First spy shots of finished Kinesis Aithein frame

Frame and fork package expected next month, SPF Aluminium frame weighs just 1,200g

by Dave Atkinson   April 18, 2013  

Good news, affordable race bike frameset fans. The Kinesis Aithein, which we've been following with interest over the past few months, is now almost ready for shipping. The frames are expected to ship next month, with a price tag of £649.99 for the frame and fork.

Kinesis are one of the companies at the forefront of Aluminium manufacturing in the cycle industry. They've been pushing the development of new processes for forming alloy tubesets and their new superplastic forming (SPF) uses higher temperatures and lower pressures to allow thinner-walled constructions than hydroforming. Kinesis expect the final weight of the Aithein frame to be around 1,200g for a 56cm, light enough to build to the UCI weight limit without much bother.

We first caught up with Dom from Kinesis at the start of the year, when he showed us the prototypes for the Aithein, and Mat got to take a look at the final pre-production samples when he was out in Taipei last month. Now the frames are complete, with an anodised finish and laser-etched decals. They'll be available in black or gaudy orange.


Head tube is asymmetric with traditional external cable routing


It has an asymmetric seat tube too, and a BB386EVO bottom bracket shell


An Antigravity Seat Tube should help on the climbs, eh...


The die motif on the brake bridge was originally a joke, but made it through to production


Laser etched decals are fairly minimal and look smart

35 user comments

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I have a Kinesis GF and love it, I need to use a rack for commuting so it's perfect as a week and weekend bike....but why would someone choose an Alu frame for racing, when you can now get carbon frames cheaper? Carbon just seems to be the future and standard frames will get more aero around the headset, seattubes, chainstays etc.

posted by musicalmarc [51 posts]
18th April 2013 - 12:29

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musicalmarc wrote:
I have a Kinesis GF and love it, I need to use a rack for commuting so it's perfect as a week and weekend bike....but why would someone choose an Alu frame for racing, when you can now get carbon frames cheaper? Carbon just seems to be the future and standard frames will get more aero around the headset, seattubes, chainstays etc.

For the same reason that the bangers & mash that my missus knocks up is a lot better than the pheasant cooked 3 ways in the restaurant down the drag.

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posted by theclaw [75 posts]
18th April 2013 - 12:43

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Did you really manage to covertly smuggle these out of Kinesis HQ or did Dom just email them to you?

Either way, thanks. I think it would look great in full race kit: Carbon wheels, seatpost and Dura Ace. Will it take Di2 or are there any plans to make frames that can?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:07

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Hollisharri: Glad you like. You will notice the '5' on top of the bridge, the '2' on the base can be your little secret ; ]

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:07

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a side profile of the frame would be good...thought it was some long snouted robot dog when i saw the first picture..love the die, nice touch

posted by SPAM Naval [134 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:12

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"just seems to be the future" is indeed a rigorous technical assessment of the materials science involved in framebuilding.

Not saying there aren't some great CF frames out there, but my £650 carbon frame/forks is most certainly at the cheaper end. If Kinesis reckon they can do a good quality frame that handles/rides well, is stiff and light, looks the business and costs £650, should I care that it's made form Alloy rather than CF?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:20

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notfastenough: That would look very nice indeed! If I made the name too easy, it might be too easy to forget ; ]
Pronounced 'ey-theen'.

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:21

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Looks lovely. It can be made out of panda poo for all I care As long as it rides well, is reasonably light, durable and most importantly is comfortable then the material is not relevant. I have an Alu bike and i love it more than previous carbon frames.

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:40

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theclaw wrote:
musicalmarc wrote:
I have a Kinesis GF and love it, I need to use a rack for commuting so it's perfect as a week and weekend bike....but why would someone choose an Alu frame for racing, when you can now get carbon frames cheaper? Carbon just seems to be the future and standard frames will get more aero around the headset, seattubes, chainstays etc.

For the same reason that the bangers & mash that my missus knocks up is a lot better than the pheasant cooked 3 ways in the restaurant down the drag.

Struggling with the analogy there - can you explain?

Somewhat torn by this frame, I recently got a carbon frame to build up (still in a box) but have considered selling it on for one of these. Has to orange mind you.

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posted by joemmo [779 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:47

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arrieredupeleton: They went in under cover of darkness. road.cc have an elite group of highly trained operatives, constantly gathering this type of highly classified information.

OK. They saw my tweet.

The frame isn't ported for Di2 but you can still use it by running the correct fitting kits of course.

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 13:55

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joemmo: I think he means a cheaper material used really well is better than an expensive material used poorly.

A quality, well thought out aluminium frame should be better than a generic, low-end carbon frame of equivalent price.

That's not to say that there aren't great AND affordable carbon frames to be had though.

