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KTM Revelator Prime Di2

KTM - the three letters that so often come more or less flamboyantly in shades of orange - are a distinct part of the Austrian roads, just like a pack of Manner Schnitten in the back pocket of your jersey, a piece of rich history and something to be cherished.
The Revelator is not only nice to look at with its refined optics and superb Di2 groupset, we had a lot of fun riding it from Vienna through the Burgenland all the way to Styria. Our verdict? Read on to find out!

What's behind?

Just to give you a heads up, as futuristic as this bike may seem, you still have to pedal yourself, therefore even the most advanced road bike only goes as fast as your legs will allow it. It is interesting though, how the details, small details on a bike can change the way we perceive it: some bikes are just plain fast. And to be fair, the KTM Revelator is one of them. But what makes this 4.199 € bike so marvelous? We will cover all the details further on in this article.

The most obvious technical innovation - or let’s call it a feature since we have seen it on quite a few bikes already - is the hidden rear brake. To reduce drag and maximize aerodynamics it is neatly tucked away below the bottom bracket. The brake itself is directly mounted to the chain stays, the idea behind this is to improve brake performance, because the distortion is better absorbed there, than by the seat stays. Without this constant strain, the engineers could make the seat stays even thinner and by doing that, enhancing comfort whilst riding. The front brake is attached to the aerodynamically shaped fork also via direct mount.

Another prominent feature is the seamless transition from top tube to seat tube - there is no traditional seatpost clamp. Instead, the seatpost is held in place by an integrated screw where the two tubes are conjoined. What is the benefit of this design though? Well, partly aerodynamics and also to further improve flexibility of the seatpost, but also optics benefit greatly from this little tweak. The tapered seat tube enhances riding comfort, but at the same time guarantees flawless rigidity for the bottom bracket.

  • The integrated seat post clamp is not only nice to look at, the seat post is pulled out a bit further, thus able to flex more which helps with dampening the road vibrations.The integrated seat post clamp is not only nice to look at, the seat post is pulled out a bit further, thus able to flex more which helps with dampening the road vibrations.
    The integrated seat post clamp is not only nice to look at, the seat post is pulled out a bit further, thus able to flex more which helps with dampening the road vibrations.
    The integrated seat post clamp is not only nice to look at, the seat post is pulled out a bit further, thus able to flex more which helps with dampening the road vibrations.
  • The seatposts have been modified with regard to ride comfort as well. The rear brake had to move and is now hidden below the bottom bracket.The seatposts have been modified with regard to ride comfort as well. The rear brake had to move and is now hidden below the bottom bracket.
    The seatposts have been modified with regard to ride comfort as well. The rear brake had to move and is now hidden below the bottom bracket.
    The seatposts have been modified with regard to ride comfort as well. The rear brake had to move and is now hidden below the bottom bracket.
  • Slick cable routing and direct mount brakes not only in the front …Slick cable routing and direct mount brakes not only in the front …
    Slick cable routing and direct mount brakes not only in the front …
    Slick cable routing and direct mount brakes not only in the front …
  • … but also in the back. For better force absorption, thinner seat stays and advanced aerodynamics the brake was reallocated below the chain stays.… but also in the back. For better force absorption, thinner seat stays and advanced aerodynamics the brake was reallocated below the chain stays.
    … but also in the back. For better force absorption, thinner seat stays and advanced aerodynamics the brake was reallocated below the chain stays.
    … but also in the back. For better force absorption, thinner seat stays and advanced aerodynamics the brake was reallocated below the chain stays.

Geometry

Size in cm:52555759
Seat tube length (mm):470500520540
Top tube length (mm):
528547560573
Seat angle (°)
7675.57574.5
Head angle (°)
72.572.57373
Head tube length (mm):
145160170185
Chain stay length (mm):
405405405405
Wheelbase (mm):985100010041013
Stack (mm)
5515655755857
Reach (mm)
390401406410

All the cables (mechanical and electronic) are routed internally, and the battery is hidden in the seatpost. The frame is made of KTM’s “Premium Carbon” and “Premium” describes the frame on point: the concept is well thought out and no flaws whatsoever come to mind.

Top of the Line

The sublime frame comes with top of the line components as well. The KTM Revelator Prime Di2 sports the latest edition of the tried and trusted Ultegra Di2. We have had several occasions in the past to ride this groupset and not surprisingly, it still works like a charm.
The compact crankset (50/34T) in combination with the 11–28s cassette lets you conquer even the steepest of hills without much effort and the direct mount brakes make you descent in confidence.

