Italians are as much renowned for superb bikes as they are for pasta and espressos, so we were keen to put the Kuota Kryon through its paces
When compared to the likes of Bianchi and Pinarello, Kuota is a brand that doesn’t have huge recognition in the UK, so consequently you could be forgiven for not knowing it is Italian. Its bikes are used by the Androni Giocattoli Pro Continental team and previously by Ag2r La Mondiale.
The Kryon frame is a carbon-fibre monocoque with what Kuota describes as a ‘racing geometry’.
In reality, I found the geometry to be more relaxed with regards to the stack and reach than other race bikes — the reach is 380mm, with many racing bikes such as the Merida Reacto or Cannondale SuperSix Evo (in equivalent sizes) typically being around 390mm or 400mm in reach.
A neat feature is the bladed aero seatpost, which is reversible. By reversing
the post you can sit further over the bottom bracket, allowing for time trial positions. For those not wanting to buy separate TT and road bikes, this is an attractive alternative.
Kuota has created the Kryon with aerodynamics in mind; the fork and tube shapes are designed to minimise drag, compared with normal round profiles.
For those wanting a future-proof bike, the Kryon frame is Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS compatible, with the seatpost designed for Di2 cigar shaped batteries, should you wish to upgrade. Other features also include a 386 BB, a 1.5in to 1 1/8in headset, internal cable routing and a very neat integrated aero seat clamp.
Unlike other brands, Kuota offers a custom build service to UK customers, where you can specify a choice of groupset and wheel packages to suit your budget. Alternatively, you can purchase the frameset on its own for £1,099.
The rear triangle has been given additional clearance to allow for 25mm tyres, although our test machine was fitted with Mavic 23mm tyres. Our bike also came with Shimano Ultegra 11-speed shifters, derailleurs and chainset. To keep the cost down for the consumer though, brakes are Kuota own brand and the cassette was Shimano 105. Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels are a solid and reliable choice, if a little heavy. For training they are perfect, but ultimately to get the most out of the bike, you would be advised to upgrade in this area first.
Aside from the budget brake calipers, all the parts are great quality. The bike
is finished with a San Marco saddle and Deda bars and stem.
When you first jump on aero bikes they often just feel faster, and that is for good reason. They are! Although the Kryon is in aero bike territory, with its tube profiles and seatpost, it doesn’t have the same wind-cheating feel that you get aboard a Canyon Aeroad or Cervélo S5.
The Kuota Kryon is responsive in the corners thanks in part to a nippy 985mm wheelbase. However, acceleration out of the corners is less exuberant. I found the bike to be slightly dull in this regard. At 8.1kg it is not the lightest and this is certainly a factor here.
Kuota’s own brand brakes felt a little muffled when compared to the superb Shimano Ultegra calipers. It is hard to complain at their absence considering the overall price, but Ultegra brakes offer superior performance.
I was not bowled over by the compliance and comfort offered by the Kryon. A trend emerging with the next generation of aero bikes is increased comfort, but the Kryon seems a little behind the curve, with the ride feeling a little harsh.
At £2,185 for the complete bike, our test model does well on value.
Other options around the £2,000 price mark include the BMC TeamMachine SLR02 and Scott Addict 30, both of which feature Shimano 105 groupsets, not the higher spec Ultegra you see here. Not only that, the wheels on both of those bikes are inferior to the Mavic Cosmics that come on the Kuota too.
Italian bikes may be renowned for being expensive, but the Kuota Kryon bucks that trend.
The Kryon is a good bike and is well made with neat lines and internal cable routing. But it just didn’t excite me. You can climb aboard a similarly priced Scott Addict 30 and instantly appreciate the stiff bottom bracket and lively handling. The reversible seatpost is a useful feature and the spec is great for the price. As is the case with many bikes, to fully realise the Kryon’s potential you should upgrade the wheels