First ride: Kinesis GF_Ti


Yesterday was a glorious winter’s day. It was clear, with bright sunshine, but cold. At 9am at my house it was minus 2 degrees, so I waited a couple of hours and took the photos you see on this post before I headed out.


Whenever I’m in the fortunate position to ride a new bike, I choose roads I’ve ridden many times before that include a range of surfaces and gradients to help me get a feel for the ride quality. I also planned a classic winter ride in that I was going for a low-ish intensity and started aiming to keep my heart rate under 140, so a base training style ride.


For those of you reading this who’ve been googling for reviews on this bike you’ll have found mostly very positive reviews and generally very high praise. I’ve read those reports too, so was confident that it was going to be an enjoyable first ride.

The Kinesis GF_Ti is a terrific looking bike, I really like the brushed titanium finish – it looks classy and catches the light in a really nice way. This is the kind of finish I think every titanium bike should have. It looks and feels just a bit special. I’ve seen some of the matt/raw finish titanium frames and for me they’re always a disappointment (like an opportunity that’s been missed). The geometry of the GF_Ti is tried and proven on firstly the Kinesis Granfondo (which has also had excellent reviews over the last few years) and it’s now also the exact same geometry as the T2 and TK2 framesets.


This particular GF_Ti has an absolutely top of the range spec for a winter bike. Campagnolo Chorus for the shifters and front and rear mechs (the first time I’ve ridden this groupset). FSA’s SL-K stem, carbon bars and cranks and a set of super light (1350gms) Reynolds Thirty Two carbon clinchers that are combined with Continentals terrific GP4000s tyres and a set of SKS Chromoplastic guards. Last but not least are a set of TRP 970SL Magnesium brake calipers – a snip at £400 retail here in the UK.


The GF_Ti comes as a frameset, so that’s frame, fork, headset and a 31.8mm carbon seatpost and this retails for £1,399 complete. However for the high-end build we have here, you’re looking at over £4.5k for the complete build as I estimate it. A lot of money for a “winter” bike but more on that later.


I’ve been lucky enough to ride some fantastic bikes this year from a range of manufacturers and one thing I’ve noticed is that some bikes you pretty much like from the first few hundred metres out on the road and the GF_Ti to me, is one of those bikes. By the time I was 15km into my ride, I noticed I was regularly not even thinking about the bike and just riding … in a good way. My first impressions are that this bike is smooth – the Titanium frame does smooth out the bumps but if you hit a good one you’ll still definitely know about it. One thing that did surprise me is that on some of the smoothest sections of road that I covered, the ride was even better still, really luxurious in fact (but the carbon clinchers probably play a part in that too).


I wasn’t hammering it yesterday but there were times on the flat where I was doing 35kmh+ on descents I was averaging 50-60kmh. I did also give one smallish climb a really good push up on the pedals and overall it was a moderate effort and the GF_Ti responded well throughout the ride. It’s not a race bike by design but I can already see it’s quite capable of going fast.

There weren’t that many cyclists out on the road yesterday but I really felt like I was out on a bike perfect for the conditions. Whenever I ride my race bike, I feel like I need to be pushing on or I’m not doing the bike justice but the GF_Ti is a bike where you set the pace rather than the bike dictating it and this is a very good thing.


I’m hoping to do quite a bit more riding over the next few weeks to give a fuller opinion on this bike but on a first ride, I can see absolutely no reason not buy one if it’s on your shortlist and within your budget. First impressions can be deceiving and are certainly not a full assessment or verdict by any means.

Some of the other reviews have mentioned toe overlap being a potential negative but I didn’t experience this as an issue yesterday. I will do some commuting on it to check but in the recent TK2 reviews I’ve seen (identical geometry) I don’t recall one mentioning toe overlap.


I said I’d come back to the price as well and yes at £4.5k+ for this build it’s an awful lot of money for a winter bike. However, even on a first ride it’s quite clear to me that this could be your one and only best bike without any problems at all. Also bear in mind that you could probably build a full bike up at around the £2k mark with a 105 or comparable groupset and some entry level wheels if you shop around a bit. At that price you’d be considering it against bikes like a Cannondale Super Six 105 or something like that and if you don’t need a race bike or if you don’t have to have a carbon bike – this would make a very fine choice and one that would last you many years.

After one 50km ride, I really like this bike. It’s fast, comfortable, luxurious, just a bit special and I can’t wait to get out and ride it some more.

Thanks for reading