A couple of months ago, we had the Go The Distance, abbreviated to GTD, from Kinesis UK. Now it’s been joined by the RTD – that’s Race The Distance.
It’s a frameset designed around the needs of ultra-endurance rides, like the Transcontinental Race, of which Kinesis is a checkpoint sponsor, and riders on the UK Cycling Events sportives, which Kinesis also supports.
Kinesis says it was: “Inspired to design a frame that would allow more cyclists to dream big about exploring their personal limits in self-supported bike races and would double as a practical fast paced road workhorse for training.”
The RTD is designed around stack and reach numbers that give a less aggressive position and, Kinesis says, a more comfortable ride. The geometry adds 2mm to the fork rake and slackens the head tube angle by two degrees to 71 degrees, relative to Kinesis’s older road frames. It says that this leads to added stability at speed, especially when carrying luggage. It’s a front end geometry used on other brands’ endurance bikes too, like the Cannondale Synapse.
Kinesis uses a super plastic formed scandium alloy for the custom frame tubing. Super plastic forming uses superheated gasses to shape the tubes rather than the more usual hydroforming with hot liquids. Kinesis says that this leads to lighter tubes with more complex profiles. Kinesis quotes a weight of 1530g for a size 55.5cm frame.
The frame is coupled to an all carbon Columbus Futura fork. Kinesis says that it’s chosen the Columbus fork as its geometry, internal cable routing, mudguard mounts and 450g weight perfectly matched its design criteria.
Like most modern disc brake bikes, there are thru-axles front and rear, both 12mm. And as you’d expect from Kinesis, there’s lots of tyre clearance, allowing you to fit a 40mm tyre at the front and 34mm out back or use mudguards with 30mm rubber.
Kinesis sticks with a BSA threaded bottom bracket shell too, for its ease of maintenance. The frame takes a 27.2mm diameter seatpost. Other endurance-focussed features include three bottle cage mounts, although Kinesis doesn’t include rack mounts. It says it expects anyone wanting to add luggage will be using bikepacking bags rather than traditional panniers.
Via its swappable cable ports, the RTD frameset is compatible with Di2, mechanical and 1x groupsets. A first for Kinesis, the RTD frameset’s cable ports are integrated into the head tube rather than the down tube. This leads to cleaner cable routing along with increased strength and lower weight for the down tube.
The frame and its matching fork are finished in pearl white with contrasting black graphics, which mirrors the design of the Tripster AT, which was developed with the late Mike Hall, whose enthusiasm for ultra-distance rides was an inspiration for much of Kinesis’s recent design work.
The RTD frameset costs £850 and can be pre-ordered now from Kinesis’s website, with availability from October 20th. The frameset comes with fork, headset, seatpost clamp and Kinesis’s Switch Lever thru-axles. It’s available in seven sizes from 48cm up to 63cm and with a three year warranty.
Photos: Roo Fowler