Kinesis Crosslight Evo 4 review£1,230.00

Invigorating ride

BikeRadar score4/5

The Kinesis Crosslight Evo is a highly evolved racer that proves even hardcore cyclo-crossers can be a fun and versatile trail/tarmac crossover option on non-race days. It's not the best option for technical trails or lugging loads, though.

    The Easton alloy and carbon fibre Evo 4 frame is a genuine race machine honed through seasons at the sharp end of the pack. While it lacks a tapered head tube and oversized bottom bracket it offers a great balance of taut responsiveness and a hint of forgiving flex that masks the reduced cushioning from the skinny 32c Maxxis Larsen tyres

    While the long stem is stubborn at slow speed the quick-witted race handling means it’s a blast to whip quickly along buff singletrack. The Shimano RS50 wheels get fully adjustable bearings for long running smoothness and we’d be happy running this as a winter training road bike with a simple slick tyre switch.

    Its racy intent is underlined – but commuting utility undermined – by the lack of rack or mudguard fixtures and there’s no provision for disc brakes either. The Kinesis is lightweight, at 8.97kg (19.78lb). We love the way it skims and snaps around obstacles and injects instant speed on smooth sections and climbs.

    A major – but surprisingly common – technical terrain limitation soon becomes clear though. While the Tektro cantilever brakes on the Kinesis are usefully powerful – at least in the dry – the brake judder caused by fork flex on rough terrain makes the front wheel skip alarmingly. If that’s likely to be a major issue for your riding, fitting a fork crown cable stop (rather than a headset one) will pretty much cure the problem for a fractional weight and price cost.

    Kinesis crosslight evo 4: kinesis crosslight evo 4
    Kinesis crosslight evo 4: kinesis crosslight evo 4

    This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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