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Kinesis FF29 Build

cat_with_no_tailcat_with_no_tail Posts: 12,981
edited November 2013 in Your mountain bikes
Decided to follow the herd, buy into all the marketing hype, do what the magazines tell me etc etc etc and I've gone and bought myself a 29er. Baaaaa

Ok, so maybe it's not quite that bad..... I *have* come to realize that the Bionicon is overkill for pretty much all the riding we have over here. It's tremendous for my trips to the UK and further afield, but a true XC bike is more suited to local riding. Plus, I've become something of a mincy roadie of late so this should suit me nicely.

I've done quite a bit of research on this one. I wanted a bike which is light enough to do XC races on, but strong and "aggressive" enough to be a bit mental on when the mood takes. It also needs to have a dropper compatible seat-tube.

The FF29 emerged as an early winner, and stood out as being exactly what I was looking for, geometry etc is spot on, I think the frame looks *great*, it's a reasonable price and so on. Did a bit of digging about on reviews etc, and I can't find a single review where someone has had anything negative to say.

Got on the old dog and bone with the LBS and pulled the trigger. Got a tasty little discount by ordering the frame, rigid forks, suspension forks and wheels all together (all from Kinesis/Upgrade).

Frame is the Kinesis FF29, size large, in "Sick Green" colour.
Forks are Kinesis IX Rigid forks, full carbon, and weigh just 590g (15mm axle version)
OTHER Forks are X-Fusion Slide RL 120mm - I've been rocking x-fusion shocks on the bionicons now for a few years, and find them to be superb. Seem to get good reviews too.
Wheels are Kinesis (can you see a pattern emerging here?) IX - I wanted something relatively light (these are 1,760g) but pretty strong, and tubeless ready.

I wanted some Kinesis "strut" flat bars. Kinesis recommend wide, flat bars with the FF29 in order to keep the front end lower. Sadly, they're all sold out. So I shopped around, and found some Mt Zoom XL Flat bars. They're 740mm wide, but weigh just 165g and are touted as being "All-mountain strong". They look nice in matte black too.

Other than that, I'm using a reverb, SLX 2x10 groupset and brakes (XT shifters), nobby nic / Racing ralph tires (both set up tubeless).

It's been a while since I've done a mental pimp build, so I thought I'd get a bit blingy with this one. I'm using a lot of blue!

Collection of parts at the moment. I should be picking up the Frame, both sets of forks, and the wheels from the LBS in the next couple of days (they're going to cut the steerers for me too).

Will update with pics once built, and a full spec list.
















  • DanDax1990DanDax1990 Posts: 1,201
    One of the only 29er frames I like, seen one yesterday at the cycle show. Lovely.
  • BIoody cycle show! That's why my frame has been delayed. Something to do with upgrade having 4 or 5 guys who work on packing up frames, setting up forks etc, and 3 of them are at cycle show.
  • DanDax1990DanDax1990 Posts: 1,201
    What a waste of time and cash it was aswell, There stand looked good though.
  • Hopefully here is a little inspiration for you.
    This is my FF29 built earlier this year as my first attempt at building a bike myself

  • Nicely done. How you finding it?

    I have all the parts for mine, had them for a week or 2 now. Just STILL waiting on the frame, both sets of forks and wheels (basically, everything coming from Kinesis).

    It's less than ideal. Got my first race on it next weekend and I was rather hoping to get in a couple of testing runs as this is my first 29er.
  • Hi
    I have been riding mine for about three months now.
    It was a little harsh after 4 years on an FS, but now used it, it is great and liking the 2x10 set up also
    Have made minor tweeks to it such as replacing front derailleur cable as it was bugging me that I cut original a tad short, and now experimenting with stem length etc for best position, shock pressure and rebound etc.
    Frame is a large, and I am about 6ft 2 in my 510s, and I started with 70mm stem and 740 bars, but now trying a 50mm stem as I was feeling a little stretched (I have a dodgy elbow so makes stretching worse).
    Weight over front when climbing is not an issue, and it is handling all I can throw at it at present.
  • That's good to know, cheers.

    I'm similar height, and I've gone for a 50mm stem and 740mm bars from the outset so it should hopefully be perfect.

    There has been some sort of cockup with my order, chased the LBS again (3rd time) today. They are blaming Upgrade, saying they're not sure why, but they'd just not shipped the order. I'm not entirely convinced it was even ordered in the first place.

