Kestrel CSX Bike Bike 1998 or Older

4.58/5 (33 Reviews)
MSRP : $2649.00


Product Description

Kestrel CSX Bike


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Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed Francis a Cross Country Rider from Kailua, Hawaii

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2008

Strengths:    OH yeahhhhhhh! This Kestrel CSX rocks the biking world, and rocks it in a big, big way. The frame is super stiff, and climbs exceptionally well. Energy transfer on the climbs is phenominal. Also, road and trail vibrations are absorbed very well by the carbon frame material. Frame geometry is very pleasing as well, especially on downhills, where the slackish head tube angle keeps the front wheel from being "twitchy". Very stable on the downhills, indeed.I purchased this bike NEW off ebay in 2008..... it was a NOS bike from 2001 that was never sold or ridden. It's definately a keeper! I would recommend this bike to anyone who loves to climb well, and likes it's vibration dampening qualities.

Weaknesses:    Chippy gel coat/ paint

Bottom Line:   
You can't go wrong with this bike , so buy one if you happen to see one for sale... they have become quite rare nowdays. I got lucky and found a new one on ebay in 2008. This bike is so bit-chun , I'm gonna give it 5 smokin' cigars!!!! Please pardon my second hand smoke! Awwwwwwwwrighttt!!!!!

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Favorite Trail:   Mount Gleason, Acton California

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1150.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   EPX Terrashark carbon fiber bike

Bike Setup:   Kestrel CSX 18" frame, Rock Shox SID fork, LP composite carbon bars, SRAM X9 Shifters, Sram rear derailleur, Race Face carbon seatpost, XT cranks, Syncros bear hug stem, Fizik CP3 Pave seat, Cane creek wheelset, Wellgo clipless pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Craig Bielawski a Racer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2003

Strengths:    Stiff in all the right places and forgiving where it counts.

Weaknesses:    Paint can be a little easy to mark up. Price... maybe if you don't believe that you get what you pay for

Bottom Line:   
I have ridden a lot of bikes for a lot of years and the Kestrel CSX is the one that I will not replace. Nothing can really compare. The frame is still when you pedal, very little flex. and I should know I LOVE to go up very very steep chain busting hills and never have I experienced much flex. The thing that sets this apart from the other bikes I have ridden is the fact that it is very comfortable to ride. The frame eats up all the sharp little hits that usually transfer up the frame and into my ass. I used to train with this bike on the road with 100psi slicks and never felt shaken from the road surface. The bike also handles great in the single track. It reponds so well to the tight and twisty trails. Something that I always thought the ritchey dominated. (one of the first ones that was hand built by the man himself.....no its not for sale) I have driven this bike very hard over the five years (I did a 4 ft drop once and blew out a set of spinergy wheels) and have never had any problems or creaks other that the normal scatches and paint where. If you want a durable do it all machine this is it. If I could sleep with this bike...I would.

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Favorite Trail:   ganaraska motercyle trails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   a bike mechanic

Similar Products Used:   Gt zaskar, specailized ground control, ritchey P-23

Bike Setup:   xtr everything except the magura hydro rim brakes, mavic 117 ceramic rims, thompson post, white brothers fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SethMax a Racer from Charlotte, NC

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2001

Strengths:    This bike handles perfectly. It is the most incredibly delicious singletrack-munching corner-carver out there. Frame is hideously strong. I break everything and it took me 5 years to break this.

Weaknesses:    Old-school geometry. If you run a suspension fork, you're hating it Chopper Boy. Personally, I like that laid-back image.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is perfect. Yeah, you can whine about the goofy geometry from the days of yore, you can whine about the heavy (for a carbon) frame, you can whine about chainsuck and chippy gel-coat paint (welcome to the world of composites), but it's perfect. They retail for about forty grand but you can pick them up everywhere for change you should be able to find in your couch, I guess because nobody knows what a Kestrel is and folks are generally afraid of carpet fibre shredders. I bought mine for $400 as a quick fix for a Yeti ARC that I'd just destroyed. I had a race coming up the following weekend and I needed a ride. After the first ride, I pulled over, removed the seat from the frame and... well, never mind. Let's just say that I'd trade half of the girlfriends I've had in my life for this bike. It's awesome and if you're still holding on to the old rigid-fork thing (like I am) there isn't a better bike. I raced (and was competitive) in everything from Expert CC to Pro slaloms to gear-class BMX to Expert downhill. ON a hard tail. With a rigid fork. I had a sweet full-boinger downhill bike built at the time but usually chose to ride the Mighty Kestrel. It's that good. I eventually de-laminated the bottom bracket shell and decided that it was time to cash it in and replace the old girl with the latest greatest technology. Biggest mistake I ever made. Luckily I only paid $50 for the OCLV. That's about all it's worth. At any rate, I'm a has-been now so my riding any better equipment than the Trek is just plain insulting to the good riders out there. Five flamin' chili dogs.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Bicycles South, Charlotte NC

