Stealth black, sharp handling, mile munching mountain goat… well that's the promise

We went to get a see the new range of Verenti bikes for a pre-launch sneak peek a few weeks back now two of them have come to us, we'll show you the Kilmeston soon, but first out of the box is the Rhigos 03.

As the name suggests it's the third bike in the Rhigos range sitting behind, you're ahead of us the 01, and the 02. For our money in stealth black this is the looker of the bunch and, on paper at least, for £1400 it is an incredibly competitive piece of kit. It'll need to be though because it will be going up against some really good bikes including the benchmark setting Boardman Road Pro Carbon, and some of the very stylish offerings from the likes of Comtat.

Even on looks, spec… and promise the Verenti looks to be a winner. Yes, the Boardman is no off the shelf generic carbon machine, a lot of thought has gone in to it, but comfortable though it is, it's an out and out race tool. And it costs £200 more. And while Comtat too have performance oriented sportive offerings in their range, stylishly finished too, they have used their experience to build great bikes from off the shelf parts they haven't been put together 'from the ground up' for the sorts of conditions that British sportive riders will face in the way Verenti have gone about their task and believe us Verenti have gone about this process with an almost obsessive approach to detail.

Named after the killer Welsh climb the Rhigos 03 is intended to be a bike to get you up the mountain after a long day in the saddle and leave you fresh enough to nail the descent on the other side. At 8.16kg comfort rather than all-out low weight is key, so is smooth handling and the sort of planted descending on rails stability that inspires the sort of confidence you need to enjoy fast descents on British roads.

Spec highlights? Well first off, that lugged high modulus 3K carbon frame. The Rhigos 03 has the same frame with different coloured lugs as the 02 (white lugs) and the 01 (red). Some people can get a bit sniffy about lugged carbon, but it makes sense, it's still the method of choice for top end carbon from Italian marques like Colnago. In many ways it's no less complex way of building a bike than a monocoque, all those lugs need to be different for every frame size and it does allow for a very clean, strong method of construction, with some interesting tube profiles too.

That frame, and it's upgradeability is a really strong card in the 03's favour. So too though is the buying power of Wiggle/Verenti which means that for your £1400 you are getting a very well equipped bike. Groupset is pretty much full SRAM Rival save for the Truvative 50-34 Elita chainset. Wheels are Mavic Acksiums - plenty strong enough to deal with even British roads and worth hanging on to as training wheels when the time comes to upgrade to something lighter. There's a fair smattering of Verenti own branded kit on there too - the Me2 brakes have the look of the higher end of the Tektro range and the full carbon monocoque fork looks a quality bit of kit too.

Our Rhigos 03 is heading out into the hills very soon, Roger Blessed is revved up and ready to go, so well see if the reality matches the promise straight from the box though it's so far so good.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.