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  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Building The Vitus 997

    Sometimes a project just slows to a halt and languishes for years and years. That is what happened to my Vitus 997.

    I bought it back in 2011, as a frameset with stem and bars, but a broken derailleur hanger. Vitus 992 Questions - Were There Any Carbon Ones?

    The hanger was replaceable, but no-one sold the replacements, which is why the PO sold the frameset for $100 after shifting his rear derailleur into the spokes. I looked and looked for the hanger, emailing and calling bike stores all over the place, even some in France. Finally I took the broken bits of the old hanger, made a CAD drawing, and had a local water jet place cut me some blanks, one of which I tapped and installed on the bike. Making A Derailleur Hanger (Vitus 992)

    The next year I was given some Campagnolo Record brakes for the project, which gave me the idea to build the bike with all Record bits. Silly, but what did I know.

    I found a set of Record Titanium hubs quite cheap, and built my very first set of wheels using Mavic Open Pro rims and butted spokes. I was very proud. Then I learned that someone had cut the rear axle short to fit in a 126 mm frame, but the Vitus is 130 mm, and naturally I hadn't checked the axle length. And then I discovered that the Record Titanium hubs used a titanium axle that is incompatible with any other Campagolo hub, and of course those axles are long since NLA. There was no solution but patience. After the better part of a year searching on eBay, I found a single Record Titanium rear axle for sale somewhere in Eastern Europe. Needless to say, I grabbed it.

    Meanwhile I was collecting parts. This took forever, mostly because I didn't know what I was doing. I mean literally. Initially I planned a conventional 2 x 10 setup, and I wanted all alloy parts, so I bought that era of Record drivetrain. Then I switched to a road triple, and so I now needed a whole 'nother set of drivetrain parts. This meant finding a Campagnolo Record triple crank and long cage rear derailleur, which took time. Never fear, the previous Record double stuff went to a good home. The Vitus requires an unusually small diameter seatpost, and that took some finding as well. I spent over a year finding this stuff.

    The last obstacle was the brifters. Campagolo Record 10 speed brifters turned out to be too expensive on the used market, considering how much I'd already wasted with my incompetent project mismanagement. The Vitus was hung up in the garage to gather dust for two more years. Finally Campagnolo came out with 11 speed and the fast flush guys started selling enough of their 10 speed gear that I finally scored an affordable set of Record 10 brifters. Now I had everything needed.

    And yet I didn't build the bike. I'd stopped thinking of it as an active project. It was just the dusty black half-finished bike that bonked me in the head occasionally.



    Until today I walked into the garage, pulled the bike down, and started putting it together.

    Here is how it looks so far.



    Parts list at present:
    - Record 10 alloy triple crank
    - Record 10 front derailleur (a standard double, I hope it works)
    - Record 10 long cage carbon rear derailleur
    - Record 10 carbon brifters
    - Record Titanium hubs
    - Mavic Open Pro rims, silver
    - Unknown butted spokes, black, might be DT Swiss but I can't recall, with brass nipples
    - Record brakes
    - Record bottom bracket, if I recall it is 111 mm or thereabouts as required by the triple crank, and I think it has a carbon shell (can't recall anymore)
    - Look carbon seat post (hopefully it will stand up to the the Vitus' grub screw mechanism, I have a couple alloy posts as well)
    - Campagnolo cable kit, basic black
    - Cinelli stem, quill, silver
    - Ritchey ergo bars, black

    I'm doubtful about the bars. They came with the bike. I think they are ugly but plan to try them out, unwrapped, just to see. If I don't love them, I met a guy recently who is always looking for these bars so I can sell them easily. I'd be kind of interested in trying a carbon bar. I'm also doubtful about the stem. It is pretty enough, but probably too short at 120 mm, and I'd like a black stem to match the black post. If I keep the post, I may go looking for a black 140 mm stem. I have a 140 mm Cinelli Groove threadless stem in black, that I could use with a threaded-to-threadless adapter. A friend is looking for a 120 mm stem so I would just gift the quill Cinelli to him.

    Saddle is up in the air. I have a few rather battered ones in the bin to try out, including a Flite Ti in perforated black leather, some of which is scarred off. Bar tape can't be chosen until the saddle is selected, of course. I've favoring some flavor of Fizik perforated tape. And I will need a couple of bottle cages, rim strips, tubes, bottle cage bolts, and other odds and ends. Oh, and, umm, I am thinking about adding some inline levers. Yes, I'm serious. This is meant to be the do-anything, Swiss Army knife bike.

