Bike We Like

Pop­u­lar al­loy racer gets stun­ning makeover and per­for­mance up­grades

Bikes Etc - - CONTENTS -

Ki­ne­sis un­veils its new al­loy speed ma­chine, the Aithein Evo.


Aimed mainly at crit rac­ers or any­one who just doesn’t want to be last to the cof­fee stop on the club ride, the Aithein EVO is a bike de­signed for sheer unadul­ter­ated speed. As the name sug­gests, it’s an evo­lu­tion of the long­stand­ing and pop­u­lar Aithein al­loy frame­set, re­vamped from the ground up to bring it bang up to date. The frame is still con­structed of Ki­ne­sis’ own Ki­ne­sium al­loy, su­per­plas­tic-formed into shapes that pro­vide op­ti­mum stiff­ness where re­quired while keep­ing weight low. And the re­designed down tube now al­lows for fully in­ter­nal ca­ble rout­ing, while the head tube an­gle has been slack­ened by half a de­gree to tweak the bike’s han­dling, mak­ing it slightly more for­giv­ing in tight, fast cor­ners. Per­haps the most sig­nif­i­cant change is in in­creas­ing the spac­ing to al­low the fit­ting of wider tyres – up to 28mm, in fact, with all the ben­e­fits to in­creased grip and com­fort that brings. Else­where the press­fit bot­tom bracket has been re­placed with an ex­ter­nal threaded type, in­creas­ing stiff­ness in that key area. The new frame is avail­able in two colour choices, both of which look absolutely stun­ning in the flesh – the black op­tion you see here which has a smart an­odised fin­ish, or a glossy, me­tal­lic ‘candy red’ that is sure to ap­peal to those who like to stand out from the crowd.


We opted for the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Shi­mano’s Ul­te­gra groupset for our test bike. If rac­ing is your thing, it of­fers all the per­for­mance you could need, with smooth, pre­cise and re­li­able gear shift­ing and pow­er­ful, eas­ily mod­u­lated brak­ing. Fin­ish­ing kit is high-qual­ity Ritchey WCS car­bon parts, and we par­tic­u­larly like the han­dle­bars with a short-reach, shal­low drop that makes them com­fort­able in all hand po­si­tions. You could opt for cheaper al­loy parts to bring the over­all price down but we reckon these are a great match for the frame.


Our test bike came with a set of Reynolds As­sault tube­less-ready car­bon clinch­ers. With their 25mm ex­ter­nal width, they’re an ideal choice to fit the wider tyres that the frame has been de­signed to ac­com­mo­date, while their 41mm rim depth and what Reynolds calls ‘En­hanced Swirl Lip Gen­er­a­tor’ tech­nol­ogy, means they’re de­signed to cut through the air with su­pe­rior aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency. They’re also im­pres­sively light for aero wheels at a claimed 1,515g for the pair, and in­cred­i­bly stiff. Since Reynolds wheels are sup­plied by the same UK dis­trib­u­tor as Ki­ne­sis Bikes, it’s easy to pick up a set when you or­der your frame – re­tail price for the wheelset is £1,300. The Chal­lenge ParisRoubaix tyres in 27mm width, are de­signed – as the name sug­gests – to pro­vide a fast, com­fort­able ride on even the rough­est roads. Their 300tpi Su­per­poly cas­ing – the same as Chal­lenge use in their tubu­lat tyres – is light and sup­ple, giv­ing them a racy feel, while their tan side­walls give them a stylish retro look.


The Aithein Evo is avail­able as a frame­set only, at £729.99 so how you build it is en­tirely up to you, de­pend­ing on your per­sonal re­quire­ments. What we have here is an ex­am­ple of what’s pos­si­ble to achieve if you have a bud­get of around £3,000, but a large chunk of that has gone on those stun­ning Reynolds car­bon wheels. Swap those out for a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elites – a great light­weight all-rounder – and down­grade the Ul­te­gra groupset for 105 and you’re look­ing at a to­tal build price closer to £1,500.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.