Staff rider Nassrin takes a look at the bright orange Vitus Zenium Disc SL Road Bike. With hydraulic brakes and high volume tyres, this could be a great year-round road bike...
There is nothing quite like a shiny new bike to make a girl feel good, and even though this Vitus Zenium SL Disc was on loan for review, it was already attracting attention. "I bet you put in a few miles on that thing", said a fellow commuter after a close inspection. "Well thanks. Yes I do" I said, feeling pretty pro.
When I was first asked about reviewing this bike, I was reluctant to give up my plush cyclocross bike, with its sturdy build and 35c tyres that get me through the winter.
My home stomping ground is the New Forest, which is fairly flat and never gets too cold; but it gets pretty windy, and the roads can become like farm tracks with mud and bits of tree scattered everywhere.
Luckily, the Vitus Zenium SL Disc took this challenge in its stride. It's no slouch if you want to sprint, but it also handles the bumps and dirt with ease. The handling around corners felt pretty assured even in the rain.
Then there's the hydraulic disc brakes. These offer far more reliable stopping power in wet and muddy conditions. I have been using mechanical discs on my winter bike for a few years, and to me there wasn’t that much difference in overall power; with both systems offering incredible stopping performance. The hydraulic system on the Vitus Zenium does feel far lighter and more controllable, though.
If like me, you are pretty lazy with maintenance, hydraulics definitely have the upper-hand. Whilst cables stretch and need to be tweaked and replaced regularly, the hydraulic system is completely sealed and only needs to be bled once in a blue moon.
With the hydraulics, the shifter hoods do need to be slightly longer to accommodate the reservoir for the braking fluid. I thought this would annoy me, but I actually learned to love the new hand position; the under-side is ergonomically moulded, to almost feel like a joystick!
With its light weight, comfortable geometry, and clearance for tyres of up to 28mm, the Zenium SL Disc seems like a great option for a year-round bike that will do it all; from muddy winter miles to summer sportives.
View the Vitus Zenium SL Disc (105 - 2017) Road Bike at Wiggle