Chain Reaction have sent me a new road bike. I’ve got a fair few sportives planned and I’ll turn up to the local chaingang at long last this year so I’ll have plenty of chance to put it through its paces and show it off.
It’s a Vitus Venon – a full carbon frame and fork with a 105 groupset. The frame is beautiful – there’s something about exposed carbon weave that still gets me excited and this is covered in smart little details. Everything about it shouts ‘FAST!’ right in your face.
I took it for a ride yesterday on my usual ridiculously-early 50 miler and my first impressions are that it’s very, very stiff. I’m not sure if this is the wider seatpost, the wheels or just the beefiness of the frame but compared to my old Lapierre it’s a much firmer ride. It’s not uncomfortable, nor is it skittish, it just feels kind of ‘connected’ and more direct.
The stiffness of the frame is a good thing – climbing in a big gear, out of the saddle produced no flex at all that I could detect. I’m normally able to hear the brakes fluttering a bit on my old bike but not a peep from this one.
Climbing on the Venon is almost cheating. Short undulations are despatched with a few strokes without dropping into easier gears and I don’t think I’ve climbed the long drag up Cragg Vale as quick as I did yesterday.
I’ll do a full review and some ‘seatpost cam’ footage (I thought of that just then) after some proper hilly action in North Wales next week – expect some epic photos of a bike dwarfed by mountains too.