Kinesis launch Aithein in limited edition anodised finish

Lightweight alloy road bike is now available for the first time

by Mat Brett   July 2, 2013  

KinesisAithein_Black

The Launch Edition of Kinesis’ new Aithein bike is now available.

We’ve been following the development of this bike over the past few months. First, we interviewed designer Dom Mason about the whole concept of this new lightweight alloy road bike, we saw a nearly-ready prototype, and then we showed you some spy shots of the finished article. 

Kinesis have employed their new superplastic forming (SPF) process here, using higher temperatures and lower pressures than with hydroforming in order to produced thinner-walled tubes.

Kinesis say that the Aithein frame weighs as little as 1,041g – that's lighter than Cannondale's CAAD10, for example (Cannondale quote a frame weight of 1,150g). The monocoque carbon fork is 357g. The bottom bracket is a wide BB86 for the efficient transfer of power while the head tube is tapered with a 1 1/2in lower bearing for more rigidity up front..

The Launch Edition Aithein, available in limited numbers, has a special anodised finish using laser-etched graphics, metallic grey decals with lime detailing.

The standard finish frames will be following close behind. There will be two painted options finished in SickGreen metallic or SweetOrange metallic.

Kinesis have put a rider weight limit of 14st (89kg) on the Aithein which is available in five sizes from 47cm to 59cm

The price for the frame, fork and headset is £649.99.

For more info go to www.kinesisbikes.co.uk or www.upgradebikes.co.uk.

32 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

You need to see it in the flesh NeilXDavis . road.cc will be posting a 'real' pic soon, that one is a p.shop mockup.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 14:21

7 Likes

Hi notfastenough, road.cc will be the first to receive a review bike. The Aithein is designed primarily for speed, response, powerful climbing and aggressive descents, it's not specifically made for comfort over distance [we have other frames in our range for this].
So it just depends where your priorities lie I guess, although we have had a few riders testing the p.types over many miles [road and race] with no complaints. In fact Oli, MD of Morvelo has swapped his carbon frame for one!
Mockups of the SweetOrange and SickGreen ones here > http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/products/racelight/aithein

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 14:32

9 Likes

Wow, figured you'd be watching this thread Dom but didnt expect a response that quick! Smile

I definitely prefer to get a move on, going on fast club runs/chain gangs/club 10's/sportives etc. It will be my weekend/summer bike rather than anything more utilitarian. I'm just looking to find out whether I can live with it. To put it another way, it doesn't need to be a Porsche with all the luxuries, but I'm not after a ridiculously focused F1 car either! Big Grin

Thanks for any advice.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3239 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 15:05

11 Likes

Pic is updated now, by the way.

posted by Mat Brett [1887 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 15:23

13 Likes

We went through 5 p.types before settling on this one and I think it's the best compromise of performance and comfort. Oli loves his and has been on plenty of long rides on it, although he really likes it for it's direct feel and ability on punchy climbs and fast, twisty descents. The Aithein really is designed for the type of riding you describe, but substitute crits for sportives ; ]

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 15:25

7 Likes

Is the weight limit still valid? I'm sure I read somewhere you were going to up that, or am I wrong?

(From someone the wrong side of that weight limit at the moment!)

posted by othello [282 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 17:31

14 Likes

I still like the way my Racelight RC2 rides so I imagine this will be awesome.

Rob

posted by robert.brady [146 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 18:26

11 Likes

This is very light for aluminium. I'd be worried that the weight does make it too fragile, TBH

As there's a rider weight limit, it seems kinesis are as well..

