Kinesis R2
Road Review

Experience the road bike thrill of aluminium performance with impeccable handling and all-day ride comfort. Welcome to the brand-new Kinesis R2.
R2 is a modern-day road bike ideally suited to those looking for good pace in their ride with the added prospect of something a little more adventurous if desired.
R2 is built around the same proven frame and fork as our highly acclaimed, group test winning R1 bike which Cycling Plus magazine proclaimed had “Understated class and excellent ride quality” and BikeRadar.com said had “instant zing when pressing the pedals”. Customer feedback led us to tweak the recipe to cater to even more riders and R2 features a Shimano 2×10 drivetrain, providing plentiful gear range. No matter whether you like to tackle big climbs, bomb fast descents, or get your head down on the flat roads then R2 will get you there with ease.


On first opening the box, I was impressed to see that Kinesis (although small touches) have thought about the way they package and transport their bikes. Just little things like not fitting the front rotor to the wheel to stop it getting knocked and bent in transit. Also that there was minimal plastic used, mostly card and cardboard which was in the right places and not a scratch on the bike. 
Sporting hydraulic brakes and mechanical gearing, it was very nice to see that the whole bike was already cabled up so only small adjustments were needed to get this ready to ride! Although my time with the bike was short, it was nice to see fixings on the frame and fork for proper mudguards and also a rack.  As a winter road/allroad option, it was already ticking a lot of the key utility boxes!

Ride Time!

My first ride of the R2 was a simple 9 miles to work. I did not make any adjustments to the bike to start with (i.e stem length etc) as I just wanted to see what the 54cm was like straight from the box. 

My first ride of the R2 was a simple 9 miles to work. I did not make any adjustments to the bike to start with (i.e stem length etc) as I just wanted to see what the 54cm was like straight from the box. 

My short commute started the day with most of it being along cycle ways with plenty of branches, leaves and mud on. The 30mm tyres fitted as standard easily dealt with these, still giving confidence to corner and brake without worrying too much about coming off. 

I shouldn’t say it was a surprise but the bike felt fast, quite spritely out of the corners. It never felt like there was much resistance coming from the larger profile 30mm tyres. Modern Shimano Tiagra may not be a headliner on the Shimano gear performance scale but I can’t fault it at all. It shifted when I asked it to and with ease. Granted it is not the lightest of groupsets but on a bike like this, there is no need for it to be. It just needs to function well and consistently, which it seems to do. 
After getting a few more miles (and hills) under my belt, the Kinesis confirmed itself as a capable fuss free work horse. Up some steeper hills the weight of the bike was initially present but once you settled into a nice cadence the R2 climbed confidently with the frame providing good power transfer and placing you in a comfortable position to grind out the miles.
Once up to speed on the descents, the geometry felt sorted, with the hydraulic disc breaks providing plenty of control. The frame, carbon fork and larger tyres did a good  job of minimising road buzz but remained reactive enough to rider inputs to avoid the odd late sighting of a pothole. 

I would highly recommend getting this bike (as any bike should be) fitted to your needs. I found straight out of the box that the bars were too wide and the stem a little short for my own personal body geometry. These are very easy things to change and make all the difference to long term ride comfort. 
The Kinesis R2 provides a good value proposition as both a solid winter bike to get out and keep you peddling through those colder months but also is definitely worth considering as a first foray into road riding. With its quality aluminium frame, carbon fork and sorted Shimano groupset there may not be much you need to change off the bat, but would be worthy of spending a little extra on upgrades down the line. 


  • Value for money
  • Sharp and agile feel
  • Well thought out geometry inspires confidence
  • Fixtures and fittings for mudguards and rack


  • Not the lightest option out there
  • Stock handle bars on the flexible side and not the most comfortable