A complete redesign of Wiggle’s in-house road range has resulted in a classy, smooth riding and well-equipped bike in the form of the 2013 Verenti Insight Ultegra.
Frame & equipment: Well equipped and outstanding value
Wiggle made a big impact when they launched the original Verenti range, but it seemed to disappear almost as quickly as it arrived. Well, it seems they had a new generation of bikes up their sleeves, and a new design and manufacturing partner based in Europe.
This, the new Insight, features a beautifully realised hi-mod carbon frame (that’s UCI approved for racing) complemented by a drivetrain that combines Ultegra mechs and shifters with a classy Rotor 3D forged chainset.
The frame eschews the latest design touches common to carbon – the head tube and fork steerer are standard straight 1 1/8in and the bottom bracket is threaded rather than BB30 or press-fit.
Ride & handling: Smoothness and stiffness unified
The immediate impression from the moment you get on board the Insight is one of smoothness; the frameset has a hugely accomplished, supple ride that makes mincemeat out of road chatter and tarmac imperfections.
The geometry combines 72-degree seat and 73-degree head angles, a standard head tube and a wheelbase of just over a metre. That’s a combined set of numbers that adds up to a ride position we really like; it’s neither too aggressive nor too slouchy, which makes it an ideal partner for rides that combine high mileage with plenty of fast, fun sections.
The combination of the square-profile oversized down tube and chunky chainstays creates a cradle of taut rigidity throughout the frame’s lower portions. Exactly where you need it, the Insight feels taut and responsive when you stamp hard on the pedals, but is plush over the rough stuff.
For a bike so well equipped, the value is outstanding. However, the Insight isn’t without some issues: the brakes look funky but their single-pivot cam design lacks the out-and-out power of the equivalent Ultegra stopper, though the soft compound pads go a fair way to addressing this and their wet weather performance is especially good.
The frame’s all exterior cabling makes servicing simple but it doesn’t have provision for internally routed electronic drivetrains, which could be a deal-breaker if you’re the type that loves to upgrade.
If we’d capped the price point of our Bike of The Year contenders at £1,500, we wouldn’t see much that could touch the Insight.