Don't get me wrong, I love my Kinesis, it's just I've had some experience of Alu frames breaking on me, including from kinesis itself

That said, their customer service and warranty is superb if anything does go wrong..

posted by 700c [556 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 19:58

9 Likes

Dom wrote:
We went through 5 p.types before settling on this one and I think it's the best compromise of performance and comfort. Oli loves his and has been on plenty of long rides on it, although he really likes it for it's direct feel and ability on punchy climbs and fast, twisty descents. The Aithein really is designed for the type of riding you describe, but substitute crits for sportives ; ]

I don't have the legs to substitute crits for sportives! I do wonder if the handling might be a bit towards the twitchy end of the spectrum? Also, are the stack and reach figures published? Sorry for the endless questions.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3239 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 20:32

10 Likes

Don't get the excitement. What's the advantage over carbon?

kiwiglider's picture

posted by kiwiglider [22 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 22:29

8 Likes

I must admit I feel like I can trust ally more than carbon, and comfort is as much about the saddle, seat post and tyres (amongst other things) as the frame.
Might be interested if electronic compatible.

posted by pmr [169 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 23:11

9 Likes

pmr wrote:
I must admit I feel like I can trust ally more than carbon, and comfort is as much about the saddle, seat post and tyres (amongst other things) as the frame.
.

Usually I would agree but that's assuming aluminium is built to a certain strength, and will weigh a fair bit more.

In this case, they've built a frame that weighs the same a carbon one. the fact that they have imposed a rider weight limit suggests it may not have the same strength as other frames, or at least they're being cautious..time will tell

You don't usually get weight limits on frames, at least not at this level..

Also, you're talking about seat posts being a factor in comfort, conventional wisdom suggests using carbon for this application anyway..

I think it's an interesting exercise in manufacturing and material science, but other than that, I don't really get the point..

posted by 700c [556 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 10:34

9 Likes

othello wrote:
Is the weight limit still valid? I'm sure I read somewhere you were going to up that, or am I wrong?

(From someone the wrong side of that weight limit at the moment!)

Yes, weight limit still valid. Imposed by the factory. The frame is EN tested to industry standards.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 12:23

9 Likes

robert.brady wrote:
I still like the way my Racelight RC2 rides so I imagine this will be awesome.

Rob

The RC2 is a great frame. Tempted to re-launch that one : ]

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 12:25

7 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Dom wrote:
We went through 5 p.types before settling on this one and I think it's the best compromise of performance and comfort. Oli loves his and has been on plenty of long rides on it, although he really likes it for it's direct feel and ability on punchy climbs and fast, twisty descents. The Aithein really is designed for the type of riding you describe, but substitute crits for sportives ; ]

I don't have the legs to substitute crits for sportives! I do wonder if the handling might be a bit towards the twitchy end of the spectrum? Also, are the stack and reach figures published? Sorry for the endless questions.

The angles aren't overly steep so it's not twitchy, it feels nicely planted actually. It may be worth e.mailing Oli at Morvelo from the contact section on his site, he has spent a long time on the p.types and will be happy to chat re ride qualities.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 12:29

13 Likes

kiwiglider wrote:
Don't get the excitement. What's the advantage over carbon?

One of the main advantages is that price for price you are getting a top quality alloy frame rather than a budget carbon frame. It also means you can build up a high performance bike for less or maybe spend more on wheels etc rather than blowing the budget on the frame.
Carbon is brilliant and is an excellent material for bike frames, but it isn't for everybody and a high-end alloy frame can quite often be better than an entry-level carbon frame of the same price.
Hope that makes sense.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 12:39

7 Likes

Dom wrote:

Yes, weight limit still valid. Imposed by the factory. The frame is EN tested to industry standards.

Ah, shame Sad

I'm *just* over the limit and want to get under it, but wouldn't want to risk it!

posted by othello [282 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 12:47

11 Likes

700c wrote:
pmr wrote:
I must admit I feel like I can trust ally more than carbon, and comfort is as much about the saddle, seat post and tyres (amongst other things) as the frame.
.

Usually I would agree but that's assuming aluminium is built to a certain strength, and will weigh a fair bit more.

In this case, they've built a frame that weighs the same a carbon one. the fact that they have imposed a rider weight limit suggests it may not have the same strength as other frames, or at least they're being cautious..time will tell

You don't usually get weight limits on frames, at least not at this level..

Also, you're talking about seat posts being a factor in comfort, conventional wisdom suggests using carbon for this application anyway..

