In our latest edition of Staff Bikes, Liam takes you through the bike that he calls his winter bike. Supposedly built from his parts bin, this bike is tasked with doing the hard winter miles and features a number of parts that help get out whatever the weather.
Ok, so my Kinesis 4S Disc wasn’t meant to be pink, but as you can see, it most definitely is. I wanted the blue version, my mind being cast back to that classic Ribble winter bike that everyone seemed to have, but they were all sold out. So I got pink, and I’m actually quite glad I did.
Of all the stupidly expensive superbikes that I get to test, none gets close to the number of admirers this bike has. Park it up at the cafe or in town and someone will take a look, or tell me that it must have cost a lot.
I love the frame for the geometry, which results in beautiful handling, but what makes the bike for me is the story behind a number of the parts that hang from its frame.
The rear derailleur saw 20,000 kilometres on my old Cannondale SuperSix. It then did two winters on a cyclocross bike, before the mech hanger ripped off in a muddy race and took the dropout with it. It has since done just over 7,000 kilometres on this bike and, thanks to a few rebuilds, it still going strong.
Another highlight is the saddle. This basic Specialized Romin was the first saddle that I actually got on with. I’ve switched it from bike to bike over the years and despite a few scuffs, it is still just as comfortable today.
The frame pump was traded with a mate for a £180 skinsuit. Maybe don’t ever give me a job doing negotiations, but I was happy with the deal.
To get me through the dark post-work rides in the winter, I use a combination of lights. At the front, my main light is a Light & Motion Imjin 800. Then, when I have the correct computer mount fitted, I’ll also have a chunky Lezyne 1300 XL. I’ve also got a helmet set up with a quarter-turn Garmin mount for an additional light, but I don’t use it that much.
At the back I’ll use whatever I have. Currently on my bike is a Moon light, but I use my rear for day rides too, so they generally break after about 2 years. It’s incredibly wasteful, so if anyone has a suggestion for a rear light that lasts forever, I’m all ears.
Finally, I’d like to point to a component that wasn’t on the bike when we filmed, but has now been deployed thanks to the wet roads. Kinesis makes the Fend-Off mudguards and they’re designed to fit this frameset. These are full-length metal guards and they are very solid. I have attached front and rear flaps for extra protection. The front was made from an old water bottle and is some of my finest handiwork with the scissors.
If all of this sounds weighty to you then you’d be right. I haven’t weighed it because I don’t want to be depressed by the number, but let’s just say that it provides some extra training impetus in the winter and makes my Aethos feel very feathery.