Kinesis have for many years produced a great range of UK-designed and Taiwanese-made framesets. The all-new titanium Granfondo is somewhat of a departure.
The GF has a custom drawn double-butted tubeset, built up with a bi-ovalised down tube and a machined bottom bracket. Combined with the deep, flattened chainstays this creates a very stable underpinning to the frame, which translates into a bike that transfers power without any undue flex or drama.
The geometry is based on the standard scandium framed GF, with a longer wheelbase and a little more height in the head tube. This gives a slightly more upright riding position, more relaxed steering and stability through corners. The frame finish oozes quality and attention to detail.
From the engraved Kinesis head badge to the bullet-finished stays, the GF Ti looks expensive. All the bolt bosses are welded as opposed to riveted, which means they’ll never work loose, a small but important touch. The frame allows for fitting of up to 25mm tyres or, as specced here, 23s and a set of full mudguards.
Up front the head tube is machined to take an internal headset, making it bang up to date despite the use of a more traditional frame material. One more neat traditional touch is a chain-keeping pin welded onto the seatstay. It’s one of those little details you never knew you’d miss until you have it.
The ride of the GF is helped massively by the sheer quality of the build, with impeccable shifting from Campagnolo’s Chorus 11 and a Reynolds wheelset, which is both super-light (1,351g) and stiff. It makes for a bike that climbs effortlessly and the zing of the titanium frame makes it butter smooth over the worst surfaces.
The relaxed handling is perfect for a bike of this type. We only found it wanting on fast descents with challenging corners. Here the supple nature of the frame led to an occasional need for correction mid corner as the front end had some tendency to understeer, but for a bike designed to go big distances whatever the weather we’d definitely recommend the GF Ti.
The frameset is available for £1,399.99 and complete bikes cost from £2,019.99 (winter bike spec with Tiagra 10-speed). The only thing we’d change is the Oval saddle. Its curved but broad shape always felt hard and difficult to find a position we liked.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.