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 14:03

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I'm happy with my alu kinesis, the point I was trying to make is that frames seem to be improving aerodynamically I.e integrated stems, seatposts and flat tube profiles. As far as I know you can't mold alu into the kind of shapes you see on aero bikes. At least I've not seen any aero alu bikes

posted by musicalmarc [51 posts]
18th April 2013 - 14:08

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Dom wrote:
joemmo: I think he means a cheaper material used really well is better than an expensive material used poorly.

A quality, well thought out aluminium frame should be better than a generic, low-end carbon frame of equivalent price.

That's not to say that there aren't great AND affordable carbon frames to be had though.

OK, not being au fait with either his good lady's sausage cooking or that of the local pheasant eaterie it wasn't immediately clear.

The carbon frame is pretty decent (deda nerissimo) but I still have a bit of an irrational mental hurdle with full carbon frames. Plus I like orange things.

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posted by joemmo [779 posts]
18th April 2013 - 14:33

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notfastenough wrote:
Oh, and you're not allowed to call the Orange gaudy - apparently Aithein is greek - to burn or shine; burnt orange, see?

Looks like the futures bright? must be .......!

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
18th April 2013 - 15:17

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joemmo: There are a couple of details of the Orange Aithein here > http://goo.gl/chFmJ

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 15:40

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Kinesis are going down well at my LBS and without any hype, they are such nice frames, four of our club have just purchased titanium ones, so nice.

antonio

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posted by antonio [934 posts]
18th April 2013 - 15:56

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Dom wrote:
joemmo: There are a couple of details of the Orange Aithein here > http://goo.gl/chFmJ

Before I get too excited, can we see the geometry? If only so I can be disappointed that it won't fit me.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
18th April 2013 - 16:17

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notfastenough: I've just posted the basic geom. on my FB page here > http://goo.gl/wurok

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
18th April 2013 - 17:27

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Is there a reason why some welds are smooth finished and others are more 'weldy'? Is it a cost or strength compromise?

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posted by joemmo [779 posts]
18th April 2013 - 18:59

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Dom wrote:
arrieredupeleton: They went in under cover of darkness. road.cc have an elite group of highly trained operatives, constantly gathering this type of highly classified information.

OK. They saw my tweet.

No, no... It's definitely answer a.

posted by Mat Brett [1821 posts]
18th April 2013 - 19:22

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an elite group of facebook cyber-loafers, maybe Thinking

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7253 posts]
18th April 2013 - 19:34

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Did they give Road cc any technical info on the frame regarding torsional stiffness and such. Especially at the BB. This looks really nice, i do have my eye on the Velocite Selene which is cheaper but not because of that but because of its rated 125Nm stiffness at the BB.

That's more than a fair amount of Carbon frame bikes.

posted by toothache90 [25 posts]
18th April 2013 - 20:33

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Dom wrote:
notfastenough: I've just posted the basic geom. on my FB page here > http://goo.gl/wurok

Thanks. HT only 5mm longer than current, and I want to lose the 30mm of h/s spacers that I currently run. I'll wait for details to determine the stack/reach before deciding.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
19th April 2013 - 6:51

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I've been riding and racing the proto for a couple of months now and I've got to say it is a damn fine bike . I prefer it to the carbon race bike I have too plus like the more classic look of the Aithein with it's level top tube.

The section and squarer tube profiling around the BB is nicely hidden away so on first appearance it's a refreshing change to all the aero carbon bikes. Super responsive, quick, stiff, light. Not armchair comfort but it's bike that begs you to get out of the saddle and sprint. In the races I've been doing I've not noticed the lack of aero profiling. More the lack of training Smile

Make sure you put a standard chainset on it. Rides so much better (and faster).

www.morvelo.com
Ride Everything.

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posted by Morvelo [9 posts]
19th April 2013 - 11:55

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go on road.cc do a comparison with the Kinesis carbon frames if you can.

posted by musicalmarc [51 posts]
19th April 2013 - 12:25

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My bike has the die feature. So was this copied from Cinelli or was it originally somebody else's idea?

posted by Pentti [8 posts]
19th April 2013 - 12:56

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Pentti: Eh?

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
19th April 2013 - 14:57

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http://i.imgur.com/XdhIG8L.jpg

The die on the brake bridge. I wondered where this idea originated.

posted by Pentti [8 posts]
20th April 2013 - 17:23

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Pentti: Hahah! Wow!! I didn't realise that someone else had done this, it was just an idea that I played around with and then decided looked cool, so we put it into production.

I have the 5 on top and the 2 underneath, because the brake hole is supposed to take the place of the dot for the '1'.

Which frame is that that you have?

Dom. Kinesis UK.

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posted by Dom [57 posts]
22nd April 2013 - 10:41

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Cinelli experience. I must say that the cube part on the brake bridge looks like a die, so I can see how the idea came to light. I bet the Aithein looks great in orange.

posted by Pentti [8 posts]
20th June 2013 - 12:40

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