The biggest brawl in the market this year is the one about delivering the best Shimano Ultegra Di2 deal. Verenti are certainly being very aggressive on price with the Revelation, though, particularly if the 20 percent off offer is still current when you’re reading this.
Highs: Surefooted, solid handling and muscularly fast all-rounder with an excellent build quality. Great price for Ultegra Di2 spec
Lows: Very spongy and confidence-sapping brakes; Ultegra Di2 is heavier than mechanical shifting alternatives
Buy if: You want a great deal on an electronic-shifting all-rounder at a very good price – and can cope with/change the brakes
If you’re looking for where corners have been cut in the Ultegra spec, the only obvious ones are the wide ratio Tiagra cassette and the light but worryingly spongy 4ZA brakes. Otherwise, the Rotor BB30 crank running in press-fit bearings is comparable on weight to Ultegra, and we’ve also no complaints about the easy to split and clean KMC chain.
A straight Top Trumps kit comparison sells the chassis short too. Both frame and fork are a competitive weight, and alignment is excellent. Eye-catching external shaping alongside the tapered head tube also stiffens up the front end noticeably when you’re pushing the limits through corners or mashing the pedals up a climb.
Ultegra di2 adds weight but shifting is quick and faultless: Russell Burton/Future Publishing
Ultegra Di2 adds weight but shifting is quick and faultless
While Di2 motors and battery make it a relatively heavy bike, the crank, frame and reasonable weight wheels mean it’s no slouch to get moving and can hold its own on climbs.
Where the Revelation really shines, though, is as a rolling road rouleur. Here its muscular physique and the über-efficient electronic shifting make it a great platform for powering out the miles.
You’ll occasionally get a bit of a beating – more noticeably from the front end – if the road turns belligerent, but the 25mm Vredestein tyres help sustain speed and rhythm. There’s something about the bike’s character that urges you to ‘man up’ and drive the gear hard to help lift you over the worst bits, rather than backing off and bouncing around in the saddle.
The tapered head tube contributes to a muscular ride: Russell Burton/Future Publishing
The tapered head tube contributes to a muscular ride
Further confirmation of that is provided by our default positions during testing. In theory, the tall head tube creates a more upright and comfortable cruising position, but instead we found we were dropping elbows and using the drops more than normal to get an aggressively low position and milk maximum speed out of the bike.
Its firm, no-nonsense feel syncs with a lower than average bottom bracket for very surefooted, trustworthy cornering. A good job too, as those fuzzy brakes are a definite weak link in an otherwise extremely strong value spec.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.