Kinesis Bikes have updated their Gran Fondo titanium frame with a new tapered head tube, machined from a single billet of titanium, and a carbon fibre fork that accomodates 28mm tyres with full-length mudguards.
The new carbon fibre Tracer fork has a tapered steerer tube and and along with the new headtube should improve steering accuracy over the previous model. More importantly, the new fork has extra clearance so it can take full-length mudguards with 28mm tyres, addressing our main criticism of the original bike when we reviewed it.
Kinesis have also made a few other tweaks. The bottom bracket has been lowered to increase stability at speed, and the top tube has a new ovalised profile which they say improves lateral stiffness.
Aside from those changes, the rest of the frame is unchanged. That’s a good thing, when we tested it a few years ago we found it to “deliver the goods on speed, lightness, comfort and longevity,” the crucial aspects you want in a bike built for long-distance comfort and speed.
The new frame still carries the subtle finish of the original as well, with a hand-brushed 3AL/2.5V titanium tubeset with smart white decals on the down tube, seat tube and top tube. The new carbon fork has a matching white decal as well.
There’s the same gently curved seat stays and oversized chainstays to balance the demands of power transfer and comfort. It’s very neatly finished with tidy welds in evidence, with double passed welds in higher stress areas.
Our test sample has arrived with a £2,069.99 Shimano Tiagra build, with a compact 50/34 FSA Vero chainset and Tektro R317 long drop caliper brakes. A Shimano R501 wheelset, WTB tyres and FSA and Kinesis components complete the bike. Alternatively you can buy the frame and fork for £1,499 and build it yourself. The complete bike weight on our scales is 9.23kg (20.34lb).
The frame is available now with a choice of five sizes (51, 54, 57, 60, 63cm).
The original was extremely well received and we have high hopes for this updated version. The bike is currently out on the roads being tested so we’ll have a full review soon.
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.