Flawless handling and reliable, high-performance equipment characterize this Italian gem. You can have it custom-built to your personal dimensions and ride preferences too.
Viner founder Viviano Nerosi began his passion for custom builds in 1947. Today the Italian builder is one of the few companies that will build you a bespoke frame in modern steel, aluminium and titanium, and also carbon.
If you so desire, this bike could be made to measure in road, sportive or track, with compact or standard frame configurations, and they’ll even fine tune ride quality and characteristics into your frame while building it.
Ride: perfect pitch
It was virtually impossible to find fault with the quality of the Viner’s handling and comfort.
Having the option to actually tune the ride characteristics when ordering the frame is pretty unique in the current ‘four sizes fit all’ atmosphere.
The rider in search of a softer approach to sportive riding, or a harder approach to quick aggressive climbing and sprinting won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in any way with our test machine.
The complete bike weighed in at a very respectable 7.64 kg. It tackled the challenging climbs that reach the summit of the ancient Mendips hills with satisfying efficiency.
Once on top, the long term effects of erosion, Roman tin mining and successive generations of grazing sheep have created a sparse landscape. Shelter is at a premium, and there’s nowhere to hide from the unseasonable gusty north-easterlies.
A little bit of susceptibility to crosswinds was going to be inevitable with the broadly bladed spokes, and the airfoil shaped fork blades and seat stays.
Fortunately keeping a straight line was made easier by an adequate amount of trail (about 6.2 cm according to our measurements), and a decent wheelbase of 99cm.
Sharp, precise handling from a laterally stiff frame, fork and wheels, are tempered by powerful brakes. The risks associated with following a wheel downhill through fast narrow lanes could be downgraded from the hazard level of Russian roulette to a friendlier game of blackjack.
With the Viner, late braking and mid-turn line alterations were ready options not always available from lesser machines.
Its high performance capability helps you control your own destiny and make your own luck.
Not to be forgotten was the high level of ride comfort, partially due to the contributions of the big Deda bars (46 cm outer), a new generation gel Flite saddle, and some generously proportioned Schwalbe Stelvio tyres.
When you climb aboard, drop in, and grab two fists-full of the controls, only one thing comes to mind: hammertime!
Frame: give the people what they want!
Crafted with exclusive Viner-specified Dedacciai 6k high modulus carbon tubes, the size L semi-compact frame design is almost classically square. The top tube is nearly level and cockpit dimensions are about 72 cm, measuring from the center of the seat clamp to the center of the bars. It’s a comfortable reach for the size.
The frame is constructed in a similar manner to Trek’s OCLV carbon frames. Viner bonds together carbon tubes and lugs then adds external layers and resin to ‘tune’ the ride.This allows almost unlimited permutations if you chose the ‘made to measure’ option.
If all this choice proves too confusing, however, not to worry: Viner also offer an off-the-peg option with classic geometry of about 73° head and 73.5° seat tube.
Further satisfying details can be found in the well placed downtube gear cable adjusters, slotted external cable guides, and beefy forged aluminium drop outs with replaceable gear hanger.
A nod to internationalism in the form of a nearly universal English threaded bottom bracket, instead of the Italian size you might expect, ensures easier access to spares.
Finally, good tyre and heel clearances, and an accurate and functional seatpost clamp are further proof of Viner’s zero-tolerance policy towards design and execution flaws.
As an exercise in Italian flair, the Viner Perfecta ticks all of the right boxes.
Lustrous eye-catching finish: check.
Perfectly formed full carbon fork with just the right subtle curvature: check.
Elegantly tapered wishbone seat stays and flared offset chain stays: check.
Beautifully flowing frame tube proportions: check.
Attention seeking graphics, with Viner proudly emblazoned on every available surface: check.
No chance of confusing the brand name with the model name, even with poor eyesight!
Equipment: team players
Our test bike came equipped with a superlative team of well matched components.
From the finely shot-peened anodized Deda Zero stem and Newton anatomic triple butted aluminium bar, to the carbon Centaur drive train and brakes, two words come to mind: reliable performance.
There are now enough stories about bar breakages to suggest that thin walled carbon is maybe not the most reliable material for a component subjected to occasional abuse.
If you hit the deck the Newton’s 7075 aluminium tubing will allow you to proceed without that nagging worry about sudden bar failure in the back of your mind.
Campagnolo’s Centaur carbon cranks are certainly beefy and flex-free enough to inspire confidence, and the sprinkling of carbon in the rear mech and light-effort QS Ergo levers help reduce weight, without adding to the fear factor inherent in overly light componentry.
The somewhat chunky and rigid 31.6 diameter Deda Superzero all-carbon seat post, (of far eastern origin), while nicely made, offered little solace from neglected road surfaces.
I found refuge in the forgiving arms of the Flite saddle. Its hollow titanium rails, gel padded leather, and anatomically favorable shape help make acceptable long hours on the Viner.
Wheels: red hot mama!
The Viner Perfecta is all about strong sensations, both visually and performance related, and the wheels that grace this superlative machine don’t disappoint.
Campagnolo has taken a page out of other manufacturers’ marketing rulebooks, and created Fulcrum to capture some of the vast Shimano-compatible market.
Featuring all of the popular design ideas and quality of execution associated with the venerable parent company, the Fulcrum Racing Zeros have to be the hottest looking pre-built hoops around.
they must have been chosen for the blazing red-anodized cold forged aero spokes, which offer the perfect complement to the red hot paint scheme.
As an added bonus, the beauty is more than skin deep, with truly excellent design throughout: welded and machined box-section rims, shapely bladed spokes, and easily accessible oversized alloy nipples.
Furthermore, the hubs feature Campagnolo’s unique bearing system, which employs traditional balls, cones and cups, all easily replaceable and serviceable, while adjustments can be made with the wheels on the bike à la Mavic.
With a weight of only 1014g front and 1420g rear, they’re in line with other wheelsets found on similar recently tested machines, for example the Dolan Tuono equipped witht Mavic Ksyrium SL Premiums, or the BMC Team Machine featuring Easton Circuits.
The Schwalbe Stelvios in 23c were equal partners with the frame at taking the rough edges out of the equation, with the slick tread casting only the occasional doubt over wet conditions.
Verdict: perfectly tuned carbon magic
Looking to hang with the leading groups on the next road race or sportive? Reduce your time in the next Etape du Tour by a double digit percentage? Want to manage it without compromising on comfort, low weight or responsiveness? The Viner’s just the ticket.
The magic of a perfectly tuned hand built carbon frame, Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels, and generously sized Schwalbe Stelvio tires, combine to produce a velvety-smooth ride that will help keep you going long after the European legal work day limit.
Besides our Centaur equipped test bike at £3050, an Ultegra variant is available for a bit less, at £2799.
A bewildering array of options (did I mention colour schemes?) is possible with Viner, so don’t let choices hold you back!