Review: Vitus Razor Disc Claris |

2022-11-28 06:00:26 By : Mr. Allen Jiang

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Review: Vitus Razor Disc Claris |

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

The Vitus Razor Disc Claris might not appear to be anything special if you just look at its specifications – but take it for a spin it and I guarantee you'll be very impressed with the ride quality of its frameset. The frame and fork feel as though they could hold their own on a better-specced bike at twice the price – if not three times. And while it may cost only £700, it looks like it could well make our Best Road Bikes buyer's guide.

Vitus's bikes have always impressed us on value, giving you a lot of bike for your money with higher-level spec lists than you'll find from many of the bigger, more mainstream brands.

The fact that it can deliver that without sacrificing the build, and more importantly the ride quality, is the reason that bikes like the ZX-1 Evo, Vitesse Evo, and Substance have all scored so highly.

With this Razor Disc Vitus has proved it can achieve the same balance across any price range, which is impressive when you consider the current economy and the rate of inflation.

Some bikes at this price point (and higher) can be a bit uninspiring to ride, and a lot of the time that comes down to the quality of the frame and fork.

Manufacturers can entice customers with bling components and a shiny paint job combining to hide a heavy, sub-par frameset. But Vitus hasn't got down that route.

The Razor's double-butted 6061-T6 aluminium alloy-tubed frame delivers a great ride quality, especially when paired with the fork's carbon fibre legs.

It's not harsh, in fact it's rather plush even with the tyres pumped up hard, and it's responsive too.

The level of feedback through the frame and fork is great, which is why I'm resisting calling the Razor an entry-level bike. The price may be entry level, but the way it rides definitely isn't. If you are a seasoned roadie looking for a second bike for training, commuting or winter riding you are going to find a lot to like here.

At over 10kg it's no lightweight whippet, but neither does it feel heavy in the way you might expect. Sure, off-the-line acceleration is a little blunted and it probably won't be your first choice for a trip to the Alps. But once you've got it rolling it doesn't feel sluggish.

In fact, the weight gives the razor a planted feel, ideal if the road conditions are wet or greasy, or if you are a new rider and don't like the jittery feeling of some lightweight bikes on poor road surfaces.

During testing I swapped out the standard wheels for two offerings from Vel that I was testing. I reviewed the Vel 60 RL Carbon wheelset and also tested also tested its 28 RL Alloy wheels, both of which improved the Razor's performance and highlighted just how capable and upgradable the frameset is.

When it comes to the geometry things are also pleasing too.

While it's more relaxed than an actual race bike, Vitus hasn't taken things too far. The front end is still reasonably aggressive, which keeps the steering on the right side of twitchy, allowing you to take on technical downhills at speed, and the wheelbase of this large size bike just nudges over a metre. This keeps the Razor feeling nimble enough while still being able to accommodate full-length mudguards.

The head tube is taller than you'd find on a race bike, which gives a less aggressive riding position and greater comfort on longer rides. But if you remove most of the spacers you'll still be able to get a decent saddle-to-bar drop for some added aeroness, and exploit the drops for riding into headwinds or when making the most of a descent.

Considering there's no fancy oversizing going on when it comes to the bottom bracket shell or down tube, the stiffness is good, and it feels perfectly capable when you're sprinting for the town sign.

From a riding point of view, I think the Razor is great. Everywhere but the trickiest of descents it is just a blast to ride. The geometry works for the type of riding the Razor is intended for and the ride quality of the frame and fork means it's also ideal for longer rides.

As I mentioned, the Razor's frame is constructed from heat-treated 6061 aluminium alloy, with some of the tubes being double butted. This is where the ends of a tube have thicker walls for extra strength where they're likely to see more stresses from loads and welding, while being thinner in the middle to promote a small amount of flex and therefore comfort.

The front half of the frame has internal cable routing, which uses the same sort of cable ports that are commonplace on bikes throughout the marketplace.

But the internal cabling is a neat addition on a bike at this price.

The chainstays and seatstays are slender though, so the cables for the rear mech and brake run externally at the rear of the frame.

The head tube and the fork's alloy steerer tube are tapered. The extra stiffness this provides helps with handling and when you're braking heavily. I was impressed with the stiffness of the fork too, both laterally when cornering and when it came to the braking forces created by the disc brake.

Vitus has added versatility with the inclusion of mounting points for full-length mudguards, though as they're placed on the inside of the fork legs and the seatstays, you may need to do a bit of fettling to get off-the-shelf guards to fit. Once done though, you'll be equipped for whatever the weather can throw at you.

