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Kinesis UK has reinstated the FF29 Hardtail Mountain Bike, and a frame costs just £600. Designed for a 140mm fork, it benefits from a uniquely shaped 6061 aluminum tubeset created using the Super Plastic Forming technique, said to result in a lighter and stiffer frameset than could otherwise be achieved through the more commonly used hydro-forming. An adjustable rear-center length, single-speed compatibility, a 65.5° head tube angle and external cable routing make this frame a worthy contender for anyone looking to build up a new frill-free custom hardtail.
Kinesis FF29 Hardtail
The Kinesis FF29 is thoroughly modernized as it re-enters the UK brand’s lineup for the first time since 2014. Back then, it was one of the very few 29″ aluminum hardtail frames you could buy in the UK, sporting a 71° headtube angle with geometry based around a 100mm fork. Frame designers have since become a lot more ambitious with their intentions for the humble hardtail, and it is not unusual to see geometry figures that, in years gone by, were usually reserved for long-travel full suspension bikes.
In 2023, Kinesis FF29 is not the slackest by any means but a 65.5° head tube angle with a 140mm travel fork and 51mm offset gives you some idea of its bolder intentions. Frame designer Damian (of DMR) says it is meant for all-day hard-charging on the kind of undulating terrain one may encounter in regions like the South Downs, England.
There are four frame sizes to choose from, each designed primarily around reach as the key determinant. The Small has a 435mm reach, the Medium is 460mm, the Large 478mm and the XL 503mm. Seat tubes are kept short – 435mm in Large – and straight for use with (internally routed) long-travel dropper posts, allowing riders to choose their frame based on how roomy they want the cockpit to feel. The BB drop is 63mm.
Chainstay length across those four frames is 435mm in its shortest position. Indeed, the FF29 sees adjustable dropouts that allow the rider opportunity to tune the bike’s rear-center length to their riding style, also serving to adjust chain tension should they wish to switch to a single-speed setup. There is a 20mm range, so stays can can go as long as 455mm.
Clearance on this Boost frame with the wide shell BB92 (press-fit) allows for a 29″ x 2.5″ rear tire; at CORE, the bike was rocking a 29″ x 2.4″ Goodyear Newton MTR, a review of which we published last year, should you be interested in that.
Pricing & Availability
The Kinesis FF29 frameset will be available in bike shops come March, in Black Bronze (pictured) or Just Orange, and will set you back £600. It comes with a 34.9mm seat-tube clamp, rear axle, cable guides and adjustable dropouts. Each frame is sold with a 5-year warranty. Claimed weight for the Large frame (pictured) is 3 kg.