Kinesis’s Racelight TK2 combines a cleverly designed frame with a highly competent spec. We’d be more than happy to use this bike through winter for training and commuting. And come the finer seasons, it’s the perfect tourer to get away and enjoy better weather.
The TK2 is an old favourite. From its earliest incarnation it’s proven to be a great value do-it-all bike. The 2012 model has been reworked from the ground up. It has a taller head tube and a shorter (virtual) top tube length (56.8cm on our 57cm test bike).
Based around Kinesium aluminium, it wears its highly developed shapes on its sleeve, with an externally butted top tube that radically decreases in diameter a few inches from the head tube and a down tube that transitions from vertical ovalised to horizontal ovalised at the bottom bracket.
This makes for a ride that’s tight and reactive, plus efficient and responsive when stamping on the pedals. The TK2 is more of a comfortable cruiser than a speed orientated machine – we found we got the best out of it by hunkering down in the seat and pushing the pedals.
For an aluminium frame the TK2 is remarkably comfortable, helped hugely by the big volume Kenda 25mm tyres and a quality carbon fibre fork that reduces road buzz to a minimum. We’d be happy to use the Kinesis over multi-day rides and even an epic tour.
That’s not to say you can’t ride the TK2 at a good lick, but it’s much more grand tourer than sportster – which is certainly not a criticism. That the Kinesis has provision for a rear rack makes this a truly versatile machine, ideal for commuters who prefer panniers to a rucksack.
The build is a mix of 2011 components with some 2012 upgrades. Tektro’s quality R539 brakes are a step up from Shimano Tiagra, which graces the rest of the bike. On our test model the drivetrain is the 2011 nine-speed Tiagra, but the TK2 will be shipped with the 10-speed Tiagra. This is much closer in performance and weight to Shimano’s competition-level 105 and, with its extra cog and 30-tooth gear, means you’ll be able to conquer any climb for less effort.