I’ve always been a bit of a cyclocross fan (despite there being a spot fine for even mentioning it aloud in the office). I’ve race the Three Peaks three times in the last 15 years and I’ve done local ‘cross races on and off throughout that time. I’ve always been a bit of a purist – claiming that any sport where you’re deliberately racing an unsuitable bike on bumpy terrain needs the bike to be as unsuitable as possible. Namely drop bars, canti brakes and skinny tyres. However, technology has been catching up and even the Vets’ race at my local series you’ll see carbon tubular wheels, carbon frames and all manner of top-end groupsets.
While my love for my Ibis Hakkalügi was well documented in the Editors’ Choice digital supplement last issue, I’ve been hatching a plan for a super new ‘cross bike for next year. It was the complete destruction of a set of brake pads, concaved rims and a lack of stopping at last year’s Hit The North race, plus a need for greater stopping in the Peaks that made me look to getting a disc brake cyclocross bike that would also double as an all-round on/off road fun, cobbles and hills machine.
The appearance of the new Kinesis Pro frame at the NEC Show in October tipped the balance. Disc brake, monster chunky ‘cross fork and a great looking frame. Unfortunately, by the time I called up for one, they’d all sold out! Luckily Dom, the master designer for Kinesis had an unpainted prototype lurking in his office. With a lot of pleading (the next delivery isn’t until about March) he agreed to let me get my hands on it. Dom promised to get the frame painted ‘a distinctive colour’ – which turned out to be this ‘Pee Green’. It’s been so well liked that it might yet make it into production some time.
If I was abandoning tradition by adopting discs, I figured I might as well go the whole hog and see how tech I could make it. Hence the arrival of a Shimano CX70 (Ultegra level) cyclocross 46/36 chainset and… a full Di2 Ultegra setup. Electric shifting has been used with fair success for the last couple of cyclocross seasons, so I reckoned this would be a good time to jump aboard now that the more affordable Ultegra was now available.
So the frame’s due in the next couple of days, everything for the Di2 is here, bar the rather important battery pack… and then I’ll have to get busy with the tookbox… Oh, and get in shape so I don’t embarrass myself on such a flash bike.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 by chipps