Kinesis Maxlight XC120 frame £325

Lightweight aluminium trail/race platform

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

The privateer’s race frame choice for years, the Maxlight is still right up there when it comes to competitive chassis design.

Built by top Taiwanese firm Kinesis, the XC120 is loaded with advanced hydroform tube shaping. In fact it’s tweaked to the max from the hourglass ‘zero stack’ head tube and bulged integral top tube reinforcement to the superlight snaked rear stays.

There’s a big external gusset under the throat, and the forged dropouts and bottom bracket shell are machined to minimise weight.

Designed around the latest 120-130mm forks the XC120 has a speed-friendly 69.5° head angle for a surefooted descending feel.

It’s still deinitely a low-slung and aggressive pursuit bike rather than a pootler, though, and at just over 3.5lb you’ll be able to create a properly light bike from it with the right kit.

Tube shaping at the rear and a skinny 27.2mm seatpost increase comfort as the hours hammer by, making this a versatile high-velocity ride.

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