Kinesis UK’s versatile Racelight TK3 frameset has a new name, the 4S, and a fresh lick of paint for 2014.
The TK3 has been held in high regard at RoadCyclingUK since becoming the basis of our 2012/13 winter bike build, originally chosen thanks to its ability to accept full mudguards and 28mm tyres.
The versatile personality of the aluminium frame – one described as “a crit bike, essentially, to which mudguards can be attached” in our review – means that what started as a winter training bike has become a four-seasons favourite.
It’s an experience reflected by many customers, Kinesis UK’s Patrick Blake told us at the 2014 Core Bike Show, the annual trade-only jamboree which sees the UK’s top distributors assemble in Whittlebury, Northamptonshire.
“T stands for Training, K is for Kinesium, the tubing the frame is made out of, and 3 is because it was the third model in the range,” said Blake, “but that’s not an accurate description of what the TK3 has become, so it’s now the 4S, or Four Seasons.”
It’s essentially the same frame and carbon fibre Tracer 1.5 fork, with a fresh paintjob – the black and blue option pictured, which is the first 4S sample to roll off the production line, and a silver and orange alternative.
The 4S will be available from March, with prices the same as the TK3 – £549.99 for the frameset and £1,169.99 for the mudguard-equipped, Shimano Tiagra build pictured at the top of the page.
It’s been a busy year or so for Kinesis, with the introduction of four new frames – the TK3, super-light Aithein, titanium GF_Ti V2 and go-anywhere Tripster ATR – so Blake says 2014 is a year for “taking stock”. He means it literally, with Kinesis placing their biggest frame order to date, so expect wider availability online and through Kinesis dealers.
To recap, the Aithein is Kinesis UK’s super-light, aluminium racing frame. Aluminium is an increasingly popular – and more affordable – alternative to carbon fibre if you want a light, race-ready bike and Kinesis are the among manufacturers to jump on board.
The frame has a claimed weight of 1,200g – though it does have a rider weight limit of 14 stone – and is paired with a 330g fork. Stiffness is the name of the game, with an oversized Shimano BB86 bottom bracket and squared-off SPF seattube designed to improve rigidity when stamping on the pedals. The bike on display at Core was built up with Shimano Dura-Ace and Reynolds Assault carbon wheels to hit the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit.