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Hi all, after a recent accident I find myself in possesion of a functioning Tiagra groupset but lacking the frame to go with it. I only have a budget of around £500, maybe a bit more, to buy what will be the frame for my one and only bike and as such am looking for an all-rounder that will help me make the most of my Saturday club rides but also stand up to the rigours of commuting and the occasional bit of light touring. I am willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort for extra speed but rack and mudguard mounts are a must.

The Kinesis TK3 (soon to be rebranded the 4S, I gather) ticks all the right boxes and may well be what I end up with but I just wondered if anyone could suggest other options, either aluminium or steel I might consider? I do have a personal, not entirely logical preference for British or smaller companies...

Many thanks!

8 comments

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Tjuice [221 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a Ribble Audax (which you can probably get in frameset form) as my winter bike, and I see them on London's roads very, very frequently.

BUT, were I replacing it, I would probably buy a TK3 instead (not having ever ridden one, but I have just never felt as good/fast on my Ribble Audax as on most of my other bikes). Never heard anyone say a bad word about the TK3

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TimC340 [75 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a Tk3, and the Racelight T from way back in 2004. I also have a number of other bikes including a titanium Ritchey, a carbon Look, a USA-built Cannondale CAAD 8 etc. The Tk3 is, without doubt, the best ride of the lot. Quick-steering, stiff but not uncomfortable, light enough, able to accommodate 28s under full mudguards, and it can take a rack too. It's a genuine year-round, do-it-all bike - pretty much the same geometry as the Ti GranFondo which has done so well in the Road CC Superbike Shootout at a third of the price (f&f). Mine's built with Ultegra and Ksyriums, but it's damn near as good with Tiagra and Aksiums.

Buy it.

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giobox [360 posts] 2 years ago
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As an all year round bike the TK3 doesn't really have any rivals - to my knowledge it's still the only road frame to combine a racy tapered steerer, crit bike style geometry and full size mud guard and rack mounts. Which is precisely why I bought one for myself.

If you have to have mud guard mounts and a rack stop looking and get a TK3!

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clwydrider [17 posts] 2 years ago
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I bought a tk3 last April. Built up with veloce and khamsins it takes a very close second to my 953 Rourkie. I don't think you can go wrong with it. Nice and comfortable but also responsive and stiff, I am sure you could race it if you wanted. I would like to try the Ribble steel winter frame, it looks very nice and a lot of my riding mates are very happy with their alu winter frames.

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thereandbackagain [173 posts] 2 years ago
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Surly Cross Check frameset plus an aftermarket carbon fork would come in at less than £500. So would the Surly Pacer. The Pacer users caliper brakes, the CC uses cantis.

That way you have a steel frame bossed for mudguards and loaded touring, a matching steel fork for heavier touring loads if you wanted too (if you went for the CC), or the option of a lighter CF fork that would do you for club runs and credit card tours. Or racing Cyclocross!

Plus, it's as tough as you like.

I've got a fair few bikes, but if you were going to put a gun to my head and tell me I could only keep one it would be the Cross Check. One of the most versatile frames you can buy.

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HowardR [43 posts] 2 years ago
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A Genesis Equilibrium -in 725 format.

My bikes include an Equilibrium 20 and in short - Wow  4

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k_a_r_e_l [2 posts] 2 years ago
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Take a look at Kona Zone (cheepest model). Also comes with all the eyelets you want and clearance for mudguards. Looks nice too.

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davegreen70 [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Enigma have launched a nice looking steel frame for £525 - the Ezona.
Looks like a nice bit of kit