Straight out the back of the car from those nice people at Upgrade is this black beauty of a bike built around the Kinesis Racelight KR-810 frame and forks.
The KR-810 is a full monocoque designed semi-compact frame using 3k woven carbon. Kinesis say that a monocoque construction ensures maximum stability, maximum reaction to force and maximum rigidity compared to classic glued or taped carbon fibre frames, whilst lugs weaken a frame and can lead to failure. We're sure Mr Colnago and quite a few others would have something to say on the matter, but hey. Kinesis go on to say that care has been taken to tune the characteristics of the carbon lay-up to ensure stiffness, stability and response where it is required and yet enough compliance for rider comfort, as if anyone would dare to design a bike otherwise.
Certainly there's a lot going on with the 'tubes' to reach that ideal; the ‘Kbox’ bottom bracket is a large swooping expanse of carbon which should keep things stiff down by the pedals, the ‘A-Frame’ seatstays emerge from a large flat wishbone, while the down-tube is flattened vertically and the top-top melds from roundish at the seat-tube to square at the headtube to keep things wibble-free at the front. There's a replaceable mech. hanger hanging off the back so laying the bike down on a greasy roundabout isn't going to be too costly a mistake.
Kinesis developed the specific Tracer fork for this model with a unique ‘forward facing’ blade design and advanced profile developed, they say, to provide absolute stability in turns and under braking. Which is reassuring.
The KR-810 has been ridden for several seasons by the Kinesis UK road-race team so has a proven pedigree yet Kinesis say that as the frame is not over-long nor too nose-down it can also be built into a bike that's ideal for sportives. Talking of builds, as the KR-810 is available as frame/fork only Upgrade have provided us with a whole bike in a customer build. It’s an eclectic mix of parts, possibly reflecting someone who’s got carried away with the wheels and had to make savings elsewhere or indeed some of the kit and component brands distributed by Upgrade, which seems fair enough. Either way it’s pretty posh.
Top of the bling list are the Reynolds carbon wheels, a DV46/UL graces the rear whilst a MV32/UL sits up front (asymmetric wheels are going to be very in next year darling) and Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 700x23 tyres accessorise them. For the hands Oval Concepts provide the stem and bars, both in carbon, the stem 100mm long, the bars 44cm wide (c-c) and non-oversize for a more classic look, and for the bum there’s a Fizik Arione CX saddle atop a Selcoff 31.6 carbon seatpost. Penthouse living TRP R970SL magnesium brakes with Swissstop carbon pads handle the stopping while the going forwards is dealt with by basement-flat Campagnolo Centaur 10spd with a compact 50/34 carbon chainset matched to a 12-25 cassette, but with a MicroShift braze-on front mech.
Kinesis claim a frame only weight of "just over 1kg" for the 47cm frame and this 50cm bike (which works out at a 55cm frame if sized traditionally) made the scales giggle at 6.8 kg.
The Frame/Fork/Headset/Seat-clamp package is yours for £999.99 and also comes in an on-trend 'Tech White' with black/blue graphics, built up as here it will cost you considerably more. We reckon it's a right looker in the sunshine, let's mucky it up with some road gravy then.
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.