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Anyone interested in Vitus 979 and Carbone frame serial number list?

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Anyone interested in Vitus 979 and Carbone frame serial number list?

Old 11-26-22, 02:16 AM
  #1  
Lotus907efi
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Anyone interested in Vitus 979 and Carbone frame serial number list?

I have been over the past day or two compiling a list of the serial numbers off of various Vitus 979 and Carbone frames I have in my direct possession here or ones I have found via ebay.
I thought this might provide some insight into any serial number coding vis-a-vis production dates.
But so far based on the list of 19 serial numbers along with bike or frame pictures I do not see any rhyme or reason to the numbering.
I have discovered that there seems to be a pattern of a leading single letter of either E, F, A, or I followed by 6 numerals. Then on some of the Carbone frames underneath this on a separate line there might be an additional code of "SC"
BTW, these are all stamped into a leading edge of the under side of the bottom bracket lug next to the cable guide.

Is anyone else interested in either adding their serial number to my list or seeing said list?

Last edited by Lotus907efi; 11-26-22 at 03:45 AM. Reason: changed number of serial numbers recorded
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Old 11-26-22, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi
I have been over the past day or two compiling a list of the serial numbers off of various Vitus 979 and Carbone frames I have in my direct possession here or ones I have found via ebay.
I thought this might provide some insight into any serial number coding vis-a-vis production dates.
But so far based on the list of 19 serial numbers along with bike or frame pictures I do not see any rhyme or reason to the numbering.
I have discovered that there seems to be a pattern of a leading single letter of either E, F, A, or I followed by 6 numerals. Then on some of the Carbone frames underneath this on a separate line there might be an additional code of "SC"
BTW, these are all stamped into a leading edge of the under side of the bottom bracket lug next to the cable guide.

Is anyone else interested in either adding their serial number to my list or seeing said list?
Yes!! And I should be able to get 4 or 5 more numbers for you from the Cambridge Vitus Club. These are the four charter members, plus we have a spare frame or two.
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Old 11-26-22, 11:22 AM
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Mine's the green one on the upper left in the picture. Grub-screw seatpost binder. English threading. 126 spacing. Bought it as a bare frame.The fork is not original, and may be from a Vitus 992, FYI. Serial is E119869.
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Old 11-26-22, 03:18 PM
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The silver one on the lower right is number E059271. I believe it to be a very early one, because of the pinch bolt seat binder, Simplex/Spidel shifting, Stronglight A9 headset, Ofmega cranks/BB/pedals, really bad Weinmann brakes and levers, Ofmega Super Competizione hubs laced with double butted non-stainless spokes to Mavic Module E rims, CLB aluminum cable housing, and aluminum steerer (which did eventually break at the end of the threads and we replaced the fork with a later steel steerer Vitus fork). A real killer setup back in the early '80s. With the exception of the derailleurs and wire-bead tires, about the lightest you could get without making the components yourself!

Has English threading, and badging from Ets. FRAYSSE, apparently a brand that Mike Fraysse ran as the official importer of Vitus frames, based out of New Jersey. Not a lot of information out there about when Fraysse was importing them, but potentially he could be contacted to find what years he was importing Vituses badged with his own name.

Not sure when the aluminum steerer was phased out, but this is the only of our bikes with an aluminum steerer. The other bike with a pinch-bolt seat binder has a steel steerer IIRC. This is probably the earliest example of a Vitus 979 I have ever seen.
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Old 11-26-22, 04:40 PM
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Very timely, I just picked up a blue one with SN E151912. Thanks
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Old 11-26-22, 05:09 PM
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Should I just paste my current list in-line here? I don't think it's possible to attach a file here that is not a photo.
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Old 11-26-22, 05:21 PM
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Dating of Vitus frames is pretty much covered here: https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-peugeot-px-10du-vitus-979.html

​​​​​​
The CLB bottom bracket undershell from late July 1980 onwards production models showing the press fit plastic cable guide and the new serial number convention pre-fixed by a letter ("A" starting with 1980) and numerals. In this case, F068314 indicates 1986 (6) August (8) and the number of frame completed that month (314). There are examples of frames with the older style bb and the new serial numbering dating from mid 1980.

Jim in Mpls
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Old 11-26-22, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for posting the SN decoder. The numeric sequence makes sense but I don’t get the significance of the letter prefix. Please explain. TY
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Old 11-26-22, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jingy2
Dating of Vitus frames is pretty much covered here: https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-peugeot-px-10du-vitus-979.html

​​​​​​
The CLB bottom bracket undershell from late July 1980 onwards production models showing the press fit plastic cable guide and the new serial number convention pre-fixed by a letter ("A" starting with 1980) and numerals. In this case, F068314 indicates 1986 (6) August (8) and the number of frame completed that month (314). There are examples of frames with the older style bb and the new serial numbering dating from mid 1980.

Jim in Mpls
Sorry, but I have read another posting that debunks this and I believe my list of serial numbers debunks this as well.

Here is the post from https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/20...l#comment-form

I found the on-the-drops.blogspot document to be a great reference for this bicycle and the impact it had on the market, and the sport itself. Your efforts and insight are much appreciated.

I have acquired a Vitus 979 last year, and started a restoration process as I had a great frame, but it had a frankenstein equipment not matching the 80's or the type of bike at all.

This document was essential to my pursuit, and I used the method provided to decipher the actual year. My serno started with E063xxx (one letter, followed by 6 digits)...

I deducted that this frame was E (A->80, B->81, C->82, D->83, E->84, F->85)from 1984... but then the 06, would indicate a 1986, and the 3 would be March, the xxx indicating the number of bikes produced that month...

So there was a problem with the deciphering, the letter AND the first two digits could not be the year. . . If not, what was the letter representing ?

I proceeded to look at all Vitus bikes I could get a serno from, and ebay was a good source for that. What I could not find was any other letters used in the serno besides: A, E, F and I...

So the next question if not the year, was what is the letter representing ?

.. and here is what I believe based on the answers I got from people owning 979 with serno starting with letters E, F, or I: E stands for English Bottom Bracket, F for French Bottom Bracket, and I for Italian ones.

So what does the A represents ? Simply the first production frames that were produced with a french bottom bracket and before they produced other types of bottom brackets (this is my hypothesis, and I am still looking for validation on that point).

Now, onto the remaining digits... Sorry Peter, but I do not see how the two next digits could represent the the production year and the following representing the month of production within the year.

Simply put, a friend of mine purchased a new Vitus in 1988, and the serno is already E103xxx. The deciphering approach was breaking down again.

Now onto the month coding. First, as mentioned in a post earlier, you need two digits, so it should be 01, 02, 03.. to 12, or if they use the next two to represent double digits months (from 10 to 12), it would drive an extra digit in the overall serno size (9 digits for bikes produced in Oct, Nov, Dec)... I have not seen any serno on a Vitus 979 frame with more than 1 letter (A, E, F or I), and 6 digits (123456). Never 7 digits, meaning that 3 months of the year could not be encoded in the serno.

Now, let's assume that the 3rd digit in the serno is the month, it leaves only 3 digits to represent the production number in this month. What do you do for frames 1000+ (again, the production volume was over 15,000 (possibly 17,000 frames in 1984, which means you have many months were more than 1000 frames were produced)... So this is another reason why this encoding approach does not work...

I believe the deciphering is more simple:
first letter A (1980-1981), then E, F and I in later years as additional bottom bracket types were produced, and the 7 digits represented just the sequential production number. . .

To find out the actual year, you need to know how many frames were produced each year... You can approximate this knowing that within each each between 1981 to 1984 between 15,000 (1981) to 17,000 (1984) frames were produced, and 10,000 frames were produced in 1980. . .

So based on the above, my bike frame was likely to be a 1984 bike frame. .

Happy to go over the above in more details, and with additional supporting information... and if you have a response to that, I am more than happy to reconsider. . .

Sincerely,

Christian
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Old 11-26-22, 08:24 PM
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Blue one what?

Originally Posted by tmnguuyen
Very timely, I just picked up a blue one with SN E151912. Thanks
Can you please post a picture of the bike? Is it a Series 1 979 (horizontal side to side seat post clamp bolt) or a Series 2 979 (single grub screw from back of seat post lug to hold seat post in position) ?

This is a Series 1 979

Horizontal side to side seat post bolt that often cracks like this over time

This is a series 2 979 with the single grub screw type of seat post fixing


Later grub screw type of 878 frame
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Old 11-26-22, 08:47 PM
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Here are the photos of the bike i won at a goodwill auction - discovered this venue since i joined BF, Thanks BF. Couldn't pick up over the holiday. I'll pick up next week, assemble, tune, go for a ride and will post more detailed photos. The bike appears to have very low use. It is a series 2.

Also, thanks for the added info on the letter prefix. I read somewhere that the first digit adds to the 8 in the year code. so in my case, E151912 equates to English BB, 1995 January, production #912.

Thanks

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Old 11-26-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tmnguuyen
Here are the photos of the bike i won at a goodwill auction - discovered this venue since i joined BF, Thanks BF. Couldn't pick up over the holiday. I'll pick up next week, assemble, tune, go for a ride and will post more detailed photos. The bike appears to have very low use. It is a series 2.

Also, thanks for the added info on the letter prefix. I read somewhere that the first digit adds to the 8 in the year code. so in my case, E151912 equates to English BB, 1995 January, production #912.

Thanks
Is it a steel or alloy fork? Most alloy Vitus forks I have seen are a curved type instead of the straight one on this bike.
But nice score though.
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Old 11-26-22, 10:11 PM
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BTW, I now have 23 bikes or frames listed on my serial number list. Still looking for suggestions on how to best share the info.
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Old 11-27-22, 03:07 AM
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here is my 83 PX10DU .


and the serial number FWIW

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Old 11-27-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi
BTW, I now have 23 bikes or frames listed on my serial number list. Still looking for suggestions on how to best share the info.
If the list is in tabular form, and still evolving, you might consider a google sheet? Give a few people edit privileges but let everybody read it. I don't really like google, but it's an easy option for now, and you can keep a harder copy in the form of an xls or csv on your own computer in case something bad happens.
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Old 11-27-22, 01:18 PM
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Here are another two serials.
The blue one on the upper right in my photo is serial E078918. Pinch bolt saddle clamp, English threading. Came to us with Campy Gran Sport cranks and BB, 3ttt bars and stem, American Classic seatpost, H+son/Ultegra wheelset, and Ultegra 10sp drivetrain shifted by indexed bar-ends mounted on the downtube. Clearly a mishmash of upgrades and whatnot, but I think the BB and stem were original. I had to unstick the stem from the steerer by drilling/milling it away.

A near-identical blue frame is also in possession of the club. It is serial E067884. Same deal: pinch bolt, English threads. Bought as a bare frame. Haven't been able to find a fork with a steerer long enough for it. Interestingly it is drilled and tapped behind the BB as if to take a fender.
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Old 11-27-22, 03:36 PM
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Weird serial number on Carbone 9 bike on ebay

The serial number on this Carbone 9 bike on ebay totally breaks the normal Vitus serial number pattern:


Even the font used to stamp these numbers looks different to me.

Thoughts?


Carbone sticker

It can be found on ebay at: https://www.ebay.com/itm/403891748821

Last edited by Lotus907efi; 11-27-22 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Adding photo of whole bike and URL to ebay auction
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Old 11-27-22, 04:06 PM
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BTW, I now have a total of 34 bikes or frames in my list

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Old 11-27-22, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi
BTW, I now have a total of 27 bikes or frames in my list
Excellent work, thanks for doing it. Hope the list will grow and prove to be useful. Just for curiosity, is there a cult following on these vintage aluminum bikes. I like the way they look and fabricated; can't wait to ride mine but not sure if they have any collectable values. Does it appear that there are a lot of these for sale on eBAY or is it just me? From this thread, it looks like there is a Neuf Sept Neuf club. My friend in AZ has one, i'll post picture of his bike and SN once he gets back with me.

Thanks

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Old 11-27-22, 05:30 PM
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Here is a google drive link to the spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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Old 11-28-22, 12:10 AM
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PY10FC Vitus carbone serial number
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Old 11-28-22, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 1simplexnut
PY10FC Vitus carbone serial number
Added to the list
Thanks 1simplexnut
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Old 11-28-22, 12:28 PM
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I067574 black Cilo with pinch bolt. Carefully tightened hardware store nut and bolt.
54 cm, bought on CR from a neighbor. It was his stationary trainer bike. Mostly dura ace.
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Old 11-28-22, 01:28 PM
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Pink one in lower left of my picture: serial number F140601. 60cm frame, French threads. Grub screw seatpost binder. Bought as a bare frame/fork. Had a Campy headset and Sugino BB in it when we got it.
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Old 11-28-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus907efi
The serial number on this Carbone 9 bike on ebay totally breaks the normal Vitus serial number pattern:
Even the font used to stamp these numbers looks different to me.

Thoughts?

It can be found on ebay at: https://www.ebay.com/itm/403891748821
Perhaps the carbone frames went later than the aluminum version, and got different serial numbers when they did. I think this is the case - didn't they abandon the 979 duralinox for the new, flashy 992 at some point in the early '90s? But maybe they kept going with the carbon 979 because it worked and they didn't have capital for R&D of a new carbon platform at that time? Just speculating here.

Originally Posted by tmnguuyen
From this thread, it looks like there is a Neuf Sept Neuf club.
That's my doing. I've been evangelizing the 979 since I got my first one in 2016. I have a sort of loosely-organized club in Cambridge MA. Possibly not for too much longer, as our core group may disperse in the coming months. But if we all wanted to band together and form an internet Vitus club, with some sort of website like the (unfortunately now possibly gone) Vintage Trek website, we would all be amenable to that.
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