When I think of Austria, I think of two things: Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Julie Andrews helping a family escape the Nazi occupation. Now I can add KTM bicycles to that short list. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for the KTM booth. My knowledge of KTM is mostly of the motorcycle variety, with a vague idea of the mountain bikes. As I was wandering around Interbike, I happened across their booth, a sea of black and orange. Oh baby.
First some history, KTM has been manufacturing bicycles since 1964. News to me. According to the sales rep, KTM has been in the United States for about five years. Only in the last two years has the company begun to make inroads into the US bicycle market. Again, news to me. Happy news once I started looking at the bikes. Needless to say, I was impressed. Very impressed, not just by the paint jobs, but by the specs, quality of workmanship, and overall package.
After the break, I’ll showcase two of the bikes I couldn’t tear myself away from.
On the road side of things, the Revelator 3500 caught my eye. Sure, it was another “endurance” road bike with the sloping top tube and relaxed geometry that has taken over the road bike category by storm. It was the spec sheet that impressed me. Some highlights:
- Full 105 group. Except the cassette, but who the heck specs the correct cassette with the group on a mid-range bike anyway?
No in-house components on the bicycle. It was a Ritchey cockpit, stop giggling back there, and Mavic Aksium wheels hanging on this frame.
$2500. Yup. Most bikes at this price are rocking in-house components, and a frankenstein gruppo. But the frame must be heavy. Nope. KTM lists it as “high end” carbon, but it was every bit as light or slightly lighter than my Litepseed L3 which sports a 30T high modulus frame.
- Full XTR drivetrain. Except the rotors. Yeah, I can live with that. Oh, and this does include the cassette.
Don’t want 29″ hoops? (Which are DT Swiss by the way. Not “Made by DT Swiss for so and so,” but honest to God DT Swiss wheels.) You can opt for 27.5″. In fact, the mid and top-range mountain bikes are offered in either size. No separate models. No “we got some 27.5s.” You want either or, you get either or.
Unfortunately, there is one in-house branded item on the bike. The rear thru-axle skewer. I know, it’s a deal breaker. But you can alway replace it with the exact same item just rebranded in something you think is better. Brand whore.
There you have it, the two bikes that caught my attention and held it. There is also a really sweet CX rig in the pipeline that was shown at Eurobike earlier. It wasn’t in Las Vegas, but from the projected specs, and judging by these two specimens, it’s going to be killer.
Check the rest of the bikes at ktmbikeindustries.com and be prepared to be wowed.