Kestrel- now and then

Road 5 43

New Kestrel 4000LTD

Browsing through design blogs this morning, I noticed that Yanko Design posted about the Kestrel 4000LTD time trial bike, designed by Anvil Studios. There is not a lot of substance about the bike in the YD post, but for more information on it you can check out this Cycling News article from May.

To be honest, I haven’t really paid much attention to Kestrel since the brand was acquired by Advanced Sports (parent company of Fuji) in 2007, but they do seem to be coming out with some very nice looking bikes these days. Though it has been quite a while, I still have an affinity for the brand from my days as a bike mechanic in the late eighties and early nineties. The shop that I worked for back then was a Kestrel dealer, so those were the first molded composite frames that I had experience with. We also carried bikes with carbon main tubes that fit into aluminum lugs, like the old Trek 2500 and the Giant Cadex, but compared to the monocoque Kestrel designs, those framesets seemed old fashioned. In the late eighties, Kestrel was a pioneer in carbon composite frame and fork construction, so the bikes really were unlike anything else on the road. I never owned one, but I built up and serviced quite a few Kestrel 4000’s for the local doctors and dentists who could afford them.

Old Kestrel 4000 (circa 1990)

Though Kestrel is not the same company it was 20 years ago, I am glad to see that the brand is still focused on good design. The new bikes might not be as groundbreaking as those early monocoque composite frames were 20 years ago, but they do still have distinctive features and nice design details. Just looking at the pictures on their website and blog, Kestrel seems like a brand that I should get to know again.

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5 Comments

  1. Andrew August 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm -  Reply

    I never quite know what to think when I look at ultra-bikes like the 4000. On one side of the coin, I wonder how much of the design is functional, how the strength, stiffness, weight, and aerodynamics really come together and why the engineers made the choices that they did.

    On the other side of the coin, I think that for 95% of people who buy the bikes (the doctors and dentists, as you say), the tiny marginal differences really don’t matter, so you might as well make something that makes you feel like a champ when you look at it.

    (I really do think it’s a slick-looking bike)

  2. Gabe January 23, 2013 at 7:11 am -  Reply

    I bought the 4000 in 1992 and rode it till about 2 years when I sold it for quick cash. I am heartbroken today and want it back (sniff! sniff!). There will never be a bike quite like it ever again…

  3. John Martin May 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    I’m using mine for straining at the moment. Most comfortable, responsive bike I’ve ever owned. Had it since about new.

  4. John Martin May 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Um autos pell —- cross training (I’m retired from the bike, lifelong sculler :)

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