Kinesis Maxlight XCPro3

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Kinesis Maxlight XCPro3 (frame only)

It’s a looker..

Price: £449.99
Distributor: Upgrade Bikes
Tested: 2 months

The Kinesis Maxlight XC has been around since 2001 and has been revised in various guises, all aimed at the XC end of the market. This new XCPro3 frame has been completely redesigned from the ground up and on first impressions it certainly looks the part of a racy 100mm hardtail frame in its blue and white livery, although white and red is also available.

Hydroformed everything..

The frame is built from a combination of SPF (SuperPlastic Formed) and hydroformed aluminium tubes along with a carbon wishbone/seat stay detail. This combination of aluminium and carbon certainly keeps the weight of the frame down to 1520grams (3.35lbs). This design provides some absorption of trail buzz besides helping to reduce weight and looking nice. The frame is designed to have a zero stack headset to keep the front end low and racy but it didn’t feel too low as to make it an uncomfortable position. The 44.5cm (medium) frame was a good fit for someone of my height, 5ft 9in. The 71 degree head angle keeps the steering nice and sharp at the front end and whipping along singletrack is a pleasure – in fact the geometry of the XCPro3 is the same as that of the flagship Kinesis cross country race frame, the full carbon KM-810.

Carbon seatstays and curvy alloy chainstays

On the ups the XCPro3 climbs well with all the energy being transferred to the back wheel rather than being lost through frame flex, so it would appear that the strange shaped tubing does its job of keeping the frame stiff and light. Although the frame is designed as a XC race frame it is more than capable of taking on more technical trails and having some fun rather than eye balls out racing. The frame was built up with a robust XC build, no super pimp lightweight stuff but still it only weighed in at 25.9lbs.

The integrated headset provides a low front end

This frame has definitely got the heart of a XC racer and loves being hammered along but it is also competent at being used for a trail bike for everyday riding whether it be long days in the saddle, trail centre stuff or just general mountain biking.

Overall, it is an excellent frame for the XC racer who doesn’t want to hand over huge amounts of cash for a frame or a MTBer who wants a good all round lightweight 100mm travel hardtail trail bike. I’m looking forward to riding it over the course of the year and will report back with how it gets on.

Review by Tim Kershaw

Comments (0)

    Spot on Description – Had mine for 2 months and Love, love, love it 🙂

    “On the ups the XCPro3 climbs well with all the energy being transferred to the back wheel rather than being lost through frame flex”

    Really? Do you have any evidence to back this up or was it just something you made up?

    You just need to strap a frame-energy transfer meter between the bottom bracket area and the rear droupouts and measure the transfer. If you get the same readout as you get from the bottom bracket area alone, you know for sure you’ve not lost anything through frame flex. Make sure your meter is calibrated of course.

    Hello Chris


    Is it a particularly short toptube? That stem looks quite long (+100mm?) and the saddle pushed back – albeit’s an in-line post.
    Nice looking for sure.

    Timmy, you appear to be suggesting that blue is a faster colour than red. Controversial.

    I’d love one of these. Shame they’re not doing it in XL/54cm like they’ve done with other frames.

    Oh, and everyone knows blue is the new red.

    Dang… rack mounts

    Dave360, the red is actually white with red bits and everyone knows blue is faster than white.

    Sponging-Machine – The virtual top tube on the large [50cm] size is 62.8, it was 60.6 on the XCPro2, so it may be OK for you? The XCPro3 is longer/lower than the last version. Geom. here >>

    I’ve been loving mine – it is clearly faster in Red tho. The large is fine for 5’11” – just as flicky and stable but good tt length. I run a 100mm.

    Just looking into buying one, would my normal hope headset fit in one of these, or does it have to be 0 stack? Cheers Will

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