This here is the brand new Kinesis Tripster ATR V2, and we’ve bagged an exclusive first look and first ride on the updated bike.
The original Tripster, with its titanium frame, carbon fork, disc brakes, big tyre clearance and a full complement of rack and mudguard mounts, was just the bike for tackling any sort of adventure.
ATR stands for Adventure, Tour and Race, and that expresses the versatility and capability of the bike. Fit slicks and panniers and go cycle touring, or swap in some knobbly tyres and embark on an off-road bikepacking adventure. It was the first of the new breed of do-anything bikes, which are a lot more common these days.
Five years after it first launched, the Tripster ATR V2 has arrived, with a new titanium tubeset with internal cable routing, increased tyre clearance, thru-axles and compatibility with both 700c and 650b wheels.
The frame is still made from 3Al/2.5V titanium with a machined head tube but, partially due to the new GF_Ti Disc road bike, the new Tripster ATR V2 has even more of an off-road focus than before and as such the frame has been tweaked to be more rugged and up to the demands of technical riding.
The top tube has a flattened section to better work with bikepacking bags, and to beef up frame stiffness the down tube is made from a heavier gauge tubing . The rear triangle has also been redesigned with a switch to a 12x142mm thru-axle and a flat mount for the disc caliper.
As well as routing gear cables and brake hoses inside the frame (it’s Di2 compatible as well) Kinesis has added a third bottle cage mount on the belly of the down tube. The geometry has also been fettled with, the main change being a slightly higher bottom bracket for more ground clearance.
Tyre clearance has gone up to 45mm, or 40mm if using mudguards. Like the Mason Bokeh and Open UP, the new Tripster ATR will take 650b wheels with 2.0in tyres, providing a monster cross build option if you are going to be embarking on very technical terrain and want the bigger volume tyres for increased traction and comfort.
The Tripster ATR v2 (frame only) is available to order now for £1,849.99. For more info go to www.kinesisbikes.co.uk
First Ride Impressions
First impressions of the new Tripster ATR V2 are positive. Bruce from Kinesis popped down to the road.cc office last week and we went out for an extended lunchtime ride around the hills and byways of Bath.
A few miles of road and cycle path provided time to familiarise with the bike, and I felt immediately at home. It’s clear the geometry provides a very stable and planted ride. The steering isn’t razor sharp, it’s a little languid in how it takes corners, but I mean that in a positive way, that's the sort of trait you want in a bike that is going to get used on some very long distance rides and for tackling rough and bumpy ground.
What the Tripster ATR V2 does well, in this build at least, is ensure the transition from smooth tarmac to slippery muddy bridleway is almost seamless. The geometry provides a sort of safety net when tackling unpredictable or slippery terrain, keeping you out of trouble when other bikes would see you reaching desperately for the brakes. The chunky tyres on this build go a long way to providing the required grip in the mud and loose, but they're reasonable rapid on the road.
The ride is firm but well damped, in that lovely titanium way, and it smoothes out the potholes and cracks in the roads well. The front-end isn’t too low and the reach was about right on this 56cm model. Frame stiffness appears to be very good, and it transfers power efficiently and is highly responsive when attempting to ride a rocky stream. Further into the ride, and the more byways, streams and bridleways I tackled with the bike, the more I grew to appreciate its smart design.
You can’t get under the skin of a new bike on such a short ride, and I haven’t ridden the old Tripster so it’s difficult to feel the improvements - Dave Atkinson will be testing the first production review bike in early 2017 and he’ll be able to compare old with new.
But it’s clear from this first ride that the new Kinesis Tripster ATR V2 delivers a solid and crisp ride with all the capability you need for straying into the wilderness on an adventure, whilst still being right at home on the road. There are some strong contenders in this burgeoning adventure bike market but based on this ride, the new bike can hold its head high. Stay tuned for the 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.