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My Kinesis RTD Build

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.

SRAM Rival Hydro Brakes
SRAM Rival Hydro Brakes

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.

Shimano 105 Cassette Fitted
Shimano 105 Cassette Fitted

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.

Hunt Rear Wheel in RTD frame
Hunt Rear Wheel in RTD frame

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.

Hassle Free Tubeless from Day 1
Hassle Free Tubeless from Day 1

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.

7 thoughts on “My Kinesis RTD Build

  1. I’m glad I found your blog, I’ve just taken delivery of a black/silver RTD frameset today! Did you find any issues/niggles with the frame when building up? Would I be right in thinking you didn’t use a BB cable guide and used full cable outers from through the headtube to the rear derailleur cable bosses on the chainstay? Do you get any rattles in the down tube? Thanks & Best wishes

    1. I’m glad you found my blog too! It is a great frame, I’m really pleased with it. The only ‘niggles’ I had with building up the frame is that pre-bled ready to run hydraulic brake hoses don’t fit through the holes for the internal frame routing, so I had to cut the ferrules off the ends of the hoses to get them through the frame. It’s not an issue as such just an annoyance as you have to then bleed the brakes after fitting everything.

      I didn’t use a BB cable guide as one wasn’t supplied. I did use a full cable outer but only for the rear mech and I ride 1x and don’t have a front mech. I don’t get any rattles from the frame. I hope your build goes well. Let me know if you need any suggestions!

      1. That’s good to know, thank you. I’ve also got pre-bled hydraulics (though Shimano) and the hoses have a plastic cap on the end which hopefully should still fit once the cap is removed. They’ll need shortening anyway. I have noticed that the nut for the rear thru axle doesn’t quite fit into the recess in the frame, so it looks like I might have to file the edges a bit. I’m also thinking of going 1X.
        Other than that the frame and fork look soo nice in the flesh! I can imagine it’s going to look real smart once built up!

        1. Well I hope it goes well for you as it sure does make for a nice build. And hopefully the you can manage to fit the brakes without needing to bleed them again at the end like I did. I didn’t have any issues with the rear through axle.

          My next blog post will be about my latest upgrade – I’ve just switched to 12 speed eTap.

          1. I sorted the axle nut in the end just by fitting the rear wheel to the frame, as I tightened up the axle it pulled the nut in! I will build it up as much as I can myself and get it finished by a bike mechanic that I know as some jobs like pressing on the crown race and chopping the steerer I’d rather the expert do. Which might have to wait until the lockdown eases. I’ll keep riding my trusty B’Twin in the meantime.

            Did you find the supplied seatpost clamp to be quite a tight fit due to the thickness of the paint at all?

            Nice! I look forward to it.

  2. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your RTD bike build and its inspired me to build my own 1x RTD. I had initially been looking at building with a 105 groupset, but you’ve converted me to the idea of a 1 x groupset. I’ll most likely go down the SRAM rival route.

    Have you got any tips or advice that you could pass onto me from your experience? Is there anything specific to the TD frame that I should watch out for? This will be my first bike build. And out of interest, what bottom bracket did you use on your build?

    1. Thanks, it’s always good to hear from readers. The RTD frame is really good I’m still very happy with it. The only thing I guess to take care of is the internal cable routing. I wasn’t able to get the hydraulic hoses through the frame without removing the connections, in which case you lose a fair bit of fluid. In retrospect I think I should have accepted that this would be the case right from the beginning and drained the fluid out before fitting the brakes and then refilled at the end. It would have been a little less messy. I used the bleed kit from epicbleedsolutions and it worked really well and comes with great instructions.

      The bottom bracket for the RTD frame is a 68 mm threaded (english thread not italian) sometimes you’ll see it referred to as BSA. That’s the screw in connection to the frame, the spec for the axle of the crankset depends on which you get. A SRAM Rival 1x groupset will require a GXP bottom bracket. You’ll want a hollowtech for Shimano 105 I think. The new 12 speed SRAM components are now moving to a DUB bottom bracket standard instead. When I built up my RTD I used a SRAM GXP bottom bracket for 68 mm threaded shell like this – https://amzn.to/3dlt2oo – but I have now upgraded to 12 speed electronic gears and changed the bottom bracket as part of the upgrade. Fortunately my mountain bike desperately needed a new bottom bracket so I just moved the old one across.

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