Similar Products Used:   Replaced it with a Trek OCLV carpet-fibre rig. It sucks out loud in comparison to the Kestrel, although it's the second best full-stiffy carbon rig out there. It's stupid-light but it handles like a soapbox derby car. Trust me.

Bike Setup:   Bike is hanging over the mantle currently (no kidding), but when it was functional I ran XTR goodies with a rigid chromoly fork (went through three of them), King headset and Maguras. Old school, baby.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Angelo a Cross Country Rider from Hercules

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2001

Strengths:    everything! Weight, componentry, design, handling, climbing, bombing DH...like I said, everything!

Weaknesses:    it looks too pretty to ride hard

Bottom Line:   
Worth Every damn penny...Kestrel CSX but reads like Kestrel SEX. I wasn't too sure about spending this kind of money on a bike, but this isn't a bike, it's a living breathing organism, flows so great with minimal input. I spent less than half of wholesale on this bike with all this componentry on it. I was in the market for a new ride and tried some Specialized bikes both FS and Hardtail and was fairly impressed but their weight compared to this thing was like night and day. I weigh in at a paltry $2.45 lbs. and romp and stomp on this thing, jumps galore, not a single creak, squeak, or complaint from this frame, it's awesome! I'm going to change to a Selle flite gel because the current Bianchi saddle is the sh-ts, still trying to dial in the Zoke but no matter what I throw at it, it is smooooooth. Had a problem with the frt derlr cable coming off the BB guide, what a weird set-up for such an expensive bike, just two teeny weeny hooks that try to keep constant pressure on the cable to keep them in there. I brought it back the shop and they said that it was due to my shifting without pedaling to bring it back into tension?! Yeah, ok guilty here, but I'd call that a pretty big design flaw. it wasn't a pain to get back into the guide but the fact that it happened the first day I had the bike pissed me off. I wrench on this bike, I squat over 300# and am not a light rider by any means, and I was actually apprehensive about purchasing a Carbon Fiber bike, but the moves are so smooth and this thing is so light and strong that I know I've got a bike for life. Warranteed till death do us part, great componentry, smooth like butter and looks are so sexy. When you first catch a glimpse at it, you feel as if you've seen something, something's caught your eye. As, you continue to study the lines, you instantly find yourself emmersed in gorgeous framework, intoxicated by it's beauty. Is there a doctor in the house? I think I need help, I never thought I could be so passionate about a bike, no, that's right, it's a living extension of me...hope wifey doesn't mind the couch,though I haven't seen her since I bought this thing, there's just not enough room for the three of us in bed. Got to give this Full flaming sea cucumbers on all aspects except the cable guides. will not need another bike till my next life.

Who should buy this, anyone concerned about blasting to the top and and blazing downhill; anyone that wants a great XC ride and anyone who can find one for a decent price. I probably wouldn't have bought this thingif it wasn't such a good deal as I had no way in hell to afford it even at the wholesale price. But if you've got the opportunity, take full advantage of it. I did and I'm grinning ear to ear all the way downhill...

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Favorite Trail:   like I'd tell you...please!

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   The Pedaler in El Sobrante

Similar Products Used:   specialized M4 , specialized FSR enduro, Raleigh M8000, raleigh m800, proflex 857 w/ full girvin, fisher hoo koo e hock too spit

Bike Setup:   full XT, w/raceface BB, WTB speedmasters, michelin wildgrippers in green of course also run it with Kenda Kwicks on Mavics, thermo plastic bar, koski stem, interloc seatpost and the piez d'resistance, '99 Zoke Z2 fly bombers, can you say plush?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Gordie Kool a Downhiller from Chicago

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2001

Strengths:    Very rugged. Comfortable sitting position. Downhills fast. Climbs easy.

