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Kinesis' GTD v2 makes a strong case for doing away with the old N+1 idea of how many bikes you need (as in, the number you have now plus one...). It's a frameset that feels light and responsive for those blasts in the sun, but if you want to go long, it's very comfortable. Wide tyres aren't a problem (even with mudguards), and it takes a rack too if touring is your thing. This is one versatile machine, and it's a looker too.
'Go the Distance.' That's what the GTD v2 is all about, but after a month or so with the Kinesis, it's so much more than that. This isn't just a bike for getting the miles in. It'll cover them in a waft of comfort and smooth handling, but there is so much more going on.
Take my first ride, for instance. After a day stuck in front of the computer it was time to shoot out for a quick shakedown ride to check the setup, position and so on.
Time was tight, so it was a bit of a pedal mash, but boy did it highlight one fact: beneath its endurance credentials and long-distance versatility, this Kinesis is no slouch.
The stiffness in the frame means it feels surprisingly responsive. Darting through the busy rush hour traffic the GTD v2 behaves more like a lightweight race machine. Sprinting past slow-moving vehicles and cutting through gaps to make the lights or filter through roundabouts, the Kinesis is a nimble beast.
And while it's not the lightest machine out there, it never feels like it saps the energy from the legs. That 90-minute loop was an absolute hoot, and while the majority of my rides were much longer, they never became any less fun or engaging.
Titanium is a beautiful material. Not only can you build a stiff frame, you can (if you know what you are doing) do while fully exploiting the comfort levels of this alloy. And that is exactly what Kinesis has done.
The build we have here is quite a racy one, and while there is a firmness to the ride it's never harsh, even with the tyres pumped up hard to suit my preference.
On longer rides I found the GTD cruised along with little fuss – all you have to do is keep the pedals spinning. There is no jarring of muscles on rough sections, so you can just get on with tapping out the pace for hours. It's just an easy bike to ride and live with.
A lot of that comes down to the geometry. You'd think this would be some slack-angled endurance machine that's happier plodding around the lanes rather than delivering a spirited ride, but it isn't.
It's a very clever balance. The head angle is slacker than I expected (I ride test bikes for as long as I can before looking at the tech spec) from its behaviour in the bends, and the ratio between stack and reach (1.46 for this medium) is on the racy end of the scale.
What this means on the road is a decent saddle to bar drop that doesn't put you in an extreme position, yet still allows a very good balance of your weight across the bike. That's great for control, especially at high speed.
The handling itself is on the neutral side, but with just a cheeky bit of speed to it so you can have a giggle should you want to push things a little.
My favourite test hill (you know the one by now: steep, lots of corners, some off camber, bit of gravel in the middle for added jeopardy) shows the Kinesis to be very capable and confidence inspiring.
The steering isn't as fast as a race bike's, but at speed it carves a very smooth line through the apex. Should you need to change your line the GTD responds well, never feeling flustered or on edge as you guide it through the technical sections.
Overall it's a very planted machine, which is what you want from a bike that could be pressed into commuting duties on wet and slippery roads.
I'm making this sound like the GTD is all about razzing it around everywhere, but it is so much more than that. This thing is a proper grand tourer. It'll gobble up the miles, and I found it one of those bikes that's enjoyable to just kick back on and enjoy the ride.
I headed off loaded with a bit of kit to meet with the family during half term; nothing too major, just some clothes in an 8-litre seat pack, a bar bag holding some tools, and a bento bag on the top tube with essentials. It wasn't a massive ride, but it was just nice to chill and enjoy the sunshine.
I could give the GTD v2 a little dig when I wanted too, but other than that I just rolled the pedals over – it was really enjoyable just to look at the scenery while the GTD took care of business.
This is probably what I like the most about the GTD v2. It's a frameset that just becomes what you ask of it. There is no real compromise. You want too smash it... bring it on. You want miles and miles of uninterrupted bliss? Just let it get on with it.
Like most other titanium alloy frames on the market, the GTD's tubing is a 3Al/2.5V blend, which is titanium alloyed with 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium. It's custom drawn to Kinesis' specification, which means they control things like tube diameters and wall thicknesses to dictate stiffness versus comfort.
The front end uses a tapered head tube for stiffness, and that kind of sets the theme for the down and seat tubes – both of them have quite a large profile.
The threaded bottom bracket shell isn't massive, but it delivers on the stiffness front and the revised v2 shell works with 30mm axle cranks and Di2 internal routing.
The GTD has slender, curved seatstays which bring some flex to the rear end for cushioning when in the saddle.
The whole thing is nicely manufactured. The welding is neat and tidy throughout, and I'm a big fan of the laser-etched down tube logo. It also comes with a five year warranty.
At a quick glance, it's easy to think the GTD doesn't bring anything massively out of the ordinary to the market, but there are a lot of little details which really complete the package.
Ports for running cables and hoses into the frame are nothing new, but what makes the GTD stand out for me is the quality of the welding around those port sections on the down tube. It's very neat indeed.
Cable routing at the rear is run external if you're using a mechanical groupset, and nicely guided via little apertures and fastened by cable ties. It's the same for the brake hose too.
It's a neat solution which also allows a full outer for the gear cable, which helps in crappy weather conditions. If you're using Di2 the wire can run to the rear mech internally through the chainstay, exiting at the CNC-machined dropouts.
Other than that, you are getting three bottle mounting points – the third being under the down tube – and mounts for mudguards and a rear rack.
