We take a first ride on Kuota's £2,099 carbon-fibre Kebel
Equipped with deep-section carbon clinchers, you might expect a harsh ride, but on the road the bike rides with comfort and agility. This is due to the combination of frame construction and the under-rated Spinergy wheels with their patented fibre technology spokes that are more flexible than traditional stainless steel versions.
With identical frame geometry to its lighter KOM brother, and similar oversized profiled tubing, it can be hard at first glance to separate the two framesets. Out on the road it can be hard too, thanks to the direct drive from the rear triangle. With the rear wheel tucked beneath the rider this bike loves to accelerate. The wheels are not lightweight but don't hinder progress when you want to put some power down.
The front end with its oversized (1-1/4 inch) lower race only needs slight encouragement and the bike begins to turn, giving it a very direct feel.
This directness makes the front end feel a little twitchy for the first few rides. But once you are used to it the Kebel offers buckets of confidence to lean it into corners where it holds a gratifyingly smooth line.
In summary the Kuota Kebel is race ready but won't spoil a long day out and comes at a price below that of more expensive machines of similar performance. It looks great with contrasting black and white decals, and drew many positive comments. If the rigid lines don't offend you this one is a winner.
Monocoque 12k carbon
Shimano Ultegra SL
Fizik Aliante saddle
53/39 with 12-23
Spinergy Stealth PBO
Conti GP4000 S