Geometry Difference between Messenger and Kilo TT...
Hey all, I'm planning a purchase soon, and am currently torn between two bikes. Initially I wanted the messenger, as it comes with two brakes and is the same price as the Kilo TT, but after some thought, and watching some track racing, I realized I might actually want to race at some point, and the supposedly more "track" geometry of the Kilo TT brought me to that bike.
A post on another thread provoked some deeper thought, and I'd like other opinions:
Originally Posted by K_phomma
"The windsor is a road geo
Kilo is a track geo"
Most people on this forum (mis)judge the handling of a bike by how "steep" and "tight" it looks, but looks can be decieving.
Assuming the provided geometry charts for these bikes are correct, the Hour and Kilo TT frames have very similar geometry. See for yourself. The headtube angle of the Kilo TT ranges from 72-73.5 degrees. Thats hardly "track". The larger sizes of the Hour have a 75 degree HT angle, so if steep headtube angles are "track geo", the largest Hour frames are the most "track geo".
The fork rake (offset) for the Hour is not provided, so its hard to judge exactly how this bikes handles. However the Kilo TT fork has 40mm of rake for all but the smallest size. Thats not much rake for a road-like geometry frame, and I suspect they did it to make the bike look tighter. But this combo of frame and fork is actually going to result in more trail than is typical for either a road bike or a track bike, thus giving the Kilo TT more sluggish handling than even most road bikes. LOL. Track-bike indeed.
Does the geometry make that much difference in the real world?
The geometries of these cheap Bikesdirect entries do not appear to be very different, that is if the geometry charts are accurate. The geometries vary more between sizes than they do between models. For a beginner, the subtle handling difference between two similar bikes isn't going to mean much, if you can even really feel the difference at all. As you gain experience, geometry differences may become more apparent and more relevant to how you choose a bike. By the time you reach that point, if ever, you will have no doubt moved way way beyond wanting to buy and ride cheap bikesdirect bikes.
To summarize...the differences appear to be minor and to most recreational cyclists aren't going to amount to significant real-world differences in how these bikes ride. For a beginner, any of these bikes will do fine on the road or track.