Its a little under a year since I bought my Kinesis G2, so I thought I would write a small review to help out potential buyers. I am not sponsored by Kinesis or paid in any way, so this is my personal view and experience of the bike.
My first gravel bike was a steel 650b monster that weighed in at over 12KG. After a winter of riding and training I decided the gravel scene was the one for me and entered a few events and races. As much as I loved riding my steel bike, it wasn’t the natural choice for racing 50miles whilst climbing over 5000ft in the process. I needed something lighter, something faster, something more suited to the task at hand.
My search ended with the Kinesis G2. A 10KG aluminium framed rocket ship that would hopefully propel me firmly into some mid table results. I wont go over the specs here as they are on every shop website selling the bike. What I will tell you about are the real world capabilities of the bike like tyre clearance and gear ranges etc.
Real World Specs
I immediately upgraded the bike with a set of Mason X Hunt 700c wheels. The stock wheels are ok, but like most bikes are at the budget end of the spectrum. I saved these for road use as a second set. The Hunts shaved a few hundred grams off the bike weight, and along with fitting a new set of Kenda Flintridge tubeless tyres brought the bike weight nicely under 10kg. That’s a 2.5kg saving over my steel bike and was very noticeable out on the gravel, especially when the trail started to rise.
There is plenty of clearance for a 700x40mm tyre, even with some reasonable tread. I currently have WTB Nanos fitted in this size with good clearance.
Kinesis thankfully spec the bike with a 40t chainset from the factory. So many bikes come with 42 x 11-42 which is fine on the road but offroad is not low enough and anything over 6-7% gradient is a real grind for the average rider.
The stock tyres, Schwalbe G-One Allround, are fast and light. I found them to be very squirmy in the corners if run at lower pressures. Pumped up hard (40psi) they were fine and rolled well on the tarmac. I kept them fitted to the stock wheelset for winter/poor condition road use.
Stock bars and saddle were swapped out immediately. Nothing wrong with them, its just personal preference.
The frame has an almost horizontal top tube, and the bottle bosses are fitted low down. This leaves enough room for a good sized half frame bag if you fancy a spot of bikepacking.
Alluminium isn’t what it used to be 20 years ago. Alloy bikes used be to lightweight and stiff, but not very compliant, resulting in a harsh ride quality that was very unforgiving. It`s no wonder that carbon took off so fast when it hit the mainstream.
However, fast forward 20 years and modern alloy frames are now very, very good. In fact a good one will outperform a cheap carbon no problem at all. Heck, even the pro`s are riding Alloy bikes these days (anyone remember Sagan at last years TDU?)
I have ridden the G2 on 5-6 hour rides without feeling the slightest bit beaten up at the end. Its a very comfy bike and despite being maybe at the road end of the geometry charts, handles the rough stuff surprisingly well. I have a trip over “The Gap” to testify to that.
Where I think the bike comes into its own is on mixed rides. Its fast and sure footed on the road, without being dull like some slacker angled gravel bikes. Then when you divert offroad its just as fast on anything hard packed like forest fireroads. If the going gets a little tougher it`ll handle it. Think of it as an explorers bike. If you live somewhere where you have to ride for an hour to get to some gravel then this bike would be perfect.
The G2 really is a go-to bike. If you could only own one bike, then you could do a lot worse than picking the G2.
It really shines on rides with a mix of surfaces (think 50/50 on and off road). Its light, comfortable and quick. The frame is worthy of upgrading, and I will be looking at fitting some GRX ready for its second season on the gravel.