Verenti’s entry-level alloy Kilmeston is the latest new bike to arrive at the road.cc command centre and it looks exceptional value for money. We’ve got a crack squad of top international testers putting it through its paces on Britain's roads even as we speak… er, type.
As you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention, Verenti is the new in-house range from website supremos Wiggle, and the £900 Kilmerston is the entry level model in the line up (check out our review of the £1,400 Rhigos 03 here). On paper, it looks like stunning value…
The frame is triple-butted 7005 aluminium alloy – the walls at the ends of each of the main tubes are different thicknesses from one another and from the centre section to keep the weight down and provide the best dimensions for welding – and it comes in a sportive-friendly geometry. That means you get an extended head tube and a top tube that’s a touch shorter than normal, so you’re not bent double in the saddle. We’re not talking ‘sit-up-and-beg”, but with a big stack of headset spacers underneath the stem you're not going to end up with backache here.
Designed for year-round use, the Kilmeston – it’s named after a village in Hampshire, fact fans – comes with mudguards fitted and there’s enough clearance for slinging 25mm tyres on over the winter. You get mounts for a rear rack too if you want to set it up for commuting.
SRAM Rival mechs and DoubleTap Controls are exceptional value at this price – amazing stuff for the money – and as with all the bikes in the Verenti range, you get compact gearing to keep you spinning up the climbs at the end of a long, hard day in the saddle. In this case it’s a Truvativ Elita 50/34 chainset matched up with a SRAM 12-27T cassette.
Nearly all the other components, including the carbon-bladed fork, are Verenti’s own. They might not have the glamour or prestige of big-name options, but if our experience of the Verenti Rhigos 03 is anything to go by, it’ll prove to be sound, functional kit, and little touches like gel padding under the bar tape can make all the difference. Even the wheels come from Verenti’s Me range... well, they're handbuilt for Verenti by Pro-Lite. With 35mm semi-deep rims, we'll be interested to find out how they handle.
We’ll be back with a full report on the ride soon.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.