Consumer-direct bike brand Vitus continues to make serious progress since days known as a house brand of big online retailers. Last year they debuted a popular steel Substance gravel, and now that affordable bike gets even broader reach with the new carbon Substance CRX, plus drop bar & flat bar options for the steel Substance.
2019 Vitus Substance CRX carbon adventure gravel bike
Expanding on the success of the original Substance, Vitus developed the lighter, stiffer carbon CRX to appeal to buyers looking for an affordable, higher performance bike to take out on endless adventures. The design of the bike remains mostly unchanged. It is still a 650B plus or high-volume 700c gravel bike with a sloping toptube, dropped chainstay for lots of tire & drivetrain clearance. It also gets a visually slimmer carbon fork, with swept back legs and cage mounts.
With a Hi-Mod T700 Toray carbon frame, tapered headtube, and full carbon forks, the Substance is born tough and light. This bike can go as hard and fast as you want it to. With the addition of mounts for luggage, mud guards and multiple bottles it’s also capable of the biggest bike packing or touring adventures
The new CRX features a hi-mod T700 carbon frame with tapered headtube, and a full carbon fork. The new carbon bike is optimized for 1x drivetrain, but modular internal cable routing on the left side of the headtube and a removable front derailleur hanger mean 2x options are still there too.
The bike is built to be versatile riding any road or just about any gravel adventure terrain, so gets plenty of braze-ons. You can run full coverage fenders, front & rear racks, and there are mounts for three bottle cages on the front triangle, plus an extra pair on the fork legs. It gets 12mm thru-axles, flat mount disc brakes, and a standard 27.2 seatpost.
The carbon bike if offered in five stock sizes from an extra-small 47cm frame up to a 58cm extra-large.
Vitus Substance CRX carbon pricing & spec
The carbon Substance CRX gets one complete build for £1800, which amounts to ~$2100 / 2000€. The build spec is simple but effective with a SRAM Apex 1 groupset with a 10-42T cassette, flared alloy drop bars, alloy wheels with WTB Frequency i23 tubeless rims & the excellent 47mm Horizon tires (including tubeless valves).
Vitus Substance in steel
The steel Substance carries for the new year unchanged, but adds the option for drop bar or flat bar builds, both with large-volume 700c wheels. Both bikes feature rear rack, full fender & 3x bottle cage mounts, plus 12mm thru-axles & flat mount disc brakes.
The £950 (~$1100€) drop bar Substance get a 700c tubeless-ready wheel build with 37mm WTB Riddler tires, built up with a Shimano Sora R3000 2×9 speed groupset, TRP Spyre disc brakes, and Vitus house brand finishing kit with the same flared adventure dropbars.
The £900 ($1050 / 1000€) flat bar Substance FB gets a similar Sora build kit with Spyre discs, but a 5° backsweep flat bar. A budget Alex/Joytech alloy wheelset gets shod in more urban commuter oriented 38mm Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires with reflective sidewalls.
Both iterations of the steel bike are available in a wider six size range (50cm XS – 60cm XXL.)
All variations of the Substance in carbon & steel are available now from retail partners Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles.