Breaking news for gravel fans: VOTEC are (re)launching the VRX. First presented in 2016, the German bike brand have overhauled their best-selling gravel bike. We’ve got all the details.
German bike brand, VOTEC, present the revised VRX. First launched in 2016, the new edition of the gravel bike features an aggressive geometry, aluminium frame, carbon fork and a combination of Shimano GRX components. VOTEC’s concept targets beginners and recreational gravel fans who want to ride fast and have fun on unpaved roads. The previous VOTEC VRX Elite (review here) secured the coveted Best Buy in our 2017 gravel bike group test. So, we’re asking ourselves what the German development team have been busy with during the past few years. Here is VOTEC’s answer:
The new VOTEC gravel bike in detail
As before, the VOTEC VRX is positioned as a fast bike for those who mainly ride on compacted gravel roads. With the sport of gravel becoming increasingly differentiated, Head of Brand Management and responsible for VOTEC, Stephan Geiß, classifies the VRX more precisely: “Since the debut of the VRX in 2016, our enthusiasm for gravel has been inspired primarily by the dynamics of road bikes and taking that off-road. The VRX likes it fast, with trees and fields flying by, though it also operates on the premise of doing whatever you
“With the stylish aluminium frame, light and stiff carbon fork and aggressive riding position, the VRX combines fun with speed. We’ve recently found our customers, friends and families asking for a bike just like that,” explains David Meyer, Product Manager at VOTEC. The aluminium frame of the VOTEC uses a conventional 27.2 mm diameter seat post, 140 mm flat-mount brake disc standard, BB386 bottom bracket and isn’t compatible with a front derailleur. The axle standard is 12×100 mm up front and 12×142 mm at the rear.
Rafael Hoffleit, who designed the VRC frame, also designed the new wide fork, thus creating a common thread between the VOTEC VRC (review here) and VRX, carrying the classic lines and clear edges of the VRC over to the front of the VRX. VOTEC say the new, wider fork offers more stiffness and tire clearance than the 2016 model. For them, the sweet spot of weight and riding dynamics regarding tires lies somewhere between 700 x 35C and 700 x 42C, depending on riding style and terrain. As such, the latter is the maximum tire clearance on the VRX. In addition to the aluminium frame with internal cable routing and carbon fork, the VOTEC VRX comes with WTB Riddler tires fitted to a high-quality Easton EA70 AX wheelset. Thanks to an internal rim width of 24 mm, the tires form a U rather than an O when inflated. That way the tires are well-supported, which is particularly noticeable when riding off-road. A combination of Shimano GRX (review here) components take care of the drivetrain and brakes, a popular choice among gravel fans for good reason. For the (re)launch, this is the only model of the VOTEC VRX available, priced at a very reasonable € 1,999.
Votec VRX 2022
Seatpost Easton EA70 AX 20 mm
Brakes Shimano GRX 600/ SM-RT70 160/140 mm
Drivetrain Mix of Shimano GRX 600, GRX 800 and SRAM 1 x 11
Stem Easton EA50 80 – 110 mm
Handlebar Easton EA50 AX 400 – 440 mm
Wheelset Easton EA70 AX
Tires WTB Riddler 700 x 37 mm
Size S M L XL XXL
Weight 9.2 kg (Manufacturer´s claim in M)
Availability from now on
The geometry of the VOTEC VRX
The new VRX is available in sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL and, according to VOTEC, accommodates riders from 156 to 198 cm tall. Compared to the frameset from 2016, the VRX has become a tad longer. The tire clearances have increased by a few millimetres and the axle standards have been modernised – minor but desperately needed updates.
|Top tube||515 mm||535 mm||555 mm||575 mm||595 mm|
|Seat tube||470 mm||510 mm||540 mm||570 mm||600 mm|
|Head tube||125 mm||135 mm||160 mm||190 mm||218 mm||Head angle||70.5°||71°||71.5°||71.5°||72°|
|Kettenstrebe||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm|
|Chainstays||77 mm||75 mm||72 mm||70 mm||70 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,003 mm||1,010 mm||1,023 mm||1,040 mm||1,050 mm|
|Reach||368 mm||376 mm||384 mm||391 mm||397 mm|
|Stack||557 mm||567 mm||589 mm||616 mm||645 mm|
VOTEC give riders three options regarding the colour: Warwickshire green, Brazilian yellow or the subtle, all-time favourite matte black.
Our conclusion on the new VOTEC VRX
On paper, VOTEC have succeeded in (re)launching the VRX as an attractive and exciting option for gravel fans on a budget. For the intended use, they’ve made some acceptable compromises regarding the spec. We’ll be testing it over the next few weeks to see how it fares. The only question that remains unanswered for now is how long you’ll have to wait after placing your order. We’ll keep you posted!
For more information about the new VOTEC VRX, visit votec.com
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Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Felix Reimers, VOTEC