One of my favourite bikes last year was the first version of the Kinesis Granfondo Ti – it looked and rode beautifully and had the money been spare, I’d now own one as a winter bike, I liked it that much. Comfortable, fast, smooth and a bike that really put a smile on my face. (Some of my thoughts on the bike are here: http://girodilento.com/further-thoughts-kinesis-gf-ti/)
The GF_Ti was Kinesis’s first titanium road frame and I believe has found quite a few more owners than they had originally anticipated, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a good endorsement. The bike also had some terrific reviews (other than my own!) from sites of the ilk of Road.cc, Bikeradar and RoadcyclingUK.
However, never a company to sit still for too long, Dom at Kinesis has been working on a new and improved version. There weren’t many things to complain about with the old one – possibly clearance for wider tyres and long drop brakes and this is duly part of the new improvements. The GF_Ti v2 will also get the highly regarded tapered fork from the TK3. This helps solve the wider tyre clearance but also means the front end will get a chunk more stiffness too. To help balance this with the frame, the top tube has been horizontally ovalised. The Bottom bracket has also been lowered for greater stability, better cornering and improved fit. To fit the new fork the new headtube has a lovely curved shape and is machined from a single billet.
As much as I enjoy my TK3, there’s no question the new tapered fork is stiff and has stiffened the ride. For the TK3 it’s a good match due to it being positioned as 4 seasons race bike and I think that’s a fair description having ridden over 1,000 miles on mine now. With the Granfondo Ti being a slightly different animal, I’m expecting that again the changes stiffen the bike up a touch, give it greater versatility (after all it has mudguard and rack mounts) but being titanium and a balanced design should still ensure it’s smooth, comfortable and fast.
Dom from Kinesis tells me that the bike now feels more responsive, especially out of the saddle (how I like to ride!) and that it also feels more planted on fast downhill corners too.
Having ridden v1 of this bike and put plenty of miles into my TK3, I’m very keen to try this new evolved GF_Ti – if they’ve nailed it, it might just be that Unicorn bike I’ve been searching for – something you can do everything on and ride all year round. I’ve always felt titanium is a great material for an all seasons bike and the brushed finish looks great.
The price has jumped £50 over the “old” one which is reasonable given the jump to a much more sophisticated monocoque carbon fork and for the other frame tweaks. The price also includes a tapered FSA integrated headset too.
If I’m lucky I might get to try one for myself soon – I’ll of course tell all on here if I do. Regardless, this is a bike I’m really curious to see more written about. As yet the information isn’t up on the Kinesis website but it’s imminent. There are a few pictures including the ones here on the Kinesis facebook page.
Thanks for reading.