Is Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 Worth Buying? – [Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 Review]

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Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 Review

  • Price: $2299
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Wheels: 700C aluminum
  • Gear: 2×11

What we like about it: Affordable price, very good value for money.

What we don’t like about it: There’s no way to go full internal alignment.

Rating (4.9/5)

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105
Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105

For over 30 years, Kestrel has been a respected name in the bicycle industry, with a long history of developing innovative bikes that offer speed, comfort, and performance. One of their latest offerings is the RT-1100 series, designed to provide endurance road cyclists with a bike that can handle long rides and various terrains.

The Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 is the best example of this philosophy, as it offers a wide range of applications, from flat roads to steep climbs. Whether you’re looking to participate in Gran Fondo cycling, group rides, or simply enjoy a leisurely weekend spin, the RT-1100 is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance endurance road bike.

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Riding Experience

When I set out on my first Kestrel RT-1100, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. It was the first time I had ridden a road bike in years and I didn’t know what to expect. However, once I hopped on, I felt at ease. The bike felt light and nimble, and I knew I was going to have a great ride.

Road Riding

Before setting off, I also booked accommodation through Skyscanner to give myself ample space to rest and prepare. I started with some routine road riding, cruising through my neighborhood at a steady pace. Kestrel’s slim tires and lightweight frame made it easy to pick up speed, and I found myself effortlessly cruising at a faster pace than I was used to. The bike’s comfortable geometry made it easy for me to maintain this speed, and I didn’t feel any pressure in my neck or lower back.

As I continued riding, I decided to challenge myself with some steeper hills. I had heard that Kestrel was a great climbing bike, and I wanted to put it to the test. To my surprise, the bike handled these hills with ease. Its lightweight frame made it easy to pick up speed on the downhill, while the Shimano 105 components provided reliable and precise shifting on the uphill. I felt like I was flying up the hills, and when I reached the top, I couldn’t help but smile.

Long-Distance Riding

But the true test came when I decided to take the Kestrel on a long-distance ride with a group of friends. I was a bit nervous about how the bike would handle this distance, but I didn’t need to worry. The RT-1100 is designed for endurance, and it shows. The bike easily handled the miles, and I never felt fatigued or uncomfortable. The comfortable geometry made my neck and back feel good, even after riding for hours in the saddle.

The disc brakes on the Kestrel are also a game-changer. They provided a very effective braking experience, even on wet roads. I felt safe and confident in my ability to stop, which made the long-distance ride even more enjoyable.

When I arrived at the finish line, I was thoroughly impressed with the Kestrel RT-1100. It’s a bike designed to go fast and far, and it excels in both areas. The lightweight frame makes climbing hills a breeze, and the comfortable geometry makes it easy to maintain a fast pace on long rides. When it’s time to stop, the disc brakes ensure a safe and efficient braking experience.

Overall, my experience with the Kestrel RT-1100 was excellent. It’s a bike designed to do it all, and it delivers. The lightweight frame makes climbing hills easy, while the narrow tires and comfortable geometry make it easy to maintain a fast pace on long rides. When it’s time to stop, the disc brakes ensure a safe and effective braking experience. If you’re looking for an endurance road bike that can do it all, I highly recommend giving the Kestrel RT-1100 a try.

Specification

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105
Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105

The Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon frame is at the heart of this construction, providing a lightweight and stiff platform for efficient power transfer. The wheelset consists of Oval Concepts 524 DISC rims and Vittoria Rubino Pro 700x28c folding tires, providing a balance of speed and comfort on a variety of surfaces. The drivetrain consists of Shimano 105 components including a 50/34T crankset, 11-speed cassette, and derailleur. Shimano RS505 STI brake levers and hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable braking capability in a variety of conditions. Overall, this construction offers a great balance between speed, comfort, and performance, making it a great choice for riders who demand the best from their bikes.

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What do we like about it?

  • The lightweight carbon fiber frame provides a stiff and efficient platform for power transmission.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable braking capability in all situations.
  • Shimano 105 components provide reliable and precise gear changes.
  • Oval Concepts 524 DISC rims and Vittoria Rubino Pro tires provide a balance of speed and comfort on a variety of surfaces.
  • The press-fit PF30 center shaft ensures a safe and precise fit.
  • The ACROS The Clamp integrated headset provides a strong and reliable connection between the frame and fork.
  • Shimano RS505 STI brake levers are comfortable and easy to use.
  • The Prologo K3 saddle provides a comfortable and supportive platform for long rides.

What don’t we like about it?

  • There is no way to go all inside the line.

FAQs

  • Is this bike suitable for racing?

Yes, the lightweight carbon fiber frame, Shimano 105 components, and hydraulic disc brakes make this bike a great choice for racing on a variety of surfaces.

  • What is the weight of the bike?

The weight of the bike will depend on the size and specific configuration. However, it is expected to be relatively light due to its lightweight carbon fiber frame and high-quality components.

  • Are the tires suitable for off-road riding?

Although the Vittoria Rubino Pro tires are designed for use on paved roads, their 700x28c size and foldable design make them suitable for light off-road riding, such as gravel or hard-packed dirt roads.

  • Can this bike accommodate wider tires?

The bike can accommodate wider tires up to 700x32c. This is helpful for riders who want a smoother ride or plan to do some light trail riding.

  • What heights does the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 fit?

The size chart for the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 is as follows:

These sizes are only a general guide, the true fit may vary from person to person, and the easiest way to find your size is best to go for a test ride.

