Is the KTM’s ride as impressive as its well-considered spec? Pedal-powered KTM bikes split from the company’s motorbike arm decades ago, but they still share the same livery and austrian hometown. And the KTM Strada 4000 certainly looks like a great bike for a move into high performance cycling.
Highs: Versatile frame, contact points
Lows: Frame isn’t di2 ready
Buy if: You want a versatile position and impressive attention to detail
The Strada’s carbon frame is a suitably contemporary piece, complete with tapered headset, gently tapered sloping top tube and a wishbone topping the mid-sized seatstays. Down tube and chainstays are medium diameter for balanced looks, and they provide an equally balanced ride. The conventional external mounted screw-in bottom bracket is less upgradable than an oversize press-fit format but it does mean easy servicing.
The equally easy-to-service external cable routing includes really neat extra guide mounts on the head tube sides to stop cable rub. KTM have included barrel adjusters on the cables to let you tune shifting on the fly too – but no Di2 fixtures if you’re thinking of upgrading electrically. The carbon semi-aero fork keeps overall chassis weight competitive too, and like the back end the 1 1/8in to 1 1/4in tapered steerer is of middling diameter.
Shimano 105 is sound, and what you’d expect for the money, especially in a versatile compact chainset/wide-range cassette format. It’s good to see 105 brakes at a price where some manufacturers are starting to sneak on downgraded anchors. Ritchey is pretty much the default finishing kit choice for any brand without their own-brand components.
Shimano 105 is a decent drivetrain for this kind of money: shimano 105 is a decent drivetrain for this kind of money www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk
Shimano 105 is a decent drivetrain at this price point
KTM have made a real effort to make the bike stand out in terms of performance and aesthetics with the rest of the kit, though. The DT Swiss wheels, with their eye-catching custom white/black/orange rims and hubs plus securely screwed-down RWS cam skewers, are a nice change from the usual Mavic, Fulcrum or Shimano offerings. DT hubs have a great reputation for reliability, too.
But where KTM really score points is with the contact points. The half-and-half black and orange bar tape is aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing, and the colour-matched Fizik saddle is great at this price. You also get our favourite clincher, Schwalbe’s Ultremo ZX HD, connecting you to the road rather than the usual hard training rubber that dominates sub-£2,000 bike kit.
It’s this attention to detail that raises both perception and performance of the Strada from good to really great. Because you can trust the tyres you can really push the bike into corners and appreciate the handling mix of relatively slack and confident head angle with a steep seat angle that naturally pushes your weight forward for accentuated front end grip.
Tight wheels and light tyres also underline the whole ride with a liveliness and responsiveness that belies its relatively affordable price tag. It’s certainly not heavy either, which always helps when the road goes up or the pack turns the afterburners on, and the Strada was always ready to play as hard as anyone else wanted to – whatever the price ticket on their machine.
The generous carcass tyres and top quality saddle also flatter a frame with a very versatile and enjoyably enthusiastic balance of power transfer, low weight and vibration smoothing comfort anyway. The riding position is equally versatile, sitting low enough to get predatory in the drops but tall enough not to put your back out of joint.
This all combines to make the Strada a genuinely stand-out ride for the money, whatever riding you’re planning.