    Either way, it's now sorted, and I've been promised it'll all be shipped 1st thing on Monday, so I can expect it probably Weds.
  • After all sorts of delays, it's finally FINISHED!
    Well..... almost. I'm waiting on a shim so I can fit the Reverb and a blue seatclamp

    Frame: Kinesis FF29 - Large
    Forks: Kinesis IX Full carbon rigid forks / X-fusion Slide RL 29
    Bars: Mt Zoom XL Flat - 740mm - 165g
    Stem: Superstar Zenith Stem - 50mm
    Headset: Superstar
    Grips: Superstar

    Brakes: Shimano SLX
    Discs: Alligator Windcutter 160mm rear / Quaxar Ultralight floating 160mm Front

    Shifters: Shimano XT
    Front Mech: Shimano SLX
    Rear Mech: Shimano SLX

    Seat: Charge Spoon
    Seat Post: Rockshox Reverb / M:Part cheapo

    Cranks: Shimano SLX
    Chain: KMC X10-SL
    Cassette: SRAM pg1080
    Pedals: Shimano PD-520
    Bottom Bracket: SuperHD HT2 Roller Bearing Bottom Bracket

    Wheels: Kinesis IX - 1,760g
    Tires: Racing Ralph Snakeskin rear, Nobby Nic Snakeskin front - 2.25 - Tubeless


  • ooooo hydroformy!

    Looks great that fella! Bet it flies!
  • It's my race bike, so I'm hoping it lives up to the FF (F*cking Fast) name.
  • What you going to be racing on it?
    Not sure how I'd cope without any bounce!
  • Just some XC stuff.

    Winter series starts tomorrow but sadly I'll be missing round 1 having just finished building her up (I don't have the greatest track record racing on untested kit). Luckily for me though, there are 6 rounds, and they take your best 4 results.

    That's the beauty of it. I can run the rigids for most of the races, and the X-fusions for everything else
  • Liking the green build although I played it safe on black for mine

    See they also now have a bright tango orange frame now as have retired the grey colour
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Sweet bike Cat liking the lime green. What do you think of the wheels I have been eyeing a pair of the IXs to replace my twangy Eastons. Look good and understated but whats the freehub like is it a quick pick up and is it quietish. Also I would be running 15mm front is it easy to fit the axle through the hub some with loose end caps seem to be a pain with refitting the axle.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • stubs wrote:
    Sweet bike Cat liking the lime green. What do you think of the wheels I have been eyeing a pair of the IXs to replace my twangy Eastons. Look good and understated but whats the freehub like is it a quick pick up and is it quietish. Also I would be running 15mm front is it easy to fit the axle through the hub some with loose end caps seem to be a pain with refitting the axle.

    I've got to be honest, this is my first ride on a 29er, so I have nothing to compare them to but 26" wheels, which is probably a pointless comparison in many aspects.
    Weight: 1,780g - I thought this was pretty good given that it's only 130g heavier than my 26" AM wheelset. Not sure how it stacks up against similar 29er wheelsets though.
    Pickup: Not bad at all - Not as fast as SS Tesla, but I'm hoping the freehub body will last longer than my SS ones did. 6 pawl engagement - I assume it's a standard 32t body but I'll have to double check.
    Noise: I'm the same as you on this one I think. I can't be doing with all this "look at me" racket some hubs put out, it's one of my major irks about my SS wheels (which I pack out with grease occasionally). You'll be pleased to know, these hubs do not shout. They're not silent like shimano either though, they have a very satisfying, well engineered sound to them. Think standard DT hub noise.
    Changing Axles: I didn't need to do the front, it came fitted as 15mm anyway, but I did have to do the rear, which came out of the box as 12mm thru axle. Changing involved unscrewing the NDS end cap, sliding out the 12mm axle, sliding in the replacement regular QR axle (which comes in the box, along with end caps to change to 12x142), then popping in the new end cap and riding off. It's simplicity on par with good old DT Swiss hubs, and I like that!
    Tubeless: They sell them as tubeless ready, they do however appear to be a very baggy fit when comparing them to my Arch EX, and Flow rims (using the same Racing ralph/Nobby nic combo. That's not necessarily a *bad* thing, as fitting tires is a much less painful and sweary afair. It does however mean it's harder to get them to inflate. Even with Co2 pump etc.
    Other than that, they seem great. Did 65k on them today and they're still round, which is nice.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Thanks Cat for typing all that up for me, think I might be giving the credit card an extra thrashing its not real money after all :D

    My current Eastons after only a 100 miles or so are starting to worry me they are making noises like a harp falling down the stairs and you can push the rim over so the tyre touches the frame/fork without even putting any effort in. Checked the spokes and they are all fine just think with only 24 spokes they are too flimsy for a fat knacker like me to be bouncing them off Pennine cobbles.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    Nice build, 29er FS next then ;-)
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • Nah, I'll ride this for a bit before deciding 29ers are all shlt and 650b is the way forward.


    Nah, I'm very happy with it. Need to get some more pics up now she's properly finished (reverb has been added and hoses shortened properly).

    Think the next purchase might actually be a TT bike. Going to do a couple of TTs on the Rose in the new year and see how I get on. I reckon I've got a pretty good 10mile time in me.
  • Definitely the best colour but I am a little biased...........

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