Next up on the busy testing schedule here at road.cc is the Kinesis Tripster ATR, a disc-specific titanium frameset from the people that brought you the Gran Fondo titanium, the Gran Fondo SC, the Racelite TK3, the Crosslight 5T… cracking bikes one and all. So the bar is set pretty high for this one.
Custom drawn from 3Al/2.5V Titanium, the Tripster ATR is a fine looking thing. “Sumptuous” and “tactile” were the adjectives used by interested onlookers to describe it on the trip to the cycle circuit to take the pics. And it really is a very well considered piece of work. ATR stands for Adventure-Tour-Race and the idea is to provide a lightweight, comfortable, disc-specific frameset for anyone that wants to push the boundaries of what road riding can be. You won’t be racing it at your local crit, but you might consider the Transcontinental. That sort of racing. Actually, that’d tick all three boxes.
There’s lots of good detailing on the frame but the most obvious place to start is the tapered head tube. It’s machined from a solid billet of titanium to get that concave profile, and the 1.5” rear bearing race mates up with the all-carbon fork to give what should be a nice stiff front end. The head badge is machined into the surface of the tube, rather than being stuck on top. It’s very nicely done.
The geometry is fairly relaxed. on a 57cm frame you’re getting am 18.5cm head tube and a 57cm effective top tube; the head angle is 70.5° and the fork is longer to accommodate bigger tyres, so that lifts the front end too. The bottom bracket is nice and low (7.5cm drop from the axles) to aid stability. All this adds up to a reasonably upright position, for a road bike. It’s not a tourer, more like the relaxed end of sportive geometry. Audax, if you like. The top tube is gently sloping and the main triangle is fairly classic-looking, save for the funky head tube: round top tube and seatstays and a bi-ovalised downtube (tall at the head tube and flat at the bottom bracket) to better cope with the stresses at those points.
at the back the chainstays and seatstays both have an hourglass curve. At the chainstays it’s to allow for a big tyre while maintaining heel clearance, and for the seatstays it’s to improve vertical compliance for comfort on longer rides.
The disc brake mount is a skeletal titanium affair and sits on the back of the seatstay, traditional style. We spoke to Dom at Kinesis about why it’s there, rather than inboard like most road discs; he told us that the inboard disc, coupled with the need to accommodate big tyres, made it difficult to site the disc calliper there without getting issues with heel clearance. Outside the triangle that’s not an issue, but fitting mudguards might be; helpfully Kinesis have a mount available that fits to the disc mount on top of the brake, and eliminates those issues.
The ATR isn’t designed as a full-on touring bike and as such doesn’t have double eyelets on the rear dopout, but the extra widget will give you two mounting points if you need them.
Build quality looks to be excellent. The welds are extremely neat, and the finish of the frame is beautiful, with under-down-tube and inside-fork-leg decals that manage to be both bold and unobtrusive at the same time. Good job.
We’ve currently got a Di2 hydraulic disc groupset on test that’s been on a Culprit frameset, so that’s been the basis of this build. The frame doesn’t have internal cable routing but with Shimano’s stick-on conduit down the bottom of the downtube, and an external battery, it’s still possible to make it look pretty neat. For now we’ve got Shimano’s RX31 wheels fitted, although we have some lighter Novatec hoops coming in that will probably find their way onto the bike at some point.
The ATR has room for up to 45mm tyres (or 40mm with mudguards) but we’ve plumped for a very conservative 30mm, the Challenge Strada Bianca. The seatpost is a Spin Titanium unit, and that’s a Selle San Marco Aspide saddle that needs testing sitting on top.
At the front the stem and bars are both Zipp Service Course SL alloy, with Cinelli gel cork tape. The frameset weighs 1,620g for the 60cm which is about the same as a Salsa Colossal (frame a bit lighter, fork a bit heavier). All in the build weighs 9.3kg (20.5lb) without pedals. The frameset retails for £1,499.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.