The Kinesis Tripster began life as the ATR titanium all-rounder, but for a company that made its name building affordable aluminium frames, the Tripster AT was inevitable.
Using its own Kinesium tubes, the Tripster AT has typical Kinesis design elements, with hydroformed tubes, chunky welds and a definite sense of solidity.
Some of the design ideas on the AT came from the late Mike Hall, a rider whose ultra-endurance on- and off-road riding gave him insight in to what makes a practical, reliable and quick bike. A graphic on the left seatstay credits his input.
AT stands for All Terrain, and it boasts the features we’ve come to expect on a modern adventure bike. There are thru-axles, hydraulic disc brakes, and the option to run either 650bx52mm or 700x45mm tyres, plus space for three bottles, including high-low positions for the internal down-tube one to maximise frame bag space, although the 10mm bolts supplied are a little short.
Rack and mudguard mounts (with 40mm tyres maximum) add in all-weather or commuting versatility.
The seat angle is a standard 73 degrees, but the head angle is relaxed, at 70.5 degrees, on my 55.5cm test model. An average length 172.5mm head tube gives the right sort of semi-relaxed position for mile-munching, but Kinesis frames can size a little smaller than average, so do your calculations.
Claimed weight for a 55.5cm frame is 1.89kg, and in this build, equates to a 9.6kg complete bike, which keeps it very competitive.
First impressions centre on the unusual Ritchey Venture Max Comp bar, with its very shallow, super-flared drops. Measuring 42cm at the top curve, and 52cm at the bar’s end, the flared drops angle the levers inwards so much that their tops are just 34cm apart.
The hand position begins to make sense, because as well as just resting your hands on top of the hoods, their angle means your palm gains support from the outside of each lever body too.
While it isn’t that comfortable for big hands within such a tight bend, it’s possible to operate the brakes and shifter from the drops. The elongated bar ends include an ergo bulge that’s great to rest on when you want speed and maximum stability, and don’t need the controls.
The drivetrain on my bike is geared towards adventure, with a single 40-tooth chainring and huge 11-42 cassette, it is simplicity itself. It never seemed too gappy, and I had cause to explore both ends of the range, which comfortably covered 4–35mph.
Even at relatively low pressure in the 40mm Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres, the Tripster AT has a firmer feel than some, with big hits being felt more than expected, although low-level gravel or tarmac vibrations were absorbed. The tyres are quick when it’s dry, their shallow round tread blocks finding grip in all but deep, loose gravel.
The CX Disc wheelset has heat treated alloy rims that are 26mm externally and 23mm internally, easing the Schwalbes out to 42mm wide. They’re claimed to be 1,720g, and aren’t tardy when called on for more speed.
Hours spent on the Tripster AT help you appreciate its merits, and ability to look out for you day after day. Rock solid, refined handling, and great practicality.