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frame ID VITUS?

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frame ID VITUS?

Old 12-30-12, 11:55 PM
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frame ID VITUS?

Hey there,

Forum / bike maintenance newbie here. My holiday project has been to pull apart a bike a friend made me a while back that I never rode and let rust up. Have been learning a lot, and having lots of fun!

Originally intended to strip and clean everything and put it back together. However the more I've learnt the more I'm interested in restoring the bike to a semblance of originality. Got access to a friend who can do a proper paint job, so I want to know exactly what the frame is before sending it off to him.

Pictures attached below, and forgive my lack of knowledge / terminology but here is what i know:

steel frame
vitus marked dropouts as shown below
frame # 326 11 on bottom bracket
fork marked with # 61
came with these style decals, but no model specific ones
came with assorted late 80s / early 90s campy components, most of which are part of the mirage groupset, but not sure if they are original or my friend added them. Front derailleur was suntour.

Not to crash hot on measurements etc yet, but i'm 6'5" so its a big frame. Any measurements / info / more photos necessary let me know. Thanks for your help and happy NY!

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Old 12-31-12, 12:28 AM
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Interesting. No eyelets makes me think this was something racy and higher-end.

AFAIK the only bikes branded "Vitus" were the aluminum ones. Other bike companies used Vitus tubing and/or Vitus dropouts.

I guess you could search and try to list the companies that used Vitus dropouts (Gitane, Raleigh, to start with), then find pictures and compare lug and seatstay style. I was trying to match it up to a Gitane model, but couldn't quickly find a match. Was there original chrome on the fork blade or stays? Is bottom bracket English, French, Swiss?

Can you remove the rest of the bottom bracket and weigh the frame? That may give you a clue as to tubing.
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Old 12-31-12, 04:33 AM
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Thanks jyl!

Don't have the tools to remove the bottom bracket yet, but may do soon or take it to the bike shop.

No chrome on the fork blade or stays... the paint job was purple with black splatters... thinking it was a respray or home job, which is why i stripped it (and also why i never rode it... I hated that paint job!)

Good idea with the dropout search... good place to start. Will also contact the friend who put it together and see if he has any more info.

Originally Posted by jyl
Interesting. No eyelets makes me think this was something racy and higher-end.

AFAIK the only bikes branded "Vitus" were the aluminum ones. Other bike companies used Vitus tubing and/or Vitus dropouts.

I guess you could search and try to list the companies that used Vitus dropouts (Gitane, Raleigh, to start with), then find pictures and compare lug and seatstay style. I was trying to match it up to a Gitane model, but couldn't quickly find a match. Was there original chrome on the fork blade or stays? Is bottom bracket English, French, Swiss?

Can you remove the rest of the bottom bracket and weigh the frame? That may give you a clue as to tubing.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:33 AM
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Looks racy but the finishing and the brazing problems tells me two things... that frame was made or by a student (or experiment) or was built in series somewhere in europe.

The holes in the brazing is because of heating problems, and the thing is not finished at all, just roughness everywhere... IMO european made. 61 is the size of that frame, that frame is hudge. As for the serial number probably you wont know ever who built that thing, non sense s/n...

Just paint that thing and have find with it if it was free then have even more fun fun fun fun.... (rebecca black!!!)
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Old 12-31-12, 07:00 AM
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I've seen similar looking high model Mercier frame from the 80'ss built with IIRC, Columbus tubing with the distinct Vitus dropouts. Do you have the fork that goes with the frame? It can really help if you can show it to us....

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Old 12-31-12, 07:17 AM
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+1, not a Vitus brand frame and the workmanship suggests a mass volume production frame at best. Fittings suggest mid-1980s. There should be markings on the bottom backet cups to indicate the threading. The other good indicator of tubing level is the seat post diameter. We'll also need to know if it has standard or metric tubing (i.e. seat tube with 28.6 or 28.0mm outer diameter). If you don't have claipers, wrap an approximately 1 x 10 cm strip of paper tightly around the seat tube and mark where it overlaps with a sharp pecncil. Remove the paper and measure fom the end to the mark to determine the circumference. Divide this measurement by 3.14 to get the tube's outer diameter.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:53 PM
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OK all, thanks for the comments! Awaiting a reply from the guy who sold me the bike originally, which may clear everything up. Either way I probably won't get too carried away just yet, just give it a simple paint job and use as a bike to tinker with and learn things.

For those interested:

Seat tube: 26.8mm (following T-Mar's method)
BB shell and thread: Shimano BC1 37 x 24 68mm

And chombi, the fork that came with the bike is shown in the final 3 pictures above (not best photos sorry). Has patchy brazing similar to the frame, and the fork ends appear to match the dropouts from what I can tell from this, so assuming it is original. Only marking is the "61" on the steerer tube as noted above.
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