Kuota is a brand that has been around for longer than most people think, but put one in front of someone and there is a good chance they’ll have a lot of questions. For some reason or another, Kuota still lacks the name recognition that some of the newer mostly carbon bike manufacturer’s, such as Blue, have been able to achieve in a relatively short time.
This may be due to the fact that Blue does an excellent job helping out grass roots teams with sponsorships and bikes, but it certainly isn’t due to Kuota having unattractive bikes. Kuota’s line of bikes are individually designed to perform best in a certain style of riding, with everything from TT bikes to Mountain climbers. As such, each frame boasts dramatically different construction to the point that almost every one of their bikes has a different seat post standard. Integrated post or mast systems are nothing new, and if a standard post still floats your boat the extremely light King Of the Mountain still rocks a standard seat post a la Specialized SL3.
Kuota incorporates an impressive amount of acronyms into nearly all of their frames starting with KSD the Kuota Super Drive tapered headset which was all 1 1/8th to 1 and 1/4, but is now being changed on the KOM to a 1 1/8th to a 1 1/2 taper. They also have their own acronyms forÂ nearly all facets of frame construction including optimized tube shaping dependent on frame size, BB30, laminate construction, and construction methods to advance rider comfort, which is all detailed on their site.
The lineup sees a few changes this year with a few bikes getting overhauled, but most bikes get small changes like headsets or bottom bracket standards. Basically more build options, more colors.
Full line up with pictures and details after the break.
The KOM has been revised for 2011. It sports a newly available to the manufacturer grade of 3k weave UD (uni directional) carbon fiber that is 9% lighter than the 2010 materials. It features a new headtube and BB30 bottom bracket shell, both completely made of carbon fiber (no alloy inserts). This helps the frame to lose some weight over the 2010 model.
This new frame is the frame AG2r La Mondiale rider Christophe RiblonÂ rode to the front at the 2010 Tour de France to win Stage 14 in Ax Trois Domaines.
The headset is now a 1 1/8â€ to 1.5â€ transition versus last years 1 1/8 to 1 Â¼ meaning more options for replacement. Due to the Kom’s reputation for being extremely stiff, but not exactly comfortable the seatstays have been reworked to increase rider comvort.
US Pricepoints to be from $5250 – $9450 depending on the component spec on the bike.
For 2011, the Kult remains unchanged, with the exception of new colorways. This is the bike that the United Healthcare is currently riding and has received great reviews from those who have had the opportunity to spend some time on the bike.
It features a semi-integrated seatmast, with integrated cable routing and a BB30 bottom bracket.
New for 2011, this bike will ship with a 22mm offset seatpost, and the original 18mm offset flip-flop style post will be available as an aftermarket item.
US Pricepoints to be from $4700 – $8550 depending on the component spec on the bike.
Like the KOM, the Kebel will receive a facelift for 2011. It also uses a new carbon material, but sticks to the 12k weave, which gives the Kebel a smooth ride.
It also goes to a BB30 for this year, and gets a new rear end in the same fashion on the KOM, giving a more supple ride over the previous version.
US Pricepoints to be from $3175 – $6925 depending on the component spec on the bike.
The Kharma gets upgraded to a BB30 bottom bracket and new colors. This bike is a 12k weave monocoque frame, with a 1 1/8 headtube. The Kharma is 1 of 2 models that Kuota will have available with the SRAM Apex group. It is also available in a women’s colorway,Â which sports a white frame with pink graphics.
US Pricepoints to be from $2500 – $4100 depending on the component spec on the bike.
The Korsa was a late 2010 arrival for Kuota, and was their sleeper bike. It was an incredible value for a high quality aluminum frame, carbon fork, and Sram Rival build kit for around $1500.
It features a triple butted alloy frame with a carbon fork. The headtube is 1 1/8â€, and the new color for this year is white with graphics inspired by the AG2R team bikes. Sram Apex will be available for the Korsa as well.
US Pricepoints to be from $1575 – $1725 depending on the component spec on the bike.
Kueen K remains unchanged for 2011, and it continues to be Kuota’s flagship TT or Tri bike. It uses an integrated seatmast for maximum performance and 3k carbon fiber throughout the entire frame. The seatpost is reversible for multiple fit options.
US Pricepoints to be from $5400 – $9700 depending on the component spec on the bike.
The Kuota Kalibur unquestionably has the most heritage of any of Kuota’s models. This is the bike that Norman Stadler set course records that still stand at the Iron Man Championships in Kona, Hawaii. It has always been well received within the Tri community and in light of that, Kuota took reworking it very seriously.
For 2011, the Kalibur is back in a completely new form.
The new bike again uses new carbon fiber material just now declassified for public use. It is approximately 11% lighter than the material used on the older Kalibur, while retaining the same stiffness.
The new frame uses BB30 and internal cable routing which is Shimano DI2 compatible. It also features a replaceable derailleur dropout and 1 1/8 headtube.
US Pricepoints to be from $4600 – $8250 depending on the component spec on the bike.
The K-Factor Race is unchanged for 2011. The tall headtube makes it is a great machine for newer Tri riders or seasoned riders that may not be able to fit on a bike with a short heattube. T K-Factor features a dual position seatpost that allows for a 76Â° or 78Â° seattube angle, and uses a 3k weave carbon material.
US Pricepoints to be from $2625 – $6000 depending on the component spec on the bike.
Last but not least, and just in time for cross season, the Kuota Kross. No word on any changes, just a stiff carbon crosser with loads of mud clearance to get the job done in the slop.