TITRE

 

This month, we offer you a dual testing. Discover the new bike Kuota KT05, equipped with Reynolds aero 58/72 wheels.

Test realized by Sébastien RODRIGUEZ, photos SR@copyrights / test published in TrimaX-hebdo Magazine#139 _ april 2015

VIDEO

 

Introduction

The Kuota KT05 is the last aero bike from the brand, which we could almost qualify of bike concept. The provided wheels by Reynolds are also impressive, with a very attractive 72/58 mix for a triathlete.

 

Kuota KT05

The KT05 is manufactured around simple and very aerodynamic shapes. The frame is developed with the very last technologies regarding carbon fibers, but also from an innovating molding. The frame, the fork, the brake system, everything is made of an only unit, in order to offer the best possible aerodynamic performances, without compromising the rigidity of torsion qualities of the whole.

In addition, thanks to a collaboration with Ceramicspeed®, Kuota has added a very important element: the reduction of the friction, which offers then a very performing product, while increasing its lifetime.

 

Technical characteristics

Voluntarily, we won’t present you in details the tested mounting. Indeed, the bike that we’ve tried doesn’t correspond to a standard mounting available as it is in the Kuota catalogue. Some components are different, especially the wheels, which have been changed voluntarily for the needs of the testing. The testing is not less interesting, on the contrary, Kuota informs us that on these premium bikes, this kind of individual mounting is also possible for the client.

But the geometry of this frame won’t change, whatever the chosen mounting, individual or not.

 

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The testing

First of all, this bike is visually impressive. A few years ago, we could have seen this bike in a show as a concept bike, the kind of bike which makes you dream but that you couldn’t imagine on the road one day. And yet this bike is real. The huge tubes of the frame are impressive, the total integration of all the components is wonderful. Nothing outstrips, everything seems to be one and the same part on this bike. The very aggressive lines and this matte black dress make it look like a fighter plane. All this integration is wonderful, the handlebar, the brakes, but before riding you’ll have to get positioned on this bike. And that’s the disadvantage of these bikes and their extreme integration. The choice of the frame size becomes primordial, you’d better not mistake, because you’ll have more choices to find an adapted position by playing on the components. But this Kuota is quite convenient compared to other TT bikes. You have the choice of several spaces between your extensions and between your armrests, and more choice on the advancement and the recoil of the latter. You will also be able to set the height of the extensions thanks to wedges, which is a very good thing!

On the road now, what we were waiting for… When we begin pedaling, we feel the bike as a block, everything seems very rigid. Indeed, the first kilometers in the city are not very agreeable, the lights, the many restarts, the braking, the KT05 is not comfortable there…

But once we are on more straight roads, we can begin riding. On the extensions, we feel as if we were on rails, as if nothing could deviate this machine from its trajectory. It’s heady, every stroke seems efficient. Unconsciously, your legs turn faster and faster, you increase little by little the gear ratio, as if the bike wanted you to give everything you can. Thus you have to stay cautious and control the machine, at the risk of shattering if you let this Kuota take control. Now in climbs, the KT05 is also quite good, of course it’s not made to climb big mountain passes, but it is good on regular efforts in medium hills. Even if it is relatively light and rigid, the hills by jerks and the violent break-aways are not its chosen field.

If this Kuota should allow you to climb the «small hills» with no fear, you will also have to think about the downhills. Generally, it’s not the advantage of this kind of bike, especially because of the forward position that we have on it. It’s even more the case with this kind of bike with a whole integration, because the headset can look «heavy» sometimes. And yet there is no problem with this KT05, it is very precise and quite securing.

The other disadvantage of this kind of bike is the braking, not always performant with the issue of the brake calipers integration. On this Kuota, the integration is very successful, but it doesn’t compromise the quality of braking. You can feel secured in downhills.

Finally, a bike made to ride kilometers and kilometers at high speed on the extensions, but polyvalent enough to ride on any type of roads and which doesn’t become penalizing.

This bike can show us all its qualities, especially because great wheels complete it, the second subject of this double testing.

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Reynolds 58/72 AERO MIXTE

The wheels Reynolds AERO are available in different height of rim: 46, 58, 72 and 92mm. The choice is already wide, but Reynolds has decided to widen even more the possibilities by offering wheels set of the Aero range. Three «new» wheels have been launched with a mix front/back 46/58, 72/92, and finally 58/72, the version that we could try.

