When he is not out stomping through a solo 500km time trial you’ll find Kevin Benkenstein exploring unforgettable areas of the country to include into his bespoke touring and experience business. This guy is an aficionado of gravel and we thought it fit to run a Bike Check through one of his steeds, The Curve Cycling Kevin of Steel.
BN: Tell us about your bike.
This bike for me is a do-it-all machine that can really hold its own on all terrains. I tend to ride as my mind takes me and like to be able to feel like my bike can go anywhere and this build allows for that — from road rides to single track and everything in between. Of course, it is most suited to gravel roads, which is where it is best, but it’s unrealistic for any bike to not go to a variety of places and there’s really nowhere other than an Enduro/DH that I don’t find myself from time to time.
BN: Talk us through the customized or personalized components you have.
The spec I have is the standard build for the Curve Kevin of Steel but with the groupset swopped from mechanical to electronic and so despite it being custom to an extent, it is very much an out-of-the-box build and so has no over-the-top build parts. Part of that has to do with us having a dialed parts kit on the Kevin of Steel and part is just because I actually wanted a relatively fuss-free build that can do its job brilliantly but not require too much upkeep. The tyres are quite beefy but they are really strong and roll like a dream while giving ample grip, and more than most semi-slicks on the market. One thing I have really struggled with over the years is to find gravel tyres that I feel safe on anywhere so having these now (along with the Pirelli Mixed, to be fair) has really added to the riding experience for me.
BN: Do you prefer steel to titanium frames?
The steel frame is an absolute weapon that performs far above its pay grade. While a little heavier than the Titanium bikes I have had, its extra smooth ride feel is really suited to touring and yet still gives you the sharp acceleration that you want when you’re on tar. For a more race-focused machine, Titanium will always be my choice but this is a fun machine and Steel really will give that feel.
BN: Are there any other component upgrades on the cards?
| IMAGES: Gary Perkin |