Koga Kimera Road Premium - first ride review£2,599.00

Initial ride impressions of the new Kimera

Dutch brand Koga is one of the biggest names in its home market but still quite a rarity on the roads outside of the Netherlands. That’s something that deserves to change, if our initial ride on the all new Kimera 2.0 is anything to go by.

We’ve raved about Koga’s road bikes before, but they’ve previously only been available from a limited number of dealers or through buying direct. Maxtrack has just become the brand's UK distributor for 2014 though, so that should see more stores take on the brand.

If they do, then Koga's bikes are well worth adding to your test-ride lists. We got to try the new Kimera on a recent trip to Majorca and were certainly impressed. According to Koga, its designers have “have achieved a drastic improvement in comfort and aerodynamics in the new Kimera without sacrificing the bike's much-acclaimed stiffness-weight relationship”.

 The Koga Kimera's carbon frame has distinctive swooping lines

We didn’t actually have many issues with the comfort of the previous Kimera but version 2.0 is certainly no bone-shaker. Yes, the swoopy carbon frame does feel stiff and light but it also seems to soak up bumps nicely. Yes, some of the roads in Majorca are stupidly smooth, but once off the beaten track you can find some nasty surfaces, and the Kimera coped admirably.

Some of this can certainly be put down to the 27.2mm carbon seatpost which, when combined with the more-extended-than-usual seat tube, gives quite a lot of exposed carbon and, as a result, a good amount of controlled back and forth flex.

The aero advantages of the bike are impossible to comment on without wind tunnel data, but to the new Kimera does employ slimmer tubing and stays than its predecessor as well as the latest, tucked away chainstay-mounted rear brakes. We have to admit that we’re still not convinced that these necessarily offer the same stopping feel as traditional rear brakes.

The Premium frame combines high modulus carbon fibre with a 3K carbon coating to give an understated matt finish, and it felt sprightly underneath us. On longer Majorcan climbs the bike's competitive weight (1,009g for our 58cm test bike) was evident – while not exactly propelling us up, it didn’t slow us down.

Its handling was sweet and assured and actually aided confidence on descents as we were using ‘wrong-way-round’ European brakes! Our 58cm did give our inflexible rider a slightly more stretched than usual position, but that’s easily fixed and could suit racier riders anyway.

As for the rest of the bike? We were riding the £2,599 Ultegra compact equipped Premium – an Ultegra triple is also available – and as you’d expect the groupset worked a treat. Internal cabling means it’s Di2-ready as well. 

Internal cabling keeps lines smooth - and more aero - but also means the kimera is di2-ready:
Internal cabling keeps lines smooth - and more aero - but also means the kimera is di2-ready:

Internal cabling keeps lines smooth – and more aero – but also means the Kimera is Di2-ready

The stock bike will come with tried-and-trusted Ultegra wheels but we were using FFWD’s new F4R-C 45mm carbon/alloy hoops and they felt like a fine match. The finishing kit is all Koga's own, including a carbon-railed saddle.

As we only had limited riding time on the Road Premium, and it doesn't have the production wheels, we've held off giving it a score. Once we get hold of a Kimera for long-term use, we’ll bring you a fuller test and a score.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK

Related Articles

Back to top