While some lower-priced disc-brake bikes still come with quick-release skewers, it's good to see that Vitus has gone with thru-axles.

The Razor is available in a few build options, with this Shimano Claris model the second cheapest at £699.99. The range starts at £599.99 for a Claris-equipped Razor with rim brakes.

You are getting the bulk of the Claris groupset, taking in the shifters and both derailleurs.

One of the exceptions to this is the Prowheel Ounce chainset, which saves a few quid.

It's a pretty basic chainset that bolts onto a square taper bottom bracket, rather than running its own axle through the frame for the non-driveside crank arm to attach to.

But I found it was stiff enough and the performance was okay, with no obvious compromise in the quality of the shifting.

Its 50/34 chainrings are mated to a SunRace 11-32 cassette, which gives a wide enough range of gears for most kinds of road riding and riders of various fitness levels.

Both in feel and aesthetics the Claris components are virtually identical to Shimano's Sora and Tiagra groups that sit above it. The only real difference is that Claris is an eight-speed groupset, with Sora offering nine and Tiagra 10 speeds.

At this price it's no surprise to see cable-operated discs rather than hydraulic units. But the Tektro MD-C310 callipers perform well enough, especially once the 160mm rotors have bedded in.

They do lack the overall power of a hydraulic setup, but the initial bite is enough to stop you when you're riding at speed and they give decent modulation too.

If you decide to upgrade the wheels, then it's worth noting that they use a six-bolt fixing rather than Center Lock, which uses a cassette-style lockring to hold the rotors in place. So you might need to factor in the cost of adaptors.

The Razor's wheels feature Vitus-branded Shining rims and Vitus KT hubs, with the front getting 24 spokes and the rear 28. It may not be a lightweight wheelset, but they do seem durable and caused me no issues during testing. There is no mention of any tubeless capabilities for the wheels, but that is hardly a deal breaker here, and I rarely ride tubeless on the road.

The Kenda Kwick Roller Sport tyres are weighty, and their rubber compound is hard, which isn't great for grip or handling feel – but I haven't had any issues with punctures when riding on the mud and thorn-covered back lanes. But if you do want to maximise the Razor's potential, I'd ditch these for something lighter and with better rolling resistance.

The rest of the kit is what you'd expect – basic aluminium components that do the job without being flashy.

The Vitus saddle follows a well-trodden path with a long, narrow nose, medium padding and a good-sized rear section for comfort and to help you get the power down. I got on well with it and would be in no hurry to change it.

At a penny under 700 quid, I'd say the Razor offers great value, especially when you take into account the great ride quality and just how ripe the frameset is for upgrades.

Other Razor options include a Shimano Sora disc model for £799.99 and a flat-bar version with Claris that costs the same as this drop-bar model. If you aren't bothered about discs, then there's also a Claris rim-brake option for £599.99, which also comes in a women's specific model.

Competition-wise, Boardman offers aluminium bikes at the lower end of its SLR range. The Claris-equipped Boardman SLR 8.6 with rim brakes costs £625, just a fraction more than the Vitus Razor and with a similar build.

If you want discs, you'll be looking at the Boardman SLR 8.8 that I reviewed. This now costs £875, though it does come with a 10-speed Tiagra build.

Giant's Contend range starts with the Contend AR 4 at £1,099 that comes with a Claris build and Tektro cable-operated discs. It will take tyres up to 38mm in width and has a D-Fuse seatpost for extra comfort. 

Decathlon's Triban range includes the RC 500 for £649.99, which gets a Sora build with cable-operated disc brakes, can take mudguards and is supplied with 28mm tyres.

It comes with external cable routing and a less impressive-looking finish than the Vitus, and the more relaxed geometry resembles that of a gravel bike. It's weighty too. It's also jumped £120 since John rated it highly in 2020.

Overall, if you're looking to get into road riding and want a bike that can grow with you in terms of ability and performance, then the Vitus Razor is a great buy. The reason for this is the high quality of the frameset, which is ready to be upgraded as and when you feel the need. The frame is good enough to benefit from a lighter set of wheels and even a higher-level groupset wouldn't be out of place. The Razor is certainly worthy of it.

The geometry also means that the Razor is a rider's bike, which is why I'd also recommend it to more seasoned riders who want something for winter riding or training, allowing you to keep your best bike for the weekend.

An extremely capable road bike with a high-quality frameset that's ripe for upgrades

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Make and model: Vitus Razor Disc Claris

List the components used to build up the bike.

