Saddle Sore – Reviews, Rides & Rablings – Cycling Blog

My Bike

You start off with a budget in mind (£500) but then for only £20 more you could get slightly better wheels and for £50 more you could get better gears…this is how I ended up with a bike with the longest name possible; the Kinesis Decade Tripster ATR.

Kinesis Decade Tripster ATR

ATR

I was looking for a do everything bike, I didn’t want a different bicycle for every dicipline. I wanted a machine I could tour on, race on (slowly) and go on trails on. Ultimately that only left one contender, the Tripster ATR, a titanium beast that can Adventure Tour and Race (I’m told that that isn’t a coincidence).

Surly Knard 700x40

Surly Knard 700×40

It can take up to 700c x 44 tyres (only use tire if you’re an American) without mudguards (41 with ‘guards) and is designed for disc brakes (in fact there is no mount to fix rim brakes on the rear) so its pretty versatile when it comes to what it can handle. I’ve had Surly Knards 41s attached and been up and down some of Dorset’s chalk trails and despite being quite a harsh ride upfront (as you’d expect with no suspension) it handled them well.

The gearing I chose could have been better though, I found when out the saddle the back wheel would spin on occasion; I needed a lower gear so I could stay sat down with my weight on the back and spin, rather than having to get up out the saddle to put the power down. This is of course do to my poor coponent selection not the bike/frame: I chose 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette when I probably should have selected a 50\39\30 with a 11-28 cassette or even some MTB coponents.

“My bum meets the bike…”

Unfortunately the Kineses CX Disc wheels were out of stock when I needed them so I went for Stan’s ZTR Alpha 400 rims on Hope Pro2 EVO hubs as they were a similar price. The rims have stayed pretty much straight and true so that’s good. Nothing bad to say about the hubs though the rear free hub emits a pretty loud fishing reel noise which I actaully have grown to love.

I realise this is getting a bit boring. Sorry.

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Rear brake on the beautiful skeleton mount

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Front brake on the Tripster fork (needs a clean)

I’ve got TRP HyRd disc brakes front and rear. They are cable activated hydraulic brakes – so its cable controlled all the way from the lever to the piston. They perform really well, better than my experiences with rim (hehe rim) brakes and standard cable disc brakes (I’ve used Avid BB7s which are good but not as good as these).

My bum meets the bike on a Charge Spoon which has been comfortable from day 1 and carried me painlessly through a 218 mile ride. I’m not sure what seat post I have (maybe a 3T) but thats been fine also.

I done almost 1500 miles in the few months I’ve had it, and aside from a few fitting tweaks and the headset needing tighening, it has been brilliant.

The ATR is tough and versatile machine that relishes freshly made tarmac as much as Jurassic period chalk tracks.

Kinesis Decade Tripster ATR

Kinesis Decade Tripster ATR (with Eskimo the cat in the background)

A few things I might or will change:

  • As previously mentioned, I might ‘upgrade’ to a 105 triple crank, though the new 105 and last years (and going forward) Ultegra don’t come in triple flavour.
  • Additional sets of wheels for each discipline; i.e. some slightly wider rimmed wheels for the knobbly tyres for the tracks.
  • Thinking of swapping the handlebars for the Salsa Woodchipper 2 to make it even more versatile.
  • I’ll need to get a set of mudguards for Winter (mudguards now installed – see link).
  • When a good set of fully hydraulic levers are released I’ll probably upgrade.

I really like my bike so please don’t steal it.

Here are a few pics:-

 

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Matt

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Would you please tell me what size frame you have, I’m borderline 57/60 and can’t seem to decide.

    Cheers daz

    • Hi Daz, I got the 60cm on recommendation of my local bike shop and it fits me well (I’m 6’1”). I think the general advice if you’re boderline is to go for the smaller as it’s easier to adjust up than down. Thanks, Matt.

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