Kinesis Aithein: now in orange and green

Here’s a nice looking bike for Friday, the brand new orange Aithein alloy frame from Kinesis

by David Arthur   January 24, 2014  

If you’ve been reading road.cc over the past 12 months, then you’ll know we’ve been closely following the development of the new Kinesis Aethein, from the first spy shots of a the pre-production frame, to the finished sample that VecchioJo took for an exclusive first ride around the South Downs.

Until now we had only seen the launch edition black anodised frame. Last week Dom Mason, the designer behind the Kinesis range of frames, popped into the office to show us the two painted frames, SweetOrange and SickGreen. The orange looks spectacular in real life, the frame really pops in the sunlight.

The choice of finish reflects a new confidence for the brand in recent years, with ever bolder colours across the entire range of frames. The decal design is also much sharper, the graphics on the Aithein understated, clean and providing a high quality appearance.

This bike has been built up for a trade show next week and is dressed with a full Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and Reynolds carbon clincher wheels. It’s a bit of a head-turner. It’s also pretty light on the road.cc Scales of Truth, at 6.8kg (14.99lb). That’s good by carbon fibre frame standards, let alone for an alloy frame, and is a good demonstration of what is achievable with metal. It’s a real reminder that alloy is still a viable and valid choice for any cyclist seeking a high performance frame.

Kinesis say the frame weighs just 1,041g which makes it one of the lightest alloy frames currently available. Often considered the benchmark alloy road frame, the Cannondale CAAD10 weighs in at 1,150g, at least according to the company’s official figures. The all-carbon fork adds 350g to the weight. Bare in mind that the frame does come with a 14st (89kg) rider weight limit.

It’s unlikely you’ll get a similarly light bike for the same price, considering the frameset is £649. That includes the full carbon fibre fork and headset. Five sizes are available from 47cm to 59cm.

Forgive us if we get rather excited about aluminium road bikes. Aluminium road bikes enjoyed the briefest of moments in the pro peloton spotlight before being quickly overshadowed by the development of carbon fibre frames. Alloy frames are still commonly used, they make up the largest share of the market, but are used primarily at the more affordable end of the market. There are a small handful of manufacturers pushing alloy as a rival to carbon fibre though, and Kinesis is the biggest manufacturer of alloy road frames.

Dom Mason is similarly enthusiastic about alloy, and told us in a recent interview: “I’m not really a big fan of carbon. It doesn’t make me very excited from an engineering point of view. It’s brilliant for many things, but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of frame design. My thing is to push alloy really hard. All the brain power has been going into carbon, but there’s more that we can do with alloy.”

The frame is constructed using Superplastic Forming (SPF), a high temperature process that makes the tubes go plastic with heated compressed air forming the tubes over a steel mould. It’s more finely controllable than the more widespread hydroforming that can split narrow walled tubing and it allows the use of thinner, and therefore lighter tubes, meaning that Kinesis can make an alloy frame nearing a carbon weight.

More info at www.kinesisbikes.co.uk

17 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

35g fork? Shurely shume mishtake? (350g more like.)

Nice looking bike, although font on name on tup tube/inside leg of fork jars when viewed against font used on rest of frame.

Al frames are the new fat bikes. (Seem to recall Spesh are pushing the high end alu thing again this year as well.)

posted by surly_by_name [177 posts]
24th January 2014 - 9:59

29 Likes

Would have preferred a colour matched fork but, as young people say, they look pretty sick innit!

posted by Some Fella [824 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:01

23 Likes

Nice....and light...Im getting more and more tempted by Kinesis...

posted by NeilXDavis [113 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:05

15 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
35g fork? Shurely shume mishtake? (350g more like.)

Clearly

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:35

15 Likes

The orange colour alone would be enough for me if I hadn't just bought a CAAD8...... and I didn't weigh more than the limit for the frame Sad

posted by DrJDog [182 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:56

18 Likes

Pity* about the 14st weight limit, otherwise I would have bought one already.

