Kinesis Decade Virsa
Price: £349 frame only
From: Upgrade www.kinesisdecade.co.uk
The last time we featured this bike in our Long Termers round-up it was a 28lb hardcore hardtail. And while it was a decent enough performer in that guise I was interested in seeing how versatile the frame was (it is called ‘Virsa’ after all). So it’s undergone something of a change over the Christmas period. It’s now a 22.7lb singlespeed – which instantly looks more like the bike it was meant to be.
Almost everything apart from the seatpost and saddle has been changed. Magura Durin SL 100mm fork, Carbon bars and stem from Oval. Tektro Auriga Pro disc brakes (in white, obviously). American Classic wheelset with a Caffé Latex tubeless system inside. Geax Saguaro tyres. Truvativ Noir carbon singlespeed chainset.
It was interesting to see how the whippy feel of the frame seems to suit this lightweight singlespeed guise a bit more than a hard-hitting big-forked hardtail. On the first ride it just felt like it was at home. It was only a short local spin around some fairly sedate woodland trails but it instantly felt right. The low-slung stance and the whippy chassis “feel” made it fly round corners. It’s lack of weight (and minimal tyre drag) meant I could hardly feel that I’d been out for a ride at all when I got back. Effortless. I couldn’t wait to take out for a day of whipping singletrack.
And then January happened. I haven’t dared ride it. I’m not sure exactly why. No doubt it was weather-related – the tyres aren’t exactly suited to snow! One of the main issues with tubeless tyres is not really if they work or not, or that they’re unreliable or anything, it’s the fact that it’s more of a chore to change them to suit the riding conditions. I’m ashamed to admit it but I also didn’t want to get the bike covered in filth. That can be the problem with lovely and/or blingy bikes – you want to keep them away from the muck.
Dear Virsa, I’m sorry for not riding you. I shall rectify this neglect ASAP.