As a self-confessed bike geek, I have to admit that one of the excitement of working on a bike shop is that you can bump on some beautiful or historical bicycles every now and then, and sometimes, to work on them. Recently, it’s a Vitus 979.
This French aluminium beauty belongs to Rony “Rebellionik” Rahardian. Once converted to fixed gear drivetrain, he wanted to restore the 979 back to its glorious days at the beginning of the ‘90s.
This is a perfect example of an earlier era of lugged aluminium frame. Since back then people haven’t found the right technique to weld aluminium tubes, most aluminium frames are using tubings that are glued to the cast aluminium lugs. This 979 is using a different approach, instead of inserting the tubings into the lugs Vitus did the exact opposite, so the lugs are inside the tubing and giving them smooth and aerodynamic finish.
Another distinctive feature of the 979 is the aero-profiled tubings. Dubbed Duralinox, the downtube and seattube are flattened in the centers, giving them thin almost-hexagonal sections. Allegedly this was intended to make the frame less prone to flex while giving aerodynamical advantage.
|The seat cluster lug accepts 25,0mm seatpost.|
|Note the one-piece headtube lugs.|
|Instead of being welded, the brake bridge is riveted to the seatstay.|
|23c rear tire sits really tight to the derailer cable bolt.|
The main concept for this bike is to rebuild it with a period-correct group, so a set of 2 x 7-speed Campagnolo Chorus from the late ‘80s was installed. This is no ordinary Chorus, it features a distinctive black/graphite finish on the crank arms, brake calipers, brake levers, and derailers. Although the group will be completed with matching black friction downtube shifters, the silver polished version also did the job just fine.
|Derailer clamp adaptor installed to accomodate the Chorus front derailer.|
|Brown Charge U-Bend tapes to enhance the classic look.|
The wheels are Campagnolo 36-hole hubs mated to some box profile rims with brands that we’re uncertain of. Nothing, just “Gentleman 81” label stuck on them. They share the similar profile to Mavic Module E2, and they got double eyelets. The spokes are plain-gauge stainless steel with radial pattern up front and 3-cross at the rear.
|7-speed Regina freewheel mated to Campagnolo rear hub. Sweet.|
A taste of Asia found on the cockpit and the saddle. Classic-bend dropbar mated to Nitto stem up front, while Kashimax saddle taking care of supporting the rider’s weight.