Kestrel Legend SL - 59cm - 6.26kg Out the Box

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Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

There's a bit of a fun backstory to this that I'll come back and fill in later...

For now, what you're looking at is a 2014 Kestrel Legend SL SRAM Red.

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I purchased it at a ridiculously low price from Amazon.com after watching it keep going lower on the Warehouse listing.

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Kestrels are now made by the same group that owns Performance.com and Fuji. They are probably the worst-marketed bikes on the planet. I can find only one review by one of the online bike magazine sites, and even then it's 4+ yrs old.

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Which is a shame, because some serious design engineering has obviously gone into this frame and the layup process.

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Once you look past the decals, which are painted (I think) onto bare carbon that must be treated somehow, the frameset is beautiful.

As is the full Red22 group of course - gold KMC chain is a nice touch too. 39/53, 11/25.

The house brand bars/stem/saddle/post/tape/ahead-plug, and Jagwire red/black cables - not so much. But the wheels are nice - standard width, 24mm deep, machined surface, butted aero spokes, and superlight, drilled out cartridge bearing hubs. And they came with Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires - who does that?

It came nearly fully-assembled, and I had it road-ready in under an hour with a full once-over. Nothing was out of spec or assembled incorrectly.

After screwing in some Look Keo 2 Max pedals I had laying around, I weighed it at 6.49kg.

And now the fun begins.

My goal? Sub-6kg for under $2k all-in. I've got $350 left, plus whatever I can sell the take-offs for.

Here's what I'm thinking..

From my parts bin - looks like minus a pound or so.

Time Xpresso 12s going in instead of the Looks: ~75g
Bolt-on Ti skewers instead of QR: ~75g
Kalloy Stem w Ti bolts instead of Oval carbon-wrapped: ~35g
J&L Plug instead of clunky FSA plug and screw/cap: ~50g
Panaracer 185g tires and Latex Tubes with veto-plugs: ~200g
SSM Regale Carbon Saddle: ~35g
Fizik SL Tape: ~25
Cut off rubber cable things: ~15g
Arundel Cages: add 60g

Need to buy -

Deda Superleggera Post ($100): ~50g
Deda Superleggera Bar ($150): ~50g

That should just about do it I think.

Is it a bling-brand bike? No. It's not. But would I rather have this than an open-mould off eBay? Heck yeah.

Oh, and I took it out for a 45min thrashing. It flies up hills, of course, and feels planted in the corners. No hands at 30mph was perfectly steady.

But all that said, even if I end up not loving it and sell off the frame and bits, I'll have a nice group and wheelset for my next build. Wins all around.
Last edited by Clean39T on Wed May 10, 2017 3:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Stolichnaya
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:55 pm
Location: Vienna, AUT

by Stolichnaya

Good looking bike. It is good to see that Kestrel kept that slight wing in the fork, it always looked sharp.
I am trying to determine which open-mould Kestrel used for this model; maybe the fork is throwing me off the scent. It has clean lines and good proportions.
The upgrades you plan will help a lot, but I would caution against those Panaracer tires - complete garbage that will leave you stranded. Use the Vittorias for now, they are far superior.

by Weenie


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kidrob
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Belgium

by kidrob

Nice project! Looking forward to updates!

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kgt
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

6,55kg? Can you share a digital scale photo?

Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

kgt wrote:6,55kg? Can you share a digital scale photo?


Image

My bad - it's 6.495 kg out the box

Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

Stolichnaya wrote:Good looking bike. It is good to see that Kestrel kept that slight wing in the fork, it always looked sharp.
I am trying to determine which open-mould Kestrel used for this model; maybe the fork is throwing me off the scent. It has clean lines and good proportions.
The upgrades you plan will help a lot, but I would caution against those Panaracer tires - complete garbage that will leave you stranded. Use the Vittorias for now, they are far superior.


They carry that wing through to the seat-stays also..

Image

It's allegedly a 780g frame - I'm guessing that's smallest size, no hardware, but still...not bad. Supposedly they increase tube diameter on the larger sizes for the DT. I believe that. The one on mine is huge.

I've never had problems with the Panaracer tires I get from Excel Sports. I run Open Corsas on my other bike though and love them with latex in the inside.

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Asteroid
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

by Asteroid

Nice score on the Kestrel. Cool project you got going there.

I tried some really light Panaracer tires a few years ago. Didn't get a chance to see how long they'd last, because they did not stick in the turns very well after a few rides. I already made up my mind to toss 'em, before flatting one about half a mile from my car. :)

The bolt on skewer angle always cracks me up, since you need to carry a wrench to negate some of the savings. And the security of levered jobbers gives me peace of mind. No doubt you can save some weight with a different cassette, chain, and bottom bracket. But there goes your budget!

I still own my Kestrel 200sci from '94 - now with Dura Ace 7900, but older 7700 hubs laced with Open Pro rims. This motivates me to take it out for some rides. Beautiful ride, in fact, even at around 8kg. It looks great with loads of miles, but from a fair distance. Thrills and spills and all. I could spend $2k to save 1kg! lol
Oldbie

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kgt
Posts: 6807
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

Clean39T wrote:
kgt wrote:6,55kg? Can you share a digital scale photo?


Image

My bad - it's 6.495 kg out the box


Still hard to believe it but... I 'll take it as a fact :thumbup:

nismosr
Posts: 1030
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 5:15 pm

by nismosr

That's pretty light for the size and off the box! ..

Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

nismosr wrote:That's pretty light for the size and off the box! ..


With 260g Look pedals no less..

Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

Asteroid wrote:Nice score on the Kestrel. Cool project you got going there.

I tried some really light Panaracer tires a few years ago. Didn't get a chance to see how long they'd last, because they did not stick in the turns very well after a few rides. I already made up my mind to toss 'em, before flatting one about half a mile from my car. :)

The bolt on skewer angle always cracks me up, since you need to carry a wrench to negate some of the savings. And the security of levered jobbers gives me peace of mind. No doubt you can save some weight with a different cassette, chain, and bottom bracket. But there goes your budget!

I still own my Kestrel 200sci from '94 - now with Dura Ace 7900, but older 7700 hubs laced with Open Pro rims. This motivates me to take it out for some rides. Beautiful ride, in fact, even at around 8kg. It looks great with loads of miles, but from a fair distance. Thrills and spills and all. I could spend $2k to save 1kg! lol


The cassette is already a PowerDome Red22 and the chain is KMC X-11 SL. BB is standard SRAM..

The skewers are just for fun. Plus, I carry a tool with a 5mm Allen, so it isn't an incremental add to have that with me

I'm not going to talk tires any more - I'm testing the flat furies with my previous comments already..

jasonh
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:55 pm

by jasonh

I rode that bike for a week while in north Georgia, a few years ago. tons of steep, rolling and twisting roads, which were a blast. I had such an awesome time riding that week, and thought the bike was amazing. I think it was a 2013 SL frameset, mechanical ultegra, with FSA 53/39 crankset, 105 11-25 cassette, oval 724 wheels, which appeared to be slapped together for an online purchase.
I couldn't come to terms shifting without braking, or braking without moving the shifter. I was completely overgeared for the area, the bar tape was horrendous, and the bar shape was strange.
the carbon fiber looked perfect, the bike was completely silent, it felt awesome. Like a really expensive, high end bike. Other than the light weight, the standout feature, without question was the wheelset, Oval 724's. Stiff, very lightweight that were amazing for steep climbs.
definitely keep those wheels.
Last edited by jasonh on Wed May 10, 2017 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hamfist
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:04 pm
Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

by Hamfist

Nice. I worked in shops when I was a teenager (long ago) and sold Kestrels...fondly recall the MXZ, 200SCI, CSX, etc....

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jbaillie
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:17 pm
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by jbaillie

Clean39T wrote:Kestrels are now made by the same group that owns Performance.com, Diamondback, Fuji, etc. They are probably the worst-marketed bikes on the planet. I can find only one review by one of the online bike magazine sites, and even then it's 4+ yrs old.

One small tidbit to correct: Kestrel is now owned by ASI, which does own Fuji plus Breezer & SE. Diamondback shares the same parent company (Accell) as LaPierre, Torker and a few others.

ASI brands seem to get a bad rap these days but I'm not sure why, Kestrel does seem to make some really nice bikes and their weights are competitive with much higher price stuff. Yours is a great example of this.

Clean39T
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:29 am

by Clean39T

jasonh wrote:I rode that bike for a week while in north Georgia, a few years ago. tons of steep, rolling and twisting roads, which were a blast. I had such an awesome time riding that week, and thought the bike was amazing. I think it was a 2013 SL frameset, mechanical ultegra, with FSA 53/39 crankset, 105 11-25 cassette, oval 724 wheels, which appeared to be slapped together for an online purchase.
I couldn't come to terms shifting without braking, or braking without moving the shifter. I was completely overgeared for the area, the bar tape was horrendous, and the bar shape was strange.
the carbon fiber looked perfect, the bike was completely silent, it felt awesome. Like a really expensive, high end bike. Other than the light weight, the standout feature, without question was the wheelset, Oval 724's. Stiff, very lightweight that were amazing for steep climbs.
definitely keep those wheels.


That's awesome - thank you for sharing.

I agree on the weird bars and tape - those come off tonight!

by Weenie


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