So in my last blog post I wrote about my new frameset and the fact that I had chosen a Kinesis RTD as my new bike. However what I didn’t go on to talk about was the build – the parts chosen to complete the bike. So let’s delve into the world of bike components and take a look at what I’ve put together. And I might even indulge you and give you the build weight too.
As mentioned in my previous post (or at least I hope it was), the RTD is a frameset only option from Kinesis. If you see it available in your local bike shop, or online as a complete bike it’s the bike shop’s build, not Kinesis’. But most of the time you’ll just see it for sale as the frameset. For me a frameset is just what I wanted as I wanted to build it up myself and use some parts from my previous bike to save on cash.
The components of a bike are often categorised as ‘groupset’, ‘wheels’ and ‘finishing kit’. Groupset, is the set of components that make up the ‘drive’ and all that goes with it. So that includes all sprockets/gears/cassette/gear shifters/cranks/derailleurs/chain etc and because a road bike has integrated shifters and brake levers it also includes the brakes. You can buy entire groupsets, Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo would love you to buy the whole set in a box from them and they insist that everything works better if you maintain consistency in your component choices. And indeed some components are completely incompatible with others but equally there are many combinations that work just fine across ranges and across brands.
I ride a 1x groupset. That means that I have a single chainring connected to the cranks and only have gear shifting at the rear. It’s my preference, I think it makes things very simple, easy to clean, very quiet riding and I don’t see the point of having extra bits and pieces on my bike that I’m never going to need. I also like SRAM shifters. They are different to Shimano and Campagnolo in the way that a single lever does all the gear shifting and the brake levers do the braking, there’s no joint purpose lever doing shifting and braking like on the others. I also like the speed and response of the SRAM rear derailleur, I don’t know if this is due to the SRAM 1:1 ‘exact activation’ or something else but it just feels right for me.
So for the RTD build I acquired a set of SRAM Rival Hydro levers and brake calipers and a SRAM Rival 1x rear derailleur, in medium cage length. I say ‘acquired’ as I bought these 2nd hand off ebay in ‘as new’ condition. I paired these with my existing MEKK cranks, my existing SRAM force chainring, a KMC chain (the most basic X11 option) and a Shimano 105 11 speed 11-34 cassette. The choice of a Shimano cassette is just based on cost, they tend to be a fair bit cheaper than the equivalent SRAM cassette.
Moving onto wheels, I have recently taken a liking to Hunt wheels and I like to support UK based companies if possible. The Hunt wheels get good reviews too and they are priced very well being available direct from the Hunt website, so everything pointed in that direction. The only question then was which ones to buy. I would have loved to have splashed out on some lightweight, deep profile, carbon rims; unfortunately I just couldn’t justify the extra cost. So that brought me down to the Hunt Aero Light Disc wheels. They’re not deep profile and they’re only aluminium but they have been well designed and at 1488g are pretty light. I’m a light rider (68kg), so I have no concerns about rider weight limits on wheels, however I would check and heed this before buying if you are significantly heavier.
To fit onto the wheels I already had a fairly new pair of Hutchinson tubeless tyres from the old bike, so these went straight onto the Hunt wheels. Apparently you shouldn’t fit old tyres from an old wheel to a new wheel, the old tyres will be stretched to the shape of the old wheel’s rim and won’t seat so well on the new rim. I ignored this advise and it all worked fine for me, maybe the rims were very similar. Of course I fitted these tyres tubeless, why wouldn’t I; it saves the hassle of having to go buy some tubes and fit them and as usual in my experience, not fitting tubes is a pretty easy thing to do. In future I might fit something wider than 25c but that’s what I had already, so that’s what’s fitted currently.
So onto the finishing kit. I already had from the old bike a Fizik stem and seatpost that I’d been very happy with so I decided to go Fizik all the way. The seatpost couldn’t be transferred across unfortunately as the new frame takes a narrower size, so I bought a new Fizik R5 seatpost the same model as the old one and fitted that. The Fizik R1 stem on the other hand was fine to move across, so I did. To go with these I bought a Fizik R5 Handlebar for Chameleon and some white Fizik bar tape (not sure which one, it was the one on offer at the time), in retrospect I think it’s maybe a little too thick for my liking. My saddle came across from the old bike, so it’s the part of the finishing kit that’s not Fizik, it’s a Charge Spoon in white. Of course I’d quite like to ‘Fizik’ this too at a later date.
And I think that’s about it. Pedals I brought across from the old bike. These were Look Keo and they’re another thing I’d like to replace in future, I have my eyes on some Speedplay Zeros. Oh and I used brand new air in the tyres! Of course what lots of people will want to know is what it all weighs. This isn’t trying to be a super light build so I was pleasantly surprised when the scales gave me back a value of 8.5 kg. This is much the same as my previous carbon framed bike, I think I’ve recouped on the wheels what little I’ve lost on the frame and I know there are many components that I could save weight on had I wished to spend the money.