We got a quick look at the nearly ready Kinesis Raceight Aithein aluminium road bike out at Taipei Cycle. We showed you the first incarnation when it was displayed at Core Bike Show in January and designer Dom Mason told us about it in an interview earlier in the year too. The new model had just been delivered after manufacture.
In brief, this frame is made using superplastic forming (SPF) – a process that’s patented by Kinesis. High temperature makes the tubing ‘plastic’ with heated compressed air shaping it in a steel mould. SPF allows Kinesis to use very narrow wall thicknesses without the risk of splitting tubes, because this is a method they can control very accurately.
This incarnation is different from the one that we showed you before in that it now has the correct BB386EVO standard bottom bracket for extra stiffness and plenty of chainset compatibility.
The cable stops have been moved higher up the head tube too so that the gear cables will run closer to the down tube. They have to be positioned on the head tube, by the way, because the down tube walls are too thin to accommodate them.
As you can see, the head tube is tapered while the seat tube is asymmetric, bulging out on the non-driveside for stiffness and much flatter on the driveside where the space is needed for the chainset.
Kinesis UK reckon it’ll weigh about 1,200g in a size 56cm. This is the frame straight after being welded, obviously, without any machining.
It’ll eventually be tidied up and orange, a little like this Photoshop rendering. There will be extensive lasering for the finish too. It should look pretty special.
For more info, check out our previous interview with Dom. Kinesis should have the finished product within weeks. When they do, we’ll be sure to let you know because we have first dibs on trying it out. www.kinesisbikes.co.uk
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.