Viathon G1 Bike: Checkpoint

Viathon G1 Bike: Checkpoint by Guitar Ted with Andy T.

The Viathon brand is an unusual offering found on Walmart’s website (for now) and was introduced on the site here. Check that link for the backstory and technical details. Now it’s on to Andy T’s riding experiences aboard this carbon fiber gravel machine.

Viathon G1 Rival bike leaned up against a building
The Viathon G1 Rival on an early morning ride stop.

Ride Performance: Andy has had the Viathon out on several gravel rides and commutes across town and has reported that the ride is a tale of two extremes. “The back end feels smooth to me”, Andy says, “but the front end is pretty stiff!” We think this is due to the over-built front fork on the Viathon. Andy tried reducing the air pressures on the tires, especially on the front end, to alleviate this issue. “I think I ended up with something like 22-23psi at one point”, Andy tells me, but he never really was able to dial out this feeling of harshness up front.

Viathon G1 Rival bike in a corn field
Those pencil-thin seat stays ride in stark contrast to the beefy fork.

Andy liked the all Zipp component cockpit, but in the end he felt the stock handle bar was a bit too narrow and with no flare, it seemed to add to the instability the harsh front end was exhibiting. So, he ended up swapping in a PRO Discover bar with flare and this helped somewhat. That said, we both feel that the Viathon is a perfect candidate for a ShockStop Stem from Redshift Sports. This would tame the stiffness Andy feels through the handlebars and help with the transmission of vibration from gravel road to the hands,

The Viathon G1 on a gravel road

The Rival componentry shifts and brakes as one would expect. No real issues here, and if you like SRAM shifting, you will have no surprises with how the Rival componentry works. The brakes are also very typical of SRAM with a solid lever feel and adequate power. All that SRAM performance is quickly and efficiently applied via the stout carbon frame which shows no hint of lateral flex under heavy pedal pressure or fork shudder under heavy braking.

So Far… The Viathon G1 is a bike that is a high performance machine with a good set of components out of the box. The bike has a bit of a disjointed ride feel due to the stout front fork which is stiff in contrast to the forgiveness exhibited by the rear stays. Andy reports that the bike has razor sharp handling and when one puts the pressure on the pedals the Viathon G1 responds quickly to this input. The efficiency of this frame should appeal to riders coming off racy road bikes then.

We’re going to give the Viathon G1 a couple more weeks worth of gravel travel testing and we will be back with a final update on this bike soon.

Note: Viathon sent over the Rival 1 G1 bicycle for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.

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Guitar Ted

Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004, he has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and backroad events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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