Italy’s Kuota are launching a new disc-brake road bike called the Khydra, a non-disc equivalent called the Kiral, plus a brand new time trial bike in the shape of the KT5 Zero. We had the chance for a very quick look at all three at The Bike Place 2014 trade show at Silverstone yesterday.
The Khydra is the disc brake road bike and it comes in a sportive-type geometry with a head tube that’s extended a little over that of a standard road bike, and a top tube that’s slightly shorter. The idea, of course, is that you get a slightly more relaxed ride position.
Although it says ‘hydraulic braking performance’ on the chainstay, this model is actually built up with cable-operated disc brakes from Shimano, largely because SRAM’s Road Hydraulic brakes have been recalled and the UK distributors were struggling to get TRP’s to fit in the limited time they had to assemble this bike for the show.
The carbon monocoque frame comes with a BB386Evo bottom bracket and it’s compatible with Di2 electronic shifting (as are the vast majority of bikes in the Kuota range). Kuota claim a frame weight of 1,060g.
Disc brakes aside, the most noticeable visual feature is the fluted top tube. You can just about make it out on this photo: the section that’s covered with a black stripe is slightly concave. It’s purely a style thing. The Khydra also gets flattened, arching seatstays and a wedge-type integrated seat clamp.
A Khydra frameset, complete with Kuota’s carbon monocoque disc-specific fork, is priced at £1,750 while complete bikes start at £2,969. The first production models are being shipped right now and should be available to buy in 3-4 weeks.
The Kiral is a similar frame but it’s not disc compatible. That means the back end is quite different, of course, although the chainstays are still asymmetric to take account of the forces from the drivetrain.
Like the Khydra, the Kiral comes in a sportive-friendly geometry and features a BB386Evo bottom bracket so it’s capable of taking the vast majority of chainsets out there as long as you use the relevant bottom bracket. Again, Kuota claim a frame weight of 1,060g. Prices? The frameset is £1,399 and complete bikes cost from £2,450.
Finally, there’s Kuota’s new time trial bike called the KT5 Zero. The shape is broadly similar to that of many other TT bikes (see our feature from Eurobike for an overview of the TT market) although the head tube looks very short even by the standards of the genre.
The fork is integrated and so is the stem (it sits flush with the top tube), while the front brake is shrouded under a cover to manage airflow up front. Allen bolts hold that shroud in place. The rear brake is Shimano direct mount and it lives behind the bottom bracket
As you can see, the seatstays meet the down tube a long way below the top tube junction to reduce the size of the frontal area, and they’re very, very skinny. Of course, most time trial bikes have skinny tubes but the Kuota’s verge on sharp – that applies to the down tube, seat tube and the fork legs.
Kuota have again gone for a BB386Evo bottom bracket while the KT5 is compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
Go for Di2 and the battery fits into a little pocket in the down tube. It looks pretty neat and easy to get at.
The rear dropouts are rear facing so you can fine tune the position of the wheel in relation to the cutaway seat tube.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.