Kinesis Maxlight XC120 frame review£325.00

Lightweight aluminium trail/race platform

BikeRadar score3.5/5

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.

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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