Sometimes ebay throws you amazing bargains and our Kinesis Crosslight was one. I’d been looking for a decent second-hand cyclocross bike for sometime and this popped up locally for a good price. I suspect that, being Kinesis, it’s a brand that many commuters and, dare I say it, non-racing cyclists wouldn’t be familiar with, so it went more or less unnoticed on ebay. The thing is, Kinesis have been producing some staggering bikes in the UK for mountain bikers, cyclocrossers and racers alike for some time now – they may not have the carbon bling or brand cachet of the major players, but Kinesis bikes make regular appearances in all manner of races across the country.
Our bike is a Pro3, so it’s a few years, but it’s the racing version of the Kinesis cyclocross bikes… that means it’s fairly stripped down and can take a bottle, but not mudguards, but it’s a racer not a commuter so no problem. The bike had been built up and run by a local bike shop, 73 Degree Bikes in Bath, so was well maintained and they’d done a great job of getting it ready for it’s new owners – so that new cables and tapes, and a proper service, so we didn’t have to invest a load of time or expense patching up a secondhand buy.
The only mark on the bike is a dent in the top tube where the handlebars have hit them, presumably during an enthusaiastic crash/race… but that doesn’t compromise the frame, so it’s not a problem. It’s also fitted with SRAM components, which I’m increasingly seeing as the best choice of the group set manufacturers, ahead of Shimano and Campagnolo.
That meant we could get the bike out and about soon after picking it up, and it immediately showed it’s rasion d’être… it’s a race bike, it’s fast and it doesn’t make many compromises for comfort. My first ride was a little over an hour blasting around the Fosse Way and Common trails near home, and I’m not sure I’d have wanted to spend a lot longer on the Kinesis – it’s nowhere near as comfortable as the Cannondale CAADX, but that feels slow in comparison.
I’ve also ridden my cyclocross race, the Western Cyclocross League round 1 in Cheltenham, and chose the Kinesis over the Cannondale. Now a cyclocross is a personal challenge, I knew that it was probably going to hurt, and the relative discomfort of the Kinesis (over the Cannondale) evaporated beneath the effort and exertion involved getting round nine laps of the course.
I’m really impressed with the Kinesis Crosslight, so much so that we’re thinking of trading in the Cannondale and investing in a Kinesis Pro6 for the winter cyclocross season.