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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:45 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:00 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
Image
Vitus 797 by jackthedog2012, on Flickr

Posted on Singletrack too, sorry if you've read this already.

I've ended up with this old Vitus. It was barely used (like less than 100 miles sort of barely used) when I got it and that's a trend I've kept up. I feel compelled to find a good home for it as it's just sat gathering dust in my parent's garage (and my mother wants it out of the way...).

I just don't know the first thing about road bikes so haven't got a clue what it is, what it's worth, whether the Campag stuff on it is any good, if it's worth splitting or keeping together or what.

Anybody know anything about them? Best I can say is it's a mid 90s job, Campag Athena stuff throughout, garish bar tape. Fairly pretty thing it is.

More pics in the set here.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:22 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
Hi, Always good to see another Vitus. I'm afraid i am not an expert. Should be plenty on the forum who can correct me and advise you properly. I have a 787 Futural from the early 90's. My understanding
is that the first number dictates the standard of alloy (not sure what the actual figure represents :roll: ) the next two numbers are the year of introduction? so in my case the 787 was a grade below the famous 979 (introduced in 1979) and was released in 1987? Your Vitus is the same grade alloy and was released in 1997. obvious differences/modifications in our frames are the dual colour anodised rear stays. The 787 has only the main triangle coloured and has wishbone rear stays. Sorry, but thats about all i know :?

It is a beautiful bike, must be around a 50cm size? looks quite small. I could be interested in it should you decide to sell. Obviously, having said that, i don't reckon its worth very much to be honest :lol:

I'll leave you to someone more qualified than me to give you better advice and value it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:49 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:00 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
Thanks for the info mAdam, very helpful. I've found plenty of references to the 979 which seems really well known, but very few references to the 797. Assumed this was a lower spec and knew it was from some time later, but never realised the info was staring me in the face right there on the top tube. That date certainly figures with when it was built up.

Not sure how you measure road bikes but it's 48cm from centre of BB to centre of top tube. Quite compact.

Lovely thing, even though it's not mega vintage there's something so nice about seeing an old bike still wearing its original kit.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:23 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:24 am
Posts: 23
Location: Sendai, Japan
Hi jackthedog: A very nice looking machine. It's a 979 Mk II — distinctive for the fast back seat tube design that used a grub screw to fix the seat post. I have a Mk I.

These are niche machines. Horror stories of catastrophic de-bonding of the interference fit on the tubes and lugs has scared a lot of people off them. De-bonding has occurred and has been recorded around the internet. The horror stories have not proved to be accurate. But apparently a lot de-bonding has occurred. Many of these cases may be due to corrosion in the interference interface of the joints, and subsequent failure of the bonding agent can be a result.

I paid about $50,000 yen/$500 for a complete bike just over 14 years ago. It was a mixture of Campy Record and Sugino 75, with a Mavic 310 headset (as yours appears to be), Mavic GP-4 rims, brooks saddle, Sugino 75 brakes, Cellini quill stem and bars and a Nitto Crystal seat post.

They are not gaining in value due to a number of factors. (1) They were not rare. They came as frame-sets, and both individuals and companies built them up. A number of names were applied to them in addition to the Vitus branding. As a result, they can come in a multitude of various parts and groups. (2) Some people wanting a machine like this turned to the Italian Alan. This bike two was epoxied, but instead of an interference fit, threaded tubes were screwed together. (3) Around the net there are warnings about not changing the rear spacing such as in a steel frame by cold setting. (4) One company in Vancouver, Canada offered a repair and restoration service for Vitus frames. Any interested party should try to contact "Guywires". They have gone very quiet for over some 5 years or so. In other words, people expect that the machine carries some risk, and perhaps they cannot be repaired. And if they can be repaired by somebody the question remains for many people, 'Is it worth it?" it They can be lovely frames with nice geometry, but YMMV — literally

What size is it? I may be interested. You can PM me if you are interested.

Cheers — Lenton


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:33 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 335
Location: Northampton
is there a size shown on the side of the heat tube (lug)?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:31 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:00 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
Lenton - thanks very much for that in depth info, really helpful :)

Quote:
is there a size shown on the side of the heat tube (lug)?


Ah yes there is, good call. It's a 48.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:52 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:20 am
Posts: 301
There was a second generation 979 with a seat tube grub screw but that is a different thing from a 797. The 797 is the last hurrah for this particular type of aluminium Vitus and is differentiated by the longer lug on the headtube/downtube and the fact that they had double water bottle bosses -- which was pretty rare on a 979 -- anodised stays, and different rear brake routing. The Futural is different again and that is the one with the rear monostay; it was quite popular as a cyclocross version. The 797 is a super frame. Talk of all these old Vituses falling apart is exagerrated and I think they can go on for a very long time and don't crumble to dust beneath you as you're going along. I've heard of joints coming adrift but the only one I ever saw that had broken broke mid tube and not at the joint -- pretty much just like most modern aluminium frames do.
This bike looks in extremely good condition and should be enjoyed and ridden. The pinnacle of Vitus aluminium was the 992 and is exceptional.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:21 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:24 am
Posts: 23
Location: Sendai, Japan
Quote:
Talk of all these old Vituses falling apart is exagerrated and I think they can go on for a very long time and don't crumble to dust beneath you as you're going along.
I would generally agree with you. Some advice from owners and former owners has been along these lines: if you are a very large, powerful person on a large size frame, the Vitus may not be your bike.

Also, this is not the bicycle to ride as a commuter in the rain. Moisture in the joints can promote chemical reactions that have negative consequences.

My own, personal recommendation is to keep it nicely waxed. I hope I am right in saying that. It's what I do, anyway.

I bought my 979 from the original owner. It was raced around the globe in iron-man competitions — I guess before specialized mounts were made for these events. It shows no sign of coming apart or failing. I'm 75 to 80 Kilo and nowhere the sort of engine a competition rider is. And I have other machines I ride in the rain. I expect my 979 to last indefinitely.


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