Vitus Composite FCK 9

Vitus has long been a major French manufacturer of high quality tubing, but in the '80s they became leaders in building frames from aluminum and later, carbon fiber tubing.  The Vitus bonded aluminum frames are associated with Sean Kelly who in the '80s won innumerable races pedaling his full-Mavic Vitus in KAS emblazoned clothing. 

This particular example is a late '80s early '90s Vitus Composite FCK 9, basically a 979 with a carbon/kevlar wrap.  The 9 stands for all nine tubes being carbon/kevlar - seat tubes are counted as four as the brake bridge splits them each one into two, see picture below. Vitus also made a version where only the 3 main frame tubes were carbon/kevlar. This Vitus is in pristine condition and has a full complement of Mavic components, including Look pedals made for Mavic. Now how is that for a French bike! 


Unlike today's carbon and aluminum (Al) frames, the ones made by Vitus (France) and Alan (Italy) were simply an extension of the traditional lugged steel frame. In the case of Vitus they were bonded to Al lugs while Alan bonded and screwed their tubes into their Al lugs. Guerciotti also marketed an Alan Al frame and still does so today in its cyclocross version. The early Vitus and Alan frames were light and particularly smooth riders. 

People have commented that this type of lugged Al frame is prone to failure at the tube/lug interface and that the carbon tube lugged frames are prone to galvanic action as a result of two dissimilar materials being in contact with each other. Although there is some truth in both, claims have been exaggerated. 

The North American Vitus frame facility is Harry Havnoonian [HH Racing Group, 801 NORTH PROVIDENCE ROAD, MEDIA, PA. 19063 (610) 565-6023]. 



Mavic 315.

Mavic 451 single pivot brake calipers and levers.

Mavic with braze-on front derailleur.

8 spd. Ultegra and SRAM chain.

Mavic 631.

Bottom Bracket:

Mavic pedals made by Look.

Mavic Cosmos wheelset.  Michelin Hi-Lite Supercomp H.D.

Mavic made by Modolo.

Scott LiteFlite.

Rubis 983 EX.

Selle Italia Turbo.

Frame and Fork:

Vitus carbon/kevlar wrap tubes with 979 Dural lugs. 52.0 cm seat tube and 53.0 cm top tube (c-to-c). 

Sakae aluminum alloy fork.

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