Carrera Virago Limited Edition Carbon 2012 Review
Carrera are a big name, and the new Virago model for 2012 is certainly deserving of the brand, and keeps with the traditions of quality and racing pedigree we have come to associate with the company. The new Virago has been well received by professionals and cycling magazines so far, so here we look at how it measures up against other bikes in the same price range.
The Carrera Virago Limited Edition carbon road bike is one of the lightest bikes in its class and offers a classic frame shape and styling, which is a great alternative for riders who don’t enjoy the upright sportive rider position seen on so many of this bike’s competitors in the price range. The ride style of this bike is very much focused on efficiency, and you will find it smooth and slick to ride though perhaps without the twitchy, instant responsiveness some riders prefer.
This bike, we’ll say it again, really is exceptionally light for the money you pay for it. With the frame weighing in at just 1.1kg, largely due to its almost entirely carbon based make up, you will struggle to find anything lighter that offers the same level of quality and efficiency in this bike’s market. THe full Virago bike weights in at 8.6kg.
The lightweight carbon frame does incredible things to protect you from road buzz, and while the look of the frame shape and saddle suggest this bike isn’t going to be the most comfortable way to move, it is actually great.
This is a bike designed for those who want to ride fast. It is not set up for responsively negotiating tricky traffic, and the ride position is a classic low racer style. This is an aerodynamic racing machine, rather than something you’re going to sit up comfortably on and have a nice look around. Buy the Carrera Virago if you’re prepared to get your head down and go fast, and you will love it – the ride is super smooth and stable at speed.
If this wasn’t enough to convince you that this bike is serious about speed and doesn’t care about admiring the scenery, there aren’t any rack mounts on the Virago. It doesn’t even have a mudguard. Like a formula one car doesn’t need cup holders, this bike considers these things a luxury that isn’t worth sacrificing racing speed for.
Components, Wheels and Tyres
The Carrera Virago limited edition carbon sports a Shimano 105 groupset, which while not the lightest thing they could have fitted, is absolutely great value considering the price range this bike sits in, and actually, even with these heavier wheels the entire bike still weighs less than the bulk of bikes in its peer group.
Carrera bikes have always been a safe bet especially for those who enjoy the classic racing bike style. For a cheaper version try the Vanquish or Virtuoso which are great beginner road bikes. It certainly serves a specific market, so if you want a sportive this is not the best choice for you, however if you are the type of person who finds a low, head down race bike thrilling, there is nothing better in this price range.
Written by: Adam Samuel