UK bike brand Kinesis have a new bike called the Tripster ATR - the Adventure Tour Race. It’s a titanium frame that has the versatility to keep up with your imagination. With clearance for fat tyres and mudguards, disc brakes and a slack geometry, it’s as at home on gravel paths and bridleways as it in the rush hour traffic.
We’re seeing bikes like this become increasingly popular and it seems to be the smaller brands like Kinesis that are heading this charge. Their ability to repond more quickly to trends is one reason for this, but the smaller brands are also very in tune to what their customers are doing with their bikes. We’ve been fans of just such bikes and the new Tripster ATR is a very nice example of the breed.
“It’s not a cyclocross bike with mudguards on it,” Kinesis designer Dom Mason tells us, “it’s designed to go a long way, and go a long way in comfort. And last a long time. The idea is that it could take you around the world.”
Shunning their usual aluminium, Kinesis have picked a 3AL/2.5V titanium tubeset for this new bike. Titanium, with its natural springiness and ability to last a very long time and easily shrug off the miles, is the natural choice for a bike that has epic long rides and touring in its sights. The top and down tubes are butted to save some weight, and the seatstays and chainstays are plain gauge. Frame weight is in the region of 1,500g, but Dom is keen to stress it hasn’t been built to be light, but instead to be durable and strong.
Kinesis have been quickly adopting tapered head tubes on their recent frames, and the ATR is no exception. The flared tapered head tube has been machined from a single billet of titanium, which is an expensive method of production. The Kinesis logo is stamped into the front.
The frame has the necessary mounts for full-length mudguards, bottles, racks and disc brakes. There’s clearance through the rear stays for 40mm wide tyres, and the carbon fibre fork, with its tapered steerer increasing steering stiffness up front, has plenty of clearance too. IT has the same crown height as a cyclocross fork, which gives the clearance for mudguards. An integrated hose clip keeps the disc brake hose in place.
A standard threaded bottom bracket standard has been adopted rather than a more modern press fit style of BB, simply because it needs to be easily fixed if you do find yourself half way around the world with a worn out bottom bracket that needs replacing.
As comfort is a primary concern for a bike that is intended to be piling on the miles, they’ve given it a relaxed head angle to slow the steering just a touch. That combines with a lower bottom bracket and longer chainstays to produce a longer wheelbase, to encourage extra stability at speed. Comfort in a bicycle isn’t just about inherent flex in the frame for absorbing bumps and holes in the road, but about the geometry being tuned to give a relaxed handling characteristic.
If you only want one bike in your life, only have space or budget for one bike, then this should be on your shortlist. You’ll have to form an orderly queue behind us though.
The Tripster ATR will be priced at £1,499.99 for the frame and fork. Don’t worry, they’ll be offering full builds if you don’t want to build a frame from scratch. Sizes offered will include 48, 51, 54, 57 and 60cm.
We chatted to Dom Mason, the designer behind this new frame, recently and you can read it here if you missed it. It’s a very good read.
Find out more at Kinesis Tripster ATR Dom Mason www.kinesisbikes.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.