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Kinesis Racelight 4S Disc review

12 Dec 2016
Verdict:

A superb British-designed, disc-ready all-rounder

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£699 frameset only (£1,500 typical build price)
For 
Versatile component options; can fit up to 32c tyres; quality disc brakes
Against 
Harsh fork; lack of feel from the supplied tyres; noisy cables

Designed for typically wet and variable UK riding conditions, the Kinesis Racelight 4S – which stands for ‘four seasons’ – promises to be a year-round ride for all your training and racing needs.

The big difference compared to your average bike at this price is that this rocks disc brakes, although the 4S versatility means the same frame can be fitted with rim brakes if you prefer.

More forward thinking is shown with the option to run either electronic or mechanical gear cables, all run internally.

A big factor when looking for a bike for winter riding is the ability to fit mudguards.

The 4S has this covered and even has the choice to fit pannier racks, making it a great choice for commuting or perhaps even touring, as fantastic tyre clearance promises space for 32mm tyres, or up to 30mm with mudguards fitted.

In use, we loved the ability to set up a relatively low front-end position, something that many endurance-focused bikes don’t offer.

The ride quality was something of a tale of two halves, with a less comfy ride at the front being made more noticeable by fantastic comfort to the rear – thanks mainly to the well-padded saddle.

When climbing or sprinting the 4S responds well, with little noticeable flex in the frame or wheels and although the overall weight is on the bulky side thanks to those disc brakes, it never felt slow or hard work on longer rides.

The disc-specific Kinesis Racelight wheels fitted are light and responded especially well when we were putting in big efforts, with multiple dropout configuration the frame can also accommodate both standard and disc-only rims.

The standout feature for many will be the disc brakes, with excellent mechanic TRP Spyre brakes fitted on our test bike.

Compared to rim brakes they offer less feel, but have plenty of power and modulation, meaning that you can control the amount of stopping power.

The big plus is no noticeable drop in performance in wet weather, and also the lack of rim wear, which will mean no more replacing or rebuilding wheels.


Spec

Kinesis Racelight 4S Disc
Frame Kinesis 4S Disc,
Kinesis Disc Carbon fork 
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes TRP Spyre disc
Chainset Shimano Compact, 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-28
Bars FSA Vero Compact
Stem FSA Omega
Seatpost FSA Alloy
Wheels Kinesis Racelight 700 Disc, 
Vee Tire Apache 28mm tyres
Saddle Kinesis Aon
Weight 8.91kg (51cm)
Contact kinesisbikes.co.uk

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