As a brand, Kinesis UK need little introduction. Their titanium Tripster ATR has a strong following, further strengthened by the introduction of the aluminium Tripster AT. Kinesis present the G2 as an affordable option to bridge the gap between their adventure and road lineup.
What is it?
The G2 differs from other bikes in the Kinesis lineup in that it is only available as a full-build model. Designed to offer the DNA of it’s Tripster siblings but in an affordable and versatile package. At £1,500 the Kinesis G2 is competitively priced. Yet it features a great specification for your money. Featuring a SRAM Apex 1x hydraulic groupset and some well considered features. Simple details like reflective bar tape show real thought has gone into what this bike be will used for. Full rack and guard mounts assure the G2 is ready for adventures whatever the weather. Tyre clearance wise, the G2 can accommodate 700x40c tyres and 700x38c with mudguards attached.
Kinesis have a lot of experience with aluminium and it shows on the G2. The frame finish, in a distinguished slate blue, makes the double butted 6061 frame look a lot more expensive than it is. The seatstays have a subtle flattened profile to them, in a bid to engineer in some extra ride comfort. Cables and hoses are all routed internally with smart cable ports and rattle free riding. Flat mount brakes, 12mm axles front and rear, plus a threaded bottom bracket, will make the G2 a firm favourite with all-weather riders. A full carbon fork with tapered steerer completes the contemporary design.
Not surprisingly, the G2 sticks faithfully to the Tripster geometry, but with a subtle trim to the head tube and shorter chainstays give the G2 a punchier power delivery and more nimble feeling on the road. The specified short, stubby high-rise stem feels at odds with the G2’s intended use and I soon swapped this out for a longer stem to get my preferred ride position. With just four frame sizes, some may struggle to find the desired fit straight out of the box. Our large/57 test bike has a 390mm reach and 595mm stack, 71-degree head angle, 70mm bottom bracket drop, 1052.7mm wheelbase and 435mm chainstays.
It may be entry level, but the SRAM Apex 1 groupset always impresses. Equipped on the G2 with an 11-42t cassette and 40t single ring, it gives a decent spread for both road and gravel rides. The hydraulic brakes use 160mm rotors front and rear and are more than enough to haul the G2 to a halt even when loaded with bikepacking gear.
There are some omissions to the otherwise quality equipment you get for your £1,500 here. The Alex Rims GD26 and Novatec hubs are heavy but sturdy items and it’s pleasing to see they’re also tubeless ready. Sadly, the Schwalbe G-ONE Allround 700x38c tyres fitted are of the non-tubeless variety. Not fitting tubeless ready tyres, even with a small premium is an oversight in my opinion. And for me at least, the Selle Italia X3 saddle was a torture spike. The sooner I replaced it, I instantly enjoyed riding the G2 at lot more.
Kinesis say the G2 can tackle everything from Sunday club rides to a cyclocross race. It is definitely more capable than a disc braked road bike, more comfortable than a full on cross racer. Both on and off road, the handling feels assured and inspires confidence. If you don’t push it, it’ll happily tick over the miles as well as any endurance road bike. Give the G2 some hustle and it will ride with real gusto. The harder you push it, the more fun it feels. Zipping around some forest singletrack, the handling was scalpel sharp. The only limiting factor to the fun was the skinny, road biased 38c tyres.
Road duties are an absolute breeze on the G2. It is no road racer, but as a steady winter mile muncher or audax ride, the bike feels right at home. The G2 can knuckle down and travel at speed when pushed but still manages to absorb the ruts and imperfections of rough country roads.
What really surprised me was the flared-drop handlebar. It’s a humble OEM spec item and I was a little suspect on first acquaintance. After one ride I had to eat my words as I was taken aback by the comfort and feel. Thanks to a shallow drop, it doesn’t feel cumbersome when plugging out the road miles either.
If your favourite riding is a mashup of country lanes, mixed with bridleway and singletrack shortcuts to avoid busy road sections, the G2 is a blast. With assured handling and pannier lugging versatility, it could also double up as weekly commuter and a weekend plaything.
Good value, stylish looks, composed handling and a nod towards practicality. The Kinesis G2 could actually threaten its Tripster brethren as the true ‘Go To’ bike.
Last modified: 4th February 2020