BikeBiz catches up with KinesisUK following the launch of its first e-bike at the Cycle Show this year
Can you give us a little background on the KinesisUK brand?
KinesisUK is one of two in-house bike/accessory brands of Upgrade Bikes (DMR being the other) and comes into its 21st year in 2020. It started with us importing some stock frames from Kinesis in Taiwan but we quickly wanted to alter the designs to suit the UK. By combining our designs and detailing with the Kinesis manufacturing and materials innovation we produce bikes ideally suited to the UK market.
The Kinesis factory gave us market-leading technical benefits like their own high-grade Kinesisum Alloy and SPF (Super Plastic Formed) tube processes. Being small we can move quickly and are often leading the trends such as flat mount disc brakes and large clearance gravel bikes.
For the first 15 years, KinesisUK’s designs were managed by Dom Mason who went on to set up Mason Cycles. His brother Damian Mason, one of Upgrade’s directors and the “DM” of DMR, now heads up the internal design team and the process very much draws on many combined years of industry experience, personal knowledge as well as brand ambassador and market place feedback to create multi-award-winning bikes.
What is KinesisUK’s vision?
We succeed in our goal to bring high-quality framesets to market that are well priced and on-trend. Our dealers can sell them an accessory or more often work closely with the customer to build their dream bike and further their cycling enjoyment.
KinesisUK launched its first e-bike – Rise – at the Cycle Show this year. What can you tell us about the build – what sets it apart from its rivals?
We had a very positive response to the launch which was fun as many did not see it coming. The Rise is our first model presented from our KinesisUK E-Division. It’s a progressive geometry trail hardtail with high a quality build.
We have chosen the Fazua drive system for its lightweight and simple operation. It offers a very natural ride feel with smooth progressive power delivery and mechanical de-coupling once 15.5mph is reached or the rider is freewheeling. This means the power comes in an out very smoothly and the ride feel is very organic compare to more powerful systems.
The emphasis is on maintaining the natural mountain bike ride experience. Riding the Rise is very much like riding a well thought out progressing trail bike, but like you’ve got your “best legs day” every time. The lightweight battery/motor system makes the Rise easy to hop and pop like a normal bike and more enjoyable in the single track. We say: “Be a rider, not a passenger”.
Our sales team are currently introducing the Rise to dealers and pre-orders are being signed for first delivery in February. Dealers will be visited with demo bikes in December and we encourage those interested to get in touch with their Upgrade sales representative or contact the main office to book a visit.
From a more general perspective, what KinesisUK offer that its competitors perhaps do not?
We have a very strong consumer following from our 21 years. Our Facebook and Instagram content, website and front-line advertising, coupled with strong representation at public shows and events backed up by sponsorships and our Ambassadors programme that feeds content to us constantly. We produce strong and high-quality messages, backed up by high-quality products that inspire customers to seek out KinesisUK. We have a very UK perspective on our designs too and that is recognised by our customers along with our strong customer service.
Tell us about the KinesisUK wheel programme.
We are phasing out our KinesisUK alloy wheels and have started a new range under the brand Sector wheels. This allows us to be more accepted by the consumer as an independent wheel brand and to introduce a wider range of materials. We recently launched our new 29er MTB trail wheel, the 9i with its innovative Carbon-Innegra rim material. This increases comfort through compliance and strength through it armour of Innegra material. Next is the “GCi” gravel wheelset, arriving in November, which will also feature the Carbon-Innegra rim technology. Our DH9i and DH7i rims will come soon after plus our range of alloy wheels. All Sector wheelsets come with lifetime warranty and a crash replacement programme is in place. We are also offering a full rim programme for dealers who wish to do custom build.
What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?
We will continue to push our key categories of adventure, road, cross and MTB but a large amount of our energy will be going into our E-Division products. The Rise e-trail hardtail will be available in February with two more e-bike models being launched at CORE bike show in January.
Our 21st year is going to a very, very exciting one. Roll on 2020.