Weaknesses:    Paint chips easy. Old innertube on chainstay will protect it, not to mention give it an aggressive appearance. Chainsuck, used to get it. Changed drivetrain to reduce it.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is bad! (Bad meaning good- real good). It's fast, comfortable and could take some punishment. I tip in at 180+ and never had a problem. First ride, I couldn't help thinking how comfortable on downhills; where the bike seemed to be an extension of my body, screaming down technical descents. The plush way to crush is what comes to mind. Haven't noticed climbing problems based on geometry specs. Climbs are easy (of course depending on me). Downhill is orgasmic. And CSX screams for serious action. Very tough. Should come with standard rock ring.

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Favorite Trail:   The one I'm thrashin'

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Had crappy specialized and GT before.

Bike Setup:   All XT! Mavic 517 wheels. Velociraptor tires. Oury grips to hang on. Crazy custom CS-X

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin a Weekend Warrior from Ann Arbor, Michigan

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2000

Strengths:    Excessively light-weight. Very rugged, resposive.

Weaknesses:    Price may put it out of range for some riders.

Bottom Line:   
Just an update for anyone reading these posts trying to get a feel for the CSX. I posted earlier a couple of posts down. I did get rid of that Vetta seat, (ouch) and bought something softer. This bike is bringing me into the mountain biking world. It's very pleasurable to ride. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. The frame is STRONG. Don't worry about the darn thing cracking or breaking. I've fallen a number of times getting used to these clipless pedals, (ouch). I don't think I've even scratched the frame. I run the bike pretty hard and I've dropped a foot or two off of ledges while riding and no problems. The biggest factor is I tip the scales at 265 pounds and this bike can take it. I ride a 19". This bike is so fun to ride that I'm claiming a new hobby! If you're thinking about buying one...just do it. You'll be very satisfied too.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   see below a couple of posts

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brent a Cross Country Rider from Los Gatos, CA USA

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2000

Strengths:    Light, comfortable, fast and, most importantly, FUN!

Weaknesses:    I put a Lizard Skin on the chain stay because the when the chain slaps it the paint chips and makes a very unnerving sound! I laid it down a couple of years ago and wound up dinging the top tube pretty good with the handlebars. Top tube now has a bit of flex in it that was not there before. Factory will repair it for a nominal charge but it hasn't bugged me that much yet.

Bottom Line:   
Fast ride that has taken more abuse than I thought carbon fiber could handle. This bike has handled big hits/drops much better than Stumpjumper's and Zaskar's I've ridden with! I have been impressed with Kestrel's customer service and would recommend this bike to someone looking to upgrade from their first or second mountain bike.

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Favorite Trail:   Demonstration Forest

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   I've ridden steel bikes made by Trek and Yokata (sucked!)and aluminum bikes by Specialized and Cannondale. I have not ridden any other carbon fiber bikes.

Bike Setup:   XTR 9-speed drivetrain (except front derailer - XT is only one that works due to top pull), XT/Mavic 217 wheels, Rock Shox seat post, 1997 Judy XC, Shimano 747 pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin a Weekend Warrior from Ann Arbor, Michigan

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2000

Strengths:    WOW! I'm riding greased butter. So smooooth and soooo fast that I should check for a motor! Actually, since I'm not a racer/pro, it's almost too fast! Red flags!!! I ride in rolling hills, nothing extreme..but boy..what a ride.

Weaknesses:    Well, I'm not sure there are any glaring ones. It's a sweet ride.

Bottom Line:   
I passed up a Jamis Diablo for this ride, and couldn't be happier. You wouldn't BELIEVE what I paid for this bike! It pays to shop around. I made a deal with a dealer on Ebay on got the bike delivered to my door for 1/3 the MSRP! Thats right! Oh my-oh-my..how could it get any sweeter?

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Favorite Trail:   The whole city and Hines Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   What could compare?

Bike Setup:   I have a new kestrel cs-x mountain bike, 8 speed XT wheelset with bontrager
bcx rims, XT front and rear der., XT cassette, XT brake lever/shifters,
ritchey logic cranks with XTR rings, Shimano 747 clipless pedals, NEW 97 Judy
xc (63 mm travel) suspension fork, bontrager bars, dean stem, XT v-brakes,
vredestein tires, Vetta seat.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by scott tsilis a Cross Country Rider from peotone,il,60468

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2000

Strengths:    very stiff. very light. no lateral flex.(and i'm a 190 plus rider). gorgeous looking frame. mines orange

Weaknesses:    paint chips easy. impossible to find and fit bottom-bracket mounted front derailler.

