Here is a brief review of my bike – the Kinesis Tripster. I needed a new daily ride as the winter approached. I wanted to go for a bike which could get me to work, would handle a bike seat on the back for my daughter Martha and be all day comfortable for longer rides. I wanted to go for a disc frame to help with winter braking and heavier loads and this led me to the Kinesis Tripster after reading a good review on Road.cc.
Here’s the profile from the Kinesis site: “The 7005 series alloy, double butted frame has it’s geometry based on our extremely successful Crosslight frames, but with tweaks such as longer head tubes to make it more ‘commuter friendly’. The frame has an ‘inboard’ mounted disc brake to keep it cleanly out of the way and the cables all run along the down tube, adding to the uncluttered look and feel of this frameset. There is plenty of clearance for larger tyres, 700c x 42 and 26” x 1.5 fit fine. Disc brakes mean swapping wheel sizes is not a problem. Specially designed dropouts [135mm hub spacing] have separate rack and mudguard mounts and there are eyeletted bridges for proper attachment. The carbon DC37 fork has a disc mount and mudguard eyelets and the re-profiled chain stays give greater crank and heel clearance.”
So I ordered a 54cm frame and started to accumulate parts for the build. The frame paint job was good and I put on 2 thick coats of Autoglym polish before building it up to protect the paint over the winter. It should be noted the frame comes with quality carbon fork, alloy seatpost and clamp. I fitted a Shimano 105 compact groupset, Deda stem and bars, Shimano SPD pedals, Madison MTB saddle and an Axiom rear rack. Braking is from the industry standard Avid BB7s. I don’t like wearing a rucsac when riding so the Axiom disc specific rack was light (sub 500g), has smooth welds and fitted easily. I fitted an Ortlieb Front Classic pannier which is big enough for rain trousers + jacket, wallet, paperwork and lunchbox.
For the Kinesis Tripster’s wheels – up front I fitted a Supernova E3 light powered by the Supernova Infinity S dynamo hub. The resistance from the hub is tiny and at 300g it is not overly heavy. The light output is ok in urban areas and very good on dark roads. There is a matching rear 3 red LED light fitted to the rack as well. I leave both of these on all the time. The rear hub is a DT Swiss 240 which is smooth and nearly silent, the rims are 23mm wide H Plus Son Archetypes and we used Sapim D-Light spokes to keep the weight down and comfort up combined with Sapim Race on the rear drive side. Tyres are Schwalbe Marathon Racer 30c for winter, I’ll go for something narrower for summer.
Overall I’ve been very impressed by the comfort and handling of the bike and I’m pleased with my new “company” bike. It is stable, climbs well and is not harsh to ride. I’ve enjoyed the strong capabilities of the disc brakes and pleasingly the rims have remained relatively clean and grime free as the roads have got wet and dirty. I’m looking forward to put plenty of kilometres onto the Kinesis Tripster over the winter and into spring 2013.