Carbon is the fiber of our DNA.
Like all living organisms, Kestrel has a genetic code, a DNA that is at the core of everything we do. We focus on four critical elements when we design our award winning bikes: fit, material, testing, and athletes.
It's all about harmony between rider and machine. We don't use "open molds" on any of our framesets, forks, or components. Using our own molds allows for total design and performance integration. The Kestrel design process begins with determining what body position will help our riders perform at their best. Kestrel's road and tri geometries have been refined over two decades with input from athletes and fit experts throughout the industry, and our geometries are designed to fit a wide range of customers: weekend riders to full-time pros.
Carbon is the backbone of every Kestrel - it has been since 1986. Kestrel uses two grades of carbon: 700K & 800K. The 700K is all muscle. Less resistant to bending, it's utilized in high-stress areas to reduce flex. And the 800K adds finesse; the lighter of the two, it's utilized in lower stress areas to achieve the lightest possible overall frame weight. Each model employs a unique blend of these two fibers to create a powerful yet lightweight bike.
Kestrels aren't just tested in the wind tunnel; they are designed in the wind tunnel. That means if certain standards aren't reached, it's back to the drawing board. In facilities like the A2 Wind Tunnel in Charlotte, NC, the numbers don't lie. We use extensive 3-D solid model computer drawings to produce full-scale prototypes, which we meticulously review and evaluate to search for every possible tenth of a second advantage. Testing begins at 0° Yaw and goes up to 30°. Wind speeds are set at 10, 20, and 30 MPH. And unlike most companies, we test more than just the bike; we put a rider on the bike, as well as different wheels, bars, and parts - all in an effort to create the best possible package for each Kestrel frameset. Once the aerodynamics are nailed down, we simulate the most arduous riding conditions, so we can refine material lay-ups and structural shapes to optimize stiffness and control.
Kestrel has always been about positioning itself at the top of the sport of triathlon and that means working with athletes in the upper echelons of the sport. From the early days when 2-time Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack rode Kestrel's Airfoil to victory to our current 17-time Ironman 70.3 Champion Andy Potts' five wins on his Kestrel 4000 in 2012, Kestrel's partnership with world-class athletes continues to inspire us to make better bikes. After all, it's in our DNA.