Koga today announced news of their A-Limited, an aluminium frame weighing just 1130g and pitched as a serious alternative to carbon fibre race bikes.
We’ve been saying it for some time that there’s still life in aluminium yet. The material is a common sight at the affordable end of most bike ranges, but above a certain price point carbon is king. It seems the indsutry might just be listening, there’s an emerging trend for serious aluminium frames, the likes of the Cannondale Caad10 for example, and the new Kinesis Aithein, showing that there’s still tons of potential for aluminium as a credible alternative to carbon.
So it's good to see another company investing in the material. Aluminium has a lot of the qualities you want in race frame, it's light and stiff, and with the latest developments the material has been pushed even further. The gap between aluminium and carbon has never been closer.
This new Koga A-Limited is smooth TIG-welded from a 6069 tubeset (the same alloy as the Caad10). The tubes are drawn with simple profiles, lending the frame elegant lines and good proportions. The top tube tapers from the tapered head tube and the seat stays are exceptionally skinny, which should lend the frame some forgiveness on harsh roads. There’s a Press-Fit bottom bracket, a replaceable derailleur hanger and engraved Koga rear ends. It’s available in seven sizes from 50 to 66cm. Beware, it comes with a 110kg weight limit.
Along with the clean lines is an anodized finish, in blue, with smart contrasting white decals. Cable routing is simple and external, the gear cables along the downtube and the rear brake cable slung under the top tube.
The bike pictured is dressed with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, FFWD F6R-C wheels, Schwalbe Ultremo tyres and PRO Vibe finishing kit. The weight is 7.2kg. We don’t have a frame only price, but the bike pictured will cost £4,176.
The A-Limited is being launched within the company’s Koga Signature program. This means you can specify the frame however you want, with a choice of Shimano 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace and SRAM Force and Red. It’s easy to use, I built an Ultegra-equipped bike plus a few other changes, and came out with a bike costing £1,992 and weighing 7.6kg.
Further customisation extends to six wheelsets, four tyres, and plethora of handlebars, stems, seatposts and saddles. Handlebars and stem are of course available in various widths and lengths. And if Koga don’t have your favourite saddle as an option, they’ll deliver it without one so you can fit your own. You can even change the colour of the cable housing.
The A-Limited will be available from April. Take a look at it at the website where you can build your own www.koga-signature.com
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.