By Paul Norman
The new Kinesis Tripster AT frame is designed to be equipped for a range of adventures, allowing you to ride longer distances on road, equip it with racks and mudguards for bikepacking trips and take it off road onto tracks and bridlepaths.
At its heart is an alloy frame with an all-carbon fork, both designed to offer lots of clearance for 700c tyres up to 45mm wide. There are standard thru-axles front and rear, while the frame is designed to accept both 700c and 650b wheelsets - the latter up to 52c width - and use flat mount brakes.
Providing enough clearance for wider tyres behind the bottom bracket is always a challenge, and Kinesis has used a yoke design with the chainstay narrowed behind the chainring and the weld moved away from the bottom bracket itself, to ensure the best clearance possible.
The bottom bracket shell is BSA threaded to take external cup bearings for easy maintenance. Cabling runs internally through the down tube, then externally under the bottom bracket shell.
The down tube is designed for strength and is broad and hexagonal in section, curving at its top to meet the tapered head tube and add extra wheel clearance. The top tube too is angular in section, tapering to the seat tube. Both are designed to provide good support for bikepacking luggage, with less opportunity for it to move around when riding. The seat stays are substantial and have a curve towards their base. It all adds up to an attractive looking frame.
Kinesis has provided plenty of mounting points on the frame, including mudguard and rack bosses. There are also three sets of bottle bosses, including one under the down tube for extra carrying capacity. That on the down tube includes a third bolt, so you can choose your preferred bottle position.
The Tripster AT frameset with matching carbon fork is available in either Arran Blue or Seeon Yellow and sizes from 48 to 63cm for £699.99. The late Mike Hall worked with Kinesis on the bike’s detailing and there’s a small decal on the left seatstay acknowledging his involvement.
Kinesis also sells a build kit for the frame, including its own CX Disc wheels with Vee Rail 40mm tyres, Zipp bars and FSA stem and seatpost, Kinesis saddle and a SRAM Rival 1 groupset with an 11-42 cassette and 40 tooth chainring. Brakes are TRP Spyre mechanical discs with 160mm rotors. The complete bike with this build comes in at £1699.98.
For a flashier build, Kinesis was also showing off the Tripster AT with a Shimano Di2 set-up using Ultegra hydraulic shifters, a wide range Shimano 11-42 MTB cassette and a Shimano XTR Di2 rear mech, with a single ring Praxis Works chainset.
First ride impressions
Kinesis provided Cycling Weekly with a bike to preview in advance of the launch. On a mix of back roads and mostly dry bridleways, it provided a highly competent ride. There’s enough stability to tackle technical off road and plenty of grip from the Rail tyres.
Run at just over 40psi, the tyres roll well on road too and you don’t get any appreciable bob climbing out of the saddle on tarmac. Clearance around the 40mm tyre section is good, so clogging looks unlikely to be an issue. There’s plenty of gear range for faster sections, without sacrificing the grunt needed to get up steep off road.
We’ll be going further on the Tripster AT over the next few weeks, so look out for a deeper review.
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