The Venan is an stoicism bike with clearance for perplex and vex tires
2022 Vitus Venon prototype road bike
Vitus has so far been the endurance-bike-shaped hole in its lineup, but that will change with the development of the Venon – and it’s about versatility.
Venon has been in development at Vitus since the design team finished the well-received ZX-1 CRS Aero Bike.
The new endurance platform uses the same high-grade carbon as the ZX-1, which helps Vitus reduce weight competitively. The bike will be named Venon, revamping the Vitus name in 2019.
Road or pebbles or mud?
(The front is very clean and cluttered. Drivepilots / Media friends)
The idea behind Venon is that bike making is versatile at the centre of it – and that basically means adequate tire clearance.
We’ve got the prototype of the Venon, and our bike comes with a 30mm WTB Exposure slick tire-filled road setup, but the bulk of the clearance remains.
Bottom bracket shell at the 2022 Vitus Venon archetype Road Bike
(The new Venon Vitus ZX-1 uses the same high-grade carbon build as the Evo Aero Road Bike. Drivepilots / Media friends)
Vitus tells us that the frame has the ability to secure 45mm gravel bike tires. Or you can drive it in the winter with 35mm tires and mudguards because the Venon comes with proper mudguard fittings.
Like Cannondale’s new Synapse, Vitus does not submit it to UCI Verification and does not receive an approved sticker. Because it did not target Vitus’ race team; Instead, it’s a bike built for everyday riders.
Versatility in details
(Venon gets a removable bridge so you can set up the right mudguards. Drivepilots / Media friends)
The details also indicate versatility. There is a removable bridge in the rear aisles which allows for mudguard fitment or maximum tire clearance.
The front derailleur mount can also be removed if you want to run a 1x drivetrain. In addition, the bottle cage mounts in the down tube can be run in two positions, allowing you to occupy the bottom position and adjust the frame bag for a little bike packing.
Cable-free handlebar and trunk on the 2022 Vitus Venon Prototype Road Bike
(The 30mm-wide tire here is packed with the generous permissions of the specded venon frame.Drivepilots / Media friends)
Like the ZX-1 Aero Road Bike, the new platform uses FSA’s intelligent ACR (Aerodynamic Cable Routing) system to drive cables internally, so the bike looks very clean but easy to access from a mechanical standpoint.
The Vitus full Venon line-up has not yet been determined, but it is certain that there will be both a brand road and gravel version. So are the 1x and 2x versions with SRAM eTap AXS and SRAM XPLR models, as well as the mechanical and electronic Shimano GRX builds.
(Venon uses a standard, round 27.2mm seatpost. Drivepilots / Media friends)
First ride impressions of the Vitus Venon prototype
(Venon’s first impressions were very positive. Drivepilots / Media friends)
So, how does it ride? I don’t have much time in Venon – just a few hours – but my first impressions were positive.
The ride position puts the Venon in fast endurance bike mode. It is located in the Cannondale Synapse, Giant Diffie and Merida Sculptura Endurance area.
The ride is quite comfortable, but expect it when you are running 30mm wide tires. I am sure to replace something a little narrower as part of my test. I will try something broader to see how close the Venon is to the best gravel bikes.
(The sporty end of the Venon endurance bike design feels very much the same. Drivepilots / Media friends)
The mix-and-match approach to the drivetrain, with its SRAM Red and Force components, probably does not represent the final specifications but, as I expected, it all works seamlessly together.
The 50mm-deep staple wheels hold fast to speed and respond quickly to efforts, though I have been fortunate to avoid any wind conditions so far. I have yet to find out how they travel on fast crosswinds.
It’s early days for this pre-production prototype but, as we’ve seen from some of the best endurance road bikes, the bridge between the Weston Road and the gravel bridge looks like it will allow riders to optimise construction to suit the terrain.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Do you like the idea of a bike that increases versatility, or do you want to focus your machine on its design and strength?
Description of the Vitus Zenon prototype
Handlebar: Prime Ora Aero
Weight: 8.7kg (including 58cm, Shimano Ultegra 6620 pedals and 2x bottle cages)
Saddle: Vitus with CrMo rails
Seatpost: Prime Carbon
Frameset: Vitus Xenon prototype carbon frame and fork
Shifters: SRAM Red eTap AXS
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red Etap AXS
Front derailleur: SRAM Red Etap AXS
Stem: FSA SMR ACR 110mm
Crankset: SRAM Red AXS (48 / 35t)
Wheels: Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Disc
Tires: WTB Exposure 30mm Tubeless-ready
Cassette: SRAM Force 10-33t
Drivepilots, your best friend.
Drivepilots is a skilled technical reviewer of all types of electric powered vehicles. Drivepilots, who have been testing all types of bikes for many years, have the encyclopaedic knowledge of road cycling and have been the mastermind of our Road Bike of the Year test for more than a decade. They compete with friends on a bike ride and are the winner
– From budget road bikes to five-digit superbikes. He has covered all major innovations in cycling this decade and has seen launches, trade shows and industry events in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and Africa..