Bottom Line:   
this bike rocks on the singletrack descents! nothing compares. climbing ok if you can keep the front tire on the ground. very solid feel. went through three shimano front deraillers before i gave up and mounted one that mounts to the seat tube. kestrel told me it wouldn't void my warranty since they run their team bikes with that derailler anyway. basuically if you like to weave down hill fast and tight then this is the bike for you. if you need help on the climbs then you should avoid this bike. it takes extra work to keep the front end down on the steep ups.

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Favorite Trail:   whichever one i'm on

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   trek oclv

Bike Setup:   race face/chris king/shimano xt/ avid arch rivals/ sx ti fork.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Unknown a Racer from R-D-G

Date Reviewed: July 28, 1999

Strengths:    
Super Fast, Super smooth, over all the best carbon frame you can buy. (Period)


Weaknesses:    
The bike climbs a little slow, but the super fast ride it gives makes up for it.


Bottom Line:   
Kestrel is the best company in the business, they produce the highest quality bikes ever made. The kestrel CSX, and their Rubicon are top of the peak and if you don't understand this then quit mountain biking.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Sick boy

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
None, I would never buy any other cabon bikes. Kestrel is the best carbon money can buy and they are the most advanced with the material.


Bike Setup:   
My bike is set up with a 99 judy sl, xt/xtr kit race face parts and easton parts.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Milky a Cross-Country Rider from London

Date Reviewed: July 21, 1999

Strengths:    
Fast (very!)
Comfortable
Light


Weaknesses:    
Geometry post SID fit
Paint Chips


Bottom Line:   
Awesome.. who needs full sus when you can ride a carbon fibre machine like this?.. Blisteringly fast.
The geometry >>isThe first time I rode it, I knocked 15 mins of my PB for my local 20mile route.. and it is gonna go down further this weekend!
Everyone is right about the paint chips though, but just touch it up and who can tell right?
I'm a heavy guy but I haven't found any cause for concern over strength, it just feels strong and responsive all the time.
Pure and simple: it is sex on two wheels! :-)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Croydon

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
Long-time Stumpie Diehard


Bike Setup:   
SIDs Long Travel
XTR through out
Kestrel carbon handlebar
Chris King Aheadset
Spynergy wheels

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Jason a weekend warrior from Jacksonville, FL

Date Reviewed: January 19, 1999

Bottom Line:   


This bike rocks! Just recently swapped out my mongoose IBOC frame for a 95 CSX and I am totally in love with it. The carbon is so shock absorbent and really manueverable. My only complaint is the paint - it chips really easily. Other than that, I have nothing but praise for this. Oh by the way - for those that think carbon bikes are for light weights, I weigh in at around 110kg (245 lbs) and pound this bike to hell and back - big air and all. It holds up to the challenge! one chili short of perfect for the paint chippage

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Chuck a weekend warrior from Bowling Green, Ohio

Date Reviewed: November 28, 1998

Bottom Line:   


Just received my bike two days ago and took it out with some friends for a three hour ride. The bike is unbelievable. I also have a Litespeed Obed, but it doesn't compare. The bike is very quick and you really get the carbon fiber feel on the trail - excellent shock absorbtion as with their road bikes. The only down fall is the paint already was chipped on the chainstay. The frame comes with a adhesive chanstay protector, but it does not cover enough area (top only) - so I already have paint chips on the inner side of the chainstay.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Female Fan a weekend warrior from California

Date Reviewed: October 15, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I think that the Kestrel CSX is one of the best mountain bikes built [ well it only has one before it and that's the Kestrel Rubicon ]!! I like the way the bikes handles on a climb as well as going down hill!! If you ever just want to go out and have a blast.....this is the bike to do it on!! Keep em' coming!!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Haoming a racer from usa

Date Reviewed: October 7, 1998

Bottom Line:   


-- just reposting the fact that its so bombproof that i managed to crack the outer cartrige bering shell of my raceface cromo b.b and the frame couldnt be better-
super fast rocket ship!
lifetime warenty - the sweetest ride ever
i may have to sell it though, racing for deani still think its the best

Reviews 1 - 15 (33 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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