In saturated markets, products must stand out to succeed. Kestrel, the pioneer in carbon fiber bicycles, had lost market share and needed to refresh their entire product family to reposition as an industry leader. The result is an iconic and memorable new language embodying Kestrel's legacy of aerodynamics and forward motion.
The first task was to redefine Kestrel as a leader in the premium triathlon competition market. Our design process established a visual brand language, integrated revolutionary molded-composite features with cutting-edge aesthetic identity and innovated within the confines of UCI regulations. Design explorations drew inspiration from Kestrel's legacy of evocative expression of forward motion. The final streamlined design captures the striking visual of air flowing fast and smoothly over complex surfaces. When the Kestrel 4000LTD debuted, it was the slipperiest bicycle on the planet.
Following the market success of the 4000LTD, Kestrel launched into development of a new endurance road frame. The new frame needed to be light, stiff and uniquely Kestrel. The project name, "Katana," captures the essence of the knife-like edges, accentuated joints and notched out detailing on the 4000LTD. Removing the excess and subtly blending the lightweight "springing forward" gesture created a powerful expression of speed while maintaining the new Kestrel language. The result is the RT1000, an extremely agile and elegant design that is truly Kestrel.
Kestrel then realized that their superlight bike needed to scream "Kestrel DNA" and differentiate itself within the boring, straight-tube superlight market. The challenge: big, swoopy surfaces equal weight; straight tube frames equal no brand recognition. The final design solution walks the fine line of streamlined aerodynamic forms sculpted with a judicious eye towards brutal efficiency. Weighing in at a mere 780g, the Legend SL is the lightest and stiffest Kestrel ever made.