First ride: KTM Revelator 3300 (2014)

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As technology keeps on advancing it becomes more and more accesible, thus making the prices go down. Whether we consider them low enough or not, that’s another issue, but there is no doubt that KTM’s move for the 2014 line-up is worth regarding. The 27.5 mountain bike Aera that will be put up for sale at a competitive price has a correspondent for road, in the form of the Revelator 3300, therefore we couldn’t help having a closer look at it.

With the risk of repeating the same thing, we will underline that KTM set up a fairly different plan for 2014, taking its chances with quality carbon bikes at a decent price. If it’s going to work, only time can tell, but judging from what we saw in the Revelator 3300, the odds of success are pretty good.

From the very beginning, let’s make one thing clear: the Revelator’s essence is its frame. And, we dare to say that KTM made a hell of a good job with it. The main component doesn’t lack too many of the performance features that you can find on a high-end road bike. The shape of the tubes is carefully manufactured, offering a great visual appereance, but they also serve for stiffness and comfort. Sticking solely to the looks of the bike, it’s hard not to like the elegant lines that make the whole frame seem like it has been casted in a single piece. And this assertion wouldn’t be far away from the truth, as KTM got the best of the monocoque construction method.

The Austrian brand also managed to reach the fine balance between stiffness and comfort. The bottom bracket area flexes very little, while the bent shapes of the seat stay helps absorb shocks and vibrations. The seat tube was given an oval shape to further increase stiffness, in the same time having a comfortable angle that varies between 72,5 and 75 degrees, depending on frame size. You won’t feel that comfort right away, but during longer rides you’ll notice its contribution. Last but not least, the head tube has been reinforced for the same purpose of reducing flexing. All in all, the Revelator 3300 revealed that optimal power transfer hold no secrets for it, with the mention that weight isn’t exactly the bike’s strong point. Probably the 1.090 grams of the frame are the direct result of using unidirectional carbon fibers.

As for other performances, the inner routing of all cables is a great choice made by the manufacturer. Particularly, the rear derailleur cable’s route will intrigue you, if not make you fall for it, as the only point where the cable is exposed is the bottom bracket shell. Therefore, functioning has little chances of being altered by elements such as water, dust or you name it.

Regarding specifications, we’re a bit reluctant to praise them, Shimano’s Tiagra groupset undergoing certain improvements, but it’s still a bit off course from the performance that made the Japanese components famous. Don’t get it wrong, it works fine when carefully tuned and greased, but you will have to repeat these two operation often if you want clockwork functioning.

The last chapter of the Revelator 3300’s story is the pricing. It’s important to know that the frame, R 1485, is the same used for all the road bikes in the Revelator range, that includes KTM top-end road model, the Revelator Elite. So, both the entry-level model and the top-end model of the range use the same frame, the only thing that generates some weight differences being the paint. The bottom line is that for 1.499 euros, the expected price of the Revelator 3300, you’ll get a road bike that features a high-end frame, durable, comfortable, and performant in the same time. The only improvement you can bring to the model is upgrading components, this operation more wallet-friendly because you can do it step by step.

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