Rider heightSIZE
5’1″ – 5’6″XS
5’4″ – 5’9″SM
5’7″ – 6’0″MD
5’10” – 6’3″LG
6’0″ – 6’5″XL

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 Specs

Build

FrameKestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon fiber, FM Disc, PF30 BBBB Standard: PF30, Press Fit
ForkKSL full-carbon, 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ tapered steerer, FM Disc 12mm TA
Bottom BracketPraxis PF30 Conversion 24mm spindle
HeadsetACROS The Clamp integrated 1 1/8″ top, 1 1/2″ bottom
StemZIPP Service Course, 6061 3D-forged alloy, 31.8 mm, +/- 6
HandlebarZIPP Service Course 70 Ergo, 31.8 mm
SaddlePrologo K3, STN rails
PedalsN/A

Groupset

Rear DerailleurShimano 105, 11-speed
Front DerailleurShimano 105, braze-on
CrankShimano 105, 50/34T
ShiftersShimano 105 STI, 11-speed
CassetteShimano 105, 11-28T, 11-speed
ChainKMC X11 w/MissingLink, 11-speed
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversShimano RS505 STI

Wheels

RimsOval Concepts 524 DISC, 700c 24/28H rims
TiresVittoria Rubino Pro, 700 x 28c, folding

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewDrivetrainFrame materialGroupset
2023 Canyon Endurace CF 7 DiscClick view2×11Carbon FiberShimano 105
2023 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105Click view2×11AluminumShimano 105
2023 Fezzari Empire CompClick view2×9Carbon FiberShimano 105
2023 CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACEClick view2×11Carbon FiberShimano 105

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 vs Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc

Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc
Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc

To be honest, both bikes are great choices for riders looking for a high-performance endurance road bike. While the Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc offers more wheel-size options and wider tire widths, the Kestrel is a more affordable option and still packed with features.

The Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc offers a choice of 650b or 700c wheel sizes, which is helpful for riders who want versatility in their riding. The wider tire widths also provide a smoother ride and better traction on rough road surfaces.

Additionally, the Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc is lighter in weight, making it the ideal choice for riders who want a nimble and responsive ride. However, for riders who want a high-performance endurance road bike but don’t want to break the bank, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon fiber road bike is still a great option. Although it only offers 700c wheel size options, it still provides a comfortable and efficient ride. The Shimano 105 components provide reliable and precise shifting, while the hydraulic disc brakes offer reliable stopping power in all conditions.

Learn More: Is Canyon Endurance 8 Disc Worth Buying? [2023 Canyon Endurance 8 Disc Review]

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 vs Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105

Bianchi Via Nirone 7 - 105
Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105

First, the Kestrel uses a carbon fiber frame, which is lightweight and provides a stiff platform for effective power transfer. On the other hand, the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105 uses an aluminum frame, which is less expensive but also less stiff. Therefore it is less comfortable for long rides.

Second, the Kestrel uses hydraulic disc brakes, which provide reliable braking capability in all conditions. The Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105, on the other hand, uses rim-mounted brakes, which may be less effective in wet or muddy conditions.

Finally, while the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105 is a very affordable option, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 (KSL) 800K carbon fiber road bike is a higher-end option that offers better performance and features. For riders who prioritize affordability over performance, the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 – 105 may be a better choice. However, for those looking to achieve the best performance and functionality, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon fiber road bike is the winner.

Learn More: Is Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Worth Buying? [2023 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Review]

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 vs Fezzari Empire Comp

Fezzari Empire Comp
Fezzari Empire Comp

The Fezzari Empire Comp offers more holes for water bottle cage mounting, which is helpful for riders who need to carry more water on long rides. In addition, the Fezzari Empire Comp features full internal cable routing, which improves the aesthetics of the bike and reduces wind resistance. On the other hand, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon road bike has only two water bottle cage mounting holes and no internal cable routing at the handlebars.

However, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105(KSL) 800K carbon road bike offers a lightweight carbon frame that is stiff and provides efficient power transfer. Shimano 105 components provide precise and reliable shifting, while hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable stopping power in all conditions.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on the rider’s specific needs and preferences. If carrying more water and having full internal cable routing is important, then the Fezzari Empire Comp may be the better choice. However, if lightweight and performance features are key factors, then the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 (KSL) 800K carbon road bike is the clear winner.

Learn more : Is Fezzari Empire SL Team Edition Shimano Worth Buying?- [Fezzari Empire SL Team Edition Shimano Review]

Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 vs CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE

CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE
CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE

Firstly, Kestrel’s standout feature is its lightweight carbon fiber frame, which provides a stiff platform for efficient power transfer. On the other hand, the CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE is slightly heavier but also utilizes a carbon fiber frame, offering a comfortable and responsive ride.

Secondly, while the CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE is a more affordable option, it also features a more comfortable geometry that may be better suited for long-distance rides. In contrast, the Kestrel has a more aggressive geometry that may be better suited for racing or fast riding. Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the rider. If affordability and comfort are key factors, the CUBE ATTAIN GTC RACE may be the better choice. However, if lightweight and high-performance features are important, the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105 carbon fiber road bike is the winner.

Summary

Above is our test of the Kestrel RT-1100 SHIMANO 105. According to our test, this is a cost-effective and very well-equipped road bike for those serious riders. The simple and practical kit makes it easy to just tune up and get right into a ride. The comfortable geometry with adequate component configuration will give you a good riding experience.

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