Reynolds wants to offer a maximum of polyvalence and efficiency with these wheels. With this combination 58/72, we have the perfect compromise between aerodynamics, stability and rigidity, in a single pair of wheels.

The combination of a rim of average height in front with a high rim in the back offers a very good balance between maneuverability in downhills or with the wind, and aerodynamics on rolling roads. And most of all, this kind of mix is quite esthetic on the bike, it makes it look aggressive.

These wheels are available in tubular, but we tried the pneumatic version.

 

Technical characteristics

Weight:

Pneumatic Set: around 16400g Tubular Set: around 1400g

Width:

External: 26,2 mm, internal: 16 mm

Rim depth :

58 mm / 72 mm

Braking:

CTG

Design:

Computational Fluid Dynamics: A2 wind tunnel certified

Rays:

16 front / 20 back

Spoke Pattern :

Front: Non-propulsive radial: 2X

Nipples:

Hex 5mm x 2,0 internal

Hub:

Reynolds Racing Design straight traction with internal DT Swiss 240

Compatible:

Shimano / SRAM / Campagnolo

Price:

Around 2600€

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The Testing

First of all, what a look! For us, the mix of a front 58mm rim and a back rim a little higher of 72mm is very successful esthetically. It gives an aggressive look to the bike, which gives the feeling that it wants to dive forwards. Esthetically speaking, this rim height seems to be the ideal compromise, high enough to beautify a TT bike, discrete enough not to be shocking on a road bike. The look of the wheel is very elegant, sober and aggressive, which suits with any color of frame.

Logistically speaking, this pair of wheels needs specific brakes, which is advised for most of full carbon wheels. Nothing more binding than usual regarding that. Then, these wheels are mounted with pneumatics and not tubulars (available in tubular version), if this would surprise the most purists of you, it’s an asset though to use these wheels more regularly in your training sessions.

Regarding the price first, as tubulars cost more than good pneumatics, and regarding an eventual fixing then.

To keep talking about the tested wheels, they were delivered with traditional pneumatics of 23 of section, regarding the width of this rim, we won’t hesitate mounting them with 25mm pneumatics, a more and more trendy section.

On the road now, the first strokes in the city allow us to evaluate these wheels. They are quite at ease on the multiple restarts and changing of direction. We feel a good rigidity and an excellent vivacity thanks to their low weight. The many lights and stops on the road also allow us to discover the braking of this pair. We could even forget that we are riding with full carbon wheels because the braking is very efficient. The rim-brake pad mix seems to work perfectly.

Finally, we begin pedaling on more rolling roads, we will be able to see what these Reynolds Aero 58/72 have in the gut. When the speed increases, we really feel the aerodynamic contribution, the wheels whistle in the wind, they seem to brake the wind. They offer a kind of facility to maintain the speed, we have the same feeling as with high wheels, the front wheel which is «only» 58mm high doesn’t seem handicapping.

It is even quite agreeable, the direction seems light, we don’t have any difficulty holding our bike, even with a strong lateral wind, or if a truck passes us. In hills, even if the mountain is not the chosen field of these wheels, they are quite at ease. It’s as if the characteristics of the 72mm wheel disappear for the benefit of the 58mm, which gives to the bike a good agility, and a good vivacity when you need to restart. In downhills, it’s even more striking, the steering is not disturbed at all by the height of the rims as it can be the case with a pair of 80mm. The quality of braking is really good as we said before. Reynolds has been able to create a successful and efficient rim-brake pad mix. We feel as secured as with classical aluminum wheels, the braking is as efficient, at least on dry roads because we didn’t try them when it rained.

To sum up, the polyvalence characterizes this mix 58/72 mm. The wheels give the feeling to adapt to the field and to the moment. We feel as if we had a pair of 72mm on flat roads which would become 58mm in hills, restarts, downhills. A very good pair of wheels which do everything, apart from the very high mountain maybe. It’s typically the pair of wheels that you can bring to any race, with no fear of loosing in performance, whatever the conditions. Flat, hilly, windy, nothing frightens it.

Conclusion

A very beautiful testing that we could realize with two premium products from the firm Valdenaire SA.

The Kuota KT05 or the wheels Reynolds Aero 58/72 are both very good products, which perfectly match together.

More informations about the Kuota KT05 :

http://www.kuotacycle.it/en/content/kt05

More information about the wheels Reynolds Aero 58/72 :

http://www.reynoldscycling.com/ wheels/201558-72-AERO-Mixed-Set

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