Rolling out on a mix of carbon and titanium in February may strike some readers as ostentatious but I’ll plead ‘just doing my job, guv’ in defence.
Merely admiring the Kinesis Racelight Granfondo Ti, with its neat welds, gently swooping seat stays, and engraved head tube, would have brought me no closer to discovering how it performed, and so risking the disparaging glances of those more modestly (and perhaps more appropriately) equipped for the season, I headed out on to the grimy, February roads for a first ride.
Immediate impressions? Fast. The GF Ti has no pretensions to be a race bike and is far more forgiving than a machine intended for that purpose, but that said, is no slouch. Titanium is a lightweight material, lest we forget in this carbon age, and the frame combined with a suitably upmarket build (Reynolds Assault carbon wheels, FSA SLK cockpit and hollow carbon cranks) delivered a ride unexpectedly rewarding of effort. It isn’t designed to give the electric acceleration from corners, of, say, the sort of machine you’d take to a criterium, and nor does it, but what the GF Ti does deliver is effortless cruising speed. I also felt suitably unencumbered on climbs. Perhaps the GF Ti was flattered by the months spent on my cherished, but weighty steel framed winter bike, but I flew up hills that had been a slog on the heavier machine.
Less surprising, but equally welcome, was the comfort factor. The GF Ti purred along contentedly, demanding little attention, and shouldering the worst of the rural roads without transmitting any shocks to my system. Comfort is of course titanium’s calling card and while carbon lay-ups can induce compliance, titanium holds the edge in forgiveness. My first ride was briefly broken by the irresistible offer of a quick spin on my riding buddy’s new Colnago C59, a super stiff thoroughbred, faster but harsher than the GF Ti and a useful example of the pros and cons of either material.
Check back next week for the full review of the Kinesis Racelight UK Granfondo Ti.