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The Kampionne reinforces the notion that all-around and aero bikes have begun to blend into a single category — and that this merger can be a good thing.
This is not a traditional aero bike — the frame has airfoil shapes, yet there is no real attempt at integration. It’s also not exactly a featherweight climber.
It’s the Kampionne’s handling that wowed us. It’s intuitive and quick. The 152-millimeter head tube allows for a super-aggressive race position. There are three head tube options, reliant upon an integrated spacer; our test bike came with the HT2 seven-millimeter spacer option to create the 152-millimeter head tube measurement. There is a taller 15-millimeter spacer for a less aggressive position, or forego the spacer for the most aggressive position. The dialed front end combines with a 68-millimeter bottom bracket drop that’s low and stable without detracting from maneuverability during quick line changes.
Aerodynamics was a design consideration but not the primary driving force behind Kindhuman’s end product. That plays out on the road: The Kampionne feels more like an all-around bike. It has tons of compliance in the rear end, largely due to the 27.2-millimeter seatpost and the “bullet” seat stays. The bullet-shaped leading edge of the stays is a nod to aerodynamics, and a flat trailing edge increases compliance, according to Kindhuman.
The cables and housing at the cockpit are not integrated and don’t enter the frame until the down tube, which also breaks from true aero bike design. Kindhuman doesn’t make any specific aerodynamic claims, in fact. Still, there are a few nods to sleekness like the wide fork, which helps reduce drag and contributes to front end lateral stiffness (and is therefore a likely contributing factor to the exceptional handling).
Our test bike came with an excellent build kit that includes Ritchey components and a full Shimano Ultegra group. The Mavic Aksium wheels aren’t a sexy addition, but they keep the price down and are ideal for training rides. If you’re gearing up to race, consider some stiffer, deeper profile wheels. We threw on some Enve SES 3.4 wheels and the ride characteristics of the Kampionne improved dramatically (notably in the pedaling response category, where the Kampionne seemed hesitant off the line). Kindhuman offers plenty of build options too, so you can get exactly what you want out of this bike at a fair price.