With its full carbon frame and fork packed with the latest technology, Shimano 105 groupset, 8kg weight and £1,449.99 price tag, the KTM Revelator 3500 has a lot going for it if you’re looking for a fast and light road bike capable of taking on some summer sportives or road races.
KTM isn’t a brand many road.cc readers will be familiar with. An Austrian company better known for its motorbikes and stripped back track cars, it actually sells nearly 200,000 bicycles a year, and first arrived in the UK back in 2008.
The Revelator range contains nine models, priced from £1,299 to £4,299. The model we have here is the second-rung offering, but the same carbon frame is used across the range.KTM design the bikes from scratch, being developed at KTM's Austrian HQ. The frames are produced in China and sent back for painting and assembly. The top end bikes are each hand-assembled by one person to ensure that the quality control is the best it can be.
It’s a frame packed with the latest technology that we could almost consider standard on a UCI approved race-ready frameset. Up front is a tapered head tube with 1 1/8in upper bearings and 1 1/4in lower bearings. That, along with the press fit bottom bracket, allows for a wide profile down tube to be used. Combned with the oversized chainstays, the frame has a purposeful appearance.
All cables are routed internally, giving the frame very clean lines. The frame is compatible with Di2 should you want to upgrade, or be interested in one of the more expensive Di2-equipped models higher up the range. The top tube and seat stays have a more slender profile, suggesting the frame should offer a degree of comfort.
The Revelator has proper race credentials: it’s ridden by the French Pro Continental team Bretagne-Seche-Environnement. The frame is available in five sizes, from 49 to 59cm. The bike we have is a 57cm, but the geometry chart reads more like a 56cm frame, the horizontal top tube measures 56.1cm and the head tube 17.5cm. The head angle is 73 degrees with the seat angle 73.5 degrees. A short 989mm wheelbase is about right for such a bike, perhaps a smidgen shorter than the average, which points to a fast handling road bike.
The Revelato 3500 is well appointed for the money. A full Shimano 105 groupset with a compact groupset is a very nice thing, not the lightest but impressive performance and slick shifting. The brakes too provide plenty of confidence in their ability to scrub off speed. While the compact 50/34 chainset will see you up most UK hills, you can specify a triple chainset option if you plan to tackle steeper and longer hills.
The rest of the kit draws on well known brands. Mavic supply the Aksium wheels with matching Askion 23mm tyres, Ritchey is used for all the finishing kit. So an alloy Comp Road handlebar, Comp 4-axis stem and Comp 27.2 seatpost. A Selle Italia X1 Flow saddle completes the build. Weight on our scales was 8kg (17.6lb), a little more than the 7.9kg claimed weight.
And the orange, well that’s the company’s signature colour. Its use combined with some smart decals (like those on the inside face for the fork and chainstays) gives the Revelator a good presence on the road. It certainly stands out.
At this money there is a lot of choice. For example, there’s the Trek Domane 4.0 for £1,500 with a carbon frame and Tiagra groupset (the KTM scores well with its 105 groupset here) or the Cannondale Caad10, which partners a 105 groupset with an alloy frame. We looked at some of the best £1,000 to £1,500 road bikes in this guide. It’s worth a read if you want a few more options to consider.
KTM are available from www.shop.flidistribution.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.