Strengths: Climbing, sprinting, acceleration, low weight, direct steering, smoothes out vibration.
Weaknesses: Not many. Some question the aerodynamics but it wasn't built to be competition for a Venge or S5. It is unforgiving over bumps but it does dull the road buzz well so I don't care.
I've got the XL Kuota Kom Evo Team from 2012. It has a standard english bottom bracket. The frame was dead on 1100g and the uncut fork was 373g. My wife has one of these too. The XXS is 905g and the uncut fork (which is specific to the very small frame) was 356g.
I like it a lot. It turns your energy into forward motion in a way which brings a big smile. Climbs like a champ with no flex at the BB or head tube. The XL has an absolutely enormous head and down tube. Many people have commented about the perceived lack of aerodynamics but I doubt it makes much real world difference because the tubes, while large, are a fairly smooth shape. [If the latest wheels are anything to go by wider is not necessarily a bad thing :)]. It is a very stable descender too.
I paid $1750 for the frame fork and head set and put a used DA 7900 group set and DA C24 clinchers on with good quality alloy bars, stem and post. It is 7.1kg with my pedals, cages and computer so I couldn't be happier with the performance for $$$ ratio.
The last carbon bike I owned was a Scott Addict SL and was the best I'd owned until I got the KOM Evo. The Addict was a little lighter but the geometry, handling and ride quality of the KOM is much better IMHO.
No regrets on this purchase.
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2013
Strengths: Stiffness, Lightweight, Pro-Tour design, Handling, Value
Weaknesses: Not 'Aero'
I bought my 2011-2012 KOM Evo just under a year ago. I really, really like it.
In Australia, the models are not made with the BB30 bottom bracket, but with a BSA one. The reason for which I was told by the importer was "Due to the unpopularity of BB30". Despite personally liking the BB30 set-up (I had a cannondale previously) it was not a big deal to not have it, so mine is fitted with Dura-Ace 7900 Groupset.
This bike is quite simply, amazing. The frame weight for my 56cm frame was around the 1kg mark (bear in mind that mine has a chunk of aluminium for a BB, not the full carbon bb30 shell), and fork is around 400g. The fork itself is a very sturdy design with thick arms and 1"to 1.5" tapered steerer crown. It does not yield under power, feeling planted when throwing the bike around in a sprint. Descending, I have gotten up to speeds of 80km/hr and the bike is poised when the bends come. It has good steering feedback (I am using Pro4 tyres on 48mm Carbon clinchers), which inspires alot of confidence.
Speaking of sprints, the one thing that was immediately noticable was how efficiently this bike turns your effort into motion, more so than my last bike (A Cannondale Supersix). Over that frame, I dont feel like I'm wasting energy to hold speed, and I loved the Cannondale frame too. The BB area with all of its somewhat gaudy stiffening in the down tube/seat tube junction, combined with chunky stays and big tube sections - it all just works. The bike doesnt feel like its 'soaking up' power, with little flex in the frame. Downside to this is that you will feel bumps. I put a carbon railed saddle on and it helps.
To me this bike, in a nutshell, is all about killing off flex and purely transmitting power - a racers friend. Useful for climbs. It's big stance belies its weight - my large size bike is just over 7kg with Dura-Ace paired with 1800g Carbon-Alloy clinchers. 6.8kg is easily possible.
It has a matte paint finish which is different but nice - it certainly gets looked at when parked outside of Cafe's!
No, its not very aero, but it is a very effective puncher everywhere else. If you are looking to spend big coin, take a look at the newer model, the KOM Air. Its mostly the same bike, but refined and lighter again, with thinner frame members and internalised cabling for better aero. It loses the BB stiffener as well.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2012
Strengths: Precise and surefooted handling, super stiff but comfortable ride, robust engineering, value for money
Weaknesses: This is not an "aero" machine but it handles like no other.
I've owned this since June 2011, set up with Campag Record 11 and Kuota's own K30 chainset for use solely as a race bike and the odd Gran Fondo in the mountains. I swap wheels in and out depending on the race circuit but generally run Campag Neutron Ultras or Eurus (FFWD F5's for crits).
Firstly, this bike is staggering value for money. I bought it for two reasons, acceleration and handling and it excels at both. Downhill, the massive headtube and frankly overbuilt straight fork with rectangular tubes mean it goes exactly where you point it with no drift or twitchiness. I expect most riders will find their limit long before the bike does. I am a quick descender weighing 85kgs and have regularly topped 90kph in thin mountain air. The KOM Evo is by far the best handling bike at speed I have ever ridden and the comparison includes Merckx, Willier, Seven, Pinarello, Scott and Orbea, none of which are exactly second rate.
The trade off for this pointability is a big fat headtube and fork which does add to the frontal area of the bike and makes it feel slower on a solo ride, even though the data says is marginal. However, if you are bunch racing or riding in the wheels this really isn't an issue but if you spend hours ploughing along on your own this probably isn't the machine for you, unless all of it is either uphill or down.
The KOM Evo is a pretty light bike and the BB is as equally as overbuilt as the fork. I can't flex it and I ride at a slow cadence. Pick up is instant and it climbs willingly for as long as your legs allow. Despite this it is also very comfortable; I've done a 165km Fondo and felt no more fatigued than had I done it on one of my Ti bikes.
Overall, a brilliant bike uphill and down and excellent for crits or general bunch racing and riding. I would give it 5/5 for performance but given the number of comments in the various reviews on this site about the aero characteristics of various machines, this is clearly an issue for some riders. As a result I've not given it a perfect 5 but in my eyes it's a hard package to breat.
Favorite Ride: Hill and long ride in Crit rides !!
Purchased At: Gagne velo ski
Similar Products Used: Kuota Khan, Giant TCR
Bike Setup: Dura Ace 7800 with Ultegra cranket
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 5, 2011
Weaknesses: no one knows how to pronounce the name
I have put 7500 miles on my Kuota KOM in a little over a year. It is hands downs the best handling and most comfortable bike I have ridden. And that is with a Selle Italia SLR saddle.A lot of the bike's positive characteristics I attribute to the appropriate fit and parts spec. Particularly noteworthy is the TTT Ergonova bar which is only perfect. This combo gives me confidence on descents I never had in the past. The bike is light, spins up fast, and allows me to climb hills on the big ring I never would have considered before. A lot has been said about the KOM being stiff and uncomfortable. I have a Colnago and a Pinarello. I have rented and Eddy Merxx and a Cervelo for protracted periods of time. Stiff, yes. Uncomfortable, not even. I have never had my hands or other body parts fall asleep on this bike. If you are looking for an affordable, pro-quality ride, this is your bike.