Yipes I have really been neglecting my blog. But fitting comes first, and another reason I have been too busy to type is the popularity of our Kestrel bikes. If I’m not fitting I am building! For 2011, the 4000 tri/tt bike is latest and greatest, but let’s not forget two of Kestrel’s stalwarts: the Airfoil and the Talon. For 2011 both bikes get Oval Concepts components including nice carbon clincher wheels with aluminum braking surfaces. These are 45mm deep, so race worthy or just very nice as training wheels.
The 2011 Airfoil sports a striking black/white/yellow scheme that has been receiving much praise around our shop. As always, the Airfoil remains a long/low shape best suited to short-legged long-torso riders, or else any rider that really lays out on the bike with lots of drop.
Also don’t forget that the 47cm airfoil is THE lowest-stack production tri frame. I recently was able to fit a young lady on one who was notably under 5 feet tall. If not for the Airfoil, she would’ve had to go custom.
The Oval A900 bars are very adjustable and very aero, but also work best in a low-stack configuration. So again, don’t expect a high front end with the Airfoil. The flat base bars seem very comfortable with good hand position options.
Another new twist for 2011 are the Oval A700 brakes. These are similar to some of the super-lightweight brakes out there in design. They utilize a roller cam to apply force to the calipers, which are skeletonized. So they appear quite light.
But since there is no way to ride outside around here in the winter wasteland, braking ability will have to be tested in the future. Maybe the very distant future at this rate. For 2011 there is only one version of the Airfoil as seen above, equipped with ultegra. Msrp is in the low $4’s.
The Talon has also been a foundation of Kestrel’s lineup for years, and has gone through a few frame updates. For 2011, the components are the main changes. As always, the Talon is available as a road or tri configuration – the difference being the front end components. So it either serves as a very nice aero road bike, or hybrid road/tri bike.
The adjustable seat post allows the saddle to be pushed forward a few cm, which will achieve a full 78+ degrees on small frames or more like 76 degs on bigger frames. So it can work well as a tri bike for those who need a high stack and prefer a slacker seat angle. As a road bike, the Talon is full-on race geometry – long and low. The new Rt-1000 will fill out the Kestrel road bike line with a shorter reach – higher stack geometry suited to less aggressive road positions. We expect these to be available in late March.
The Talon Tris get Profile front ends again this year. So this adds to the already high stack. The SL version gets ultegra and the nice Oval 745 carbon rims and Ultegra.
The road SL gets sharp-looking carbon Oval stem and bars.
All models get the same Oval A700 brakes as on the Airfoil. The SL’s paint job is quite striking – white and clear carbon with navy and gold trim. Once again, it is receiving rave reviews here at the Lab. The Sl’s list in the mid $3’s while the regular 105-equipped versions, which are red and black are in the low $2’s.
What of the 4000? The 2011 ultegra and Sram Red versions are starting to hit – all equipped with Oval wheels and components (although some may be receiving Profile CX-3 bars instead of the Oval A900’s). The Di2 equipped version seems to still be a ways off though. Stay tuned for further updates.