Issue 143 Interview: Guy Kesteven

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If he can tell how a bike will ride just by pushing it, why does he keep riding and testing? Words & Photography Chipps Whether you know Guy Kesteven through the thousands of bike and product tests he’s written over the last 25 years, his over-exaggerated ‘bike journo’ riding style, or the chest-cam YouTube persona of KesTV, you will have come across him many times, ‘Kes’ is simply too prolific for you not to have done. Whether it’s reviewing top flight carbon chi-chi bikes or agonising over whether laces are better than Velcro on a trail shoe, it appears that if it moves, Mr Kesteven has reviewed it for one of many, many publications over the years. He has, if not filled, then certainly borrowed, the shoes of revered magazine bike tester Steve Worland as the most prolific mountain bike product tester in the UK (if not the world). Yet Guy knowingly walks the line between industry-respected reviewer and the self-parody of ‘peak bike journo’ because if you’ve written, as he reckons, around ten million words of reviews, you’re going to come up with some clichés now and again. He’s ridden probably every suspension design, suspension fork and ‘next-level shifting experience’ that you can buy. The guy, pardon the pun, is a testing machine driven to insane amounts of workaholism for reasons he’s still not sure about. And yet he’s still not satisfied. Despite reckoning that he can tell the difference between the weight of different cassettes on near-identical bikes, he isn’t nearly done with bike testing yet. There’s just too much to do, in Guy’s opinion, for him to stop, or even slow down. Slowing down, he thinks, would be very dangerous for a highly strung, driven character...

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Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Issue 143 Interview: Guy Kesteven
  • Premier Icon blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Great interview. For all the ‘peak bike journo’ over exuberance and cheesy cliches, real or playing up to an image, Guy always comes across as genuinely knowledgeable and honest. Watching one of his video reviews always fires me up to ride because of his puppy dog enthusiasm, whatever bike he’s actually reviewing. Needs to learn to chill out a bit sometimes though!

    Premier Icon Chipps
    Full Member

    ” Needs to learn to chill out a bit sometimes though!”
    I think that was the upshot of our therapy session… 🙂

    Premier Icon davros
    Free Member

    I really enjoy his YouTube channel. Keep up the good work kes 👍

    Premier Icon copa
    Free Member

    Find him unwatchable. Not really a reviewer more of a hired demonstrator.
    Could stick him on a £10,000 Penny Farthing and he would do the same routine – yabbering out tech specs and babbling about its brilliance in the style of that Fast Show character.

    Premier Icon Charlie Hobbs
    Full Member

    I really enjoyed this article. He has an interesting point of view that makes you take a second look at things… Braking cocking up your geometry is something to think about.

    He is right about gravel bikes being inappropriate bikes…. but that’s what makes it so much fun.

    I once won a race, on a road bike, on a BMX track, against a 12 year old. That was fun… the frame snapped at the chainstays about 20 miles later. But when a 12 year old challenges you to race… it is on.

    Premier Icon Fahzure Freeride
    Full Member

    “It’s really weird seeing people riding on seven-inch full suspension e-bikes.” “Modern bikes are the miracle that’s stopped us all looking older – and I’d include e-bikes in that as well. We can all still ride like we were 20. Which is fabulous!” Weird and fabulous?

    Premier Icon redsnail
    Full Member

    I enjoy Guy’s youtube bike test videos. Ridiculously enthusiastic and rarely has a bad thing to say about the bikes. Possibly because there are no really crap bikes. Gear tests would be useful. 🙂
    I still think Guy needs the gloves from FIST with the leopard shooting laser beams. He knows the ones. 😉

    Premier Icon Enigmas
    Free Member

    Never really rated his reviews, always seems overly positive and more of a presenter than a critical reviewer

    Premier Icon Adam
    Free Member

    Gravel bikes inappropriate. Inappropriate for what?

    Is he another that thinks they’re supposed to be replacing xc MTBs? They’re just nicer, lighter, faster, hybrids for cyclists rather than old people. Stop over thinking things bike industry!

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    Ridiculously enthusiastic and rarely has a bad thing to say about the bikes. Possibly because there are no really crap bikes. Gear tests would be useful.

    Possibly because slating products is a good way to get yourself taken off the distribution list of sample = no YouTube income

    I have never met the man so might be doing him a complete disservice but every bike has its faults / characteristics that you will or wont like.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I have never met the man so might be doing him a complete disservic

    Having done so a few times I’ll “correct” this:

    Ridiculously enthusiastic and rarely has a bad thing to say about the bikes anything really

    He’s one of those people who is still like a little kid at Christmas all the time

    That may or may not work for you as a reviewer, tooober, what ever but its not just down to getting more kit to test but that being said it’s also his “brand” much as being a potty mouth misogynist is hambini’s. Guy would be enthusiastic in reviewing a long and unexpected stay in gitmo.

    Premier Icon davros
    Free Member

    He certainly didn’t pretend to like the new stumpy. Even after getting an extended demo to do endless tweaking he still wasn’t a fan. But he loved the stumpy Evo so maybe specialized won’t blacklist him.

    Oh and the new canyon lux he definitely didn’t like.

    I’m sure there are many others but those are recent ones that spring to mind.

    Premier Icon cloggy
    Full Member

    Yeah well anything truly duff just isn’t going to get a review. Simples. He’s not as up to speed on PROW issues,comes across as naive.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    I’ll admit to find him a ‘bit much’ but, but we can’t all like the same things/people.

    At least he’s consistent, he likes pretty much everything, so if he finds a negative, just reading between the lines; it must be utter bobbins…

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    He is right about gravel bikes being inappropriate bikes

    Yep, I thought that too.

    Premier Icon rocketdog
    Full Member

    Gravel bikes being in appropriate is why they are so good! A capable MTB just dulls down tame trails to the point of boredom. A bike that has the potential to scare you on those tame trails give you a cheap thrill without having to drive for half a day to find something to challenge your world cup class enduro rig.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Full Member

    A capable MTB just dulls down tame trails to the point of boredom

    that always the justification for the latest fad/niche. singlespeeds, fatbikes, now gravel bikes… maybe the bike is used a good excuse to not ride hard trails…

    *ps. have a gravel bike and really like riding it.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

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