    So here is my question - and I do have one - I'm not (just) rambling. This is only the second bike I have built with brifters. What is the proper, cool kid way to route the cables? Should they cross over at the head tube, or just kiss, or not touch at all? Should the left side cables go in front of the right side cables, or behind, if they do cross? Do left side cables go to right side cable stop and then the cables cross under the downtime, or do you keep everything on its original side? Do you carry the housings under the tape all the way to the stem? Do you leave enough slack for big graceful loops, or pull them tight and use tape to protect the frame from rubbing?



    Housings are not cut in this pic. I think I won't cut the housings, or wrap the bars, until I decide if I'm keeping the bar and stem, meaning I will look like a dork for the first couple of rides.
    Last edited by jyl; 01-25-15 at 03:50 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Vitus frames have a replaceable derailleur hanger? Got one downstairs and it's one piece. Maybe something on the newer frames?

  3. #3
    Senior Member LazyLegs's Avatar
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    Brifter Cables hug the Bar until a few cms either side of the Step - Breaks can be wired either side, for safety best to keep them whatever way you are used to. Rear derailleur is wired from right, FD from left. There is lots of how to help out there, if you search the web.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izfnU81ipqs

  4. #4
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Vitus frames have a replaceable derailleur hanger? Got one downstairs and it's one piece. Maybe something on the newer frames?
    I believe they did this on the last few years. The carbon tube 992, which are often called the 997, started around 1997 as far as I know, so pretty late. Not, I guess, strictly "vintage".
    Last edited by jyl; 01-25-15 at 05:35 PM.
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  5. #5
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Almost done.





    The saddle really looks tatty. I may get some leather remnants from Oregon Leather and try recovering it. In that case I may try my hand at sewing a matching leather wrap foor the handlebars, if I keep these bars. I'd love to find yellow leather to pick up the decals, but basic black, or white, will be easier to find.

    Still need to finish cabling, mount the tires, get a chain, and adjust the shifting. Oh, pedals too. I have some laying around, not sure I like the bin's selection that well, but we'll see.
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  6. #6
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Just continuing the stream of consciousness . . .

    Going to the bike shop for bar tape and some odds and ends. I just can't bring myself to get yellow bar tape, after all. Feels like too much "bling" for me, plus the yellow saddles I'm finding are really for hipsters' sweet fixies. I'm going with white perforated Fizik bar tape, finished with yellow electrical tape for a tiny bit of bling.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Saguaro's Avatar
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    The front end of this bike is so beautiful! I love the sculptural headtube and the way it merges with the fork. So cool!

    I'd consider a Gilles Berthoud Galibier saddle on this bike (French). I'm not a big fan of the looks of the handlebar either but who knows you might like it. Black bar tape all the way.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    Yes, a frustrating learning curve but everything was well considered and tailored to your requirements. Your Vitus frame is lovely and worth the effort. Congratulations on the derailleur hanger replacement and I agree about the bars - I don't really like them but they do suit the bike.

    Looking forward to the final build photos. I'm sure this will be one bike that you take pride in for years to come.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
    Yes, a frustrating learning curve but everything was well considered and tailored to your requirements. Your Vitus frame is lovely and worth the effort. Congratulations on the derailleur hanger replacement and I agree about the bars - I don't really like them but they do suit the bike.

    Looking forward to the final build photos. I'm sure this will be one bike that you take pride in for years to come.
    Agree about the bars........ Once Ergo bars came out, there was not turning back to the old bends. Kind of a bummer for many C&Vers who never liked the ergo bars (which I kind of consider the first real big blow to bike aesthetics in the late 80's that eventually led us the the, IMPO, fugly bikes of today.......Except now I noticed that some of the bar manufacturers ARE selling the old non-ergo design bars again for Retro-bike fans and C&Vers..... Maybe that can be used as an excuse to use a non-ergo bend bars on projects like this??

  10. #10
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Dangnabit, the right shifter won't hold in the largest cogs. I am getting the impression that this is a symptom of worn or broken G springs. I'll ask over in Mechanics, but I believe my right shifter wants a rebuild. Setting up this 10 speed stuff sure is fussier than the six speed friction that I last worked on. And (even the cheapo) 10 speed chains are mighty spendy . . . I now see why people actually clean their chains . . .

    On the bars - part of me wants to install nice deep round drops like the Greats rode. Part of me wants to try something new, live a little, get with the (ergo) times. And there is the shameful part of me, that wants to put aero bars . . . wait, don't run away, I've called for the exorcist. Whatever, I've sure this bike will wear a couple different bars over time.
    Last edited by jyl; 01-27-15 at 06:16 AM.
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