Kestrel is an American bicycle manufacturer headquartered in Philadelphia, PA specializing in high-end bikes for triathlon, and road bicycle racing. In 2007 Kestrel was acquired by Advanced Sports, which is also the parent company of brands Fuji and SE.
Kestrel pioneered carbon fiber frame design with the world's very first all-carbon bicycle frame in 1986, based again on the first-ever Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of bicycle frame structure conducted in 1986. Kestrel set new standards again in 1989, with the launch of the first carbon fork and the debut of the KM40 Airfoil, the first true aero triathlon frame. Carbon framesets by better-known, mainstream manufacturers such as Giant and, most notably, Trek (with its OCLV frames), have been directly influenced by Kestrel design principles.
Kestrel builds monocoque frames rather than more traditional tube and lug designs. This has always meant that Kestrels have tended to have a very fluid, curved appearance. However, more recent designs from the company have been more angular due to an increased desire to minimise wind resistance.
- 1986: Kestrel is formed from a group of Trek employees together with aerospace materials experts
- 1986: Kestrel's first bicycle, the Kestrel 4000 road bike, is released, featuring all-carbon, fully aerodynamic frame design
- 1986: Kestrel is the first in the industry to introduce bladder-molded monocoque carbon structures.
- 1988: The company unveils the "Nitro" full-suspension mountain bike after collaboration with Keith Bontrager
- 1989: World's first carbon fork, the EMS
- 1989: Kestrel is the first company to use higher stiffness, "intermediate modulus" carbon fiber in the 200 EMS.
- 1989: World's first all-carbon triathlon bike, the KM40
- 1992: First "modern" seat-tube-less design, the 500SCi, demonstrating the structural flexibility offered by composite construction
- 1999: The KM40 Airfoil becomes the first molded, composite frame designed completely with 3-D solid modeling techniques.
- 2001: Kestrel introduces its EMS Pro Series, a molded carbon road handlebar.
- 2003: Chris McCormack wins his first Ironman aboard a Kestrel and kicks off a superb partnership.
- 2007: The RT-700 is recognized by Outside Magazine with "Bike of the Year" honors.
- 2008: Kestrel is purchased by Advanced Sports International and joins Fuji & SE under the ASI family.
- 2010: Kestrel re-introduces the 4000 triathlon/time trial model.
- 2011: Kestrel signs Ironman Champion Andy Potts and up-and-comer Cameron Dye. Members of the GEOX-TMC professional cycling team, including 2009 Giro d'Italia Champion Denis Menchov and 2008 Tour de France Winner Carlos Sastre, use Kestrel as their time trial bike in major international ProTour events - including the Vuelta a Espana, where they helped teammate Juan Jose Cobo win his first grand tour. With five wins aboard his Kestrel 4000, Andy Potts is crowned 2011 Race to the Toyota Cup Series Champion.
- 2012: The new Kestrel RT1000 - a bike designed for the endurance rider - hits the market, and the Kestrel 4000 becomes the official TT bike of Champion System, the first ever professional continental cycling team based out of Asia. Cameron Dye is named 2012 Non-Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year by USA Triathlon, after his career-best, six-win season aboard his 4000 - which also earned him the 2012 Race to the Toyota Cup series title.
- 2013: Kestrel launches its brand-new Legend: the lightest frame Kestrel has ever produced.
- Fuji Bikes website, article "The Fuji Team Expands Once Again!". Accessed on December 25, 2007.
- Kestrel's Carbon Fiber & Epoxy Road Bike IS Ultralight. - Advanced Materials & Composites News - HighBeam Research