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2011 Kuota Kharma

twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
edited January 2012 in Your road bikes
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Frame: 2011 Kuota Kharma

Wheels: Reynolds Shadow

Groupset: Shimano Ultegra

Stem and bars: Deda

Decided to go for a new bike now instead of next year when the bike prices and vat will go up. Tested the Kuota against a Scott Addict and Bianchi Infinito. The Kuota had the smoothest ride, planted and stable and didn't lose out to the other bikes on stiffness, and just felt "right". I expected to get a 2010 frame but just as I placed my order some 2011 frames came through and one was my size- result!

Day after I picked it up did a 100 mile sportive and felt the least fatigued I ever have after a ride that long.

Thanks to Phil at Epic Cycles for his advice and patience whilst I spent almost the whole of a Saturday afternoon testing bikes. I can't recommend Epic Cycles highly enough.

Bring on the Etape in 2011.

Posts

  • Glad the 2011 hasn't changed much. I got a great deal on an Ultegra Kharma 2010 2 months ago. Have completed 3 sportives on it now, a 103 miler today on 5.40 ( hilly course in the borders) and agree the Kharma is a phenomenal bike and has helped me no end in terms of riding times. A great climber too, it's just so direct and wants to be pushed on.
    Enjoy, I am
  • it's just so direct and wants to be pushed on.

    and it does that without trying to rattle your fillings loose as well

    That's a classy time gb. Good to know the bike impresses more powerful riders than me as well.
  • Nothing but good kharma from me :)
  • leechleech Posts: 77
    Kuota make lovely looking bikes. I've nearly crashed my car looking at a few of them in the window of a bike shop I drive past every day on my way home from work.

    Very nice.
  • Cheers. The Italians do know how to make a good looking frame.

    I know looks shouldn't matter but really I reckon to most of us how a bike looks is at least as important as how it rides.
  • Hi,

    How much did you pay for this?
  • £1700 from Epic Cycles.

    Also available with Shimano 105 for £1500.
  • let us know how you find the San Marco Ponza saddle. I've done a few hundred miles on it now and it doesn't seem to like me. Not super uncomfortable but noticed after the sportive on Sunday that it had cut me across the cheek form the edge!
  • Ah ok.

    Brilliant bike!

    I am looking to buy one early next year:)

    let us know a review maybe helpful.

    how much did the reynolds wheelset cost?

    The san marco ponza saddle is brilliant, ive got one, excellent.
  • GB I find the saddle to be super comfortable- absolutely no complaints except I don't think it will stay pristine white for long.

    townson the Reynolds wheels are not available to buy separately. Epic obtain them direct from Reynolds and are only allowed to sell them on complete bikes. I know they sell the bike with cheaper Shimano WH-500 wheels but I don't know what the price differential is.

    As for a review. It soaks up road buzz and is nice and planted on the road not being deflected from its line by bumpy surfaces. Decending at speed its stable. Despite being more comfortable than an all out race bike it still responds well to accelerations and is plenty stiff enough to respond to out of the saddle efforts in the same way as a Scott Addict or Bianchi Infinito does- this is no soft centred sportive bike. Once up to speed on the flat it carries speed really well. Shimano Ultegra performs smoothly and accurately but no better than 105. My large weighs 18.5 lbs without pedals so its not the lightest bike but frankly unless you weigh 8 stone dripping wet a 2lb difference between the Kuota and an ultra light bike like the Addict is insignificant (well I couldn't make the Addict go up a hill faster than the Kuota). Only issue I've had was a creaking sound from the seatpost/bottom bracket about 50 miles into its first ride. This creak disappeared about 30 miles later and hasn't returned- guess something just needed bedding in.

    In terms of vfm IMHO the Kuota performed better than either the Scott Addict or Bianchi Infinito I rode back to back with the Kuota and the Kuota with Ultegra is still £200 cheaper than the Bianchi with 105 and £300 cheaper than the Scott again with 105.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    I have a 2009 model.

    Perhaps slightly different to other kharma owners - my previous bike was an Alu Pinarello - and the Kuota isn't as stiff as that.

    But the ride is stable and very smooth. Although a sportive, more upright position than the pinarello - my speeds have improved - and thats gotta be because I am more comfortable on the bike.

    I upgraded to xero wheels and ultegra £1700 from Henry Burton cycles who clearly knows his stuff. Swapped to a compact handlebar as well - much better.

    Can't really understand why you don't see more kuota's around - doesn't seem anything to touch it for £1500 (105)
  • Can't really understand why you don't see more kuota's around - doesn't seem anything to touch it for £1500

    They don't have that many dealers in the UK (10 or 12 I think) plus at that price people start getting seduced by the famous brand names which, if my recent experience is anything to go by, aren't all that.

    I'm happy for us Kuota owners to remain a small exclusive group of free thinkers with great taste and discernment :wink:

    Anyway if they got more popular Kuota would put their prices up.
  • PhilAPhilA Posts: 26
    I had the original Kharma back in 2005/6 and the frame has changed quite a bit since then. It's pretty sweet looking now, as your photo shows. Nice ride and tastefully done.
  • twotyred wrote:
    Can't really understand why you don't see more kuota's around - doesn't seem anything to touch it for £1500

    They don't have that many dealers in the UK (10 or 12 I think) plus at that price people start getting seduced by the famous brand names which, if my recent experience is anything to go by, aren't all that.

