TECH NEWS

KTM bikes give Britain a go

Established in Europe, new in the UK

It's not that often you see a whole new range in the UK, especially from a brand that already sells nearly 200,000 bikes a year. Cycle 2008 is the first time we've seen Austrian bikemongers KTM in the UK. They've been around since 1964 making motorbikes, pushbikes and, erm, radiators, and their range encompasses pretty much everything from downhill monsters to dutch bikes. We're mostly interested in road and urban machines of course, but we can only really tell you about the road side: KTM may have been testing the water in the UK for some time now but they clearly haven't had their finger on the pulse as regards the city bike and commuting explosion, and they didn't bring a single hybrid to the show. Pity. In total the range includes some 220 models, and KTM aren't looking for a UK distributor but rolling out the service that they use in the rest of Europe, which is to ship the bikes direct, for free, to any bike shop that orders more than three of them. Not bad. What they did bring was lots of tasty road irons ranging from £699 to £4,299. The Di2-equipped Revelator Prestige, at a right-arm-off-cutting £6,799, wasn't available as Shimano don't really have any production Di2 to speak of. There's three platforms - monocoque carbon, bonded carbon and Aluminium - and a variety of builds for each one, with Shimano transmissions and good quality finishing gear from Ricthey and Selle Italia among others. All the bikes are designed and developed at KTM's Austrian HQ: the frames are produced in China and sent back for painting and assembly. The top end bikes are each hand-assembled by one person to ensure that the quality control is the best it can be, though we're not sure how top end the bikes need to be to get this personal treatment. The Revelator carbon monocoque is, well, a nice-looking carbon monocoque to go with all the other nice-looking carbon monocoques at the show. KTM don't rebrand but design all frames from scratch (they've got patents pending for dropouts and tube bending, they say...) so you can at least be sure you're not getting a rebadged or generic frame. The Dura-Ace equipped Revelator Prime weighted in at a svelte 14.7lb on the road.cc scales, the same spec on the bonded carbon Strada frame is £1300 less and just under a pound heavier at 15.5lb. The £699 base model Alu Strada is a fairly respectable 21.3lb. KTM are pushing hard to at the doors of the UK market, and their distribution model means that independent shops can take a punt without risking too much capital, so we'd expect to see them popping up around the country. And we're hoping that one'll be popping up at the road.cc offices too, so we can give it a proper ride. The KTM Strada monocoque with Dura Ace 7900 comes in at a penny under three grand Entry level Strada Alu has a full Tiagra groupset

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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