Those nice people at Kinesis have just sent us details of their new FiveT cyclo-cross/tourer/winter trainer/commuter bike build for 2011. It looks like they took notice of all the niggly issues we had with the 2010 Crosslight FiveT in, and given the bike a bloody good talking to in a dark corner of the workshop and told it to sharpen up it’s act.
The wheels that we felt really let the bike down, well the no-name no-seal hubs really, have been swapped to the Shimano R500 wheelset, which should mean extra longevity in the bearing area and the heavy and draggy Kenda tyres that wrapped around the old hoops have been dumped in favour of the lighter and skippier Maxxis 'Larsen Mimo CX' rubbers.
The forks have been upgraded to the new PureCX full carbons, which as well as being considerably lighter than the replaced Crosslight Pros also come with eyelets at the fork ends so easing mudguard fitting, hooray! And the blue and white graphic matches the frame, which the red one on the old fork never did. It’s in the details.
The unbranded bars and stem, which we had no real problem with on the old FiveT have both been changed to FSA items, oversized and with the bars coming in a compact drop that’s bent into one of our favourite curves. These sit on top of a new FSA headset with the brake-hanger integrated into the top-cap which is an eloquent touch.
And best of all is that the fugliest seatpost in the world from the old FiveT has been banished to the shed to be replaced by a significantly more elegant K-UK seatpost. We can sleep easy at night now.
Actually, even better is that all these improvements come at no extra cost with the price staying at £969.99, and they’ve even shaved a couple of pounds off the bike in the process, which now steps off the scales at just over 20lbs. What’s not to like? All the good stuff remains, the smart-looking Crosslight frame full of neat details, bit of everything adaptability and spot-on handling, the workmanlike Tiagra/Truvativ drivetrain and the effective Tektro brakes. Overall this turns a bike from one that we thought could have been a contender but was let down by a few weak points into what could be an absolute belter. Thanks for listening Kinesis.
You can fondle the 2011 Kinesis Crosslight FiveT on the Upgrade stand (E28) at the Cycle Show at Earls Court, Oct 8th-10th. Tell them we sent you. www.upgradebikes.co.uk
The Cycle Show takes place at Earls Court, London and is open to the public 8-10 October. To book go to www.cycleshow.co.uk/rcc or call 0844 848 0132 and tell them road.cc sent you giving the discount code: RCC. That will get you in for £10.50 instead of £15. All bookings are subject to a one-off £1 booking charge, but you can spread the pain by buying more than one ticket per booking.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.