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  1. #1
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    Vitus 979 for 6'2, 225 pound guy?

    Hello!
    I guess i am considered a "clydesdale" (well i do whinny like a horse....just kidding that was creepy sorry)

    ANYWHO, as the title suggest, i am 6'2 and 225....i wouldn't say im fat, just a "big boy"
    anywho again, i have in possession a VITUS 979 road frame from the 80's.

    are you familiar with them? like, REAL familiar? road one? have one? are you alive?
    i guess you would be if posting here. unless you are a "ghost in the machine"

    reason being, these are basically one of the first and definitely most popular aluminum road frames of the 80s. i love the looks of them. but apparently they are bonded aluminum...aluminum tubes bonded into aluminum lugs. and thusly, i have heard stories of them breaking (no bueno)

    although, when it comes to horror stories and bike stuff (ie. carbon wheels/frames breaking) i believe allot of it is not par for course but one in a blue moon instance being blown out of proportion thru the webernets.

    sooo perhaps i could hear stories of fellow big people who actually ride/have ridden one of these frames.

    btw here is what they look like:
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  2. #2
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    never ridden a Vitus, but a nice looking ride.

  3. #3
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    yah thats the thing....i got the frame for super cheap....albeit scuffed and paint chipped. so i was planning on this frame being my first real good go at painting and polishing a frame up decently. the bike above is basically what im going for visually, perhaps not those same colors, but i cant help but be smitten by this bike's looks ;p
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Standard OD aluminum is/was kind of noodly, even under strong but light riders..
    you are You are probably too heavy for it..


    an Oversize tube welded aluminum framed road bike is probably what you should go for..

    theres decent complete bikes with the latest components for not a lot of money,
    these days.
    conservative wheel build , 32 spoke wheels stong rims , etc.

    I wouldn't try to paint it , it's anodized, which is better, IMHO. esp for resale,

    they're not paint chips but nicks and scratches thru the anodized surface
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-09-11 at 06:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Wow. There's a blast from the past. I knew one or two cool kids who were riding pink ones back when I was on my Gitane.
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Member tigerdog's Avatar
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    Had a friend with one back in the day; he was about 175-180 lbs and the bike was whippy and noodly even for him. Went into a nasty wobble on one fast downhill that nearly threw him. I was always afraid to even ride it. Clydes who like vintage aluminum rode Kleins. Heck, we still do around here. Gary K built light strong frames for pedal mashers like me. If you ride the Vitus aggressively, please be careful.
    Refitting is the reverse of removal, only you swear in different places.

  7. #7
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    NOOOO!!!
    I was only 145 lbs when I had a Vitus 979 back in the 90s. It was a miserable experience. Very whippy and shimmied alarmingly on fast downhills. This bike was designed for people who are about 120 lbs max.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I recall looking at Vitus back in the 80's (back then it was a dream bike) but the max weight rating was 180 lbs.

    Back it those days the Columbus SL was one of the lighter steel tube sets and it was rated for about 200 lbs. I was 210 back then so I went with steel SPX.

    Fietsbob is correct that a better aluminum bike would be something with oversized tubing like a Klien or a Cdale. If you want a vintage bike with the standard OD then look at steel in spx tubing.
    Last edited by cyclist2000; 06-10-11 at 02:02 PM.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  9. #9
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    DO NOT RIDE THAT BIKE... The sleeves on those tubes are glued - you read right glued.. I was on a team that rodes those frames and they had major issues when they were new, 1st off they were flexible as hell and that is when I was racing at 170lbs.. Just imagine how solid that bond is after 25 years of sitting around. To fix the sleeves and re-attach them, they would use industrial dryers, heat up the tubes, pull them out, re-glue them to re-set them.

    They are 1 crash bikes, you crash it - throw it in the trash because the frame is no longer useable.. Go with a older Cannondale aluminum or old steel frame if you are looking to save some $$$

  10. #10
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Noooooooooo, don't sell it!!!! Don't ride it either. Hang it in your living room as art. That way you can appreciate its beauty without suffering from a nasty crash.