    I'm happy for us Kuota owners to remain a small exclusive group of free thinkers with great taste and discernment :wink:

    Anyway if they got more popular Kuota would put their prices up.

    Shhhhh...... :lol:
  • PhilA wrote:
    I had the original Kharma back in 2005/6 and the frame has changed quite a bit since then. It's pretty sweet looking now, as your photo shows. Nice ride and tastefully done.

    I've still got mine - too nice to change it (plus it was a Xmas pressie of the wife)
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • PhilAPhilA Posts: 26
    Sadly I broke mine in 2007, but replaced it with a Kredo (posted elsewhere on this forum), which I love.

    As said above, I am more than happy to be the only Kuota owner I know. Great bikes that stand out from the army of Specialized/Trek/Cervelo that you see on the club runs. Not there is anything wrong with these brands, they're excellent, but it is just nice to be different.

    Saying that, though, I have found dealer and, to a greater extent, distributor support less than perfect...
  • PhilA wrote:
    Saying that, though, I have found dealer and, to a greater extent, distributor support less than perfect...

    I found the lack of manufacturers blurb/manual/ guarantee card etc on purchase a little underwhelming, however, the bike itself is fantastic and haven't needed to deal with the shop or the company and hope I don't have to for the forseeable future.
  • Looks incredible! I'm hoping to get either the Kharma or an Orbea Onix for the etape next year but your pic has just pushed me towards Kuota. :D
  • I bought the Kharma 2010 last year from twenty3c in Milton Keynes. The service from the guys there was superb including a proper bike fit. I upgraded to Ultegra, ergonomic bars and American Classic 420aero3 wheels.

    I agree with Glasgowbhoy regards the saddle. The San Marco saddle cut me during the Tour of the Peaks last year. Did the research and settled on Selle Italia SLR which came highly recommended for the heavier cyclist.

    The bike has been fantastic, smooth and responsive. Aftersales service from twenty3c has been great and I cannot recommend them, together with Kuota, highly enough.
  • AJBallAJBall Posts: 4
    I was upgrading last year with a budget >£1500 to play with and a myriad of bikes/brands to choose from. Do I want to run with the pack and go with specs, pinarello, giants, treks et al or should I go for italian flare. I wouldn't be writing this if I had gone with the former so I chose Kuota, on beauty alone she stands head and shoulders beyond the competition.

    I chose the SRAM Groupset, the LBS kindly upgraded the brake callipers to the Force, (didn’t admire the black of the Rival) and have upgraded to Selle Italia Flite Gel saddle, wheels and tyres to Ksyrium Elites (silver to enhance the white of the frame) and Michelin Krylion Carbon. She now goes like she looks. Handles like a dream, though a bit twitchy to start with until you understand the geometry, light and stiff. She will get admiring glances where ever she goes, it’s just a shame about the bloke perched on its back, I now have to live up to those expectations.

    But as was mentioned above, do we want to maintain the exclusivity of the brand or shout about our imagination and foresight. I am now considering my next upgrade, though a couple of years away, do I remain loyal to seductive looks or do I try another niche market> Who can tell, all I will say is this is an amazing bike, at an amazing price that everyone should try, as long as it doesn’t cheapen the brand and make it common place.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Glad you like yours AJ. I'm not thinking about an upgrade. If I had an accident with the Kharma and needed to replace it I'd go straight out and buy another one- maybe with blingier wheels.
  • So glad to find like minded guys! Love my kharma race with a passion, again from epic whom I also cannot recommend enough, Chris was patient, enthusiastic and professional. I went with the full rival group which I find pretty sweet if a little 'clacky' compared to the 105 5600 I was used to on my bianchi via- nirone. Wouldn't change though, unless and until I become able to afford campag eps! I upped to the 1070 cassette on 11-26 which I can't fault so far, gives a tooth extra up and down the hills I ride and a tad more shunt on the flat than my other(12-25). I'd already got some SRAM s27al comp hoops for my bianchi which I promptly swapped onto the kharma, the shadows are superb wheels and easily serviced but the s27s are a touch lighter and have arguably superior hubs and spokes. I run deda bar and stem combo, zero 100, again which I already had on the bianchi and cannibalised, ultremo zx hd tyres which are the mutts and keo max2 pedals. I found the San marco saddle ok but swapped to a pro-lite San Carlo just because the rails are lower in relation to the perch and give me more of that lovely post out, right good saddle too. Fantastic bike, comfortable over distance, very responsive, aero,(tip; autoglym silicone spray aeros it up a bit and lubes well also brings out the carbon weave beautifully and protects) fast in spades, in conclusion, over the moon with it!
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    4500 kilometers later my Kharma is still going strong including La Marmotte. No problems and still fast and comfortable. Its now running on Fulcrum Racing 1 wheels which bring out the best in the frame.
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