Got a bad case of the biking blues and want to feel in the pink? Well, the Kinesis 4S Disc might just be the bike to bring the colour back to your cheeks. It’s pink, very pink... pinker than even the picture suggests. Oh, and it’s also available in a more sober blue if you want to keep a lower profile.
This Kinesis is very much a product of our versatility-loving times as the 4S Disc is available in both gravel and road versions, each of which costs £1,850 (£750 for the frameset and £1,100 for the Apex 1 Hydraulic Build Kit).
We plumped for the road build without the flared bar and with narrower tyres, and we had no cause to complain – the 4S Disc was a real treat. While the road bike tyres may nominally be a modest 27mm, they actually pumped up to 30mm and were fine on hard-packed gravel.
Kinesis calls its new 4s Disc frame ‘the natural evolution of our very first winter training frames’. It argues that by concentrating on aluminium it has ‘created a frame that rivals carbon in many ways, and hands down beats it on price’.
The 4S Disc keeps weight down by using ‘Super Plastic Forming’ – the only UK company to do so – allowing it to use lighter tubes that can be formed into more intricate shapes than hydroforming.
The geometry successfully straddles the road/gravel bike divide. The frame angles are reasonably steep, the head tube isn’t that tall and the wheelbase is only a tad over a metre. All this means you can romp along nicely at a very
decent lick. But there’s loads of year-round commuting, training and bike-packing practicality factored into the build. There are fittings and bags of clearance for Kinesis’s own Fend-Off mudguards, and rear rack mounts, too.
THE ROUGHER STUFF
The SRAM Apex 1x groupset has an appealing gear range, while SRAM’s hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors ensure stopping is about as near to perfect as it could be – powerful, controlled and with a very light action. If you’ve only ever used rim brakes, this sort of braking will put paid to any argument.
The wheels and tyres prove a good combination. The wide Alex rims are tubeless ready and can seat tyres up to 40mm wide or more. Frame and fork have 12mm thru-axles with patented Switch Levers for very neat removal and installation. The lever has a 5mm hex head that fits into the thru-axle; tighten to 10Nm and that’s it. To remove the thru-axle you just undo it. It’s easy to swap between wheels and, should you lose it, it’s cheap to replace – in the meantime, just carry a hex key.
None of these things show how much fun the Kinesis is. While you’ll lose a slight amount of speed on the road – though not much as the Challenge Paris-Roubaix tyres are excellent – that’s more than made up for, even in this ‘road’ build, by the Kinesis’ ability to hit rougher stuff. And with different, wider tyres you could hit much more gritty stuff. Triathlon training bike? Without a doubt. Fun riding? Check. Commuter? Defo. Touring? Thumbs up all round.