  11. #11
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    some interesting info about the vitus 979:

    (copy pasted from another thread):

    Vitus information. Okay.

    Vitus is best known as an tubing supplier from France. Many, many bikes have been built from Vitus tubing, including classic Peugeot, Motobecane, Gitane, as well as the Vitus bicycles themselves. Probably most well-known is the Vitus 979, named for the Vitus 979 Dural tubing of the same name.

    The 979 is a lugged aluminum bicycle. Although it's not the oldest aluminum bike, it's probably the first to gain widespread use in the pro peloton, most notably used by Sean Kelly (multiple TdF green-jersey winner and all-round cool Irish guy) of KAS for many seasons. The 979 is considered a bonded frame, in that the frame tubing is heat-bonded into the aluminum lugs through an adhesive and heat-bonding. Interestingly, the OUTER diameter of the frame tubing is larger than the INNER diameter of the lugs, making for a rather tight fit. A finished 979 is an extremely light, yet sturdy frame--among the lightest made before 1990--and provides an extremely comfortable ride. It has its idiosyncrasies, however: 1) a "grub screw" provides tension for the seatpost in the 979 and 992 models, rather than a standard boltor collar; this screw tends to press holes into standard seatposts when tensioned properly, but a flattened Vitus-made seatpost is available to counteract this problem, 2) Vitus 979 frames use a 25.0 seatpost--MUCH smaller than current posts; you can get a Vitus-made one as well as some expensive European-made models, but American Classic and USE both make them in inexpensive models sold through normal outlets, 3) the 979 has aero-cable-routing through the top-tube which will NOT take normal housing; the frame ships with a Delrin liner which you should ALWAYS use to prevent cable wear in the tube...it makes notches in the tube VERY easily, 4) due the flexibility of the bracket, a slightly wider-than-normal spindle length may be necessary with some cranksets or powerful riders to prevent chainring-strikes on the right chainstay; I've seen this even with classic Mavic components practically designed for this frame; give it a couple extra millimeters 5) the derailleur hanger is very flexible and only repairable by replacing the end of the triangle; be careful with it.

    Although revolutionary for the time, the construction method raised some questions about the longevity of the frames, most notably the separation of the tubing from the lugs as time and stress took its toll on the adhesives and worked the bonds loose. Rumors abound, but most failures with 979s are NOT catastrophic, but are well-advertised to the rider through squeaking and looseness. Even separated, the 979 frames are repairable, most notably in North America by Guywires Cyclery in Vancouver, BC, who provide a re-bonding using all-original components and modern aerospace adhesives.

    The 979 Dural was supplanted on the pro circuit by the 979 Carbone, an aluminum-lugged carbon frame with similar geometry to the 979 Dural. Sean Kelly also rode the Carbone, which is said to have had more frame failure problems than the Dural due to differences in the bonding process. Simply put, the carbon tubes are glued in place, a wholly different method than heat-bonding.

    The Vitus line continued with the 992, 992 Ovoid and other bonded-aluminum and carbon framesets, all of which saw time on the pro circuit. Currently, although Vitus does not sell in the US, several very interesting carbon and aluminum models are available in on the Continent, at least two of which will be ridden in the pro peloton next season.

    Anyway, that's the short of it. Here's a photo of my 979, the Red Menace. It's currently undergoing the addition of the rest of the late-80's Mavic group to match the 630 "Starfish" crankset. It also now has Velocity Spartacus wheels with an 8-speed cassette in friction-shifting mode. I'm 6'3" and 230 pounds, and I adore this bike. It's among the most comfortable rides I've experienced. I've never seen a Vitus I didn't like, so I'd recommend them to anyone interested in a great bike with a colorful history in cycling.
    Last edited by illdthedj; 06-15-11 at 10:12 AM.
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

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