Set to debut with all the details at Eurobike next week, the new Kestrel Legend is their lightest ever road bike (frame!) at just 780g (claimed). It features asymmetric chainstays for proper power transfer, curved “H-Stays” and an EMS fork to give it a bit of compliance. They’re claiming a proprietary tapered headtube and dual tapered downtube, both to enhance stiffness and power transfer. It’s aimed at the racing crowd. Look for more when we get to the show…
No offense to Kestrel as I quite like their most recent Tri bike offering, but this seems sort of like Chevy/GMC. Why would Fuji start allowing more overlap between the Kestrel and Fuji product lines?
Also, I know that the Kestrel of today is not the old Kestrel, but considering that BikesDirect still sells a few bikes under the Kestrel moniker, I always feel like it’s a cheap brand.
Funny thing is Kestrel makes a nice bike but no dealer will stock them. And why should they. Dealers that do get burned because a customer goes to a shop, gets sized, and even test rides the bike then to tell the shop they are going to think about it. Then they find it on line at basically wholesale price.
So many, not all but many customers say they want to support the local shop but then will buy the bike online. And these are the same people that need the local shop for repairs and advice.
Yes things are less expensive online but support your local shop before they are gone. And never throw it in the face of a shop that you bought your bike online and saved a bundle. That’s jus plain rude.
And no I do not own a shop I just support them.
I know I sort of started this, but there is a lot of misinformation in this thread. The bikesdirect.com Kestrel are in no way related to the Kestrel being discussed here. I don’t understand the technical breakdown of the transaction, but in some way, the old Kestrel frames still exist on the market.
This is exactly what I’m talking about though, the fact that you can get a $10k Kestrel seriously hurts sales when another guy thinks he has the same bike and got it for $1k.
I really like their tri bike, 4000SL LTD, and this bike looks nice, but I don’t understand why they continue to sink money into this trademark when they also have Fuji.
But then again, doesn’t Fuji make cameras. 😉
After reading all this, I ask any of you what is good about this bike. I am looking at the 2014 11 speed and wonder if someone has purchased it yet. Can one give me the pros and cons of the Legend series ultegra. There are some very strong opinions here but how many of you have ridden these bikes. Would these bikes work for endurance riding.
This Kestrel sounds like an excellent bike, but I have never seen a recent Kestrel in person. Sometimes I see an early model here and there, but today nobody carries them in shop. Why? Performance will ship it to the store, but if I am looking to put down several thousand dollars on a bike I want to see it with my on eyes and at least test ride it in the parking lot. Bad marketing on ASI’s part. Generally, there’s too much bike snobbery. There are a lot of nice brands out there and most have “sold out”. Does anyone really think the Trek people are still hippies building bikes in a barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin? Trek is “big business” with Chinese and Taiwanese production like virtually every brand in the world. If you still believe that Italian bikes are made in Italy, I have a bridge to sell you in San Francisco. Buy what you like from a company that will back you up if a warranty issue comes up. Most of what you hear about one being superior to he other is nonsense.
I bought a fuji for my wife sl-1 /105, my son rt-1000 w/ultegra and myself a legend w/ultregra I could not have justified the cost of these bikes if not for online sales and the assemble was simple. We all love our respective bikes it is really enjoyable to see how good you can ride on a quality bike. I did as much research as I could about latest bike technology and I was able to buy more for my money than I could have imagined and the best part is these bikes backed up advertised capabilities. If anyone is interested I started my search with Fuji and later to Kestrel becuase I have a Fuji s12s from 1983. We coundn t be happier with our purchases and would definitly recomend to all freinds.
It has been a few months since your post I am not sure how helpful this will be to you. I am the proud owner of a 2013 Kestrel SL Sram Red 10 speed. I was skeptical about the purchase at first as there was not much information on web about this bike. (hopefully this will help change that) I have put just over 1500 miles on it so far and this is what I have found.
The bike is supper lite and responds well at speed and during low speed maneuvering. The ride is great! This frame and fork absorb road vibration extremely well. Chip and seal roads are no longer a issue as this bike just glides over them. As a comparison I had an older Specialized Roubaix Pro (2008 I think) which the Kestrel replaced. The Roubaix had amazing power transfer due to the ultra stiff frame but still managed to keep the road from beating you up. The Kestrel on the other hand has a much better ride feel and at the same time it does not feel like it is flexing under power. Now the power transfer does not feel as direct as the Roubaix Pro but it is still really good.
I also have a 2004 Trek 520 that I use for commuting, errands, and the occasional rec ride. The 520 is a chromoly steel touring bike in case you are not familiar with it. This type of bike is supposed to take a lot of abuse and dampen road vibration due to the properties of the steel and until I rode the Kestrel I believed that steel was more comfortable than carbon on rough roads. I recently took the trek on my normal hilly ride which includes some chip and seal roads and I got beat to death on roads that I thought were fine on the Kestrel.
