Verenti Kilmeston  £900.00

9/10

Versatile, well made, sportive, commuter, training bike, ready to take on anything

Weight 9170g   Contact  www.verentibikes.com

by Stuart Kerton   October 14, 2010  

Wiggle describe the Kilmeston as offering ‘versatility and value’ and on initial inspection you can see where they’re coming from – compact gearing, rack and mudguard eylets and a near full Sram Rival groupset for £900! The Verenti range has been receiving rave reviews throughout the cycling press since the launch so we gave the Kilmeston nearly two months of testing day in day out to see what the bike is like to live with long term.

At this price point the Kilmeston is obviously aimed at the commuter coming in nicely under the £1000 limit of most bike to work schemes. The tall headtube gives a slightly higher upright position than an all out racing machine which alongside the neutral handling works well for filtering through traffic and makes it more comfortable riding with a rucksack, coming with mudguards as part of the package its ready to go straight out of the box, rain or shine.

Come the weekend the same relaxed geometry turns the Kilmeston into a comfortable, quick, long distance machine. Most of these characteristics are provided by the triple butted 7005 aluminium frame, this allows the tube walls to be thinner at the centre to reduce the road buzz while the thicker ends give better stiffness and weld contact. While the acceleration isn’t the quickest due to the high rotating mass of the wheels, once up to speed the Verenti is happy to cruise along with very little effort. The Verenti Me components that adorn every contact point also help on the comfort front and over the three days of the Tour of Wessex the most notable difference over previous years was less rider fatigue.

The Me aluminium seatpost, handlebars and stem all work well while fitting in nicely with the overall look of the bike. There is nothing overly flash about them but they do the job and keep the cost down. The handlebars are shallow drop which are great as most riders only use the drops for descending anyway and they enable a low position without having to have your nose on the stem. The saddle, also Me, was a great perch with just the right amount of flex without being soft and no soreness was felt throughout the test period.

Climbing is helped with by a 12-27t cassette working alongside a 50-34t Truvativ Elita chainset, this covers virtually any terrain you’re likely to encounter. In terms of handling the Kilmeston is very sure footed especially descending at high speed from any of the steep climbs you’re bound to encounter on a sportive route. The only chink in its armour component wise are the Me brand brakes which provided a few scary moments especially in the wet. This to be fair though could probably be sorted by a change of pad compound.

Sram’s Rival shifters are very solid in use and give a very sharp and positive change both up and down the block. I did find my fingers had a tendency to slip on the longer stroke sometimes when wearing long fingered gloves so this could be a concern in the wet during the winter months. Both Rival mechs behaved faultlessly as well with the rear only needing slight adjustment of the cable after about 500 miles.

The wheels while heavy are dependable, no troubles with trueness and they do look smart with their slightly aero rims at 35mm depth. I would like to comment on the Vittoria Diamante Pro tyres but unfortunately on the first ride I hit a metal strip dropped by a lorry which sliced straight through the rear tyre and tube. The remaining front tyre gripped well in the wet and the dry even though it felt quite a hard compound. This should help with longevity though especially on the rear.

Taking everything into account apart from racing there is very little that the Kilmeston couldn't deal with. if you're limited by funds or space and can only have one bike the Verenti should be very near the top of your list, its quick and agile enough to excite yet can be comfortably ridden for hours with little rider input (apart from turning the pedals obviously!!). the spec list is probably the best you will see at this price point as well. all in all a great bike, while not really excelling at anything in paticular a cracking ride and an easy bike to live with.

Verdict

Really versatile all rounder, that's fun to ride and top value too

road.cc test report

Make and model: Verenti Kilmeston

Size tested: Medium

About the bike

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

Aluminium 7005 triple butted

Carbon forks with aluminium steerer

all components are Verenti Me own brand

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?

'A sportive bike with the added bonus of mudguard and rack mounts to make it truly versatile, rain or shine'

Wiggle have hit the design brief, the Kilmeston handled the sportives with ease while also being excellent at long training runs and the commute

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

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

Build quality was good with tidy welds and excellent paint finish. the stiking white finish adds to the looks.

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

Triple butted 7005 alu for the frame with a carbon fork

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Size range runs from XS to XXL (49-61cm)

Frame Geometry (Dimensions in mm's)

Description XS S M L XL XXL

A Head Tube Angle 71° 73° 73° 73.5° 73.5° 74°

B Head TubeLength 125 150 175 195 215 235

C Seat Tube Angle 75.5° 74° 73.5° 73.5° 73° 72.5°

D Seat Tube (C-T) 480 505 530 555 580 605

E Seat Tube (C-C) 435 460 490 515 540 565

F Top Tube - Vir 510 530 540 550 570 585

G Top Tube - Act 515 534 544 553 573 587

H BB Drop 70 70 70 70 70 70

I Fork Rake 43 43 43 43 43 43

J Fork Length 368 368 368 368 368 368

K Wheelbase 1004 997 1003 1007 1021 1024

Components XS S M L XL XXL

Stem Length 90 100 110 120 120 130

Stem Angle 7° 7° 7° 7° 7° 7°

Seatpost Length 300 350 350 350 350 350

Bar Width 420 440 440 440 440 460

Bar Drop 125 125 125 125 125 125

Bar Reach 80 80 80 80 80 80

Crank Length 170 172.5 172.5 172.5 172.5 175

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

The componenents were well matched to the medium (54cm) frame we tried. the components length is adjusted to each frame size

Riding the bike

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

Ride quality was very good, comfort is one of the key issues of this bike and it can be ridden quickly for many hours.

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

All the comfort comes from the frame which allows the other components to be stiff to enable a stiff ride

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Power transfer through the bottom bracket was very efficient with no flex felt at all

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

the handling was well planted and sure footed, 40mph+ descents were no problem and last minute changes of direction in traffic were also dealt with easily

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

the saddle was very comfortable while still being supportive. the shallow drop bars also give a comfortable alternative

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

both the stem and handlebars had little flex giving a nice tight front end

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

the Truvativ chainset and bottom bracket were stiff as were the stem and handlebars, mated together gave great efficiency

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10

slowed by the heavy wheels

Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10

not what the bikes about but could still get a move on if prompted

Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

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

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

the shifters are great with a solid feel i think slightly better than both Shimano's and Campag's offerings. The long double click can be tiring though to shift multiple gears.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

For day to day riding both the wheels and tyres are up to the job, a nice set of handbuilt wheels sportives with some quick tyres completly changes the whole bike

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
10/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
9/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The shallow drop handlebars would work well for both large and small riders. all the components are good looking and do the job well.

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:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
10/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

If your after a workhorse that you can also use at the weekend for a bit of fun rain or shine,the Kilmeston is a good choice.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting  My best bike is: Schwinn Fastback Pro

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: commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

seems like brilliant value

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
15th October 2010 - 12:13

26 Likes

Sounds like a lot of frame and drivetrain for the cash, and they've obviously put a lot of work into the contact points, but I fail to see how a bike with heavy wheels and dangerous sounding brakes can score a 9/10, especially when there's bikes a good couple of hundred quid less wearing perfectly respectable weight hoops from the likes of Alex Rims et. al.
And to ignore 'scary' braking issues on the assumption that changing the pads will resolve the problem is downright naive. I would have far rather seen that you'd fitted a set of swisstops and proved the theory.
Sounds like the bike is *probably* better than the review.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [233 posts]
15th October 2010 - 21:31

25 Likes

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