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February 4, 2011

Judging by the praise Dave Lloyd has given his new Viner Perfecta, it appears that the latest 2011 model is a real bargain. Dave has just received a made-to-measure Perfecta to use as a training bike and his first ride on his latest Viner left him suitably impressed:

The first bike I ordered was the made to measure, top of the range Viner Maxima RS. After the first ride I WAS HOOKED and wanted another Viner to ride as a ‘training bike’. So I ordered another made-to-measure frame from Viner, and this time opted for the Perfecta.

The Perfecta is £3,000 cheaper than the sublime Maxima and I didn’t expect it to be anywhere near as good, obviously!

(Above – Dave’s Perfecta including his custom designed Miche Supertype Wheels.)

I had to wait a tad longer for this frame as it got stuck in the Italian Freight Forwarders over the Christmas period and by the time it arrived, I was chomping at the bit to get it built up and on the road. I didn’t want to keep on riding the Maxima in the atrocious British winter and over the even more atrocious Welsh farm track roads I use to train on!

After taking delivery of the Perfecta, I wasted no time in getting it built up. This frameset was a carbon copy of the Maxima and, after checking the frame over, I discovered they had built it the same as the Maxima TO THE MILLIMETRE! I also checked the frame for ‘track’ and it was perfect – a good start.

The finish on the frame was as good as the Maxima which was completely flawless. This is another ‘guide’ to how much Viner love their product – the finishes are second to none .So the bike was built up with SRAM Red, (as the Maxima) and the only difference were the wheels. I was going to test a set of the Miche SuperType Carbons with a 35 mm front and 58 mm rear, another great product!

So, out I went, and I was immediately ‘dialled into’ the bike as it was exactly the same dimensions as the Maxima, but was it going to be as good?

Right from the first pedal rev, I was loving this bike. The balance was perfect, as the bike is so ‘straight’, the ride was super comfortable and it just absorbed every bump and pot hole in the road with ease. The bike steered just as well and true as the Maxima and was just a joy. OK, perhaps the Maxima is ‘tighter’ and quicker ‘away’ from corners and climbs a tad better with it’s torsional stiffness, but the Perfecta wasn’t too far off the money in every department. After all this was less than half the price of the Maxima, BUT NOWHERE NEAR HALF THE BIKE! The differences couldn’t be picked up by a ‘novice’ I am absolutely sure about that.

Having the Perfecta as a second bike, I now feel completely spoiled. It is a superb bike. Descending was again not too far off the Maxima and you can throw it into corners with confidence knowing that the bike isn’t going to spring any surprises and it handles beautifully in any circumstance. I, personally, think that the reason the steering is so precise and tight is the introduction of the huge 56mm bottom race on the head tube, which gives the bike an amazingly confident feel when you are steering it. But, having said that, the flipping bike seems to STEER ITSELF! Viner have only this year added the 56mm bottom race to the Perfecta as well as the Maxima (a good move). I also love the look of the front end. It just looks chunky and stiff and confident. It climbs brilliantly as it too is mega stiff around the bottom bracket and doesn’t ‘flex’ when you stamp on it. Taking my gilet on and off ‘no hands’ was just so simple as the bike didn’t budge with nothing on the bars to steer it. It steered itself and was the most stable bike I have ridden. I think having only 35mm on the front rim also helped the stabilty in cross winds and the new wheels from Miche were also a revelation to me.

Over the years Viner have obviously fine tuned their bikes and the framesets are just totally ‘DIALLED IN’ to give you a ride quality I have never experienced before and I am now definitely a Viner convert!

The thing that truly amazes me is the lack of Viners I see on the roads and in the sportives I have ridden. These bikes knock Treks, Pinarellos, Orbeas and the like into a cocked hat and I REALLY believe they are “the most underrated frameset out there!”

The new 2011 Viner Perfecta is available made-to-measure at no extra cost, features  a 1 1/2″ – 1 1/8″ head tube and can be built with or without an integrated seat post. Weight (frame only) is 1150gr and is built with Toray T800 carbon in Viner’s state-of-the-art autoclave. £2100 will get you one of these ‘mini-Maximas’!

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