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KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 2019

KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 2019

26.04.19 21:45 1.814Text: Luke BiketalkerPhotos: Erwin HaidenNot even really a part of dealers' catalogs, we've already taken the climbing-capable allrounder from Austria to the roads.26.04.19 21:45 1.814

KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 2019

26.04.19 21:45 1.814 Luke Biketalker Erwin Haiden Dieser Beitrag ist auch in Deutsch verfügbarNot even really a part of dealers' catalogs, we've already taken the climbing-capable allrounder from Austria to the roads.26.04.19 21:45 1813

During the past season, KTM continued working on finely differentiating their road bike lineup, not least because of their race team asking for it. Because of that, the Revelator family now consists of three versions total. Revelator, the classic allrounder with rim brakes was joined by the disc-only aero racer Revelator Lisse last year. During the Eurobike Media Days, we were finally able to get a first glance at the sleek lines of the latest family member: the KTM Revelator Alto. A frame weight of 790 g was promised back then – at high stiffness and with great downhill performance. Taking a seat on the prototype at the time was not an option though. Come spring however, the Revelator Alto Master 22 showed up on our doorstep …

To have the option of offering their teams the ideal bike, according to route profile and rider type, the Upper Austrians have, for the first time, developed specialized models for a race environment with the Revelator Lisse and Revelator Alto. While ‘lisse' means as much as smooth in French, the Italian ‘alto' signifies the designated range of application of the new KTM racer with its translation meaning high. As soon as the road heads into the mountains, the Revelator Alto is intended to flex its muscles. Team riders and financially sound customers grab the Alto Sonic, said to weigh in at an impressive 1,180 g for a size 55 (790 g frame + 390 g fork, Nano Premium Carbon). Our Revelator Alto Master 22 is comparatively more affordable with its slightly heavier frameset (1,480 g, Premium Carbon), but understandably not as super lightweight out of the box. Notwithstanding the used carbon fibers that impact the total weight, the Alto is still a mountain goat, according to KTM.

Thru axles stiffen up the rear triangle of the disc-only Revelator Alto, allow for an explosive acceleration and suppress any potential rub of the brake pads on the rotors. With the help of smart layering, modern production methods and crease-free and smooth insides of the tubes, KTM is trying to raise the STW values at the bottom bracket and steer tube area as much as possible. The asymmetrical shape of the fork aids in reducing loads from the disc brakes during hard braking. Talking of discs: the brake saddles are mounted via Flatmount standards and allow for a maximum rotor size of 160 mm. The rear end’s thru axle is 142 x 12 mm wide, 100 x 12 mm is used at the front, which by now has become an established standard in the road cycling world. To further aid comfort and broaden the range of application, you can equip up to 32 mm wide tires front and rear, depending on manufacturer and rim width.

Inside and Out

As we already mentioned, our KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 is not blessed with the super light frame of the Sonic. Not a big deal, as my ambitions for lightweight builds have somewhat constantly decreased while inevitably approaching the Masters category. So it's the perfect match, if you want to call it that. As solid as the frameset is - and, by the way, also the price tag of € 3,699 - so is the parts spec. With Shimano's complete Ultegra Di2 from chain to brakes and a semi-compact gear range of 52/36 teeth, aluminum seatpost and stem from Mr. Tom Ritchey are combined with a carbon handlebar from the same maker. Fizik is contributing the saddle with the Antares and KTM's bar tape is delivering exceptionally solid and comfortable grip, even when hands get sweaty. The affordable DT Swiss PR-1800 Spline 23 wheels aren't necessarily flyweights at 1.663 g, but reliable partners during training with occasional deployment at marathon events. You'll be hard-pressed to find a carbon frame with complete Ultegra Di2 (taking the wheelset out of the calculation) for this kind of price at competing retailers. The KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 doesn't even have to hide from online-only sold brands with its actual weight of 7.54 kg (small). Fortunately, the Schwalbe Pro One tires are simple enough to swap out ...

Tech Specs

Frame Revelator Alto APRO Carbon; Monocoque; Disc; 142 x 12 mm; PressFit BB Bremsen Shimano BR8070 140/140 mm Disc; Ice-tec; Freeza
Fork Carbon Fork Disc APRO R982X Eco; 100 x 12 mm Brake levers Shimano Ultegra Di2
Headset KTM Team VP-B-151AM 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" Front derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2
Stem Ritchey Road Aero Rear derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2 SS
Handlebar Ritchey WCS Road 2°, Streem II Crank Shimano Ultegra R8000 52-36 t
Grip tape KTM VL-Tape Cassette Shimano Ultegra R8000-11 11-28 t
Seatpost Ritchey WCS 27.2/350 mm Prime Aero Wheels DT-Swiss PR-1800 Spline-DB 23; Aluminum, Tubeless Ready
Saddle Fizik Antares VS Tires Schwalbe Pro One Microskin, 25-622, TL easy
Weight 7,54 kg (test bike in small) Price € 3,699

First Impressions

A long top tube and long steer tube deliver an STR value of about 1.4 to 1.41, depending on frame size. Therefore, the seating position is rather sporty and stretched out. Thanks to the long steer tube, even a rider at 180 cm of height is able to test the size small frame, although we don't recommend that choice of frame size when correctly buying according to your size. Size medium would have been the spot-on fit for my size with a seat height of 74.5 cm, but wasn't available for testing when we needed it. Carbon and paint finish are well-executed; thanks to the lush application of black and white and lack of bold orange color, this model manages without KTM's typical look. Optical understatement is the name of the game in this case. Cables are integrated seamlessly and you'll be searching to no avail for any rattling noises or other little disruptive elements on the KTM Revelator Alto Master.

