Kiron (pronounced “Kigh – Ron”) is the latest exclusive brand to be distributed by online retailers Wiggle, and thus far there’s just one model in the range – this Scandium-tubed road bike.
If Wiggle are hoping to attract buyers away from mainstream brands, they’re certainly going about it the right way with a killer price and impressive list of components attached to the frame.
The frame is built using Easton’s Scandium Race tubeset coupled with Easton EC90 carbon seat and chainstays. It’s a fairly modest looking frameset, with a teardrop shaped top tube, ovalised down tube and flared head tube. Otherwise it’s a straight-forward and good looking frame. The red and black paint finish with reverse decals looks smart due to its simplicity. A good first impression is made.
The Easton theme is continued away from the frame with an EC90 SL carbon fork complete with carbon dropouts and CNT technology that weighs 349g. Easton is arguably one of the foremost companies specialising in producing carbon fibre components and this experience shows in the fork – it’s one of the highlights of the complete package.
The use of Easton-branded parts doesn’t end there, with the company’s EA50 range supplying the wheels, bars and stem and an EA30 seatpost clamping a Selle Italia saddle in place. The wheels, while at 1,697g not the lightest around, look great matched with the bike and ride well. It’s a well built set of hoops that needed no attention during the test period. Any potential purchaser would find no complaints, but a set of lighter race wheels for Sunday best, with the EA50s reserved for normal duty, would be an attractive option that could be considered.
All drivetrain components are Shimano, with a mix of 105, Ultegra and, in a somewhat odd move, a Dura-Ace front mech. Buyers will be able to choose between a compact (50/34) or double (53/39) chainset. Finally, Wiggle has fitted a pair of Pariba Provolution tyres to the wheels, not a brand that RCUK has experienced [oh yes I have – ed.]before but which offered a fast and supple ride.
Wiggle offer the frame in four sizes, from 52cm to 58cm. The 56cm tested featured a head tube angle of 72.5° and a 73° seat tube angle, with a 16.5cm head tube, the numbers varying in accordance with the frame size.
So far, so good. But how does it ride? Very competently is the answer. Scandium-aluminium alloy is a great material to build a frame with and in its execution here, choosing a well known tubeset supplier, seems to have a winning formula.
It’s light at a claimed 17.3lbs for our 56cm, which is noticeable lifting the bike out of the box and pedaling it up the first hill. Having hopped off the Scandium-tubed Kinesis GranFondo just before testing the Kiron, it was interesting how, despite very similar tubesets, the ride differs greatly.
The ride quality is sportingly firm but never harsh, but noticeably harder riding than the Kinesis. It does remain well composed over a good cross-section of UK roads, though just occasionally became a little choppy on the roughest roads.
Away from the rough and onto the smooth the character of the Kiron can be enjoyed. It’s fast handling, the steering particularly quick with the result being any inputs are immediately turned into decisive action. Climbing, descending, hard cornering; it revels in all situations.
The only hurdle the Kiron faces is drawing potential buyers away from more established brands (even including Wiggle’s Focus Cayo bikes). But its jaw-dropping price tag and top spec may just do that.