The all-new 2021 Vitus Energie EVO cyclocross bikes are the first of many new top-performance EVO bike ranges to come out of the consumer-direct brand’s return to their racing heritage. The new top-spec, UCI-approved cross bike is ready for the imminent return of pro-level CX racing, having already racked up podium success at the UK National Champs earlier this year on a preproduction bike.
2021 Vitus Energie EVO race-ready carbon cyclocross bike
The completely reshaped Energie EVO cross bike is a wholesale redesign from the previous Energie, developed to be faster, lighter, more comfortable, and to offer improved tire clearance. And all of that comes with pricing levels that haven’t really changed in the ensuing two years. A welcome continuation of Vitus’ low-cost, high-value offering.
Evolved cyclocross race geometry
Geometry of the Energie EVO is also an evolution of Vitus’ previous cyclocross geo, updated with a longer frame reach and shorter stems for more balanced handling in technical terrain. Otherwise, angles remain similar with a roughly 71.5° headtube & steep 73.8° seattube (size-dependent), and 425mm chainstays across the board. Five sizes are available, from the 50cm XS up to a 58cm XL.
Vitus Energie EVO – Tech details
A big focus of the Energie’s redesign was shedding weight, with lots of running sections in elite European CX racing. Crafted from 585 individual pieces of carbon plies laid up into the one-piece monocoque frame, the resulting Energie EVO now comes in at a claimed 880g for a medium painted frame, making it one of the lightest CX bikes on the market. And with complete bikes starting from just £1800 / 2100€ / $2300 that’s gonna be pretty tough to beat.
The new bike gets a wide asymmetric bottom end to the frame with a BB386EVO bottom bracket, while moving to flat mount disc brakes and carrying over 12mm thru-axles. The underside of the toptube is then flattened of course for ease of shouldering, but there is extra space in the front of the main triangle for the forward pro carrying position with your arm wrapped around the front of the headtube.
Other frame shaping like we’ve seen on modern all-road and even aero bikes comes into play, with light & dropped seatstays, pinched in the middle build in some extra rider comfort, as does dropping the clamping area for the 27.2mm seatpost into a new integrated wedge clamp.
The seattube even gets a rear wheel cutout which combines with the wide-set stays to maximize mud clearance. It’s a proper cross bike so it is designed for 33mm UCI-compliant tires, but all that mud clearance is effectively the same as having space for much bigger tires. While the old bike would only really fit a 35mm tire, the new Vitus Energie EVO has clearance for up to 700c x 45mm in both the frame and full carbon, tapered steerer fork.
While all of the complete bikes offered are 1x, there is a removable front derailleur braze-on supplied with all bikes for 2x holdouts – and flexible internal cable routing. And that mount means Vitus also offers a direct mount 1x chain guide for extra chain retention, also supplied with every complete bike.
And sure it’s a race bike, but Vitus knows CX season is short, so hidden mounts (including the removable seatstay bridge) allow you to bolt-up full-coverage mudguards front & rear for foul weather training rides.
2021 Vitus Energie EVO – Pricing, options & availability
The new carbon Vitus Energie EVO frameset is available in four complete bike build, all featuring proven SRAM 1x groupsets. The most affordable option is the £1800 / 2100€ / $2300 Energie EVO C with an Apex 1×11 group with a 40T x 10-42 setup, tubeless alloy Alex wheels & alloy cockpit at 8.7kg.
Then, the £2000 / 2300€ / $2500 Energie EVO CR steps up to Rival 1 and 40T x 10-36, with the same alloy finishing kit for a 8.4kg weight claim.
The £2500 / 2800€ / $3000 Energie EVO CRS Force goes to Force 1 and an even tighter 40T x 11-32 setup, and a step up to house brand Prime alloy kit to drop to 8.1kg.
The top-spec £3500 / 4000€ / $4300 Energie EVO CRS ETAP is the bike of the Vitus Pro Cycling team, with a Force 1 eTap AXS group and 38T x 10-33 12-speed setup, plus Prime Black 38mm tubeless carbon clincher wheels and matching Prime Primevera carbon bar & seatpost, for a weight claim of 7.7kg without pedals.
Vitus bikes are a direct-to-consumer brand sold exclusively through online partner shops Wiggle & Chain Reaction Cycles, and are shipped worldwide. They aren’t yet in stock, but Vitus assures us both Wiggle & CRC should have them by late September/early October 2020, in theory in time for much of the delayed race season.
Vitus tells us that we should expect more new high performance “EVO” range launches in the coming season. Building on a strong road racing heritage with Sean Kelly (read more about it in the new history overview), the new EVO family is meant to both pull from that past and represent an evolution over the years of what is becoming a new flagship range of race ready bikes from Vitus.