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KTM Revelator Alto 3300 review – Proven Engineering

This is a KTM, but where is the black or the orange? Yes, the Revelator Alto 3300 is a master of disguise, though it has nothing to hide. It follows the classic school, there is nothing redundant, it does not want to show off (except for a funky handlebar). It makes use of the usual KTM technologies, but this time around in a different dress. It has the same character while out on the roads: the Alto 3300 is hardly noticeable, since it performs its duty in such a natural way.

Although the KTM’s road bike range is dominated by disc brake models. This is no surprise as KTM is based in an region where you can descent more than 1000 meters of altitude, and after the 25th hairpin, no one will doubt the legitimacy of disc brakes! On the other hand, the Revelator Alto model line employs predominantly traditional technology: it still has the classic rim brake with quick realise wheel attachment. So it is not be the range KTM designes for its own turf, nevertheless a lot of European and international riders prefer rim brakes for their simplicity, low weight and price. The classic technology actually allows the top-of-the-line Revelator Alto Prestige model to come a hairline under the official UCI weight limit!

The Revelator Alto 3300 does not share the frame with above-mentioned top model: not only is there more material but it also has a slightly different frame geometry. The Prestige and Master model’s frames angles are steeper to achieve shorter wheelbases and longer cockpit. On the hand, the 3300 is a bit more comfortable and stable, so it’s easier to control. The 55cm frame size sports a 72.5° head tube angle, which is less step than on many other bikes, so it’s more relaxed, stable, yet the steering does not at all feel lazy.

The carbon fork with an aluminium steerer and a press fit bottom bracket construction are more or less self-evident in the category. So are cable routed inside the frame. But there are no pencil-thin seat stays to be seen on the Revelator Alto, which has some effect on ride comfort. This bike provides just enough comfort as absolutely necessary, with the side benefit of offerings a markedly stiff rear triangle that provides above average power transfer even without thru-axle wheels. So the disc brake frames in the KTM range all adopt thru-axle wheels, and the rim brake models – like the Revelator Alto, where there is less torsional load – offer plenty of rear end stiffness to compensate for the lack of thru-axle.

The Shimano 105 set functions as “advertised”, unnoticed and totally flawlessly. However, the choice of gear range was somewhat surprising: the rear wheel received a huge “tray” making climbing virtually any gradient possible. The 11-32 rear cassette is complemented by a “compact” front chainring with a 34T inner – creating nearly a 1:1 drive ratio, surpassing the gear range of triple chainring road setups. The wide range of gears reflects the Alto 3300’s targeted “audience”: predominantly hobby road cyclists, who can finally conquer the zigzag roads in the Alps and the Dolomites, where this bike was conceived.

Mavic seems to have lobbied successfully at the Austrian giant, as a lot of bikes roll on the wheels of the French manufacturer’s excellent wheel sets. The Alto received the entry level Aksium model: not a bad choice, but it leaves room for a future upgrade. The Grand Prix SL tires however are excellent in their own right, worthy of the Continental name, behaving surprisingly well on wet roads even in the narrower size. Contrary to most manufacturers, KTM did not switch to a wider 25 mm tires which allows lower pressures, hence better traction and added comfort. This decision could be explained by the Austrian road quality: these surfaces do not require the extra grip or the additional cushioning, on the other hand the 23 mm variants are evidently the lighter choice. Here in Hungary, it’s worth the excess weight to add a little more air volume in the tires!

Moving on to the accessories comes the biggest surprise of this bike: the funky shape of the handlebar! Yes, this is a “gravel bike” bar, which is odd, since the machine is not classified as a gravel or adventure bike, and does not even feature in KTM’s “endurance road” category. For me, the substitution was actually welcome, since I have been riding a lot of gravel bikes lately – certainly more than road machines. I felt the control to be natural and the bar shape perfectly comfortable. Concerning the choice of a saddle, KTM’s favourite X1 saddle makes much more sense on the road than for MTB applications, I found it easy to move around on it to find a comfortable position.

Who would I recommend the Alto 3300? Primarily for those who want an affordable carbon road bike of classic design with metronome-like accurate shifting. And perhaps for those, who does not regularly ride in the Alps, or who are firm believers in the traditional rim brake technology. Also for those, who want a bicycle that focuses on proven technology instead of a flashy appearance. Finally for those looking for light racing in this price category. Alto is not the lightest machine, but it has a lot of potential for future upgrades. Over time, by eventually replacing the wheels, the steering “compartment” and the seat tube, you can build a bike that’s truly lightweight and still affordable.

Specifications:
Frame: Revelator TK–UD Performance Carbon
Headset: KTM Team VP-B-151AM
Fork: Carbon Fork F5
Shifter: Shimano 105 ST-5800
Front derailer: Shimano 105 5800
Rear derailer: Shimano 105 5800-GS
Brakes: Shimano 105 5800
Crankset: Shimano RS500 50-34 compact
Wheelset: Mavic Aksium
Tires: Continental Grand Prix SL 23-622
Cassette: Shimano 105 5800-11s 11-32T
Stem: KTM Comp
Handlebar: KTM Comp Road HB-FL21
Tape: KTM VL-Tape
Seat post: KTM Comp 27.2/350mm
Saddle: Selle Italia X1 Flow

Weight: 8.32 kg
Recommended retail proce: 579.000 HUF

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