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Stu Kerton embarks on a new bike building project

I’d done an Audax before, three or four years ago, and to be perfectly honest I didn’t quite get the concept. Coming from seasons of time trialling and the odd sportive I couldn’t get my head around a maximum average speed - I mean why wouldn’t you fly around a set route as fast as your legs allow you to?

Yet, back in December tech ed Dave Arthur and I were stood in a damp, dark car park somewhere in Tewkesbury with forty or so other riders about to embark on a 200km ride around the lanes.

We didn’t exactly blend in: I was on a six grand carbon, Di2 wielding Cube with Dave on similar exotica, no bar bags, mudguards or maps but once under way, swapping gels for sausage and bacon rolls I actually found myself enjoying it and by the time the 207km (too busy chatting to see the right turn on the Garmin) was over I was hooked and a plan was hatched to ride as many as I could.

So new bike time. I haven’t bought an off the peg bike, as I find the choosing of the components and assembling each bit just as much fun as riding the finished product. Settling on a frame was actually pretty simple; it had to take full guards, be comfortable with stable handling but without sacrificing speed or looks, oh yeah and it had to be a Kinesis.

I’ve been lucky enough to test both versions of the GF Ti, GF Scandium and the TK3 and they have all provided exactly what I was looking, for plus Kinesis seem to have nailed making winter style bikes kind of sexy.
Unfortunately all of the above were out of my price range due to the kids expecting such luxuries as heating and food in their tummies so the T2 it was, a cracking frame in its own right especially with the carbon DC07 fork.

The 3T Integra Team stem was going to be the centre of the build, setting the theme if you like. I love the lines and as the Garmin is always going to be attached for route finding purposes, I thought it might as well be integrated into the bike. It is very stiff though so for long distance comfort carbon bars were an extravagant shock absorber.

Tempting as it was to go for 3T to match the stem I quite liked the understated look of the Cinelli Neos seatpost calming the front end down a bit. I’m not a huge lover of too many logos.

I’m a Campagnolo fan. I like the way it looks (what can I say, I'm a bike tart) and the shape of the hoods seems to match my hands. Obviously the groupset had to be black and I didn’t take much persuading to pay the small premium for the shiny red bits on the Centaur groupset. A 50/34 chainset with a 12/25 cassette should see me getting up most inclines in the saddle.

For the wheels, I had a choice of Campagnolo’s new asymmetric Vento’s or the Scirroco 35mm’s hanging in the shed. After a little Twitter poll it was the Scirroco’s that come out on top. Well the aim here is speed so a little aero advantage could come in handy. Wrapping them in 23mm Continental Gatorskin's should hopefully provide a decent balance of rolling and puncture resistance. 

As for the saddle, I had a couple of options, either a Fizik Arione that was in my spares cupboard or the Prologo CPC. I’ve always found Prologo’s take a lot of breaking in but the little rubber tubes on the upper provide a decent amount of shock absorbence so should be perfect for long days in the saddle.

To finish things off I’m waiting for TRP’s new deep drop brakes to arrive which should take care of the slowing down especially as the Miche ones are pretty cheap and use wine gums for brake blocks plus I might change the guards for some PDW ones as well.

So that’s that then, we’re ready to roll. The first ride is planned for the Gillingham & District Wheelers reliability ride this weekend with the Chippenham ‘Flapjack’ in February. The aim is then to do at least a 200km every month starting with the worryingly titled 214km Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster in March.

Distance is the new speed.

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

39 comments

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koko56 [330 posts] 2 years ago
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You a bike tart, no, would not think that at all. :p

25mm tyres though - at least! You must. You know you need to. Faster, comfier and grippier. and better and more fast and everything everything. do it. do it for your country, for your children. let them see a comfortable and grippy and fast rolling tomorrow.

or even one step more - TWENTY EEEEEEEIIIGHT!

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Meaulnes [69 posts] 2 years ago
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How much was the total build in the end?

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700c [957 posts] 2 years ago
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Very nice. Approve of your combination of Kinesis - Campagnolo - carbon parts - just the way I do it!

for winter it's 25's for me though, except I probably weigh a little more than you..!

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alexb [133 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah. That's not an audax bike though is it?
Where's your Brooks saddle, Carradice saddlebag and zip ties?

It won't last. You will need to carry more crap than you can imagine. There's a reason audaxers adopt bar bags and saddlebags and wear Rainlegs and other insufferably unfashionable kit...

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Ush [723 posts] 2 years ago
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Nice bit of writing and nice bike. Enjoyed that. Thanks.

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GREGJONES [289 posts] 2 years ago
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I've got a similar bike (scandium GF, centaur, but handbuilts). It's a terrific bike for audax, I only did my first this last spring but was hooked straight away.

It's the mixture between orienteering, cycling and the camaraderie that I'm so keen on.

Plus there is always the sense that you could have done more, perhaps 300km next time?

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ajmarshal1 [414 posts] 2 years ago
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If you hadn't have lobbed £200 on that hideous stem you could have afforded the TK3 you desired. Just saying like.

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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Meaulnes wrote:

How much was the total build in the end?

It comes in at just over £1800 once you take the TRP brakes into account. I'll be using it on the commute as well once the salt is off the road so it'll be covering a good 6-7k miles a year

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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koko56 wrote:

You a bike tart, no, would not think that at all. :p

25mm tyres though - at least! You must. You know you need to. Faster, comfier and grippier. and better and more fast and everything everything. do it. do it for your country, for your children. let them see a comfortable and grippy and fast rolling tomorrow.

or even one step more - TWENTY EEEEEEEIIIGHT!

I know there is plenty of test results out there for bigger tyres rolling better etc but I like the feeling of skinny tyres and high pressures. All those years of time trialling on rock hard tubs  4

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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GREGJONES wrote:

I've got a similar bike (scandium GF, centaur, but handbuilts). It's a terrific bike for audax, I only did my first this last spring but was hooked straight away.

