As spring weather increasingly displaces winter, dedicated cyclists begin thinking that this is the year they will upgrade their road bike so they can ride faster and more effectively during prime biking season.
2013 is definitely a good time to do it, because the current selection of road bikes from the best bicycle manufacturers is the most advanced ever in terms of performance, technological innovation, and versatility.
Nowhere is that truer than when considering the new, outstanding road bike from Kestrel: the Kestrel Legend.
Though not many know it, Kestrel is the bike manufacturer that produced the first all-carbon composite bike frame in 1987. Using carbon fiber to build bike frames and components has since become a requirement among major bike manufacturers, but Kestrel has been doing it the longest and there is no company that builds a better carbon-fiber bike. The Kestrel Legend is no exception. At just 1.7 pounds (780 grams), the frame of the Legend is the lightest that Kestrel has ever made. Constructed of ultra-high modulus carbon fiber that provides an outstanding weight-to-stiffness ratio, the performance and comfort of the bike are enhanced by asymmetrical chainstays, Kestrel’s EMS carbon fork (which is manufactured using a state-of-the-art EPS foam forming process), a tapered head tube, and a BB30 adapter in the bottom bracket for sharper drive-train response.
What does all this technological innovation translate to?
A number of test teams from respected publications have already put the Kestrel Legend through its paces. Outside magazine has rated the Legend number one among new road bikes intended for general, endurance riding. And in their preview of new bikes for 2013, Bicycling magazine placed the Legend among the top 10 bikes they’re most excited about.
Here’s what the editors at Outside had to say in their review of the Kestrel Legend (after testing 59 new bikes that involved a cumulative 2,100 miles of riding):
The Legend mates Harley-plush riding with Ducati handling. How? Part of it comes from the design of the 1.7-pound frame: a cylindrical top tube flows straight into flattened-out seatstays, which makes the bike flexible enough to absorb both the buzz of chip seal and big hits on pocked pavement. And while the head tube is tall enough to take the bend out of your back and the weight off your hands (a very comfy combo), it’s so well balanced that the steering remains quick. [The Kestrel Legend shows] that speed and comfort are not mutually exclusive.
Bicycling’s testers praised the bike’s “smooth, efficient ride… and impressive drivetrain response,” while noting that the frame’s weight makes it competitive with many high-end bikes from bigger, more recognizable brands.
Kestrel describes the Legend road bike as a platform that will handle everything from criteriums to gran fondos (long-distance endurance rides).
If you’d like to own one of the most advanced yet reasonably-priced carbon-fiber road bikes available — one that will enable you to take your riding to new levels of distance, comfort, and effectiveness — but you don’t have a Kestrel dealer handy to where you live, no worries… You can get the Kestrel Legend configured with Shimano Ultegra components from Jenson USA online.
Jenson USA is one of the most comprehensive and reliable sources for all types of bikes, bicycling parts and accessories, and cycling gear on the Internet. You can shop for complete road bikes and mountain bikes on their site. They are passionate cyclists themselves so they treat their customers right. You don’t have to take my word for it, check customer reviews of the store. (For example, Jenson USA gets a rating over 9 (out of 10) on Bizrate reviews.)
Hey, guys, when it comes to getting the stuff you want, I’ll always try to steer you to the best sources.
So, whether you’re shopping for the top-rated Kestrel Legend or any other brand of bike or bike component, check the Jenson USA website (BTW, they’re having a big sale right now). They are currently offering the Kestrel Legend for a discount — and will match other store’s prices — and they offer free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Want to see more evaluation of the Kestrel Legend? See additional excerpts of reviews and tests below.
Here’s a video review of the Kestrel Legend by Red Kite Prayer cycling blog writer Patrick Brady:
The guys at Roadbikerider.com had the chance to try the Kestrel Legend at the Interbike show. Here’s what one of them had to say:
This year I was lucky enough to be on Kestrel’s new-for-2013 Legend SL, with its 780-gram frame, the lightest the company has ever produced. I chose it because Kestrel was arguably the first carbon bicycle maker, and I wanted to try their latest.
Advanced Sports International Product manager Steven Fairchild (ASI owns Kestrel, Fuji, Breezer, SE Bikes, Oval Concepts and Terry) explained that they designed the Legend to provide all the efficiency and performance of a race bicycle while adding compliance into the layup schedule and their H-stays and EMS fork to keep the rear wheel glued to the ground during high-speed cornering and take the edge off road buzz.
I loved the Legend’s ride. Like Steven promised, it was rock stable at high speed plus nimble and quick. Even with the slightly heavy wheels on the show bike, it was light and lively and it made hanging on the descent and climb a breeze.
Here’s an excerpt from the extensive review of the Kestrel Legend by Peloton Magazine:
Of course, when we get our hands on a company’s flagship product we get nitpicky about the details because, let’s face it, in today’s market with the choices we have, we should be. It’s one thing to have a flashy new product at the pre-season shows, or have a concept that could raise the bar, but it’s a different ballgame when the rubber literally meets the road. Out of the gate, the Legend SL had impressive power transfer and quick acceleration due to the short wheelbase, carbon tubulars, and oversized BB area. It matches up, watt-to-watt, with the carbon superbikes we have ridden over the last two seasons.
Climbing on the Legend SL was excellent, as one would expect with a 13-pound bike. The responsive wheelbase, feathery wheels, and overall light weight helped us easily maintain the group’s climbing tempo in the saddle, but drop a gear or two, jump out of the saddle and you will be yards ahead of your riding buddies in a flash. Descending was also solid. It’s not earth shattering, white-knuckle performance and each steed takes some time to build the trust of its jockey, but once you learn to trust the Legend SL, you’ll have no problem confidently holding the advantage you gained on the climb once the descent begins. The bike’s ability to soak up road chatter during descending is impressive, letting you hang it out on the edge, even on nasty road surfaces.
You may be interested to know that triathletes Andy Potts, Cameron Dye, Michael Lovato, and Amanda Lovato all ride Kestrel bikes. They all know something about high-performance bicycles.
Bottom line: there’s no question that if you’re looking to upgrade your road bike for 2013 (and beyond), one of the best choices is the Kestrel Legend — a versatile, responsive, comfortable, high-tech, affordable carbon-fiber bike that’s great for endurance riding and all-around use. Click here to see full spec’s and check pricing and availability of the Kestrel Legend Shimano Ultegra road bike at Jenson USA.
Good riding in 2013!