As they say, “win races through the winter, collect silverware in the summer”…
Kinesis UK have been helping me this winter and I’m absolutely sold on their ‘cross bikes. My CXRace has been my best friend through a rough season – super stiff, light, Di2 and hydraulic brakes means it’s been my go-to bike for more than just racing. So I was keen to try the Racelight GF Ti Disc road-bike and see what all the fuss was about.
Waking up to cold bright streaks cutting through a hard grey sky I knew I’d be testing the bike it its perfect environment. With layers of neoprene and lycra attempting to cover just about every inch of my body I tip-toed down the shimmering road – the first of three hours of spray from the front wheel saturating my calf’s and the whirring of the Reynolds Attack freehub body cutting through the early morning silence. I’ve ridden these wheels before and they made me feel straight at home.
A second bike for winter miles used to seem like something only the pros or most serious amateurs would consider, but now most riders have realised the benefit. UK based Kinesis (available at The Velo House) have always been market leaders in this category but have recently made improvements across the range, with some tight design and much improved paintwork. If I’m being honest I wouldn’t have considered one of their bikes up until about 18 months ago, but that’s all changed now – Kinesis have started playing their A-Game.
Climbing up onto the forest and now settled into the bike there’s a noise behind me – a rider. He says hello and latches onto my wheel before announcing that, “you’re a bit stronger than me, I’ll just stay here.” Ten minutes of getting to know my bike and I was thinking to myself, “we’ll see about that,” as I turned the screw ever so slightly. 250 meters later it was time to turn it up again and the bike responded in a spritely fashion. Another 250 meters and my hi-viz-safety-jacketed-friend was in trouble – this meant it was time to stick it in the big dog and work a bit…out of the saddle, don’t look back, if you want to sit there you’d better be ready to work too!..purely to test the bike of course…
Whether it was mean or not, my “friend” was nowhere to be seen now and once again I was happily riding along with only the pleasant buzz from the tyres for company. The headtube on the GF Ti has supermodel proportions – tall, massively tapered and impossibly thin in the centre, it really is a work of art. The laser-etched logos lead the eye down to the super tidy BB area and the tiny, accurate welds that are all important to a quality titanium bike. All of the cabling is neat and the direct mount 140mm Shimano brakes are definitely the way to go for all-year riding now.
Dropping down Kidds Hill the bike is stable at speed even though the road is covered by flood water racing from the top of the forest. Back up onto Ashdown my legs are spinning nicely now and I’m cruising past a local club out for a Sunday morning ride. A couple of nods and hellos and before I know it I’ve got a 200 yard gap on them before the top and a cheeky smile to myself – I’m having fun and regardless of the facts and figures, the most important thing about a bike test is the question, “is it fun?” £5k or £500, I wouldn’t pay a penny for it if the answer was no. With this package from Kinesis, the answer is a definite yes.
Photos by Glen Whittington.
Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, and the.æight.bicycle.cømpany @eightbikeco #aeightracer
Glen runs The Velo House with Olly, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TN – 01892 554 505 – firstname.lastname@example.org. @thevelohouse #thevelohouse