Verenti Insight 0.3 road bike  £996.00

9/10

Great handling carbon road bike with a great build for the money

Weight 8890g   Contact  www.wiggle.co.uk

by David Arthur   July 16, 2014  

Verenti's Insight 0.3 offers a carbon frame and fork with a Shimano 105 groupset for just under £1000 . It provides superb handling, a good turn of speed and a comfortable position that makes it ideal for long rides and sportives.

How does it ride?

The Insight 0.3 rides superbly. It isn't just good for the price, its ride feel rivals much more expensive bikes.

It's very stable at a range of speeds and isn't easily unsettled on rough roads. The handling is well balanced, the steering providing good feedback making it easy to handle at a range of speeds.

Its easy to achieve a good, comfortable position, with the higher bar making it a comfortable bike for any longer rides you have planned.

The carbon frame and fork balances stiffness and comfort well. It's responsive when you push hard on the pedals yet the frame doesn't pass on too much vibration over rougher road surfaces.

When you pedal really hard, say in a sprint to the coffee shop against your mates, or just trying to get up a local climb a bit quicker, it feels stiff and very efficient. What we're trying to say is it transfers your energy into forward motion very well.

It's a very competent road bike. It's not the most exciting bike we've ever tested, but nor is it lacking in capability or potential, because it scores highly in both regards.

Who is this bike for?

Anyone wanting a well-priced carbon fibre road bike for tackling sportives, long rides in the countryside or fast Sunday blasts in the sun. You could even race it too, though it's not as pointy as a fully fledged race bike.

There's a lot of performance on tap. And that applies equally if you're a complete beginner recently inspired to take up cycling, or you've been cycling for a few years and want to make the leap to a carbon road bike.

Even experienced road cyclists won't find anything alarming about the performance and handling. It really does put a few more expensive bikes to shame.

Will it fit me?

It should. Verenti offer six sizes from XXS to XL, so there should be a size for everyone. If you're unsure of the size you need, there's a helpful size guide on the wiggle website.

I'm 5ft 11in and happily fitted the size medium, which has a 565mm top tube. That combines with a 175mm head tube which ensures the front of the bike isn't scarily low.

The handlebars are a generous width (42cm) and nicely shaped and the 110mm stem is a good length for the size 56cm we tested, so it's very comfortable whether you ride in the drops, the tops or in the hoods. You might want to fit a shorter or longer stem depending your reach preference, but as it stood it never felt overstretched.

Verenti have given the Insight 0.3 a short wheelbase (990mm) similar to many race bikes and that creates an engaging bike that is happy to be moved energetically around the road and through the turns. It didn't lack any stability compared to bikes with longer wheelbases really.

What's the spec like?

The Insight 0.3 has most of Shimano 105 groupset. Often at this price you often see own brand brake calipers to keep the costs down, but Verenti manage to make it a full 105 except for the Shimano non-series chainset, Tiagra cassette and KMC chain. That's a forgivable bit of skimping.

Gears shift with the lightness and crispness we've come to expect from Shimano. Brakes are solid and very reassuring. The compact 50/34 chainset and 12-28 cassette will see you up any mountain climbs without fear of running out of gears.

The Insight 0.3 rolls along on a nice set of Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels. Not the lightest wheels in the world, but they feel stiff when you push them hard with just a bit of give to help smooth out the road. They match the frame and fork nicely. They've also been very reliable, and previous experience with Fulcrum wheels on other test bikes suggest they should throw up no surprises.

Tyres are Continental Ultra Sport 23mm. They're the German company's more affordable offerings and don't have the same level of rolling resistance, speed and grip in all weathers of their more expensive offerings, but they're competent and provide decent performance. There's certainly no need to whip them off the moment you get the bike out of the box.

Never heard of 4ZA, the logo adorning the saddle, seatpost, stem and handlebars? It's a Belgian company, actually owned by Ridley so it's all good quality kit derived from lighter and racier components.

I was impressed with the saddle. It's fair to say I am fussy about saddles, but this one proved comfortable and suitably padded for longer rides.

The 110mm stem and 42cm handlebars are a good combination providing a comfortable reach, and the bars are nicely shaped with an not overly generous drop.

What's it weigh?

On the road.cc Scales of Truth it's a very reasonable 8.89kg (19.59lb). Weight is an one of the main areas where you really do get what you pay for. A heavy bike can feel sluggish and unwilling, and be a handful on the hills.

The benefit of the carbon fibre frame and fork at this price is you're shedding quite a bit of weight compared to a bike with an aluminium frame, and you will notice that difference on the hills. Or at the end of a 150km sportive. A lighter bike feels faster too, and feeling faster is always good.

Any downsides?

That you can only buy the Insight 0.3 online will put some people off. You can't simply walk into a local bike shop and look it over first. To combat this however Verenti lets you have a 30-day test ride on a new bike and if you don't like it, they'll refund you. That's a pretty appealing prospect and helps to overcome any fears you might have off buying a bike online.

Verdict

Great handling carbon road bike with a great build for the money but it's not a looker

road.cc test report

Make and model: Verenti Insight 0.3

Size tested: 56, Black

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

24Ton high modulus carbon frame

Tapered carbon bladed fork

Full Shimano® 105 10 speed groupset

Shimano® dual pivot brakes

Fulcrum® Racing Sport wheelset

With these modifications this frame platform takes a giant leap forward this year, becoming a truly race worthy carbon road bike.

The Insight 0.3 is jam packed with features like a full spread of 105 10speed componentry from Shimano including 105 shifters, both front & rear 105 mech's, 105 chainset and 105 dual-pivot brake calliper's. The compact 105 chainset (50-34t) coupled with the wide range cassette (12-28t) gives you a bike capable of getting you up the most demanding of climbs.

