Written on: 11/01/2013 by Redrock (1 review written)
Before I start, I must say that most of the reviews I have read for this bike are based on its orignal price tag of £800, so at £499 we are looking at a very different proposition. I am no expertin the biking world, but feel I have enough experience with this bike to comment.
I was in the market for a winter/fun bike at the end of the 2012 season, and shopped around for a reasonably priced do it all bike for winter, and to use on camping and pub trips in the summer. I had previously owned a Kona Jake as a runabout, so I knew what to expect with a cyclocross-specific bike.
I won't go into too much detail about componentry, other than to remind prospective buyers that 2010 Sora shifters are of the micro-thumb variety, and not positioned behind the brake levers as shown in some library photos.
The frame and forks are all-alloy, and with the Kinesis Kinesium brand name, is well proven. I am 6ft 2ins and chose Large rather that X-large based reviews and advice from the bike shop. However, geometry is very different to my exisitng road bike, and the angle of the headset does make the riding position feel a little cramped. I have simply changed the supplied 100mm stem to a 110mm stem to address this issue. Otherwise, geometry is fairly relaxed, so is suited to less aggressive riding.
The first two rides I completed on the standard bike were a 35-miler around east Dorset and Poole harbour, followed by a 46-miler around east Devon and south Somerset. I agree with the reviews that have commented on the tyres being a bit sluggish; they are designed for cyclocross after all. I have changed the tyres for some mid-priced 28mm all weathers, and the difference is noise level and rolling speed is very noticable on tarmac.
I also chaged the crankset. There is nothing wrong with the FSA Vero, but I did want a better range of gearing, so I replaced the 46/36 with a standard 50/34 compact. As is the norm, I wanted to personalise to the bike so I used my exisitng seatpost and saddle. Please note that the seat post supplied is 31.6mm, so a shim is required if using a 27.2mm.
Since purchasing the bike in late October 2012, I have riden in excess of 500 miles, and cannot fault the bike for value and reliability. It is not the lightest or quickest bike bike out there, but it is well built, and handles nicely. As mentioned, I purchased this bike for £499, with free delivery, from Hargreaves in Dewsbury. Hargreaves is a proper bike shop, and the staff were very knowledgeable AND helpful when I phoned.