The Kinesis T2 is something of a modern classic. It’s been around for a while and has proved very popular, helped along by being very affordable in frame-only form.
Highs: Every winter trainer box has been ticked in this good-looking package
Lows: On the pricey side – there are better value options out there
Buy if: You’d like a refined, versatile bike that will perform year-round
More recently, Kinesis have started offering complete bikes, broadening the T2’s appeal. This isn’t the only Kinesis winter frame, either – there’s also a lighter TK3 frame that will sit above the T2 in the Kinesis range.
It may be a relatively inexpensive frame (£239.99) but it scores highly on detail and finish. Tubing is double-butted 7005 aluminium, with large-diameter tubes up front. Touches like the flared head tube, subtly shaped stays and forged rear brake mount really elevate the T2 from the herd, and the various paint options are striking too.
Those stays accommodate 28mm tyres as well as mudguards, and there are rack eyes. It’s also worth noting that the T2 is available in a wide range of sizes, from 48 to 63cm.
Kinesis have put together an impressive package for its full bikes, with the T2 sporting an almost-complete Shimano Tiagra group – the Tektro brakes are the only interloper.
Tektro brakes accommodate the supplied full mudguards: Tom Simpson/Future Publishing
Tektro brakes accommodate the supplied full mudguards
You get a Shimano R500 wheelset too. In some ways we’d prefer a traditional 32-spoke wheelset on a winter bike for both durability and spares availability, but the R500s aren’t as sparsely spoked as some and Shimano hubs are always a safe bet. The wheels are shod with 25mm Kenda Kriterium tyres under the full-length chromoplastic mudguards.
Sneaking in just under the 10kg (22lb) mark, the Kinesis is an entirely acceptable weight for a winter bike, and come the summer there’s scope for some easy weight loss – take the ’guards off, swap to folding 23mm tyres.
The T2 has quite a racy feel as it is, so going a bit lighter when the weather improves wouldn’t be entirely out of character. The geometry is a little steeper than on some comparable bikes, but the sturdy frame inspires confidence, and a lot of vibration disappears somewhere between the stays, 27.2mm seatpost and big tyres, so it’s comfortable on long rides.
If your budget’s tight, the T2 can be specced with an aluminium fork rather than carbon, but past experience suggests you’d be better off finding the extra cash and taking advantage of the carbon fork’s more forgiving ride.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.