Orange Vitamin T strip and build


Dirt Disciple
With the rebuild of one bike almost finished it's time to start on the next one, and apologies, this one's a bit word heavy at first.

Had this Vitamin T from new. Frame No is A302***, which I think means Feb 1993, and that would make sense as I bought it later that year, but if I'm wrong, somebody please correct me.

Didn't have much spare cash in those days so I went for the full LX groupset rather than XT. You might ask why if I didn't have much money did I buy what was an expensive bike at the time? Well, I can still remember the test ride and how light it felt and just how damn fast it accelerated With what seemed like very little pedal input it shot forward. I was sold, and I emptied my bank account. 🤑

When the front derailleur came off, the original shade of grey could be seen underneath so well-worn Scotchbrite pads and very fine wet and dry have brought it back to an even shade all over.

The decals (these are fresh ones by Gil) were unlike any I'd seen on other Vit-Ts. It didn't have the Orange fruit graphic before the word Orange on the downtube, and they were not the vivid orange shade seen on other models of the time. And instead of Vitamin T on the top tube it had Titanium. It was only when I started digging around in the archives here that I saw the same decals on the '93 catalogue bike.


Being skint, suspension forks were never going to be an option and these are the original aluminium forks. I never really liked them, always thought they were too stiff, so after a year or so a set of Manitou 3s went on. The Manitous were moved on a few years ago when the Vit-T had been replaced in my affections by a younger model with bouncy bits in the front and rear. So the aluminium forks went back on, a set of slicks were fitted and the bike began to be used again in a different role.


Rims are the original Mavic 231s and they're wearing NOS Conti Race King Supersonics, which are too light for general use but will be fine for the kind of easy trails they'll be used on.

looking forward to this build, Nearly sold my Vit T2 several times but always held on to it even thou it never gets used.
Loved my mk1 Vit T, always regret selling it. Agree on the acceleration on on the aluminium forks! Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.:cool:
looking forward to this build, Nearly sold my Vit T2 several times but always held on to it even thou it never gets used.
Oh yeah, I know that problem. Got a couple of classic motorcycles that I just can't bring myself to sell even though they haven't been ridden in over a year. 😵‍💫
Lovely. What size frame is that, the head tube seems quite short?
it's a 17" and in truth it's half a size too small for me. But I'm short leg/long body build and the comfort clearance to the top tube of the 19" was a little too close. That's not important to most people but I broke my pelvis a few years before and to get off a bike I have to come to a standstill, lean the bike over and then swing my leg around. 🩼

To give me a reasonable reach I had a fractionally longer stem fitted from new and with its light weight and small size it always felt quick down really twisty singletrack.
My old Vit T build thread. Might be worth a butchers despite "photo-bucket-muppetry" ! :rolleyes:

Looking forward to seeing yours progress 👍
My old Vit T build thread. Might be worth a butchers despite "photo-bucket-muppetry" ! :rolleyes:

Looking forward to seeing yours progress 👍
Thanks for that, really useful. Cost me a box of tissues though, mopping up the drool from scrolling through the images. Gotta say, the final incarnation was something special. 👍

Sadly mine won't turn out anywhere near as trick as yours as most of the parts will be original equipment.

Speaking of which, a question for you or any other Vit-T expert. Mine came with an Orange Lite Stik-branded Kalloy seatpost, 26.8mm. But it was always a loose fit. At first I made a shim from a cut up Coke can, which was partially successful and by renewing the shim every few months the post stayed on the bike for a few years. Then I tried a 26.8mm Thomson post from one of my other bikes and it was a better fit so it was used instead. But it still wasn't as snug as it should have been, and it's from a later period than the Orange and would look a little out of place on this build.

So last week I ordered cheap 27.0mm Kalloy post from ebay, which arrived today and it fits! Very snuggly, but it fits.

So before I find a nice 27.0mm post (not easy) and, through gritted teeth, sand it lightly to give a fit I'm happy with, have you or anyone else here had the same problem with a Vit-T?

I still have the Lite Stik that I'm keeping that in reserve if I can't find a 27.0mm period post. I might even treat it to a Fanta can shim this time.

Also, can anyone recommend an annodiser? I have a nice set of cranks I'd like to use but they're the wrong colour.