Geometry

Size in cm 49 52 55 57 59
Seat tube length (mm) 490 520 550 570 590
Top tube length (mm) 510 530 550 563 576
Seat angle (°) 75,5 75,5 75,0 74,5 74,0
Head agle (°) 71,5 72,0 72,0 72,5 72,5
Steer tube length (mm) 130 145 160 170 185
Chainstay length (mm) 410 410 410 410 410
Wheelbase (mm) 975 992 1010 1012 1021
Stack (mm) 533 549 564 573 585
Reach (mm) 372 388 402 404 408
Fork length (mm) 370 370 370 370 370
Bottom bracket height (mm) 72 72 72 70 68

Only the shape of the seat tube is disrupting the overall impression slightly, as the proprietary form of the Ritchey aero profile is only allowing for use of that model - having said that, however, other bikes are sharing a similar feature and it doesn't really pose a problem. Only when trying to level the saddle exactly, did we run into problems. Either - what we don't hope for - the tolerances of frame and seatpost were off, or - which is more likely - the clamping mechanism of the post's head was having issues. When applying the required torque, the rails of the saddle shifted slightly and it ended up sitting diagonally. It took quite some time to adjust the saddle perfectly.

On the Road

Not only the seating position of the Revelator Alto is of a sporty nature, but also its weight and stiffness. Therefore, acceleration is snappy and it willingly turns around corners with agility, while not becoming too twitchy at higher speeds. Thanks to the solid seating position and the comfortable shape of the tops, you can pedal up long ascents in a pain-free fashion; the stiff bottom bracket area helps to conquer small ridges, especially when hammering out of the saddle. Even with my weight of 86 kilos, there was nothing to complain about in terms of acceleration nor steering precision, even at high speeds. The affordable DT Swiss aluminum wheels are benefitting from their low profile depth of 23 mm and accept rapid increases in speed willingly. A positive side effect of the aluminum wheels? Their sturdiness, as pot holes, bad roads and punctures - who else is able to cut its tire with a sea shell on Danube Island - are part of most people's daily rides. At the end of the day the rims were undented and the spokes ran straight, just as on the first day of their test run.

At this point a little tip from personal, painful experience, involving a long hike: you should check beforehand, if your mini tool is carrying a 6 mm allen key fitting the thru axles, as often times only a size 4 and 5 mm are included. Also, the combination of DT rim and Schwalbe Pro One tire are almost inseparable - and almost as hard to bring back together after inserting a new tube. The solution? Change to a tubeless setup and hope for fewer defects or swap to another tire brand.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Ultegra brakes with Freeza discs. Under the radar, Shimano seems to have improved its function. Usually, running them with 140 mm rotors with my weight has always been causing issues. However, various braking scenarios didn’t bring the brakes on the KTM to its knees – even during repeatedly hard braking maneuvers in tight corners and speeding down 700 meters of altitude on rough asphalt, still partly covered with winter abrasive, forcing me to brake constantly in an undignified manner.

Running on 25 mm wide tires, the KTM Revelator Alto Master inconspicuously floats over the asphalt. Neither ultra-stiff nor excessively comfortable, the bike handles in a way where you don’t start pondering about its seating comfort. The stiff aluminum post certainly isn’t the reason for its level of comfort; frame, fork (also the lowly attached seat stays) and tires can share those laurels. On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that with a rider weight of 86 kilos it’s quite possible to extract some vertical flex from components. With 25 to 30 kilograms less, which seems to be a valid number for a size small frame, we could be looking at a different result. If the KTM Revelator was a car, its handling would most likely be considered as sporty and firm. However, the Alto doesn’t need or have to try and be a litter in terms of a Granfondo. It rather tries to act as a as a good-natured and solidly equipped sportive allrounder for lovers of classic tube shapes, on long ascents, swift descents and flat transfer stages.

Bottom Line

KTM Revelator Alto Master 22
Model year: 2019
Testdauer: 2 months
+ sporty
+ good acceleration
+ price/value
+ climbing performance
+ handling and stiffness
+ brakes
o average comfort
o rather heavy wheels, but durable
- seat post
BB-verdict: good-natured, fast allrounder

Smart spec at a price where the KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 even doesn't need to hide from online-only sold competitors. The Alto complements the radical Lisse as an allround-capable climber. Even with its sporty seating position, the Alto doesn't push for constantly having to reach for higher speeds, although it implements those willingly, if asked for. Frame, fork and cockpit are stiff and want to push forward, support its agility and provide for safe and controlled handling on the descents. Its DT Swiss aluminum wheels are more than solid companions during training, but allow for tuning potential. Overall, the ride is balanced and good-natured - without any annoying sounds from rubbing cables.
 
The Alto provides for enough comfort for its intended field of application, even if not at an exceptional level. Tires are playing a big part in this regard. A truly positive surprise was delivered by the Ultegra discs with their consistent braking performance. For the first time, two 140 mm rotors were able to survive under my weight of 86 kg, even when knowingly pushing for their limits.
 
As solid as a VW Golf, wrapped in a sporty dress, the KTM Revelator Alto Master 22 doesn't afford itself any major blunder but also doesn't stand out from the crowd in any department. Those looking for a well-rounded, uncomplicated and reliable training partner with Ultegra Di2 should at least give the bike with a price tag of € 3,699 a test run.