It's the mixture between orienteering, cycling and the camaraderie that I'm so keen on.

Plus there is always the sense that you could have done more, perhaps 300km next time?

I think there is possibly a 600km on the cards. I know what you mean about the camaraderie though, there was a couple of miserable ones but they were wearing Rapha  3

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Gasman Jim [163 posts] 2 years ago
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I used to use Gatorskins on my winter bike, and could never understand why it felt so "dead", until I swapped for GP 4 Seasons. The Gatorskin is heavy, stiff and not that puncture proof.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Nice spec, loving the Campag. Duranos for me at the moment, Gators didn't fair we'll with rough old Devon lanes.

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Jack Osbourne snr [475 posts] 2 years ago
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Kinesis DC21 forks would have allowed you to use standard drop calipers and therfore Campag brakes.

Anybody got a copy of that rulebook anywhere?

Joking aside, that's a nice build if a teeny bit 'roadie' looking.

Once you've put divots in the paint, acquired a leather saddle and Carradice (or three - Barley, Nelson Longflap and Camper Longflap) swapped the speedplays for Atac/Candy/SPD pedals to use with your coffee stop friendly mtb shoes, killed the sciroccos and replaced them with open pro rims on hope hubs and generally exorcised carbon fibre from your life (except forks) you'll be on the way.

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pedalingparamedic [94 posts] 2 years ago
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Gasman Jim wrote:

I used to use Gatorskins on my winter bike, and could never understand why it felt so "dead", until I swapped for GP 4 Seasons. The Gatorskin is heavy, stiff and not that puncture proof.

+1

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GerardR [124 posts] 2 years ago
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+2

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therevokid [953 posts] 2 years ago
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ah ..... Kinesis and Campag .... as I had redundancy my route
went GF Ti V2, Chorus and handbuilts but 25's  1

Still - nice build and all the Kinesis I've had have been ace
on any distance at any speed so you'll love it !

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KiwiMike [1225 posts] 2 years ago
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By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None. Yes, they weight 30g more a piece (GP 4 Seasons, anyway). 60g is nothing. You could not tell the difference on a built bike, picking it up, let alone while rolling.

28 let the average 75kg rider run between 20 & 30psi lower. That translates into a greatly improved ride quality, far less power needed over non-smooth surfaces, less fatigue, more grip, fewer flats, etc etc etc. Particularly as the 30psi lower is on the front, where vibration kills the wrists/shoulders during a long ride.

It's all good, no bad.

http://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/science-and-bicycles-1-tires-an...

http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf

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mrmo [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

Nothing wrong with 23's, did 5 1/2 hours last Sunday and was fine.

I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

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durrin [28 posts] 2 years ago
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I rode almost my entire 2013 brevet (Audax for you brits!) season on 32 and 35mm tires (Grand Bois Cypres and Schwalbe Kojaks). This included 2 SR series and 1 1200km (Super Brevet Scandinavia). The Grand Bois tires are fantastic, they feel like good tubulars, but even more comfortable.

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sponican [89 posts] 2 years ago
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Careful Stuart, it's a slippery slope. Heed my story.
http://thebikeshow.net/the-healing-machine/ (at the start of the episode)

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KiwiMike [1225 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

By all the gods in Asgard, anyone doing more than 4hrs on 23's needs their head reading. There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

Nothing wrong with 23's, did 5 1/2 hours last Sunday and was fine.

I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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10/10 for frame;
10/10 for the anodised red bolts;
8/10 for groupset;
3/10 for tyres;
2/10 for the brakes; and
1/10 for stem.

By the way, mine came with tekro brakes which had pads made of Imperial Leather. Shimano R650's FTW

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Metjas [362 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

I am not buying a new bike just so I can fit bigger tyres and mudguards.

shhhhhh - that's precisely the excuse I have been putting forward lately  3

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snooks [31 posts] 2 years ago
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25's or 28's was my first thought too. I've seen nothing good about the Garmin 510 either.

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snooks [31 posts] 2 years ago
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Yet you say it is a distance bike. Ok then...

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

except, maybe, i dunno, you've done tens of thousands of miles on lots of different test bikes for road.cc in the past few years and you've just decided that after all that, 23s pumped up hard is what you like? it's a broad church, cycling.

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stealth [254 posts] 2 years ago
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I cannot use 25's & mudguards on my PX Superlight, so I am using 23's through the winter. However I plan on finding some good quality 25's for the summer...

They just fit, but you have to fit the wheels/tyres to the bike before inflating them!!!

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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snooks wrote:

I've seen nothing good about the Garmin 510 either.

Care to elaborate snooks? I've been using mine six days a week since last summer and have no complaints.

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KiwiMike [1225 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

There is simply no reason not to go for 28's. None.

except, maybe, i dunno, you've done tens of thousands of miles on lots of different test bikes for road.cc in the past few years and you've just decided that after all that, 23s pumped up hard is what you like? it's a broad church, cycling.

Heh. Woe betide he who invokes the wrath of a Road.cc deity  3

Seriously tho, for me it's all about the science. Which squarely points to lower rolling resistance, fatigue and risk of flats. Sure, some might 'feel' that 23's give something that 28's don't, I'm not saying they are 'bad' or 'wrong' - just that the reasons are not at all clear to use 23 over 28. I rode 23's at 120 in Switzerland this summer, and loved them. But on UK roads? year round? Eeeeeep.

Imagining a noob reading that headline report, they'd be off to order 23's. When in reality, would probably be better served by 28's. According to the science. Ahem.

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 2 years ago
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i'm not a fan of 23s either mike. but like i say, broad church. one man's one thing is the other man's other thing and that.

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