50/34T, 8 Speed, XS:165mm S:170mm M:170mm L:175mm XL:175mm XXL:175mm

TYRES: Kenda Kwick Roller Sport, 700c x 28c

BOTTOM BRACKET: Cartridge Square Taper, BSA Threaded, 68mm, English

FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Claris R200, FD-R2000, Braze-On, 2 x 8 Speed

BRAKES: Tektro MD-C310 Disc Brake, Flat Mount, Cable Actuated

REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Claris R2000, RD-R2000, 8 Speed

BRAKE ROTORS: Tektro TR160, Front: 160mm, Rear: 160mm

SHIFTERS: Shimano Claris R2000, ST-R2000, 2 x 8 Speed

HANDLEBARS: Vitus 6061 Aluminium, 80mm Reach, 124mm Drop

STEM: Vitus 6061 Aluminium, Bar Bore 31.8mm, +/- 7 degrees

CASSETTE: Sunrace M66, 8 Speed, 11-32T

HEADSET: Neco Integrated Threadless Headset, Sealed Bearings, OD46/56 for 1 1/8" – 1 1/2"

RIMS: Vitus Shining A-240, 700c, 24 Holes

SEATPOST: Vitus 6061 Aluminium, 27.2mm x 350mm, 12mm Offset

HUBS: Vitus KT XF1F-12, 12x100mm, 6 Bolt

SEATCLAMP: Aluminium 31.8mm, Stainless Steel Bolt

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Vitus says: "Whether you are stepping over your first road bike or pulling away from lights on a regular commute, the Vitus Razor delivers that same sensation of speed and freedom. And it never gets old.

At every level a road bike should be nimble and comfortable. It should build confidence with stable handling and be equipped with reliable components. The Razor brings the recognisable sleek lines of a lightweight road bike to the everyday cyclist."

The Razor is well specced and designed for those new to the sport, but with geometry that works for those seasoned riders too.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

A Sora-equipped model sits at the top of the range, while a Claris-equipped model with rim brakes is the entry-level option. There are also models with flat bars and women-specific models.

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

A well-made frame with neat attention to details. The internal cable routing gives the Vitus clean-looking lines.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

The frame is made from 6061-T6 aluminium alloy, while the fork has carbon fibre legs and an aluminium steerer tube.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The endurance geometry is slightly more relaxed than that of a race bike, the frame featuring a slightly taller head tube and shallower frame angles. The wheelbase is kept relatively short, especially considering the Vitus's ability to accept full mudguards. This means that the Razor still feels nimble in spite of the endurance geometry.

Full geometry figures for all six sizes are available on Vitus's website.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The height and reach figures of 574.2mm and 386mm respectively are typical of an endurance bike in this size.

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes, overall comfort levels are good thanks to the tubeset used in the frame.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness was good overall. It can't compete with race-focused carbon frames or even high-end aluminium, but for the style of riding the Razor is likely to see I'd say it is very capable.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Overall, yes, the Razor feels efficient and if you shift some weight from the wheels and tyres you'll get an extra benefit.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling isn't twitchy by any stretch of the imagination – but it is quick enough for you to have some fun in the corners.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I liked the shape of the saddle, it isn't overly padded and provides plenty of support and comfort.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

For the stiffness required I'd say all of the components are fine, although you could change the chainset for one that works with outboard bearings to allow for a larger diameter axle.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The 8-speed cassette is a bit gappy with jumps between the sprockets, but has the positive of having good high and low gears.

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

The Claris components work really well, giving crisp shifting and a good spread of gears. The brakes are okay, giving decent power and modulation.

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

A solid set of wheels that stood up to conditions that I rode the bike in.

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Good tyres for the overall budget, but the Razor deserves something lighter and faster.

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Again, for the money it's a good selection of kit that does the job.

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on

It is well priced against much of the opposition as you can see by those I've mentioned in the main review.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The components are hampered by the tight overall budget – but they are good for the money. What makes the Razor really stand out though is the quality of the frameset, it's begging for component upgrades as time goes on, and the geometry works for both new riders and more experienced riders with plenty of miles in their legs.

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

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With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob. His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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Hugely versatile bike that works just as well on the road as it does on gravel

High-speed road bike that can tackle some rough stuff, with an awesome ride quality wherever you take it

Smooth-handling endurance machine with a racy edge and plenty of stiffness

The way this thing rides is a masterclass in bike design and engineering

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Review: Vitus Razor Disc Claris |

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