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Verdict: 
Excellent value for money first road bike, audax machine or year-round commuter
Weight: 
9,810g

The Verenti Technique Tiagra may look like a nineties throwback thanks to its paintjob but the spec list is bang up to date with a hydroformed alloy frameset, tapered headtube, full carbon fibre fork and Shimano's latest Tiagra 4700 groupset. You can even bung full guards on it too and all for six hundred and fifty quid.

Verenti Technique Tiagra.jpg

Not heard of Verenti before?

It's an in-house brand of online retailer Wiggle and as we've often found in the past their bikes come with an excellent specification for the money thanks to their massive buying power keeping prices down.

But being great on paper is pointless if the overall ride isn't much cop. Thankfully that's not a concern with the Technique.

Verenti's marketing aims the Technique range at the beginner, someone who's looking for their first serious road bike. What they are offering is a very stable, easy to ride yet exciting bike.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - rear mech.jpg

Looking at the geometry you'd expect the Technique to be a lot less forgiving than it is. Our 54cm model has a 986mm wheelbase which isn't overly long for a bike that'll take full mudguards and with a head angle of 73°, a seat angle of 74° and a stack to reach ratio of 1.45 the Verenti is floating somewhere in between a full race bike and a more relaxed sportive or endurance option.

Out on the road it is very easy to ride tracking well and offering no surprises or twitchiness, exactly how it should be for a novice rider. But don't go thinking it's boring to ride if you've got a bit more experience in the saddle.

Push the pace and the Verenti has an engaging ride. It's not as sharp at the steering as some but you can actually 'ride' it to get a response instead of just being a passenger turning the pedals. High speed descents are dealt with in an unflustered manner and as long as you don't go flying into the turns like an animal you'll come out the other side unscathed.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - riding 2.jpg

If you do overcook things the Verenti takes a bit of coercing back onto its line due to the neutral steering but that's barely a criticism as it's not really what the Verenti is about. I doubt any of the relative novices it's untended for would really be pushing things that hard to get it out of shape in the first place.

While we're in the bends it's worth mentioning the tapered fork steerer and headtube as they really keep the front end stiff and tight when cornering and under heavy braking.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - seat tube junction.jpg

Where the Technique really excels is tapping the miles out in the lanes at a more relaxed pace and if you can get on with the softly padded Cosine saddle then you'll be comfortable for hours, enjoying the scenery and sunshine.

If the going is a bit lumpy the overall weight of 9.81kg is offset by the compact 50/34t chainset and ten speed 12-28 cassette which means it's no slouch on the hills. Out of the saddle climbing doesn't find the bottom bracket struggling for stiffness unless you are really gunning it sprinter style. You'll feel a very tiny amount of sideways movement then.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - drivetrain.jpg

The shifting on the new Tiagra groupset has taken a massive step forward thanks to using what are basically replica 105 5800 shifters minus a gear. Thee effort needed for each change requires just a little more force than the 105's but it's negligible.

Coming with mudguard mounts front and rear (hidden on the inside of the seatstays) the Verenti also makes a great year round commuter. Wet, greasy or freezing roads require the type of neutral handling and stability the Technique has, so even in experienced hands it's nigh on perfect for off season training.

Aluminium alloy frames still suffer from being instantly thought of as harsh and to be honest if the Technique was the only alloy bike you'd ridden then that's probably the conclusion you'd draw.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - down tube.jpg

It's no boneshaker like some of the frames that were knocking around at the beginning of the century but it isn't as refined as some we've been testing lately. Again this no doubt comes down to price so it's far from a deal breaker but with more money comes things like butted tubes to bring some flex in for comfort.

The Technique Tiagra does come with Continental Ultra Sport II tyres in a 28mm width to offset any road buzz with the full carbon fork also making a difference. That's right, full carbon including the steerer at a price where most brands use an aluminium steerer to save cost.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - top tube.jpg

The finish of the frameset looks very good, with the slightly agricultural welding being left in its raw guise – something not everyone will like but I do. The paint finish is a deep metallic blue which is hardwearing and not one to pick up scratches too easily.

Many riders, especially new ones tend to buy from a spec sheet, and that hasn't been missed by Wiggle. Whereas a lot of manufacturers will upgrade the rear mech a groupset higher while sacrificing the chainset and brakes for perceived value Wiggle have gone straight in with a full groupset – bosh!

With its new grey colour scheme Tiagra is visually pretty stunning especially now it's taken on the four arm chainset design mimicking Shimano's more expensive groups. The move to place the brake and gear cables under the bar tape gives the bike a classier, less cluttered look too.

Shifting, as I mentioned earlier, is now crisp and offers much better feel than any of the predecessors, especially when changing gear under load.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - front brake.jpg

But the biggest single improvement is to braking. The new calipers are much stiffer and an upgrade to decent cartridge pads rather than the black wine gums found on the old Tiagra dual pivots.

The wheels come courtesy of Shimano too, their dependable and hard wearing RS010 set which are ideal for winter commuting duties. They are far from light though so if speed or climbing is your thing than an upgrade to something lighter will really make the difference to the Technique's 'get up and go'. We swapped in some Superstar Components Pave 28 wheels and it really gave a boost to the Verenti's responsiveness.

