I seem to have a nice routine. Road race Friday evening and then, mountain biking on Sunday. This is great as I usually spend Saturdays wondering what I’ll ride on my day off. The only problem is that my legs hurt if ever the hills get tough.
Last week I took Will for his first race and he won it. This Friday we went to the Hove Park Crits where it was my turn to win and join the rest of my buddies as Third Cat riders. That was the plan. The weather forecast was dire which would be great for me. I rode over as the race was so short I’d need to be well warmed up. The weather let me down and it was dry and warm albeit windy. I did my best, spent too long near the front and went off half a lap too soon and only managed 6th. Better luck next week.
Today I wanted to enjoy the good weather and dry trails. I also wanted another blast on the Kinesis FF29 to see how it would handle some tight single track. I went to Whiteways where there is a testing single track loop that I’ve ridden on the Whyte 29CS, Whyte 829 and Scott Scale 29ers. There’s enough been written about those bikes for all to realise that they are awesome so the FF29 would have to do well to better them.
I knew that the FF29 was fast as I’d already had a few rides. I also knew that it handled like a race bike and was a very quick turner. There are plenty of good single track ups and downs in Whiteways but the best stuff is fairly flat. There are loads of trails where the only thing that can hold you back is your technique (and bike). What better place to test a quick handling 29er? I’m getting used to the FF29 now. Previously I’d felt that its 26” wheel characteristics didn’t necessarily inspire confidence but now that I’m used to it I reckon that I was quicker through all those flat trails than either of the Whytes or Scott (as I said in my first review the FF29 will make you King of Stanmer – Jimbo confirmed this when he came back faster on every trail over there). On the down hills I’d rather be on the slacker Whyte or Scott despite the 120mm fork but I am splitting hairs here and its only because I’ve had the opportunity to ride so many of these bikes that I can make such a comment. Hopefully my Lime Green FF29 will be here this week. I think that the down hill handling is actually more down to the fact that the medium is a tad small for me. I'm sure that with a bit more tweaking I can overcome that.
I have said that the FF29 is fast - its is. Today I had my fastest mountain bike ride ever. I don’t know why it is so quick but it is. I have replaced the tyres with a Maxxis Ikon on the back and a Conti X-King on the front. The rear wheel is one of my BOR wheels so is very light but other than that the spec is fairly basic so something that Dom has done with the design or the Kinesium tubing is propelling me along. As I said earlier I won’t claim the credit as my legs are tired.
The bike as tested has a Fox Talas 120 FIT fork (very nice), Avid Elixir CR brakes, Sram X7 chainset, sifters and front mech, X9 rear mech, BOR rear wheel, unkown front wheel, New Ultimate 80mm stem, USE Atom Carbon Flattie 710mm bar (recommended) and weighs 25lbs 8oz. By fitting my front wheel (waiting for 15mm adaptors) I'll save 1lb 8oz! I will run a Rock Shox SID and save another 200g/8oz and OX transmission. I could get the weght down to 23lbs. Not bad for a bike whose designer said that the aim wasn't to make it the lightest prefering to focus on trail qualities.
The Kinesis FF29 frame is only £499.
This is remarkable as the Kinesium tubing campares very well with all the carbon frames that I have tried. Its weight is in the ball park and is even more comfortable that the carbon race machine that I tried a few weeks ago and the medium Niner Air Carbon. It can be built up with a similar spec to then one supplied for under £2000 provide we don't use a Fox Forx.
Here’s the ride on Strava. If you like Strava and are fed up with your phone battery running down or inaccurate information you can upgrade to a Garmin Edge 200 with a £30 trade in on your old computer.
Write a comment
- Required fields are marked with *.