Within the range of cheap gravel bikes, we want to highlight the Vitus Substance V2 as a really interesting model. This English brand and model stand out because it mounts an aluminum frame together with a carbon fork. In addition, to all this we must add the possibility of installing both 700c and 650b wheels, thereby increasing its versatility.

Next, we detail this model and we encourage you to contribute with your comments.

Vitus Bikes also has models of bicycles for gravel and adventure made of carbon and steel for a reasonable price. But if you are at the stage of buying your first gravel bike, then this aluminum model is a great option.

Specifically, the Substance V2 is made of T6-6061 alloy, which is a widely used material in the cycling industry. The good thing about this budget model is that it incorporates a tapered steerer carbon fork. Remember that a fork made of this material absorbs vibrations better than those made of steel or aluminum, which are more rigid.

«This economical model incorporates a carbon fork. Consequently, it makes the bicycle look more modern and has a better performance on dirt roads»

Another thing to note is that the Vitus Substance V2 features internal wiring, which has been the trend in recent years on medium and high-level gravel bikes. This gives it a much cleaner and updated look, although some cyclists prefer totally external wiring as it is easier to repair the damage related to the wiring, which are the brakes and the transmission.

« The color of the painting is two-tone, light gray and black. Its design is traditional cut, noticeable in the two properly defined internal triangles»

As for its geometry, it has a smooth sloping in its upper tube, making it look closer to the classic design of road bikes. However, it is still useful for gravel cycling.

The bicycle, like some models to be used off-road, incorporates additional eyelets for the installation of a third bottle cage, or the possibility of installing luggage racks or fenders.

« The bike incorporates eyelets to install luggage racks or fenders. In addition, the weld to join its different tubes is somewhat polished, giving it a better aesthetic»

If I must highlight something, it is that this model works for both 650b and 700c size wheels. Specifically, this model has the 650b size installed with tires 47mm. This gives the bike a level of versatility capable of tackling any type of terrain.

Finally, I once again highlight an aspect that gives it a plus of modernity: its through axles. This makes it easier to install or remove the wheels.

Drivetrain

The Vitus Substance V-2 mounts the Shimano Sora 9-speed groupset. Specifically, this transmission is not specific for gravel cycling and is inherited from road bikes. This is not something pejorative but rather it provides greater versatility on all types of roads and we will even ride well on asphalt sections. Future models of the V2 are likely to include the Shimano GRX drivetrain.

« The Vitus Substance V2 mounts the Shimano Sora as a groupset, which is not specific for gravel but will work without problems on these types of roads»

The transmission is completed with a 46-30t subcompact chainring along with an 11 / 34t cassette. An extremely popular combination on off-road bikes, mainly the chainring. You will have no problem climbing long ascents.

«The Substance V2 has a 46-30t FSA brand subcompact chainring alongside an 11 / 34t cassette. This particular chainring is very suitable for gravel and even for trails»

If we focus on the brakes these are mechanical. They are the well-known TRP Spyre. At TodoGravel we have tested them, and they meet their goal. Obviously, the type of braking is not as effective as hydraulic ones, but they do their job. If you live in a mountainous area, surely you should change them to hydraulics in case you like to descend at high speeds.

Components

Like any entry-level model, the components (handlebar, saddle, stem, and seat post) are usually provided by the brand itself. These are components made of aluminum and whose performance we do not know. They surely meet their objective and over time, you can replace them with something of higher quality.

Wheels and tires

The Vitus Substance V2 is fitted with WTB ST i23 TCS rims measuring 650b. They stand out for their versatility and are well suited to both gravel and touring bikes.

The tires are 47mm wide and are the WTB Byway. These are specific tires for gravel or adventure cycling. They have a smooth central band that allows us to roll with some agility on asphalt sections or forest tracks. On the sides it has knobs that protrude, which allows some grip when cornering. We really like these tires because they combine in a nice way two patterns.

Verdict

The Vitus Substance V2 is a bicycle with an excellent price (see it next) and that also has a quite acceptable aluminum frame that over time we can use it as a base to improve its components.

It stands out that its fork is made of carbon and with the tires it has you can even ride on difficult roads. We also like its two 46-30t chainrings. In climbs you will not have any problem. The frame colors and their combination could be better, although we like that the Vitus brand appears discreetly.

In short, a good model to get started in gravel without spending a fortune.

Summary

  • Model: Vitus Substance V2
  • Modality: Gravel and even Bikepacking.
  • Frame: Aluminum.
  • Fork: Carbon.
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 9 speeds (mechanical brakes).
  • Chainring: 2x Sub-compact 46-30t
  • Cassette; 11 / 34t.
  • Components: Aluminum.
  • Tires: WTB Byway 650b x 47mm.
  • Wheels: WTB ST i23 TCS 650b.
  • Weight: 10.5 kg.

Price

Su precio aproximado es de 999.99 € or US $ 1,190

More information

Vitus Official website

Todogravel on Instagram

You can also see the detail of the images on our Instagram: Instagram.com/todogravel.

Post: VGL / Translation: JVD