Updated carbon fibre frame with a Shimano 105 groupset for £1,200 from wiggle

Wiggle’s inhouse bike brand Verenti has been updated for 2014 and one of the models to get some attention is the Insight range. This £1,200 Shimano 105 model we've just received for review gets a full carbon fibre frame and fork that now boasts a tapered head tube and enhanced carbon layup, which means it should be lighter and stiffer than before. 

The Insight was first launched in 2013 and marked a new direction for the brand; it looked nothing like the previous Verenti carbon frames. It's a good looking frame, chunky in the right places, skinny where it doesn't need to be oversized, generously proportioned and finished with some quite stylish, discrete perhaps, decals. The frame is constructed from 24 ton high modulus unidirectional carbon fibre with the new 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in tapered head tube and a fork made with carbon fibre blades and an alloy steerer tube.

The front end changes and the beefed up bottom bracket area should create a bike that is more responsive to inputs, whether from the legs or arms. We'll find out when we ride it. Geometry for the medium we have to test features a 17.5cm head tube and 56.5cm effective top tube, so it’s reasonably stretched with a average height front end. That should make it ideal for sportives, racing and just fast road riding. The wheelbase is short at 99cm with 73° parallel head and seat tube angles.

It’s worth pointing out that the same frame can be had with a Sora groupset for £950 making it an appealing sub-grand prospect. Save up a bit longer though and this £1,200 model is very well finished, including a full Shimano 105 groupset. That includes both derailleurs, shifters, compact chainset and dual-pivot brake calipers. It's nice to see Verenti not cut any corners with the groupset. There’s a 12-28 cassette which with the 50/34 chainset gives a nice spread of gears, and is ideal if you’ve some hilly sportives lined up this summer.

The Insight rolls on a pair of Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels fitted with Continental Ultra Sport 23mm tyres. The bike is finished with a 4ZA handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle - 4ZA is the inhouse brand of Belgium manufacturer Ridley.

Wiggle are currently throwing in a LifeLine Advanced Kit with the bike, which includes a pair of bottle cages and two water bottles, a bottle cleaner brush, LifeLine Essential Track Pump, a set of three LifeLine Professional tyre levers, a LifeLine USB LED Single Beam 15 Lumen rear light and a LifeLine USB LED single beam 40 lumen front light. That’s everything you really need to get you started, making this an appealing package for anyone just getting into cycling.

On the road.cc Scales of Truth, the Insight weighs 8.89kg (19.59lb). That’s for a medium, it’s also available in sizes from XXS to XL. On paper the Insight looks an excellent choice for the money, all that remains is to see how it performs out on the road.

If you’ve got £1,200 to spend on a new road bike, you might be wondering what other choices there are. This roundup of £1,000 to £1,500 road bikes gives a good selection of bikes at or around that price.

More about the Insight at www.wiggle.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.