The Kinesis Crosslight is almost an institution on the British cyclocross scene, and although it first incorporated disc mounts over 10 years ago, the latest Pro 6 is the first of its modern machines to do so. Its low, aggressive position and fast handling certainly kept us on our toes.
At 9.62kg (21.2lb) including light wheels, it proved lively, although the slim tubes and conventional BSA bottom bracket are less beefy for out-of-the-saddle efforts than the oversized tubes and BB30s on some other ’cross bikes. Even so, the Kinesis was a nimble climber and the compact bar was a boon on the flat, enabling us to stay on the drops longer.
Passing mid-race, fatigue began to set in, making accelerations hurt more, and the three running sections per lap were leading to increasingly heavier legs. Descending the banks, the Pro 6’s newly relaxed head angle and tapered carbon steerer tube were immensely stable, with Tektro’s Lyra discs offering bags of feel and power, enabling us to gain ground before the dismount.
The Pro 6 was a joy to pick up, with the smaller diameter tubing leaving extra shouldering room. Its beautifully flattened top tube made it a very comfortable machine to run with.
Picking up speed after the remount, the 28-spoke wheels responded well. Although the general surefootedness of the wide rims was partly undone in the loose dirt and mud by the tendency of the WTB Crosswolf tyres’ edge grip to fall away when pressed hard.
We ran the tyres at 37psi, and it was notable that the Crosslight gave a relatively hard, jarring ride despite running 32mm tyres. On loose surfaces we found the Pro 6 needed concentration in order to get the best from it, as it felt faster-handling and twitchier than expected.
Final production spec will include an FSA Omega chainset, retaining the rapid-shifting 105 front derailleur. But on this course we were mostly working the cassette for all the speed we could wring from it.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.