The Kinesis Cross Pro 6 offers just that and I was lucky enough to meet Kinesis rider Tom Hill to have a test run on his Pro 6. As I was riding up towards Tom’s house I was really aware of my nerves. I’d never ridden cross before let alone a cross bike so I had no idea what to expect!
Arriving at Tom’s house I walk in to a house full of bikes, the excitement kick’s in and I quickly whip my Time Atac SPD’s off and attach them to Tom’s Kinesis Cross Pro 6.
It was pretty ideal that me and Tom were just about the same height so no tinkering was needed before we got out on the bikes. Tom lives just on the out skirts of Leeds, I wouldn’t have said it was near anywhere rural yesterday – in fact I was under the impression we might have to ride 5-10 miles on the road before we got to any good trail etc but I was so very wrong. Tom, an endurance mountain biker at heart, knows his trails and the area he lives… ” I’ve spent a lot of time running and cycling around this area, exploring the terrain to find new and interesting routes with a wide selection of technical and challenging pathways, some that are mean’t as paths and some that aren’t.”.
I can whole heartedly say it was like getting riding a bike for the first time. When we got going I was so aware of the thicker nobly tyres, it felt a little sloppy/sticky on the road, as if it didn’t belong here – it didn’t! A minute down the road we ventured on to a wide field of grass where immediately the dynamics of the bike changed. Pushing a bit of memento the bike seemed to just roll over the grass unlike previous times where i’ve taken a detour across a grassy verge my bike slows down and the resistance hits you like a there’s something pushing against the wheel stopping it from rotating. Dips and drop on the grass land the bike already begs to be thrown around, slip the back wheel out or hope over one of the bumps! The adrenaline & excitement hits!
I was pleasantly surprised at how the bike handled on the dirt paths, riding up gobbles and miss matched stones. I assumed the bike would feel a little alien off road but it was actually the complete opposite, it only wanted more, to be pushed harder, to be ridden up that steep climb with roots and stones in the path way.
After getting stuck in and gain a feel for how the bike reacted to rough/loose ground I began to get a bit faster and a little bit more ‘giddy’ over stepping some corners and forgetting about pedal strike etc. I have to say it was a world wind of fear, excitement and adrenaline the whole way from start to finish. Getting a bit beyond my self storming down a descents whilst having absolutely no idea how sharp the corner, on a few occasions finding my self over stepping a turn nearly falling down the embankment… Did it put me off?! HELL NO. If anything I kind of did that “ohhh Shit!!!” correcting my self and then sniggering off as if i’d done something wrong and got away with it!
About half way through the route we found our selfs going through some fast down hill gravel paths which gave the Kinesis yet again another opportunity to put a huge smile on my face. The back end naturally twitches and ‘glides’ through the gravel, giving such a playful feel to descending and cornering! This was one of my favourite parts of the ride without a doubt!