New consumer-direct brand Viathon has just gone online with a road, gravel and hardtail mountain bike, with all three hitting majorly low price points.
At first glance these bikes look pretty good, complete with high-end components and modern geometry, but arguably the most interesting part is the company’s connection to the Walton family — owners of Rapha and Walmart.
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Before you turn your nose up at Viathon and write the brand off as just another supermarket bike, they were designed and engineered by Kevin Quan, who has produced bikes for brands such as Cervelo, Parlee and Diamondback.
This isn’t the first time the big box retailer has attempted to enter the high-end gear market. In 2017 it acquired Moosejaw, an outdoor speciality store, and subsequently launched a ‘Premium Outdoor Store curated by Moosejaw’ a year later on walmart.com.
This move saw Black Diamond send a cease and desist order the next day, directing the company to remove any reference to the brand from its site immediately — Deuter, Therm-a-Rest, Katadyn, Leki and Patagonia followed suit before the end of the same week.
In spite of this checkered history, Viathon says it aims to create performance-driven, practical and fun to ride bikes at aggressive price points.
The brand also says bikes will be built domestically (in the US) with a “60-point check, ready-to-ride build on every complete bike before it ships, by a team of bike industry veterans with decades of experience.”
R.1 Road bike
With a claimed 870g frame in a size 54, the R.1 sees a full carbon frame and fork, oversized head tube, PF30BB and clearance for 28c tires.
Viathon says: “With custom-tuned carbon and geometry, every R.1 feels equally solid and responsive, no matter what your size or riding style. And thanks to a generation of building experience and relationships in the carbon manufacturing industry, we’ve done it all for less than our competitor’s cost.”
The disc-equipped roadie features internal cable routing, front and rear thru-axles and the top-end Dura-Ace build comes with a Zipp SL cockpit and seatpost, as well as 35mm Knight TLA carbon clinchers — impressive for a bike that’s going to be sold at Walmart.
Available in five sizes ranging from 52 to 59, the R.1 sees a 72.8-degree head angle, 146mm head tube, 406mm chainstays and a stack and reach of 550mm and 386mm in a size 54.
Viathon is offering its R.1 road bike in Dura-Ace Mechanical ($5,850), Ultegra Mechanical ($3,575) and 105 ($2,300) builds and a frameset ($2,000).
G.1 Gravel bike
Boasting flatmount disc-brakes, thru-axles and drop seatstays, the G.1 claims a 1,010g frame weight in a size 54 and clearance for 700x51c tires or 650bx2.1in tires.
The frame utilises a dropped driveside chainstay which Viathon says allows the G.1 to accept a 46t 1x chainring or 50/34t 2x setup. With internal cable routing, the G.1 also features a threaded bottom bracket, rack and fender mounts, and can accommodate up to three water bottles.
With a 71.5-degree head angle, the bottom bracket drop measures 69mm and the frame sees 425mm chainstays for a total wheelbase of 1,019mm in a size 54. This makes for a stack and reach of 565.8mm and 282.8mm in the same size.
Available in three builds, the G.1 Force will cost $3,550, the G.1 Ultegra $3,300, the G.1 105 $2,300, and the frameset will go for $2,000.
All the builds (bar the frameset) will come with a Zipp Service Course cockpit and seatpost, Hed Ardennes wheels and Conti 35mm Cyclo-King rubber.
M.1 Mountain bike
The third and final bike debuting in Viathon’s range is the M.1 29er hardtail mountain bike. Available in three sizes, all are specced with a 120mm fork at the front, and in a medium size the M.1 sees a 69.5-degree head angle, 73.6-degree seat angle, 440mm chainstays and a stack and reach of 612mm and 417mm.
Like the other bikes in Viathon’s range, the M.1 has internal cable routing and also sees a threaded bottom bracket, Boost rear hub spacing, asymmetric chainstays, built-in rubberised frame protection on the down tube and driveside chainstay, and mounts for three bottle cages.
As with the other two bikes, the M.1 is available in three builds and a frameset.
Starting with XX1 Eagle, the top-end MTB comes with a 120mm RockShox SID RL, Stan’s NoTubes Crest CBU wheels wrapped 2.3in Conti X-Kings, a Reverb Stealth dropper post and FSA K-Force cockpit, all for $6,000.
For nearly half the price, $3,500, you get a SRAM X01 Eagle build with a SID RL fork, Stan’s Arch MK3 Team hoops and a FSA SLK carbon steatpost and finishing kit.
Taking another step down sees a GX Eagle group, Reba RL fork, Stan’s Arch S1 Team wheels and FSA Afterburner seatpost and cockpit for $2,400.
The M.1 frameset is priced at $2,000.