I think it's an interesting exercise in manufacturing and material science, but other than that, I don't really get the point..

Hi 700c, As technology moves on it allows us to take advantage of those advances in materials, forming and joining etc and apply them to the bike frame to evolve the way we do things. We have seen huge advances through the use of carbon fibre, it's allowed designers to make the bike work in whole new ways and gain huge performance advantages. An alloy frame like the Aithein wasn't worth considering 5yrs ago, but now frame forming technology, in this case 'SPF' [Superplastic Forming] has allowed us to make the seat tube that is the core of the frame. This SPF seat tube means that we can lighten up the rest of the frame tubes because the 'torsional' force on them is less. We have worked hard on the tube profiles, wall dimensions and diameters to ensure a balance of rigidity, ride quality and toughness.
The frame is EN tested to industry standards.
Carbon fibre is an excellent material for bike frames, but it's not for everyone. Spending an equivalent amount on a carbon frame will get you a rather low-end, under developed and possibly dead feeling bike.
Hope this helps to explain where we are coming from with this frame.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 13:02

11 Likes

Thanks Dom for taking the time to reply- it clarifies the purpose of this project and it's good to see manufacturers talking directly to customers in this way

my views of aluminium are a little tainted following frame failures in the past which I won't dwell on, but suffice to say I am now the proud owner of a Kinesis GF TI and would recommend it to anyone who cares to listen! Seems more than a match for my weight and riding style..

posted by 700c [556 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 14:45

5 Likes

When is this vision of wonderfulness going to be available to us minions Dom?

posted by Karbon Kev [677 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 14:46

7 Likes

700c wrote:
Thanks Dom for taking the time to reply- it clarifies the purpose of this project and it's good to see manufacturers talking directly to customers in this way

my views of aluminium are a little tainted following frame failures in the past which I won't dwell on, but suffice to say I am now the proud owner of a Kinesis GF TI and would recommend it to anyone who cares to listen! Seems more than a match for my weight and riding style..

No problem! Thanks for reading :] Glad you are enjoying your Racelight GF_Ti.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 15:11

8 Likes

Karbon Kev wrote:
When is this vision of wonderfulness going to be available to us minions Dom?

Anodised Black 'Launch Edition' available now, but close to being sold out!

Painted version is following close behind and should be available next month.

Tiny Yellow version for minions, still under development.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 15:14

8 Likes

What about the orange and sickgreen ones? Next month you say for those?

posted by Karbon Kev [677 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 15:40

8 Likes

Karbon Kev wrote:
What about the orange and sickgreen ones? Next month you say for those?

Ano ones were made first, the painted SickGreen and SweetOrange versions have just cleared paint finishing and I'm waiting for shipping info now.
Best Guess is mid August at moment [later than planned unfortunately]. We will probably fly the back-orders in to UK.

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 15:48

11 Likes

Dom wrote:

Tiny Yellow version for minions, still under development.

Is that a kids version? Big Grin

posted by othello [282 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 16:41

7 Likes

Isn't that rather too similar in looks and spec - and Maximus seat post - to the Canyon Ultimate AL 9.0?

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [325 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 21:50

8 Likes

drmatthewhardy wrote:
Isn't that rather too similar in looks and spec - and Maximus seat post - to the Canyon Ultimate AL 9.0?

Well yeah, apart from all the main tube shapes, fork shape, Head tube, cable routing, graphics, geometry...

Do they make a Maximus seat post?

Dom.

Mason Cycles.

Dom's picture

posted by Dom [71 posts]
4th July 2013 - 10:22

7 Likes

I think he means the squared off seat tube. Didn't Canyon successfully sue cervelo for infringement with their sqouval seat tube?

posted by Alb [81 posts]
4th July 2013 - 21:01

9 Likes

posted by Alb [81 posts]
4th July 2013 - 21:04

8 Likes

Yes I meant the squared-off seat tube and was remembering the court case with Cervelo.

This frame does look lovely, and it's lighter than the Canyon Ultimate AL. Tempted!

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [325 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 0:10

2 Likes