As for using this bike for long distances I have found it to be great. I have done multiple century rides including the 2013 “RAIN” (Ride Across Indiana) which was 160 mile in one day. I was on the saddle just shy of 10hrs with no major issues. There was also a brutal 15 mph head wind that picked up as the day went on which made things more difficult. The Oval saddle is a bit minimalistic and does not offer much “cushion”. Some may find it hard but I prefer it now that I have gotten used to it, more weight on you sit bones and less on the soft tissue.
The 2013 Sram Red drive line has been phenomenal to say the least. I cannot comment on the Ultegra build but I assume it would be good as well, just not as lite weight. I have noticed that the gearing could be a little lower as mine came with the 11-25 cassette matched with a standard double crank. This has only been an issue on some of the steepest hills that I ride which are > 25% grade. I have never had to walk a hill it just motivates me to be a stronger rider.
One thing I have noticed, and I did see one other post somewhere on the web, is that when you are in the drops and really hammering on the pedals you can feel some flex in the handle bar ends. Also the tires that came with my bike were Hutchinson Carbon Comp and they both had a slow leak that I could not fix. I tried changing out the valve core and tried Tufo sealant with no success. The leak is slow so it does not affect ride ability but if the bike sat over night the tire will be down to 50psi or less. This is really a tire issue not a bike issue and I have not had any issues with my new rear tire (Tufo S33 Special)
All in all this has been a great bike. I hope this helps.
for one, i agree with you Raul. I always chuckle at people with 10K bikes, but have $500 bodies and only do $100 worth of training. I’ve been dropped by people on old steel frames and I’ve dropped people with feather light pro bikes.
Anyway, I bought a Kestrel RT1000 from my bike shop that carries the brand. I saw the bikesdirect bikes b4 my purchase but didn’t trust the site and Im glad i did my research.
Kestrel isn’t one of the high end bikes, which is obvious from the price tag. I am an intermediate level cyclist at best who races in any fondo i can find and afford so this bike was right up my alley. I’ve had it for a few months now and its firm, shifts well, lighter, stiffer and quitier than my old aluminum (which i still love) and is an overall nice ride.
If you’re a brand chaser, then kestrel is def. not a bike for you. HOwever, in my opinion this is a well built and attractive bike. If i ever get to teh point where im riding at a 10k level, then i’ll buy a 10k bike…until then, my Kestrel is doing fine by me.
I recently purchased a 2015 Kestrel Talon matte black which looks and rides amazing. Coming from a long travel bikes (Niner WFO 9, Yeti Sb66, ect..) I can tell you that the Kestrel Talon is a quality bike at a great price. The Kestrel Talon doesn’t come with $2000 carbon zipp wheels or crazy components that is why their prices are so competitive. Kestrel spend their resources on important aspects of the bicycle like the frame stiffness and rides quality. In my case the Kestrel Talon is a great buy I don’t regret. If I ever considered upgrading components I will ones is necessary.
I bought my 2014 Kestrel Legend Ultegra nearly a month ago. I have logged over 400 miles so far and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. This bike is smooth, fast and comfortable. I added spacers to lessen the extremely aggressive riding position since I plan to do a 1000 mile charity ride this summer. I was concerned that this bike would be too aggressive for this type of riding however I have logged several 50+ mile rides with no aches and pains. This bike is so light it just flies up the hills. I love climbing on this bike. If you’re thinking of going the road less traveled and getting a great value then the Kestrel Legend is an excellent choice.
I bought the kestrel legend ultegra about 1 month ago I have acummulated about 500 miles couldn’t be happier. I was gonna spend $3.5k on a specialized bike, but I save $1.5k, have ultegra parts could be happier. I live my ridee, smooth, fast and great price, even my buddy Is mad he paid almost 4k for his specialized tarmac pro, and I’m keeping up weather it’s uphill or straight aways. This bike is light, n fast could be happier. Believe me sh** happens with manufacturer, not all products come out perfect. Kestrel legend ultegra so far, is worth it, will come back to keep u posted
I have owned a 2012 talon 105 for 2 years now and love it. Paid $1,200 for it Very smooth and sturdy bike. I use it for 4 to 5 events per year. I’m a novice triathlete and this bike looks and feels great and for carbon fiber you can’t beat the price.
My training rides are around 30 to 40mi 4 times a weeks and sometimes on bussy roads. So I I have Just purchased a legend 105 for $1,475 for the road.
Basically I have two fantastic carbon bikes with sturdy components for the price of one. I know the 105 is a step down from the ultegra, but I am not worried about the extra weight for now and can always swap out the components when the time is right.
I can’t say much about their frames but I can speak first hand on their forks. I ride a 1997 Litespeed Classic with a EMS Kestrel fork. I weight 230 and have logged 20k plus miles on this fork. Not one problem with the frame other than a few cosmetic issues. You have to expect that after nearly 20 years of bike riding. If their frames are anything like their forks they are a heck of a deal!!!