Chris @ Kingdom Bike dropped me a line the other day to mention their refreshed line up of bikes and new website. He also mentioned that they had moved away from using XACD as a supplier but were still having their bikes made in China and Taiwan.
Rude not to take a peek really so I thought I’d have a look at Kingdom’s latest machinery. Lots of 650b (27.5 inchers) and some interesting custom options which could let you get the bike you’re after with the security of being able to deal with a local company should anything go astray.
Three bikes make up their custom range:
The Legion is their do it all trail hardtail with an XC bias. Probably the machine that’s closest to my heart as ‘Love You Long Time’ is designed along very similar lines. It’s available with 26″, 27.5″ or 29″ wheels so all bases covered.
The D9 Race bike has smaller, thinner, tubes for a lighter XC race bike ride:
The Brigante ‘hardcore hardtail’ appears to have disappeared from their site – which is a shame as it’s probably the most interesting looking frame they do! Maybe if you ask them nicely they’ll bring it back?
The custom part is where it gets interesting. As the frames are made to order you can specify:
Frame finish, custom angles for head/seat tube, headset size and style, dropout type, bottom bracket fitting, brake mount, front derailleur mount, cable guide type, and chain guide mount!
Phew, just a bit of choice then…
The only thing that does look strange is the geometry chart – the angles are the same for all the wheel sizes! OK, so you can change the head and seat tube angles as part of the custom process, but the range of adjustment isn’t that great. I’d have expected the stock geometry to be suitable straight off, a 68 degree head angle is spot on for a relaxed, 120mm fork, 26″ bike but the sharpest you could specify for a 29er would be 69. I’d have thought a 70 might have been more appropriate for a 29’er, maybe with a shorter fork too?
I asked Kingdom about that but haven’t heard back yet… It’s most likely it’s just been overlooked while the new site was being put together, probably best to drop them a line to double check before you order to get their recommendations. You can check things out for yourself over here: http://www.kingdombike.co.uk/en/
We’ve seen the Kingdom range expand nicely now, although they’re not the cheapest option they do provide something rather different and give you a level of custom options you won’t find elsewhere.
Saving some of the best (and maddest) till last I’ll cover their ‘stock’ bikes next time…