Bicycle Review: KTM Revelator 3300 (2014)


With an entirely new approach, KTM prepares to storm the market in 2014 with a very attractive concept: affordable quality carbon. All sounds well, but any seasoned rider knows that how things turn out in real life truly matters, because we’re kind of tired of good intentions, right? The Austrians re-baptised their road range Revelator, the models being set apart by their denomination in numbers. We got our hands on the 3300, the range’s entry-level, and, in the same time, the perfect subject to find out if KTM really sticks to its “affordable quality carbon” statement.

Who does this road bicycle suit?

Well, we’ve stated that it’s an entry-level bicycle, but there are some nuances that this placement has. After we’ll get into discussing about the frame, you will probably have figured out that the Revelator 3300 is one of the best candidates out there for a gradual upgrade. And since the price won’t set you back too far, it’s also a great bicycle for making your debut in road cycling. So, there you have at least two options.

Revelator 3300’s frame

Let’s begin by saying the frame is this bike’s pièce de résistance. It’s simply a delight to look at, and even more to ride it, very elegant, and aggressive in the same time. But we’re only half way through to real value so far. R 1485, by its official name, does actually have the features needed to get us to that real value. Very neat inner cable routing, which really enhances functionality, or the shape of the tubes that simply makes you believe that it’s been carved out of an entire piece are just two of the traits that the Revelator 3300 can boast with. This carefully-crafted design not only pleases the eye to a large extent, but also makes for increased comfort and stiffness. Speaking about comfort and stiffness, this road warrior manages to reach an elusive balance, elusive for entry-level models at least, between these two coordinates. It’s not the stiffest out there, but it’s enough to help it get included in the “serious road bicycle” category, and it’s comfortable enough to spare your body from a significant part of the shocks caused by poor roads. Still, there is a thing holding back the R1485, and that is weight. At 1.090 grams, it certainly can’t be considered a high-end carbon frame, and we think that the 1.000-grams barrier could have been crosssed, but, on the other hand, it’s not a life or death situation, the configuration of the model allowing significant weight-savings by swapping other parts.

Revelator 3300’s specifications

If the frame was all about praises, the specification’s review doesn’t look that good. Shimano’s Tiagra groupset was a foreseeable option given the bike’s level and pricing, but it’s far from being a match for the frame. We even had moments when it actually seemd that the two parts are worlds apart. We’ll have to give it to Shimano, Tiagra’s facelift also lifted the self-esteem level of anyone who owns this set, but looks are not enough. Nope, especially when you’ll have to adjust the derailleur if you plan on riding daily more than a loop around your home, or when you’ll have to painstakingly clean the brake pads after a rainy episode, in order for them to work, once more, properly. All in all, if you’re up to an enthusiast road rider, Tiagra may suit you, having the basic prerequisites of a (somewhat) sturdy groupset, but for more and better performance, you’d better starts browsing around for what parts to upgrade first. Shimano also supplies the wheels, R500, another fine example of entry-level components, that don’t stand out by low weight, nor by aerodynamics, but solely by their slightly enhanced strength. Adding up to a good impression are the Continental Ultra Sport tires, decent and dutiful, but all in the limitations of the level the bicycle belongs to. However, Selle Italia’s X1 cut-away model provides great comfort, and so does the handlebar.


KTM Revelator embodies the Austrian manufacturer’s promise to offer quality carbon at an affordable price. It mostly reaches its goal, the only thing lying in its way to fully accomplish its mission being the weight. However, the rest of the frame’s features are at a level far superior  to the place the product finds itself in the range. As a further testimony to its quality, the same frame can be found on the rest of the Revelator models, up to the very best of them, the sole difference being the specifications chart and, probably,the paint job, a side to the story that can help save precious grams. Of course, with the aid of Shimano Tiagra you’ll never reach a competitive weight, but on the other hand, thanks to it the manufacturer reaches the competitive price point. And that’s why the Revelator 3300 must be one of the best candidates for upgrade: you can leave it as it is, for occasional rides, or you can improve it over time, so as not to stress your budget (too much).

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