VICE FS 3.0 - AMB Mag Review
The Vice 3.0 FS is a simple 4 bar linkage design that has been tweaked and refined on the Australian trails. The burly tubing and turquoise colour come together to present a bike that looks like a fun time. Under the hood the Kinesis made frame is a mix of double and triple butted 6061 aluminium with all mod cons that you would expect from a bike in 2018: Boost spacing (148x12mm) rear end, tapered head tube and all sealed pivot points. There is an adaptor if you want to run a front mech, which is probably not a bad thing on the 1x10 drivetrain. This does add versatility to the bike, and may be essential if you decide to load it with gear and head into the great unknown. Be mindful that a front mech may limit tyre clearance.
The Vice is specced sharply for a bike in this price bracket - the $2,399 price tag is certainly not reflected when looking at the parts sheet. Conscientious specs sees some big brand technologies from RockShox, Shimano and KS components blended with in-house and OEM parts.
The RockShox Reba RL fork sports 120mm travel and uses the Motion control dampener. The entry-level Monarch R rear shock unit has rebound adjustment - but without the threshold and lockout of the higher models. But as a proper RockShox suspension unit, spares are available and they are fully serviceable in Australia. This is a massive positive for this bike over others in a similar price bracket.
The SLX 1x10 drivetrain is a solid performer and coupled with the Sunrace 11-40 cassette gives a wider range than available without reaching the higher price point groupsets. Hydraulic braking courtesy of Deore is another smart addition, although the rear rotor could possibly be beefed up to 180mm to match the front and deal with stopping 15+ kilos of trail bike.
Other notables are the KS Crux cable actuated dropper post and Formula hubs sealed bearings laced into WTB Scraper rims. The WTB Trailblazer tyres in 27.5 x 2.8” are on the narrower end of the plus sized spectrum, but there is plenty of frame/fork clearance to go bigger if your heart desires.
The OEM bits on offer are simple but effective. The aluminium handlebars have a good shape and are a generous 760mm and couple well with the 70mm stem to provide a comfortable cockpit.
It is cool to see that bikes made for fun are gaining traction in the marketplace, with applications that are not race-oriented. Sure, the Vice is no flyweight - tipping the scales at 15.5kg for our test model - but nor was it meant to be. The tyres are UST ready so ditch the tubes and save 600 grams. Drop some rotational mass and gain a couple of emergency tubes, it’s a double win really.
Theory aside though, how does it ride?
To find out how it rides and more, read the full article over on the AMB website >
Our VICE FS 3.0, our top of the range trail-ripping monster with full suspension and a 27+ wheelset.