The new Vitus Venon Evo further blurs the line between gravel and road

The new Vitus Venon Evo further blurs the line between gravel and road

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Vitus teased their latest bike, the Vitus Venon Evo, at Sea Otter Classic 2023. And with its recent launch, Vitus thinks the new Venon Evo is the bike that a majority of road riders need: road handling, road fit and feel, but clearance for up to 45 mm gravel tires.

The direct-to-consumer brand showed off the Venon Evo in two variations: one with a 2x drivetrain and slick tires, and the other with a 1x drivetrain and knobby gravel tires. They used the same frame, which makes the Venon Evo another one of these one-bike-for-everything proposition.

The flat green color is very 2023, but it presents well in person. (Image: Vitus)

A new kind of drop bar bike?

We’re starting to see more and more bikes that strictly adhere to the road bike with more tire clearance motif. The Allied Echo, BMC Kaiusand Cervelo Aspero are big ones, and there are even folks out there using the Specialized Crux with road wheels and tires. The Venon Evo falls right in with that crowd.

As if the line between road and gravel didn’t need to be blurred anymore, the Venon Evo purposefully tries to do that. Front center, headtube and seattube angles, and trail numbers are pretty standard fare for what we’d call an endurance road bike, particularly ones like the BMC Roadmachine or Cannondale Synapse. But the chainstay length is as long as a speedier gravel bike, and the claimed max tire clearance of 700c x 45 mm is gravel bike territory.

Vitus Venon Evo Geometry Chart

Trail figures range between 70 mm in smaller sizes to 57 mm in the XXL size. Most riders in a size medium or size large will see a trail figure closer to the low 60 mm range, which makes places it decidedly alongside other road bikes rather than most other gravel bikes. So while the bike fits 45 mm tires, the handling should be much more comfortable on smooth dirt than chunky gravel.

Either way, geometry isn’t particularly aggressive, with reach and stack numbers that should work for a vast majority of riders.

Look around more and you see other things that blur lines. A gravel bike typically has a third bottle cage mount under the bottom bracket, but the Venon Evo doesn’t. It also lacks the top tube bag mount that most gravel bikes come with. It does come with fender mounts front and rear, however, a great choice for folks riding in wet weather with any frequency.

A removable fender mount adds to the frame’s practicality. (Image: Vitus)

Further, it comes with a small rubber chainstay protector to protect against chainslap, something a surprising number of gravel bikes lack.

The Venon Evo takes inspiration from other Vitus drop bar bikes that share the Evo name, including their ZX-1 Evo aero bike and Vitesse Evo lightweight road bike. Vitus says the front end of the Venon comes from the ZX-1, with internal cable routing and tube front-end tube shaping that has some aero emphasis.

The back of the bike – chainstays, seatstays, and seattube – is said to pull from the Vitesse. They say the back of the bike should be more compliant, just with dropped chainstays for improved tire clearance.

The Venon Evo uses a hidden seatpost wedge to secure the 27.2 mm seatpost. (Image: Vitus)

Each Venon Evo frame uses a BB386 EVO pressfit bottom bracket and a 27.2 mm round seatpost. The FSA SMR internal cable routing system isn’t the easiest system to use, but it thankfully routes cables and hoses under the stem rather than through it.

Claimed frame weight is between 780 grams and 850 grams unpainted and depending on size. We estimate frame paint to add about 150 grams per size. That makes the Venon Evo frame highly competitive amongst road bike frames much less gravel bikes.

Prime components are found all over the Venon Evo. The brand isn’t all that common in North America, but has found a bit of a foothold in Europe. (Image: Vitus)

Vitus Venon Evo build kits

The Vitus Venon Evo will come in seven different build configurations: three with 1x drivetrains and gravel tires, and four with road tires and 2x drivetrains. They are divided by nomenclature, with Venon Evo-RS for road-centric builds and Venom Evo-GR for gravel-centric builds.

Venon Evo is compatible with both 1x and 2x drivetrains. (Image: Vitus)

All road builds feature electronic drivetrains from SRAM and Shimano, tubeless 28 mm tires, and alloy wheels.

All gravel-centric builds are 1x-only, though because the Venon Evo shares the same frame, one can adapt the drivetrain to 2x and use the same frame. Only the Venon Evo GR Rival uses a mechanical drivetrain; all others use a variation of SRAM XPLR 1x gearing, with carbon wheels, flared handlebar, and 40 mm tires.

The bike looks particularly good with gravel tires, to my eyes at least. (Image: Vitus)


So what is the Venon Evo then?

I’d call it a standard road bike that happens to have plenty of tire clearance for folks who want to ride a wide tire, be it for gravel or dirt roads. Or you can call it an all-road bike. I personally think this style of bike is the right choice for a vast majority of riders, so you can call it that, too.

And if you want something a bit more rugged, Vitus offers the Substance that should work just fine.

Stay tuned for our review of the Vitus Venon Evo soon to come. Until then, more information can be found at

Fully internal cable routing is used on every Venon Evo bike. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo bikes on display at Sea Otter didn’t have chainstay protectors, nor do the product images they sent us. We’ll find out whether the bikes will be delivered with protection. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo RS Rival eTap AXS features a SRAM Rival eTap AXS drivetrain, Prime alloy wheels, and a carbon handlebar. The green presents itself very well in person. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo GR Rival eTap AXS features a SRAM Rival eTap AXS XPLR drivetrain, Prime carbon wheels, and a carbon flared handlebar. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo GR Rival features a SRAM Rival mechanical drivetrain, Prime alloy wheels, a flared handlebar, and 40 mm Michelin gravel tires. (Image: Vitus)

One of four road models, the Vitus Venon Evo RS 105 Di2 uses a Shimano 105 Di2 2x drivetrain, alloy wheels, and 28 mm road tires. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo GR Force AXS features a SRAM Force AXS XPLR drivetrain, Prime carbon wheels, a flared carbon handlebar, and 40 mm Michelin gravel tires as well. (Image: Vitus)

The Venon Evo GR Rival AXS features a SRAM Rival AXS XPLR drivetrain, Prime carbon wheels, a flared carbon handlebar, and 40 mm Michelin gravel tires. (Image: Vitus)

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