The rest of the finishing kit comes from Cosine, another of wiggle's brands. The alloy seatpost, stem and handlebars are all pretty basic stuff but do the job and I can really see no reason to replace and upgrade. The compact bars offer plenty of hand positions and were comfortable too.

Verenti Technique Tiagra - riding 3.jpg

Value really is the key word here with the Technique especially when you compare it to others in our £500 - £750 bike buying guide.

With a full Tiagra groupset and that full carbon fork the Verenti certainly looks better specced than many bikes one hundred pounds more expensive and as we can see from above it isn't just good on paper. With an upgrade to some lighter wheels for a hundred and fifty quid the Technique Tiagra would still offer excellent value for money.

Conclusion

The Verenti offers everything that a new rider could possibly need and keeps offering more too. The bike responds to what you put in so as you become more confident and start to ride harder and faster the Verenti just takes it all in its stride replying with that same stable, surefooted ride.

There are bikes with moe exciting ride characteristics but the Technique still offers plenty of responsiveness and fun, and one thing is for sure: the Verenti Technique Tiagra is an absolute performance bargain.

Verdict

Excellent value for money first road bike, audax machine or year-round commuter

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Verenti Technique Tiagra

Size tested: 54

About the bike

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

Mudguard Mounts: Yes

Rear Rack Mounts: Yes

Number of gears: 20

Front Axle Type: 9mm QR

Cable Routing: External

Model Year: 2016

Frame: Technique 6061 Alloy frame with hydro-formed Toptube and Downtube

Fork Material: Carbon

Fork: Full carbon, tapered

Steerer: Tapered

Bottle Cage Mounts: Double

Front Derailleur Mount: Band On

Dropouts: Replaceable Rear Derailleur Hanger

Wheel Size: 700c (622)

Wheelset: Shimano RS010

Groupset Manufacturer: Shimano

Brake Levers/Gear Shifters: Shimano Tiagra

Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra

Brake Type: Caliper

Brakes: Shimano Tiagra levers

Brake Callipers: Shimano Tiagra

Chainset type: Compact

Chainset: Shimano Tiagra

Chainring Size: 50 Tooth, 34 Tooth

Chain: Shimano

Bottom Bracket: Shimano

Cassette: Shimano 10 speed

Cassette Range: 12-28 Tooth

Handlebars: Cosine, 75mm reach, 31.8mm, ext:50/52cm-400mmW,54/56cm-420mmW, 58/ 60cm-440mmW

Bar Tape/Grips: cork tape

Stem: Cosine, 3D FORGED, 4 BOLT, -7 degree, 31.8mm,, ext:50/52cm-80mmL,54cm-90mmL,56cm-100mmL, 58cm-110mmL, 60cm-120mmL

Seat Post: Cosine 27.2 black

Saddle: Cosine Road

Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport II 700x28C

Pedals: Supplied with basic flat pedals

Warranty: 5 year frame warranty, 12 month parts warranty

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 Technique brings Verenti road performance foundations into a new lower price point. The design remit was clear, build a fantastic value road bike that will lead our customers into a superb cycling experience. The bike is aimed at the first time road bike rider who wants a sporty ride, reliable performance and unbeatable value."

It is certainly an impressive package from Verenti and with it's stable handling and 'easy to live with' manners the Technique is perfect for those new to the sport.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

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

It isn't the most technically advanced frame out there but perfectly acceptable when you take price into consideration. It's well finished though and the fact you are getting a full carbon fork with a tapered steerer at this price point is certainly impressive.

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

The Technique uses a 6061 Alloy frame with hydro-formed toptube and downtube and the fork is full carbon fibre, i.e. carbon legs and a carbon steerer to.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The Technique sits somewhere between a full on race bike and where you'd expect to find an Endurance machine with a decent length top tube without being overly tall at the front. Steep seat and head angles give a responsive, quick ride. Geometry table can be found here - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/verenti-technique-tiagra-2016/

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

Our 54cm test model had a stack of 553mm and reach of 380mm which gives a ratio of 1.45. The virtual top tube length doesn't correspond exactly with the frame size so it's worth a look at the size chart before buying.

Riding the bike

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

Yes, the frame was a little 'buzzy' compared to some of the more technically advanced alloy frames we are seeing but it was far from uncomfortable. The 28mm tyres help.

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

The bottom bracket shell didn't seem overly flexible and overall the bike felt pretty responsive under load.

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

Considering the weight it's no slouch.

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

A little bit but no issue.

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?

Considering the angles and geometry the Technique is surprisingly well mannered and perfect for the novice rider. Push it a bit in the bends though and it steps up to the game.

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

I wasn't too sure about the Cosine saddle, it was okay for short blasts of an hour or so but a touch squidgy for longer runs.

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

The Cosine alloy bars, stem and seatpost are on the stiff side definitely.

