New rollouts have become a major part of the annual Sea Otter Classic. As the first cyclocross race of the season it allows manufacturers to show off new product ahead of the traditional model rollover in July and it also allows riders to showcase their new sponsors before the cyclocross season is well and truly underway.
After a 2017 filled with uncertainty about the future, Helen Wyman put together a new program that included a switch from her long-time Kona bike to the KindHuman Kudu, the same bike ridden by ’cross legend Jonathan Page (albeit in disc form for Wyman). Wyman rode a red KindHuman after the new year, but at Sea Otter, she unveiled her new bike that features a more colorful pallete.
Wyman brought a KindHuman Kensuke, the company’s gravel platform and her first gravel-specific bike, to Sea Otter in preparation for this past weekend’s Paris-Ancaster in Ontario, Canada. While she did the race eight years ago, the 2018 edition will be her first using a dedicated gravel bike.
“They demonstrated all the colors they can use and it just looked so pretty, that I said to Stef, that’s what I want.” -Helen Wyman
The Kensuke is KindHuman’s dedicated gravel bike, which the company says “sublimely unifies the best attributes of our road race Kampionne and our ’cross course-shredding Kudu.” KindHuman uses Toray T800 composite material for the frame and included enough room for 40mm-wide tires.
Wyman’s new bike is notable for its rather colorful appearance. According to Wyman, when KindHuman asked her what color she wanted her new bike painted, the answer was, “All of them please!”
The company offers customers the ability to customize their bike’s paint and Wyman’s is no exception. When she was shown a series of swatches to choose from, she decided that they all looked good and asked to have them incorporated into her bike. “They demonstrated all the colors they can use and it just looked so pretty, that I said to Stef, that’s what I want,” Wyman explained. To complete a very pro ensemble Wyman had custom apparel made by Verge and Giro to match her bike.
The rest of the bike broadly echoes the way Wyman sets up her ’cross bikes with matched fit and cockpit componentry. Her RS-R785 Di2 shifters may not be the latest, but have still been a popular choice with riders.
The levers control Ultegra R8000 derailleurs to shift her Shimano chain over a 52/36t Dura-Ace FC-R9000 crankset and Shimano cassette. Wyman uses Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 pedals and her rear derailleur has 12-tooth pulleys from ceramic specialist Kogel. She stops with Shimano Ultegra BR-R8070 hydraulic flat mount calipers which bite onto 160mm, 6-bolt rotors from Swiss Stop.
Fast Forward sponsors Wyman, but she was at Sea Otter for Challenge’s tubeless launch and was using unmarked rims from Stan’s NoTubes. Wyman had 36mm Challenge Strada Bianca tires mounted at Sea Otter, but for Paris-Ancaster, she rode something a bit different. Wyman used a 38mm Gravel Grinder in the front and a 33mm Baby Limus in the rear. Wyman made the switch to the rear Baby Limus for the final climb after a wet pre-ride on Saturday. Conditions cleared up for Sunday’s race day, so the extra tire strategy appeared was not necessarily a game-changer.
The rest of her components include several Easton products, with a EC90 carbon seat post, EC90SL handlebar and EA90 stem. Wyman chose an S-Works Romin Evo saddle with carbon rails and Lizard Skins bar tape. New for Wyman is the Stages Dash head unit and Stages left/right power meter, which she will be using for cyclocross as well as gravel and road.
Wyman raced Paris to Ancaster as part of her spring North American trip and finished third. With a new gravel bike, could her schedule include more gravel races, like say the Dirty Kanza other cyclocross stars are targeting? “I would not be very good at races that are 200 miles because I can’t imagine doing 200 kilometers,” Wyman joked. “Two-hundred miles would just be ridiculous.”
After her spring States sojourn, Wyman will be back in the U.S. this fall to race World Cup Waterloo, Jingle Cross and Charm City, the latter of which is one of her new sponsors. Stay tuned for a look what we assume will be a very colorful KindHuman Kudu she will be riding this fall.
See the specs and photo gallery below for more on Wyman’s new gravel bike.
See what’s new this year with our coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter trade show.
Helen Wyman’s KindHuman Kensuke Gravel Bike Specifications
Frame: KindHuman Kensuke, Toray T800 carbon fiber, flat mount disc, 12x142mm thru-axle, internal cable routing, integrated rack and fender mounts
Fork: Carbon, flat mount disc brake, tapered steerer, 12x100mm thru-axle
Shifters: Shimano ST-R785 hydraulic Di2
Brake Caliper: Shimano Ultegra BR-R8070 hydraulic calipers
Rotors: Swiss Stop, 160mm, 6-bolt, alloy spider
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-R8070, Kogel 12-tooth pulleys
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-R9000, 52/36t
Stem: Easton EA90
Handlebar: Easton EC90SL, Lizard Skins bar tape
Seatpost: Easton EC90
Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11
Wheels: Unmarked Stan’s rims (usually Fast Forward)
TIres: Challenge Strada Bianca, 700c x 36mm (Sea Otter); 38mm Gravel Grinder front, 33mm Baby Limus rear (Paris to Ancaster)
More Info: kindhuman.cc
Photo Gallery: Helen Wyman’s KindHuman Kensuke Gravel Bike