I hardly ever ride it because it's a really weird fit for me, but I've had a 130mm hub in it for a little over 3 years. Nothing bad has happened yet but your comment is noted.

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    Senior Member Angry_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
    I inherited a Bridgestone Radac, which is pretty much a Vitus copy. I hardly ever ride it because it's a really weird fit for me, but I've had a 130mm hub in it for a little over 3 years. Nothing bad has happened yet but your comment is noted.
    I have read in several places that it is not recommended to spring the rear end of an aluminum frame that way. And probably just as many people that say it works just fine. 2mm stretch on each chain/seat stay doesn't seem like much. But I do tend to ride it hard when I get a chance to... we use to ranomly call out sprints to the next telephone pole and HAMMER it. Anything to break up the long stretches of New Jersey country side.

    I know the 979 is a very pliable frame, but I'll error on the side of caution. I've got two 126mm rear wheels ready to go, a third that needs some work, and am looking at picking up parts for a fourth and/or fifth read wheel. So I will be set for quite some time for the Vitus and my older Peugeot Ventoux (PH501).

    And truth be told, I'm a compete gear head and I'm itching to build up a newer 130mm bike.

    -Monkey-

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