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

The Shimano wheels are dependable but swap in something lighter to really give the Technique a boost.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low 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:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

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

The latest version of Tiagra is simply great. It's lost that slightly spongy feeling of its predecessor and you now get a defined click as you change gear. The brakes are a massive improvement too.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
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?

The Shimano wheels are solid performers and ideal for commuting work or winter riding but they are heavy so an upgrade really benefits the bike. The Continental tyres also work well with plenty of grip and a durable casing and what feels to be impressive rolling resistance.

Controls

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

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

The Cosine stuff is on the stiff side. Compact bars will work for most though.

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:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your score

The Technique Tiagra is a great all round package for the money offering a decent frame, excellent groupset and sensible finishing kit. Perfect for the novice rider or year round commuter.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

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

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

12 comments

Avatar
cyclesteffer [357 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I recommended a friend to buy the 105 equipped version. Currently a bargainous £637 quid. It is REALLY nice. The paint job isnt the boring black in the wiggle photos, but seems more of a very dark greeney-gunmetal gray metallic almost. It is a lovely looking thing.  The Welds were nice and tidy too.

With the hidden mudguard mounts, and 28mm continental tyres, it seems ideal for UK roads. The only thing I couldnt work out, was whether it was really a "Ridley" with a different paint job. The older Verentis all used 4ZA finishing kit, whereas this new Verenti Technique is all their own Cosine branding. If anyone else can work it out, i'd love to know.

Avatar
TypeVertigo [428 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

From the photos, it looks like the rim brake calipers aren't Tiagra units, but non-series Shimano items. They may be the mid-reach R-series calipers, which are a better match for fitment with full-length mudguards/fenders than most of the calipers that are part of a groupset.

At any rate, 10-speed Tiagra has always been a good underrated option and I'm glad to see this bike have the complete drivetrain.

The paint job isn't too bad either - just a flash reminder of the 1990s while still keeping it clean.

I wonder if Verenti could make a disc-brake version of this bike for just a little more dough?

Avatar
nowasps [522 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I wonder which (if either) of the Verenti and Vitus names will survive the Wiggle/CRC merger?

Avatar
bendertherobot [1531 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
nowasps wrote:

I wonder which (if either) of the Verenti and Vitus names will survive the Wiggle/CRC merger?

And Eastway!

Anyway, this one might be a candidate for the boy. I had settled on a SRAM Apex RT58 from PX. But this might be a slightly nicer option.

Avatar
cyclisto [409 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Really the VFM of Verenti. I wished they made the substance at a 60cm frame

Avatar
sgtj [9 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Really miss my Kilmeston

Avatar
alotronic [592 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Yes, those are 'normal' length rather than 'short' (what everyone now thinks of as normal!) length brakes. A good thing in that they mean the bike will actually have enough mudguard clearance and stop well enough, but they are beginning to look dated as they haven't changed design in a good few years. If they came in black it would dertainly help the look of a machine like this.... Surely  due a makeover at least?

Avatar
RCamp [8 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
cyclesteffer wrote:

The only thing I couldnt work out, was whether it was really a "Ridley" with a different paint job. The older Verentis all used 4ZA finishing kit, whereas this new Verenti Technique is all their own Cosine branding. If anyone else can work it out, i'd love to know.

These are now fully in house designed, no involvement from a third party other than the frame vendors and assemblers in Taiwan.

Avatar
RCamp [8 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
TypeVertigo wrote:

From the photos, it looks like the rim brake calipers aren't Tiagra units, but non-series Shimano items. They may be the mid-reach R-series calipers, which are a better match for fitment with full-length mudguards/fenders than most of the calipers that are part of a groupset.

You have an eagle eye, the brake caliper is the BR-R650, with a 57mm drop to allow ample clearance when running a 28/30C tyre with guards. I hear you on the looks though...

TypeVertigo wrote:

 

I wonder if Verenti could make a disc-brake version of this bike for just a little more dough?

Wouldn't that be interesting...

Mechanical or hydraulic though?

Avatar
Paul Vincent [2 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Sublime paint job.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2629 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
RCamp wrote:
cyclesteffer wrote:

The only thing I couldnt work out, was whether it was really a "Ridley" with a different paint job. The older Verentis all used 4ZA finishing kit, whereas this new Verenti Technique is all their own Cosine branding. If anyone else can work it out, i'd love to know.

These are now fully in house designed, no involvement from a third party other than the frame vendors and assemblers in Taiwan.

Ridley to in-house Wiggle... not entirely sure that's a step forward. No denying the value for money on this though, even with that paint job.

Avatar
Thicas1515 [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Good job, thanks for your share.
For me, as for beginner, this information is definitely very useful
I'm in search of my first road bike
Already have read a lot of reviews, have visited many thematic websites, such as https://www.bestadvisor.com/road-bikes,  and now it is so  important to make a right choice
At first, I was planning to buy Schwinn Phocus 1600, cause it looks awesome, and the price is acceptable for me, but after your article Verenti Technique Tiagra began to interest me too. Unfortunately, I can't afford it right now. 
How do you think, is Schwinn good enough as a first bike or it would be better to wait a bit, save up some money, and buy the Verenti?