Pilot Veturi review£5,187.00

New titanium ride from Holland

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Dutch seem to have a thing for titanium, going back to Airborne (US/Dutch), then with Van Nicholas, J.Guillem, and now Pilot. Alongside offering the Veturi in a range of standard sizes Pilot also offers a fully custom option for a €249 surcharge.

The Veturi is a race bike with more relaxed geometry, and sits squarely in what we used to call an audax bike — designed to be ridden long distances, and can take racks and guards. The ride position is shorter, and the head-tube is tall, yet thankfully Pilot has kept the head angle to a keen 72.5 degrees so the Veturi doesn’t feel laboured or dull. The carbon fork and lightweight carbon clinchers infuse the steering with a lightness of touch, yet it doesn’t ever feel twitchy or unstable.

The swoopy, curved rear stays meet a pair of oversized, intricately machined dropouts and slim asymmetric chainstays that provide a plush level of compliance. This is magnified by the supple 25mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres — spread closer to 27mm by Dutch brand 9th Wave’s broad-and-blunt carbon rims.

With a great gear range and smooth riding quality, the Veturi relishes steep slopes

Pilot hasn’t skimped on the details, the high-grade titanium frame is beautifully finished with tightly controlled and consistent welds along with mudguard mounts and fittings for a rear rack, so you could easily put the Veturi to work for touring and bike-packing duties with a switch to more all-road tyres.

Italy’s 3T provides its carbon bar and seatpost from the Team Stealth range, plus an aluminium Team Stealth stem. The bar is shaped well with a semi-deep drop that opens through its curve for a comfortable handhold when hustling along at speed in the drops.

The bottom bracket has been upgraded to a fully ceramic unit over the standard Shimano item, and the rear mech uses a Fouriers ceramic pulley kit, which upsizes the jockey wheels to a 12/16t combo. The claims for oversized jockeys are a smoother chainline for more consistent shifts and less power losses through the drivetrain. It’s hard to judge the improvements as Ultegra always impresses, but the shift quality is slick, noise-free and consistent.

9th Wave has created some very good hoops. The straight-pull hubs look very Mavic mountain-bike-wheel-like and the 38mm-deep rims are wide at 27mm with a 19mm internal width. They’re tubeless ready and we’re impressed with just how well these are built.

With a great gear range and smooth riding quality, the Veturi relishes steep slopes. The truly comfortable ride position meant we were happy to sit in and drive the pedals on extended ascents. When you’ve crested the rise, the supple feel of the chassis makes it a confident downhill companion.

Braking is as good as we have come to expect from Shimano’s hydraulics, though the mix of a flat-mount front BR-RS805 and post-mount RS785 at the rear is unusual, as is the choice of wavy-profiled Magura rotors, but the brakes were consistent and free from noise.

The Veturi is an accomplished, if slightly old-school, bike. It’s as at home on long club runs as on self-supported shorter tours. The ride is smooth and remarkably stable yet it handles with just the right amount of speed to make it exciting when you want to give it some beans.

Pilot Veturi specifications

  • Weight: 8.65kg (57cm)
  • Frame: Double-butted Grade 9 titanium alloy
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra 50/34, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano BR-RS785 (r), BR-RS805 (f), Magura rotors
  • Wheels: 9th Wave D38-C carbon
  • Tyres: 25mm Schwalbe Pro One
  • Handlebar: Team Stealth
  • Stem: Team Stealth

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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