Vitus Substance

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
11, 18, 20, 22
20.24, 21.05, 22.29, 23.83, 24.69 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Vitus Substance. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

27 reasons to buy

  • Reviewers felt that the pricing of CRX and V2 models was outstanding.
  • The Substance showed excellent value for components in this price range.
  • Tourers and bikepackers found the Substance eminently suitable.
  • The presence of rack, fender and 3x bottle mounts were appreciated.
  • There is plenty of clearance for wide 47c tires, with mudguards.
  • The CRX’s stiff, all-carbon build delivered a comfortable, vibration-free ride.
  • Some owners said their bike arrived fully tuned and ride-ready.
  • Owners said the Substance rode fast and handled well on-road.
  • Off-road descents were handled well by the CRX.
  • 650b wheels and tires were seen as fast, fun and comfortable on the rough.
  • Riders found the all-carbon CRX easy to throw around on dirt trails.
  • Prime Kanza carbon rims on the CRX, were quiet, light and compliant.
  • The CRX’s metallic “Copper / Gray” color-scheme was deemed awesome.
  • A threaded bottom bracket made for easy maintenance.
  • The SRS-2’s steel frame delivered a smooth and comfortable ride.
  • A pleased rider said the fit of the Substance was exactly as described.
  • On the VRS-2, the GRX-800 drivetrain was lauded.
  • On the CRS-2 and VRS-2, GRX-400 hydraulic brakes were praised.
  • Riders were impressed by WTB Byway 650b x 47c TCS Road Plus tires on the VRS-2.
  • The CRS-2’s carbon frame felt light, responsive and stiff.
  • Tubeless setup on the CRS-2 was said to be very simple.
  • The CRS-2's 30t inner chainring easily saw a loaded tourer up steep hills.
  • Buyers’ experiences with customer service were overwhelmingly positive.
  • A V-2 owner enjoyed the user-friendliness of mechanical TRP Spyre brakes.
  • Compatibility with both 650b and 700c wheels makes the Substance an all-roader.
  • A tester appreciated the 16° flare on Vitus own-brand handlebars.
  • One expert described the V-2’s blue-grey color scheme as a “classy touch”.

10 reasons not to buy

  • A couple that purchased Vituses claimed both frames were undersized by 2cm.
  • A number of buyers received stems shorter than what was specified.
  • A few owners said shifters and brakes were set at too high an angle on handlebars.
  • A rider’s seatpost was marked from adjustment, from new.
  • A buyer felt that factory assembly of his CRS-2 was lacking.
  • Handlebars seemed too narrow for a 6’1” rider, on the SRS-2.
  • On asphalt flats, a tester found the CRX’s top gear to be a little low.
  • One SRS-2 rider sought lower gearing from the GRX-600 drivetrain.
  • One buyer didn’t receive tubeless valves, which should have been included.
  • Some customers were disappointed to find that gears weren’t indexed properly.

Bottom line

The Vitus was highly recommended by owners and reviewers, as a bike that handled on and off-road duties with aplomb. Riders used the Substance for gravel rambles, bikepacking, commuting, touring and road cycling. Owners felt that, with two sets of wheels available (700c wheels with road tires and 650b wheels with plush rubber), this bike covered all bases. Fast on-road, comfortable and agile off-road. Pricing and value-for-money was continually praised by customers and reviewers, who saw the component spec as outstanding. A few problems with mis-sizing and questionable pre-assembly are worth noting. You may need to seek professional assembly after purchasing. A lauded all-rounder.

Expert Reviews

78/100 based on 3 expert reviews

Vitus Substance CRX

A really good all-rounder that works just as well on the commute as it does off the beaten track… I’ve ridden a lot of gravel bikes this year and this is the one that I have found most balanced as an all-round package… Against the similar Pinarello Grevil, the Substance CRX feels nippier over multiple terrains…

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Vitus Substance V2 Review

Where it does impress – hugely – is in its ability to propel you along tarmac, hard-pack, gravel, grass and trails at a more than reasonable rate, in no small amount of comfort… There’s no touching it for value for money…

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Vitus Substance V2 Apex1

Plenty of versatility thanks to brilliant tyre clearance and a decent spec list. It’s a great bike for cruising across the country whatever the terrain, but a higher price than rivals and the weight take the shine off.

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User Ratings

88/100 based on 22 ratings
  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

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Compared to other bikes
#44 Best Commuter
Top 50%
#35 Best Beginners
Top 40%
#6 Best Vitus Bike
Bottom 30%
#174 Best of All Bikes
Bottom 50%


In comparison to averages of categories