First look: Verenti 2014 road bikes - new carbon, cross, and aero bikes
New models include sub £1K carbon sportive bike + entry level urban/cyclcrosser & new Ascension aero road range
Verenti have overhauled their bike range for 2014, and expanded the lineup massively from four to 11 bikes. Here are the highlights...
The most affordable bike in the Verenti range is the Substance CX1.1 at £600 (main picture). This one is very much an all-rounder. It’s a steel, road-going cyclocross bike with disc brakes and mounts for mudguards and a rack, so it’s capable of handling urban riding, commuting, touring, a bit of CX... you know the sort of thing. It’s designed to stand up to plenty of use and abuse.
The frame is made from butted Reynolds 520 cromo steel and that’s a steel fork on there too. The bike is equipped with Shimano’s nine-speed Sora groupset which hardly loses out to much more expensive options in terms of performance. The shifting on the latest Sora incarnation is exactly the same as you get with Tiagra, 105 and the rest, so it’s a great option for everyday use. That’s a compact (50/34-tooth) chainset you get on there, matched up with a 11-32-tooth cassette, so you have a very wide range of gear ratios to keep you moving up steep climbs and through slow traffic.
The brakes are Avid’s BB5 mechanical discs which should provide decent stopping in all weathers, and the wheels are handbuilt options using Alex rims and Novatech hubs.
Verenti run the mech cables on the top of the top tube where they’re out of the way if you do want to shoulder the bike in cyclocross, with just the rear brake cable going along the down tube.
Verenti claim a weight of 25.2lb (11.4kg) for a medium size model. We’ve not ridden any of these bikes, we’ve only looked at them, but the Substance seems to offer a lot for the money.
The WR here stands for ‘Winter Road’ and Verenti see this bike as a “Comfortable sportive bike built with full mudguards that will work well as a training bike or entry-level racing bike.”
The frame is 7005 aluminium alloy, triple butted to save weight, and the fork plugged in up front is carbon bladed with an alloy steerer. Like the Substance (above), the Defense (with an s rather than a c, American style) comes with a Shimano Sora nine-speed groupset although the chainset is a compact FSA Omega.
As mentioned, the Defense comes equipped with full mudguards to help keep you dry, and you get mounts for fitting a rear rack too which broadens out its appeal for commuting or even light touring. Verenti give the weight for a size medium at 22.8lb (10.4kg).
A lot of the finishing kit is from 4ZA which is owned by Belgian bike brand Ridley.
The Belief’s frame is made from 7005 aluminium alloy, like that of the Defense, but it’s designed to be more of a performance/race bike than an all-rounder. It comes with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in to 1 1/2in), for example, indicating that intent. The idea, of course, is to add extra stiffness up front. The Belief still gives you a fairly relaxed ride position thanks to that head tube being longer than normal – it’s 175mm on the medium model.
The fork is carbon bladed with an alloy steerer and you get a full Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset apart from the chainset which is a compact FSA Omega model. That sounds like a lot of value on a £750 bike. Verenti claim a complete bike weight of 20.7lb (9.4kg).
The Insight is the entry-level carbon bike in the range with a frame made by Verenti’s partner in Belgium (there are plenty of clues in the spec choices to who they might be). The carbon fibre in question is of the 24 ton variety. This year the Insight gets a 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in tapered head tube for better handling and the carbon-fibre layup around the bottom bracket has been modified to make things lighter and stiffer.
The step up to a better frame over that of the Belief means a small step down in the groupset – the Insight 0.4 comes with Shimano Sora rather than Tiagra although you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference in terms of function. You can get the same frame built up with a higher level group because there are three Insight models in the range. As well as the 0.4 shown here, the 0.3 (£1,200) comes in a Shimano 105 build and the 0.2 (£1,600) has a SRAM Rival-based spec.
This 0.4 weighs in at 19.5lb (8.8kg), according to Verenti, the 0.3 is 19.3lb (8.7kg) and the 0.2 is 18.3lb (8.3kg)
The Revelation is a serious road bike with a frame that’s made from a higher grade of carbon-fibre than that of the Insight – R9 unidirectional. Verenti have even had the frame approved by the UCI so you can, in theory, race it even at the very highest levels. It gets a full high modulus carbon fibre fork to match. The head tube is tapered (1 1/8in to 1 1/4in) and the bottom bracket is oversized BB30 for more stiffness.
The frame is compatible with electronic groupsets although the SR0.2 comes built up with a new SRAM Force 22 groupset. The wheels are comparatively lowly Fulcrum Racing 7s, Verenti reasoning that many buyers will have their own wheel preference already, and wheels are a relatively simple upgrade if you want something with a bit more zing.
Verenti offer two Revelation models of which the SR0.2 (17.1lb/7.7kg) is the more expensive. The SR0.3 (17.7lb/8.0kg), built around the same frameset, is equipped with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset for £1,800.
Ascension AR0.2 £2,100
The Ascension is the aero road bike in the Verenti range – you have to have an aero option these days! Some people just want a touch more efficiency for road riding, some people want a bike they can fit some clip-on aero bars to and use for triathlon as well.
At the heart of things is a high-modulus carbon-fibre frame with tubes profiled to minimise drag, and you get an aero seatpost too, held in place by a hidden clamping system. The seatstays kink out at right angles to the seat tube before turning and heading for the dropouts, helping to manage airflow towards the rear of the bike. You’ll find similar designs on many aero road and time trial bikes out there.
The carbon fork is integrated, the crown sitting within the head tube/down tube silhouette and, again, the legs are aero profiled.
The Ascention AR0.2 is built up with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, the only deviation being the Rotor 3D chainset. In this guise Verenti say it weighs 18.3lb (8.3kg), so, a little more than either of the Revelation models. There’s always a slight weight penalty for the extra material used in making aero road bikes. The Ascension will also come in a Shimano Ultegra Di2 version, the AR0.1, for £2,750, and as a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical model, the 0.0, at £2,850.
The Ascension bikes aren’t listed on the Wiggle website yet but they should be available from late March or early April.
The other bikes shown above are all available through Wiggle already, or their arrival is imminent (we’re talking about the next few days). The 2015 model year Verenti range will launch in September with more models than ever before, including an urban/city lineup... but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. In the meantime, go to www.wiggle.co.uk for details on the current bikes.