Here we present one of the finest racing bikes of the 1980s - and surprisingly it is not made from steel.
Vitus made themselves a name as France's leading manufacturers of high-quality frame tubing. Their products were on a par with Reynolds and Columbus. And they were right at the forefront of the introduction of new materials on which they collaborated with TVT, an aerospace company. Their aluminium and carbon fiber frames were ridden by Sean Kelly, Greg LeMond and Miguel Indurain.
The Vitus Carbone 3 finds itself right at the start of this quest for the most modern frame. The Carbone 3 frames have been launched in the early 1980s, in collaboration with TVT, Ateliers de la Rive and Angenieux-CLB - and were made of carbon fiber enforced main tubes which were glued in aluminium lugs.
The geometry of these frames were rather aggressive for their time, though the frame itself proved to be rather flexible due to the aluminium lugs and fork. They were not the best frame for sprinting but extremely comfortable and forgiving.
The Carbone 3 proved to be pretty reliable and though officially superseded by the Carbone 5, was frequently used within the Pro Peloton well until 1987.
Our exemplar shows its quality also through its parts: the groupset is a complete Mavic/Spidel one. From top notch Mavic bearings over Argent 10 rims to the iconic Starfish crankset, this bike is proof of the vivid French cycling engineering in the 1980s
On top the bike is relatively lightweight for a professional racing bike of its era.
And since we fully checked the bike, it is ridable and ready to go!