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vitus 979 would you buy / ride one ?

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vitus 979 would you buy / ride one ?


Old 03-14-19, 09:23 AM
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vitus 979 would you buy / ride one ?

Last week I took a 58 cm Vitus 979 bonded aluminum framed race bike home from the Bike Exchange to clean up for sale. I fell in love with it's blue anodized and shiny aluminum frame . It is one of the most beautiful looking bikes I have worked on.

It appears to be in perfect condition except that it was stored for so long that all the grease had turned to glue. The head set was so gummed up you couldn't turn the handle bars.

After disassembly and a thorough cleaning everything is now working great. It has Campy new record derailleurs, cranks, bottom bracket brakes, levers, and pedals , cinelli bars and stem, and Mavic rims and hubs.

After showing it off to all the other old farts that hang out at the shop on Wednesdays I took it to show to a professional bike mechanic who specializes in the restoration and sale of old race bikes. He took one look at it and told me to strip the parts off it and sell them separately and throw the frame away or hang it on the wall as art.

Careful inspection by me has revealed no signs of failure. No cracks or separation of the frame tubes from the lugs. I don't know what to do. Should we put the bike up for sale as is, or strip it and throw away this gorgeous frame.

To make matters worse, I was in the shop wednesday and found another 979 in the back room , this one with all Dura Ace bits in seemingly the same condition , just needing a good cleaning.

Please, if you have an informed opinion regarding these bikes, I need to know.
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Old 03-14-19, 09:54 AM
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if I were lighter and younger and the bike was in pristine condition, un ridden for the past 30 years

I has an AlAn in the 80's but it was replaced by a steel frame ...
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Old 03-14-19, 10:53 AM
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I own and regularly ride a 979. It is a great frame for rough roads, as it has an unusual amount of shall we say: compliance. As a rider, I am light, and I spin at a relatively high cadence.

A 58cm frame would be ideal for someone around 6' tall. This is about the biggest frame made for this series. The longer frame tubes will make it extra compliant relative to the smaller frames. I assume that is why Sean Kelly rode a frame too small, so as to realize a little extra stiffness.

Anyway, if this was a 54cm frame or smaller, and/or if you weighed less than 160 pounds, the 979 would be a great fair-weather rider. And if you were to strip off the current hardware and install brifters and newish dual-pivot brakes, this could be a fully functional bike that could compete against many current road bikes.
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Old 03-14-19, 11:17 AM
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Why Aluminum went oversize ..

Yea a BB sway as the frame flexed , and a bit of ghost shifting with rear end flexing may be an issue..

The redesign of hyperglide style toothing on cogs (cassette & freewheels), is, perhaps, a bit too eager to shift in those situations..
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Old 03-14-19, 01:26 PM
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I have a Bridgestone Radac that is nearly a carbon copy of a Vitus. I kind of inherited 20+ years ago from a family member that passed away. It's an interesting bike but I have trouble getting it to fit - it is a 57cm but the tup tube is 55cm. Anyway, as far as characteristics it is an interesting ride. It was originally 7sp, and I ran it as 8sp for awhile, then 9sp. I do get ghost shifting with 9sp so I guess there needs to be some cog space to keep things in place.
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Old 03-14-19, 01:45 PM
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My 979 has been in regular service for decades. These were the go-to frames for the light high cadence climbers in my race club back when they were current production.
Like anything else not for everyone but if light weight, a highly compliant ride on rough surfaces and a winning pedigree are requirements a 979 in good nick is tough to beat.


'74 Raleigh Internat'l. '77 Trek TX900 FG. '90 Vitus 979. '10 Merckx EMX3. '13 Soma Stanyan
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Old 03-14-19, 06:53 PM
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I’ve had three and all three had a crack somewhere. I’ll never buy another one.
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Old 03-15-19, 07:50 AM
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Mine is ridden as often as the others in my daily riders, twice a month or so. I probably do 700 to 1,000 miles a year max. I'm just under 200# and ride a 57 stamped head tube frame I got in a trade with a fellow member, all DA 9 speed (except 600 seat post). Mine has the grub screw for the seat post which was a later model to address seat post collar cracking of the earlier bikes, perhaps due to over torquing the clamp as one could get away with on steel frames. Mine is easily under 20 pounds all up, the below photo is old, now having new seat & newly build DA hubs w/ black H+ SON rims. I love the ride, especially on rough roads, do cornering at speed, do clime out of the saddle and the frame responds well, but will tell you I not a masher so flexing BBs has never been a problem. I found a product made for aluminum wheels which I use after the Mother's aluminum polish that has maintained the the polish for several years now. I have a lot of nice bikes and this one has by far the best cost to value (ride enjoyment) of any.
I don't think much of your "professional bike mechanic." If you decide they are not for you I have some nice frames and might be interested in a trade.

Last edited by easyupbug; 03-15-19 at 01:30 PM. Reason: offer
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