WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MARK TEARLE
WEIGHT: 2.2KG (FRAME/FORK) // SIZE TESTED: 54CM
The Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 frame and fork set is well established in the UK cyclocross scene – primarily this is an aluminium (lightweight Kinesium) race bike with a race-proven geometry. However, with the addition of extra bottle cage mounts, eyeletted seatstays and forks for mudguards and racks it is an adaptable bike.
The specification on the grit.cx test bike was built with the full Kinesis Cyclocross 105 2×11 build kit, which is offered at an additional price of £849.99. It includes:
- Shimano 105 5800 components (11–28T cassette, 2×11 STI shifters with Polymer cables, front mech, short cage rear mech)
- Shimano RS500 46/36 CX chainset
- KMC X-11 chain
- TRP Spyre-C disc calipers with 160mm rotors
- FSA finishing kit (Omega Compact alloy bar, SL280 seatpost, OS-190 stem, C-40 headset)
- Kinesis saddle
- Velo cork tape
- 40mm spacers
- 31.6 seatpost shim
- Braze-on front mech adaptors
Where the test rig differs from the 105 build kit offered by Kinesis is in the Praxis Works BB and Kinesis CX Disc Tubular wheelset shod with FMB SSC Super Mud – Kinesis UK Team Issue tubular tyres. Usually this is a BSA BB and Kinesis CX clincher wheelset with a set of WTB Crosswolf tyres, so we’re treated to somewhat of a slight upgrade.
Frame and Fork
The frame employs a tried and true race-proven geometry, with a 71.5° headtube angle and a 60cm BB drop (on the 54cm test bike). Nothing has changed on the new 2016 version in that respect. However, the 2016 updates include internal routing for both cable and Di2 systems. There’s clean cable routing for both front and rear mechs, and there is a removable front mech stop if you wanted to spec your new bike with a 1X drive train. The frame has been further updated with Shimano flat caliper mount (post mount adapter included if you’re not using Shimano or SRAM calipers). Maintenance-wise the internal cable routing shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
These are all very subtle changes that are neat and well-considered and make an incredible difference to the appearance of the frame – the overall look of the built-up bike is very tidy.
Kinesis UK claims that you should be able to fit a 42mm tyre, though I haven’t tried it – 35mm is the widest tyre I have used on this frame, and they fit with room to spare. I don’t doubt a 42mm tyre will fit just fine, though how a wider tyre will do for mud clearance in the space between the seatstays and seat tube may be worth your consideration.
The fork is a full UD carbon monocoque, 1-1/8″>1.5″ tapered steerer disc fork, and has fender mount eyelets at the dropouts and rear of crown. It also has a hose clip at the rear of the left-hand side and features the post mount standard caliper mount. With flat mount Shimano calipers you’ll need an adapter.
The frame and fork set with the Crosslight 105 2×11 build kit offers a rather high-spec starter package, representing great value for your money. You can, of course, have fun specifying your own build and putting it together yourself or spend some time later on upgrading the component parts – the frame is likely to last a long time.
The new colours and frame decals are very striking and I’ve had a lot of fun putting this bike through its paces on the trails and using the bike for my regular commute. The ride is fast, smooth and comfortable – a result of excellent design, proven geometry and choice frame material. You put the energy in and the bike gives it all back and more. The crossbow top tube is incredibly comfortable when the conditions mean that you have to shoulder the bike – it is a fantastic bit of tube design and engineering. The bike build is fairly lightweight, registering on my scales at 9.6kg (not including pedals). I found the Kinesis CX Disc Tubular wheelset slightly heavy and deadened the ride a little. My own Stan’s Iron CX clincher wheelset gave a little more back, but the FMB SSC Super Mud tyres were supple and held the ground well in most conditions.
The price and frame set represent fantastic value for money, and, if you’re looking to buy a full bike build then you really can’t go wrong with the 105 build kit, as a package it is very reasonable indeed.
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