*14st for me would require no cake and life is, quite frankly, too short Smile

othello's picture

posted by othello [300 posts]
24th January 2014 - 10:59

17 Likes

No problems with the weight limit!!! Just cash to buy, Mine if I could afford would come with full Ultegra 6800 – RS81s C24 - Deda carbon seatpost, stem and bars, I can dream.

posted by 60kg lean keen ... [59 posts]
24th January 2014 - 13:33

18 Likes

Lost interest at the 89KG limit. Anti tall, anti pie lovers, my god, we should take them to the european courts.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [397 posts]
24th January 2014 - 13:52

18 Likes

Mine arrived this week Drooling . Can't wait to build it up!
My build will be full Ultegra 6700, Mavic Ksyrium SLS's, Bontrager carbon cockpit.
I reckon it's going to climb like a Mountain Goat!

posted by powenb [21 posts]
24th January 2014 - 14:32

19 Likes

it's funny, i think that green is a great colour, especially for their cross frames, but to me the orange suits this frame better

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
24th January 2014 - 16:44

10 Likes

I wanted to buy one of these, but thought the crit-biased handling was probably a bit sharp for me. A clubmate has built one in full Ultegra including wheels, and it tops out at 7kg. He says that when he pushes on the pedals, it almost 'jumps' forwards, such is the sense of acceleration.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3474 posts]
24th January 2014 - 17:33

13 Likes

I have one in the orange, looks amazing and great fun to ride, really quick and nimble, real competition for much more expensive carbon Framesets , can't wait to see how it fares in a race, be ideal for crits I reckon! Hats off to Kinesis and great to have a homegrown alternative to the big names

image.jpg
Gstar's picture

posted by Gstar [15 posts]
24th January 2014 - 19:03

14 Likes

That looks lovely, want one. You can keep all that carbon rubbish, thanks. Save it for the anglers.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
24th January 2014 - 20:19

13 Likes

A pity that many are blinded by carbon fibre and discount alu as a "cheap" material. A bit like when CD's were introduced and vinyl was shot down by people who didn't know any better.
I'm in the process of building up an alu frame to my spec and not what the manufacturer forces me to accept - so a Principia (what else!) Revolution SX frame with Easton EC90 SL forks, Easton EC90 SL stem, Easton EC90 SLX handlebars, Easton EC90 SL seat post (there's a pattern here), Specialized Toupe carbon saddle, FFWD F2R Full Carbon Composite wheels and Ultegra 6800 group set.
The best bit is that you don't have to buy everything all at once so you can accumulate bits when finances allow - i've got all the above except the group set and by buying when offers have been on i've managed to get some great discounts. That plus the bike is exactly as you've specced it so it's unlike any other.

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [52 posts]
24th January 2014 - 22:51

13 Likes

Strueth I couldn't wait to get my core activated on that one.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [291 posts]
27th January 2014 - 13:55

8 Likes

I love Kinesis bikes, got a TK3, but the 88kg rider weight limit on this one is a wee bit off-putting. Even my very light 750g Cervelo frame has no rider weight limit. I've never heard of a weight limit on a frame either. Wheels are a different matter.

88kgs really isn't that heavy either. A tall rider could quite healthily be around that weight. It seems Kinesis have compromised the frame in order to get to a target weight.

posted by giobox [342 posts]
27th January 2014 - 14:14

7 Likes

Having a weight limit seems quite sensible to me. There are plenty of other alternatives around for heavier people, and limiting the rider weight has allowed for quite nicely optimised construction and engineering. Why over-engineer the thing? It's a race bike, after all.
Personally, having the limit on the frame would also be a good motivator and reminder to keep sensible eating habits. Built in weight-watchers, so to speak. Wink Useful for a heavyset person like me
But I don't much like the orange and green colours, neither one of which will match much any kind of kit I can buy from the LBS.

I'd still be tempted to get one of these, especially if there is a new batch of the black ones. But the cost and of and time involved in building one up with nice enough componentry is a sort of a deal-breaker for me.

Zombies don't ride bikes.

posted by Markus [44 posts]
29th January 2014 - 18:28

6 Likes