The Insight 0.3 105 features Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels - reliable and robust for the most demanding of rides - and a pair of Continental Ultra Sports tyres. This combination gives great stability, grip and confidence whether at speed or when cornering.

The Forza® componentry (bars, stem, saddle, and seat post) provides quality finishing touches to the well-appointed Insight 105.

The Insight 0.3 is fast, light and comfortable and features great parts from a selection of the best manufacturers. Whether you're an experienced sportive veteran or a dedicated beginner entering their first event, the Verenti Insight 105 represents unbeatable value for money.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

The 2014 Verenti Insight frame has seen some substantial improvements on its predecessor. The Insight frame and fork are now tapered and offer a stiffer front end and more competitive handling for a bike at this level. The bottom bracket carbon lay-up has been modified to be lighter and stiffer, but still retaining the comfort we've all come to expect.

With these modifications this frame platform takes a giant leap forward this year, becoming a truly race worthy carbon road bike.

The Insight 0.3 is jam packed with features like a full spread of 105 10speed componentry from Shimano including 105 shifters, both front & rear 105 mech's, 105 chainset and 105 dual-pivot brake calliper's. The compact 105 chainset (50-34t) coupled with the wide range cassette (12-28t) gives you a bike capable of getting you up the most demanding of climbs.

The Insight 0.3 105 features Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels - reliable and robust for the most demanding of rides - and a pair of Continental Ultra Sports tyres. This combination gives great stability, grip and confidence whether at speed or when cornering.

The Forza® componentry (bars, stem, saddle, and seat post) provides quality finishing touches to the well-appointed Insight 105.

The Insight 0.3 is fast, light and comfortable and features great parts from a selection of the best manufacturers. Whether you're an experienced sportive veteran or a dedicated beginner entering their first event, the Verenti Insight 105 represents unbeatable value for money.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

You wouldn't know it was so cheap from looking at the finish.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

24Ton high modulus carbon frame with oversizing in the key areas and an external bottom bracket and external gear and brake cabling.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Well suited to racing and sportives.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Perfect.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes a good balance of comfort and stiffness over a variety of road surfaces. Wider tyres would be a good upgrade to soften it a bit more.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

No problems in sprinting or powering up climbs.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

A full Shimano 105 groupset caused no issues and the range of gears get us up the steepest climbs in our area.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

I'd probably switch to some 25mm tyres once the stock tyres wore out.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10

You could gain a bit more comfort with a carbon handlebar and seatpost.

Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
10/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

The Insight 0.3 is a very well designed bike and well specced for the money, especially now that they've knocked £200 off the price making it a bit of bargain. The fact you can only buy it online might put some people off, but the 30-day test ride and full refund offer does make it less of a gamble. It's such a good bike for the money though that you would be mad to not seriously consider it

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Looks like a perfectly good bike and good value. Blatant use of an open-mould frame though, that shape's really familiar especially around the front enf of the top tube and the bottom bracket. I reckon a few minutes' googling would find the 'parent'...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [958 posts]
16th July 2014 - 13:58

9 Likes

Not sure 8.89kg is a weight to boast about for an aluminium, let alone a carbon one. You can pick up an alloy Boardman which weighs less, comes with a full carbon fork and BB30 bottom bracket.

Most people are probably better off with a good, light alloy frame costing less, and spending the difference on some nice wheels and tyres. Especially for racing.

Or buy a touring bike for sportives. But I guess they aren't cool these days.

posted by jeffersaurus [10 posts]
16th July 2014 - 15:50

14 Likes

jeffersaurus wrote:
Not sure 8.89kg is a weight to boast about for an aluminium, let alone a carbon one. You can pick up an alloy Boardman which weighs less, comes with a full carbon fork and BB30 bottom bracket.

Most people are probably better off with a good, light alloy frame costing less, and spending the difference on some nice wheels and tyres. Especially for racing.

Or buy a touring bike for sportives. But I guess they aren't cool these days.


+1 on the weight.. Just: Canyon Roadlite or even Rose Pro SL. 105 specced ally bikes, but with carbon-steerer forks and better "finishing kit". Weighing significantly less.

As for the BB30, I don't really think, that there's any disadvantage of traditional english threaded BB-s. Most mechanics hate BB30, and not a fond of PressFit system either.. It seems that the traditional BSA still gives the most reliable-maintanence free solution for most people.

But the bike should really come with a better fork AND accessories.. Would cut the weight down significantly. I like the shape and lines of the tubes though..

2ryd

posted by Vejnecske [39 posts]
16th July 2014 - 17:20

14 Likes

Gizmo_ wrote:
Looks like a perfectly good bike and good value. Blatant use of an open-mould frame though, that shape's really familiar especially around the front enf of the top tube and the bottom bracket. I reckon a few minutes' googling would find the 'parent'...

Looks like and has exactly the same geometry as a Ridley Orion. Which is a bloody good bike by the way.

posted by ajmarshal1 [376 posts]
16th July 2014 - 17:58

14 Likes

A clue to the origin of the frame might be that the bike has 4ZA finishing kit.

And that this bike's big brother, the Revelation, comes with a UCI race-approval sticker. And the manufacturer-model code on that sticker is 'RID-R9'.

And that bike also has Ridley geomety.

None of that is a bad thing of course. An excellent pedigree.

My suspicions around the weight are that the money has gone into the frameset and that the finishing kit has taken a hit as a result. And if anything on a bike has to take a downgrade to hit a price point, finishing kit is the first area I look to personalise anyway - so it's the right choice in my book.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [233 posts]
17th July 2014 - 11:29

15 Likes

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