We all know that the sub £1,000 bike market is a fiercely competitive one, but it’s tricky to know what’s best to spend your hard earned cash on.
With that in mind, there’s something reassuring about a bike that has been around a while, and even better, one that has been given a makeover.
Which is exactly what Verenti says it’s done to the Insight 0.4. It uses more or less the same platform as previous Insights, but now sports a tapered head tube and beefed-up bottom bracket zone without gaining additional weight, thanks to a new high modulus unidirectional carbon-fibre lay-up.
All of these additions, according to Verenti, translate directly into ride quality. In terms of the bottom bracket, this specifically means torsional load stiffness. The tapered head tube also gains stiffness, although this time in line with the front end, which, when paired with the carbon/alloy fork, delivers what Verenti calls “competitive handling” — we suspect this means more responsive.
In the sub-grand price range, bikes are normally a bit hit and miss with finishing kit, so we’re impressed to find the Insight 0.4 equipped with a full Shimano groupset. OK, so it may only be nine-speed Sora, but it’s tried and tested stuff and with the 50/34 compact chainrings and 12/27 cassette, there should be a wide enough range of gears to get you round most terrain.
The 4ZA bars, stem, seatpost and saddle are also very worthy additions. The Alex Race rims with Shimano hubs make for a less than exciting wheelset, but the Continental GrandSport Race tyres should at least ensure they roll reasonably well.
If it rides as good as it looks — and considering it weighs a respectable 8.8kg for a size medium — then the £950 price tag certainly looks like good value for money. Available now in sizes XXS to XL.
We know we wax lyrical about the frame being the heart of a bike, but the Insight should be just that, as the same frameset is used throughout the range. If you’re happy to splash a tad more cash at the outset, there are alternative Insights that also offer excellent value for money.
Verenti Insight 0.4 £950
Verenti Insight 0.2 Rival £1,600
Insight 0.3 105 £1,200
We test four sub-£1000 road bikes from Boardman, Fuji, Cube and Merida