Revue du Kestrel 4000 Ult 2011

Article de Dan Empfield paru sur Slowtwitch a propos du Kestrel 4000 Ultegra (2011).  (ca pete un peut moin que le mon 4000 RED quand meme…)

Article Complet ici

« Kestrel burst onto the scene in the late 1980s with a model every triathlete had to have. It was the 4000. I had one, as did all my triathlete friends. We’d ride the big roady rides, like the Como Street ride in Orange County (CA), and the roadies would say, « Get out of our peloton with your plastic bikes. » This, until (Shimano’s longtime employee and road race legend) Wayne Stetina showed up at Como Street with his plastic bike. »

Frame styling
« If a Cervelo P3 and a Kestrel Airfoil Pro mated and had a baby, it would be the 4000. »


« Otherwise, I think I should stop and make a statement about the styling of this frame. I think it’s near the top of the heap. Kestrel has always been a stylish company. When I ran Saucony’s bike division (when Saucony had a bike division), we looked at two companies: Kestrel and Merlin. We acquired one: Merlin. In both cases, I confess I was awed by a sense of style—very Apple Computer—that both companies exuded. »

« Against that backdrop, the 4000 is, stylistically, a fair representation of the heritage of high style that has distinguished the Kestrel brand. »


Accordingly, the 55cm Kestrel 4000 is the most mainstream bike, fitwise, in the size run. Everything larger than that 55cm bike is long/low. Everything shorter is narrow/tall.

None of this is bad. But it’s a requirement that you know what you’re buying. The 4000s are not size-thematic throughout their size run.


« The 4000 comes with several gruppo options, from Ultegra all the way to SRAM Red and Shimano Di2. In fact, the Di2 bike is quite nicely priced at $7000. But today we’re looking at the roughly $4000 street price complete, out the door, Kestrel 4000 Ultegra, featuring mostly an Ultegra group, including chain and cassette. The brake calipers are Tektro (I wish they were Ultegra), and the brake levers are the A900 that come with the Oval Concepts aerobar. 

This is where Advanced Sports waxes strategic. Oval Concepts is its Bontrager, and because Oval Concepts was an accessories brand first, it’s still an accessories brand. Nobody thinks twice about putting an Oval aerobar, or stem, on a bike that isn’t produced by Advanced Sports (Kestrel and Fuji).

The A901 is a one-piece bar, but, it’s made up of a lot of interchangeable A900 sub-assemblies. It’s made to be modular, extensions, brake levers, whatnot, all switchable. It’s a nice match on this mide-priced bike.

The wheels are Oval Concepts W745, and these are pretty upscale wheels for a $4000 bike. These wheels, and the aerobar, make this bike very fairly priced against other « Ultegra » tri bikes that might cost $400 or $500 less, but, can’t really match the spec on the non-drivetrain parts. »

Dan Empfield


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