A new bike, a custom build, 2500km of mostly winter riding, on and off road, its time to start telling the story of how I’m getting along with it in my Kinesis Tripster ATR V2 Review. PART 1
One Bike to do it all?
Some people dismiss as ridiculous the phrase ‘one bike does it all’ but for me its a term that sums up perfectly what I aspire to…..as a skint and tight Yorkshireman. As such, instead of collecting a load of bikes I’m looking instead for a great frame at the heart of a bike. Then my cunning plan – add or subtract components to suit a ride, a mood, the weather or the terrain, one bike to ride, adapt and perfect over time. So goes my theory – not so much a stable of bikes, more a stable of bits. At the centre of all the bits a shiny Titanium Kinesis Tripster ATR V2 frameset.
Lee, owner of OTEC Bikes, my local Kinesis stockist, agreed to make real my dream with a custom build. The brief, to build an all round handy bike with a strong bias towards off road capability.
Having been a craftsman in one form or another for the majority of my working life I’ve developed an appreciation of good quality tools. They will be well made, strong, long lasting. If used skilfully they make work easier, quicker, produce a better quality end result and often hold a certain functional beauty born of having been pared down to precisely all that is required. All these are attributes of a good bike too!
The titanium frame and carbon fork munched a big hole out of my budget pie, precluding the inclusion of top end componentry in the ingredient list. Fortunately I’m ok with this, sexy group sets costing thousands are, no doubt, lovely things. That is until you crash them, get them covered in muck or simply wear them out. I’m also of the opinion that the Law of Diminishing Returns applies bigly here (thanks Donald). You need spend a certain amount to ensure quality, then beyond that a marginal increase in performance has an exponential cost in terms of outlay, Fine if you’re loaded. Just something to worry about if you’re not!
So, here’s the list of bits that built the build……ok, I did go a bit mad with the tyres……some kind of shoe fetish going on.
Frameset: Titanium Kinesis Tripster ATR V2
Fork: Kinesis Tripster Disc Thru Axle
Drivetrain: SRAM Rival 1X11 with 40 tooth chainring and 10/42 cassette
Wheels: Hope 20Five
Tyres: Schwalbe G-ONE All Round, Vittoria Terreno Mix, Vittoria Corsa Control.
Brakes: TRP Spyre
Handlebars: Salsa Wood-chipper
Saddle: Brooks Cambium
In the spirit of reading the last chapter first
I know the summary is supposed to go at the end of a review but I’ll tell you where I’m at with this bike now, the detail of how we got there will be revealed in future instalments.
We’ve had long days on the moors,
played in the woods,
been on long road rides,
and a bit muddy,
and generally had brilliant time on a bike that looks great, is robust, comfortable and handles fantastically. So, reasonably pleased then!
Look out for the updates where I”ll cover things in more detail and reveal what I think are the particular highlights of this build….and things I don’t like so much too, which I’m pleased to say are not too many.
Update-May 2019: TRP Spyre Brakes
I’ve written a post detailing my experience of the TRP Spyre brakes here, looking at their performance, servicing and setting them up to get the best from them.