Tech Specs

Frame:Revelator Performance Carbon, Direct Mount, Di2Wheelset:Mavic Ksyrium Elite
Sizes:52, 55, 57, 59Front tire:Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink
Fork:Revelator Carbon, 1 1/8 - 1 1/4Rear tire:Mavic Yksion Pro Powerlink
Color:Carbon-matt (grey + orange)Stem:Ritchey WCS C-220, 6°, 100 mm
Headset:KTM Team VP-B-151AM 1.1/8" - 1.1/4" (road)Handlebar:Ritchey WCS Curve Road
Crankset:Shimano Ultegra 6800 50-34Z CompactBar tape:KTM VL-Tape
Shifters:Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2Saddle:Fizik Antares
Front Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2Seat post:Ritchey WCS, 350/27.2 mm
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2Weight:6.9 kg (testbike size 55 7.175 kg)
Cassette:SHimano CS6800-11, 11-28ZRetail price:€ 4.199,-
Brakes:Shimano Ultegra 6870F Directmount
  • Hot stuff: full Ultegra Di2 groupset….Hot stuff: full Ultegra Di2 groupset….
    Hot stuff: full Ultegra Di2 groupset….
    Hot stuff: full Ultegra Di2 groupset….
  • ... nicely topped off with Mavic Ksrium Elite wheels, weighing only 1.550 g. ... nicely topped off with Mavic Ksrium Elite wheels, weighing only 1.550 g. 
    ... nicely topped off with Mavic Ksrium Elite wheels, weighing only 1.550 g. 
    ... nicely topped off with Mavic Ksrium Elite wheels, weighing only 1.550 g. 

The Prestige comes with Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels - the sturdy 1.550 g wheelset is a safe bet and the 25 mm wide Mavic Yksion Pro Grip/Powerlink tyres go well with the. Seatpost, stem and handlebar are Ritchey WCS, the saddle is a Fizik Antares with subtle hints of orange as an hommage to KTM. This high end package results in a super light bike: KTM claims 6.9 kg - our scale shows a staggering 7.15 kg, pretty impressive for a ready made size 55 road bike.

Test Review

The positon on the bike is, let’s say “sportive” but not as aggressive as on a thoroughbred-racing bike. Thanks to the relatively high headset cap and the mandatory spacer for the Di2 junction box the height ratio between saddle and handlebar is very suitable for long distance riding. If you prefer a more aggressive position all you need to do is remove the junction holder and slam that stem - et voilá: race mode activated.

Like always, when we get the chance to test a new bike the first rides are bound to be tough: bumpy roads and harsh terrain are a good indicator of how well a bike is suited for everyday use. Once we have left the city behind and find ourselves on wide-open roads in the hinterland the conclusion is pretty obvious. Although the stiffness of the bottom bracket is nothing less of what we have expected, the bike feels so comfortable - this is mainly due to the well-designed shape of the seatstays and the aforementioned longer seatpost. Small bumps and vibrations are absorbed by the frame and fork - if you wanted to smooth out larger impacts, a carbon seatpost might be an upgrade to consider.
The KTM Revelator Prime really feels at home on those smaller, winding roads less travelled.
Light wheels in combination with a stiff bottom bracket make for a fun riding experience, every pedal stroke is directly converted into propulsion. It accelerates quickly out of corners and you can power through shorter climbs with ease.
Once the bike is up to speed, it is still surprisingly nippy and easy to handle, turning corners even at higher speed feels very pleasant and gives the rider confidence.

If I had to compare the Revelator Prime to a car, I would probably say it is a Gran Turismo, maybe an Aston Martin (ok, in a rather flashy orange paintjob), but not a Supercar, whose sole purpose is brutal speed without any hints of comfort or everyday usability. No, KTM managed to combine two opposing ideals and built a bike that is uncompromisingly fast and delightful to ride.

Proper wheels, overall light weight and the thoughtful geometry of the bike make climbing fun - be it ascending the local hillocks or conquering the alps - and you would not expect anything less from a real Austrian. The compact crankset makes climbing really enjoyable, and in combination with the 11–28s cassette even not so strong riders have enough reserves on their way uphill to enjoy the view. The geometry of the bike is superb for riding uphill: the steep headtube angle and the ever so slightly raised front of the bike does the trick. Climbing feels very natural, and I never experienced pain or anything alike, even after a thousand meter in elevation you still find favorable ways to sit on the saddle.

As the saying goes: what goes up must come down. And even the Revelator Prime is no exception here. But there lies the problem, because as much as we love the agility and climbing experience of the bike, going downhill is a different story. The steep head tube angle helps make the bike responsive, but the problem comes with higher velocity. At mediocre speed, this is not really an issue, but if you are going really fast you need a steady hand to control the bike. The handling is a little bit undefined at high speed and the rider has to concentrate on keeping it steady, especially in tight hairpin turns. But on the bright side, the brake performance is just as good as expected - the direct mount brakes decelerate the bike reliably and the Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset does not disappoint.

Conclusion

KTM Revelator Prime Di2
Model year:2016
Test duration:1 month
+Riding comfort
+Efficient forward propulsion
+Well equipped
+Climbing abilities
-Nervous handling at high speed
BB Rating:Long Distance Fast

The KTM Revelator Prime Di2 is a versatile concept come to life, it is a sleek, light race bike, suitable for a wide range of cyclists. Whether you take it to your after work ride, or a Gran Fondo or an even longer bike tour, the Revelator can do it all. A stiff frame and great climbing abilities are a lot of fun and at the same time the design of the seat stays and fork ensure enough comfort to go on for hours, thus making the Revelator Prime Di2 a great companion for the road. The only disadvantage is the nervous handling at high speed, but if you keep that in mind you should be fine.

For € 4.199,- the Revelator Prime Di2 is a real steal: high end aluminium components by Ritchey, versatile and light Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels and a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset leave little room for reasonable upgrades - maybe a carbon seatpost to improve comfort.

To put it in a nutshell: A beautiful, well equipped race bike, suitable for everyday use, the love child of a hot blooded race machine and a Gran Fondo bike.