Monday, November 5, 2007

Bike Review 2007- Kuota Kalibur

So have you ever gotten on a bike and felt like you'd come home? This is a machine that fits you so well that you almost can't see yourself as not being a part of it. It's a bike where going fast and breathing are exactly the same. If you haven't don't worry because if you stick around bikes long enough, trust me, its bound to happen to you at least once and then you'll know what I'm talking about.

The Kalibur is one really amazing bike. The bike was everything I wanted when I started looking. It was stiff where it needed to be making it incredibly responsive and quick to accelerate. It took corners like a champ and shifted like butter (The bike I tested was outfitted with Ultegra components). And man this was one tri-bike that actually climbed almost as well as my road bike. In my standard tests which includes short climbing, a series of sharp turns on a closed 3 mile loop and an 8 mile time trial at a comfortable 140 bpm heart rate and moderate gearing from 39/15 to 39/12, the Kalibur was still amazingly fast. I liked the ride so much I rode it around my neighborhood just for fun. I even did a local time trial on it and posted a PR on the course for the year.

In a race environment this bike was amazing. It was silky smooth, dampening road noise and vibration while retaining enough rigidity to provide snap when attempting to bridge gaps or run down someone up the road. The Kalibur probably owes much of this snappy responsiveness to the Kevlar reinforced rear triangle. Yep, Kevlar. The same stuff they make bullet proof vests from. On this bike I was able to take aggressively sharp turns without really thinking about it and descend quickly with confidence. Sometimes when you are in aero position, things like descending and cornering can feel dicey. But the Kalibur inspires confidence in this area like few tri bikes I've ridden. That may be the best thing I can say about the Kalibur is that it is a bike that inspires confidence. You step on this machine and you know it isn't going to be the thing holding you back on race day.

For all that confidence, comfort, speed, and a super stiff rear triangle that's practically bulletproof, the Kalibur with an Ultegra build is amazingly affordable costing about $3800.00. About the only thing negative I could say about the Kalibur is that it won't make you invisible. But hey, being fast and practically bulletproof for under four grand won't seem like too much of a compromise on race day.

1 comment:

JK1 said...

Ace- great review- I'd have to say I'd write almost the same review- I love my Kaliber- I've ridden a lot of bikes, and this was by far the one that I felt like it was a part of me. I can't wait to ride the new Kueen K- it's suppose to be even better.

love the blog. keep it up.