From a mudguard mounting faff point of view, the majority of the holes are where you need them for most off-the-shelf guards. It's only on the front where you'll need to bend the stays a bit, as the holes sit inside of the fork legs above the disc. That's not a big issue though, as I've set up many guards in that position.
The fork is a full carbon job, as you'd expect. Just like the frame, it balances stiffness and comfort well, and I could find no issues with it.
Available in seven sizes, the GTD v2 should fit most. We have a 54cm model here with a frame weight of 1.74kg, and like the rest in the range it takes 34mm tyres without guards (30mm with them).
Numbers wise, you're looking at a 540mm seat tube, 558mm effective top tube and a head tube length of 166mm. The head angle is 71° while the seat angle is 73.5° and fork rake is 47mm across all sizes.
The wheelbase is a confidence inspiring 1,025mm with 420mm chainstays, while the stack and reach figures are 570mm and 389mm respectively.
The GTD is available as a frameset only: that gets you the frame, fork, headset, titanium seat clamp, two thru-axle levers, frame ports and cable guides. It'll cost you £2,200.
That's a good price overall when you take the quality, and just what the GTD v2 is capable of, into account.
The Ribble Endurance Ti Disc (a bike I loved riding) is available as a frame only for £1,799 which is a fair chunk less than the Kinesis.
Now, having ridden the two side by side I'd say the Kinesis delivers a better ride if you want performance. The Ribble, while a very good bike indeed, doesn't have the responsiveness of the GTD v2. It lags slightly on tyre clearance to the Kinesis, too.
Other options include the Genesis Croix de Fer Ti, which is available as a frameset for £2,229.99.
On paper it's quite a similar beast to the GTD: decent tyre clearance (actually a bit more at 38mm), and a bit of an all-rounder. On the road though the GTD beats it hands down, being more responsive, more involving from a feedback point of view, and just an all-round better frameset.
I quite liked the J.Guillem Orient, another titanium jack of all trades. That frameset will cost you around £2,992.50 at the current exchange rate, though, plus taxes.
The GTD v2 is an excellent frameset. If this was my own bike it'd evolve throughout the seasons, taking on different roles at different times – it just feels so adaptable. If you want to ride fast, it'll do it, and not just in a compromised way – this is a properly fast bike.
Meanwhile, if distance is your thing, the GTD just eats up the miles while you get as involved as you want to. And if you just want to enjoy the scenery, it will happily let you get on with it. The Kenesis GTD v2 is a future classic.
High quality frameset that delivers it all – comfort, performance and sweet handling – regardless of how you ride it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kinesis GTD v2 Frameset
Size tested: Med, 54cm
Tell us what the frameset is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Kinesis says, "Our flagship titanium road frameset is back, with a host of refinements for an even more unforgettable ride. No matter whether you are doing endurance races, century rides, or commuting in style, the GTD delivers pure riding joy on every single ride.
"The GTD comes equipped for all conditions riding, because we believe the sublime ride of titanium shouldn't be reserved for summer Sundays."
This is a frameset that delivers comfort and balanced handling while still retaining a performance ride.
State the frame and fork material and method of construction
Custom drawn 3Al 2.5v titanium tubing.
* Kinesis carbon monocoque disc tapered fork.
* Flat mount specific calliper mounts.
* GW Tapered headset with ACB Bearings.
* 142x12mm Thru Axle rear spacing.
* 100x12mm Thru Axle front fork.
* GW 'Switch Lever' axles front and rear.
* Clearance for up to 34mm tyres.
* Clearance for up to 30mm tyres with guards.
* Compatible with Mechanical and Di2 systems (1x and 2x).
* Three bottle cage mounts.
* Mudguard and rack mounts.
* 34.9mm Front Mech clamp size.
* 68mm threaded Bottom Bracket.
* 31.6mm Seatpost required.
* Brushed natural Titanium with laser etched Downtube.
* 32mm long flat mount disc brake bolts required for the frame.
* Available in 48cm, 50cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm and 60cm sizes.
* Frame supplied with fork, headset, titanium seat clamp, front & rear Thru Axle, frame ports and cable guides.
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Very good, with neat welding throughout. The laser-etched down tube logo adds a bit of class.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is endurance based with a slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles than you'd find on a full race bike. It works very well for this style of bike.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
For this 54cm medium model, the stack and reach figures are 570mm and 389mm – nothing out of the ordinary at all.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
The GTD does has a firm ride from a performance point of few, but the titanium tubing does its job removing any harshness.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness levels are impressive around the bottom bracket, and also at the front end to deal with steering and braking loads.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power transfer is very good indeed – this bike is no slouch.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? On the fun side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The steering isn't as fast as a dedicated race bike, but it's not far off. The handling is very easy to live with and delivers good precision and confidence at higher speeds.
How did the build components work with the frame? Was there anything you would have changed?
This build is well suited to the riding the GTD is capable of from a performance point of view. It'd work perfectly well with a lower-grade groupset, alloy wheels and full mudguards if you wanted it for commuting duties.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a bit more expensive than Ribble's Endurance Ti offering – by a few hundred pounds – although the Kinesis is priced much closer to Genesis' Croix de Fer, and way below something like the J.Guillem Orient.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Not only is the Kinesis GTD a lovely looking bike, it delivers on performance and comfort. It's one of those bikes you can ride however you like – fast, slow, whatever – and still finish with a smile on your face. The attention to detail, such as in the cable routing, means it is a very good package all round.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!