Video: Kinesis Tripster ATR Ti prototype

Built for taking on the world, the ATR has discs, mudguards, titanium frame and takes 40mm tyres. We chatted to designer Dom Mason in this video

by David Arthur   February 1, 2013  

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

15 user comments

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Doesn't a lower bottom bracket make a bike less stable? ie: That's why ordinary (penny farthing) style bicycles aren't impossible to ride.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1333 posts]
1st February 2013 - 17:43

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Why would you want a carbon fork on a titanium frame? What if the fork fails in the middle of nowhere? Shouldn't a 'go anywhere' bike be made of stuff a local blacksmith can fix?

posted by Yennings [206 posts]
1st February 2013 - 18:17

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I take my hat off to them for welding an alu head tube to Ti top and down tubes Wink

posted by CharlesMagne [22 posts]
1st February 2013 - 19:01

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Looks a lot like the Van Nicholas Amazon and similar money too.

posted by amazon22 [150 posts]
1st February 2013 - 20:01

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A lower bottom bracket is more stable. Penny Farthings certainly aren't! Low centre of gravity is handy. But compromise with cornering due to pedal strikes. But this bike ain't for crit racing! MTBs have high BB for clearance.
Carbon forks aren't weak. No bike can be truly go anywhere anyway. Try dropping a bike on a rear mech....You could add suspension...This bike is go anywhere from a sensible perspective. You won't be descending Megavalanche on it.

It's a smasher.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

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posted by aslongasicycle [291 posts]
1st February 2013 - 21:45

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Yennings wrote:
Why would you want a carbon fork on a titanium frame? What if the fork fails in the middle of nowhere? Shouldn't a 'go anywhere' bike be made of stuff a local blacksmith can fix?

Because titanium is too flexible to make forks from. It may be possible in future to bond Ti with carbon for forks - but it would be more than the frame.

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1034 posts]
1st February 2013 - 23:27

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How long does a fork last? Might be tricky to replace one with a bespoke tapering steerer tube, if that's what that is.

posted by vbvb [225 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 0:00

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A 'local blacksmith' would have a tough time fixing the titanium frame, with a unique head tube, anyway.

'Titanium is too flexible to make forks from'? You can get titanium forks from Justin Burls, made in Russia, and there are Chinese manufacturers turning them out too. Passoni used to make a titanium fork, I imagine they still would if you paid them enough.

Surely the flexibility depends on such things as the gauge and wall thickness of the tubing? Some titanium frames close to the Kinesis type (i.e. touring) have steel forks, which seems odd to me, so heavy and crude on a light, refined titanium frame. But maybe repairable by blacksmiths in rural Sri Lanka. Just pray that your frame and rear dropouts hold out.

If you want local repairability, get a locally made bike. Those 50lb Indian double top tube tanks would probably be repairable in a village smithy 100 years ago. If you could manage to break one, that is.

posted by bikeylikey [162 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 9:40

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CharlesMagne wrote:
I take my hat off to them for welding an alu head tube to Ti top and down tubes Wink

where did you read that bit???

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [177 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 10:17

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bikeylikey wrote:

If you want local repairability, get a locally made bike. Those 50lb Indian double top tube tanks would probably be repairable in a village smithy 100 years ago. If you could manage to break one, that is.

This. People are deluding themselves with the concept of reparability (is it even a word?). Titanium is hard to weld properly, but so is thin-walled steel and aluminium. And can you imagine asking a local blacksmith to make you a disc-compatible rear hub? If you want to ride sophisticated, modern bikes, you can forget about doing major repairs on the road.

posted by Shanghaied [39 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 13:36

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One of these with a set of those new TRP disc calipers would be just about an idea do-it-all winter/trainer/commuter - so long as the geometry is more rando/audax than touring, that is.

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 17:30

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I have seen plenty of carbon frame tubes crack, but not many carbon forks. It could just be my own experience, but it seems like utilizing a Ti frame that may be less likely to crack in the event of drops or crashes and combining it with a carbon fork is a good balance of durability and ride characteristics. Repairability is very low with many modern frames and components without modern tools and processes, so just having a bike that is really durable is probably more useful than a bike that is designed primarily to be repaired.

posted by JayDawg [4 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 23:14

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I'd be more worried about the Alu steerer on the forks failing. I'd prefer to see a full carbon fork. Aluminium has a fatigue life, but this isn't an issue with steel, and carbon fibre doesn't fatigue.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1333 posts]
4th February 2013 - 13:12

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It's great to see someone else sharing my idea for a perfect bike!

I made my for city, hence straight handlebars and short stem for manoeuvrability. IMHO good brakes are a must in the city, so I use hydraulic. Ti frame, Mavic Speed City wheels (28), Alu fork to save cost, 9-speeds to save weight... all in all 10,5 kg Smile

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posted by rix [25 posts]
4th February 2013 - 20:46

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Reparability?

Put £2k on creditcard, leave with mum. Frame breaks in middle of Khazahkaniststanistan? Get to phone, order another, UPS 1 week.

Kick back in local Bazaar / hot pools and wait.

Can't see this being an issue on an expedition that has already cost you a fortune in cash and time.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [438 posts]
7th February 2013 - 10:07

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