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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-24-09, 05:45 AM   #1
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UPS brought my clockwork last night, some thoughts...

from a previous thread, i got sick of trying to source parts to build a SS so i went ahead and ordered an orange clockwork to commute on. it came last nite and i put it together.

overall quality: good, the frame is solid, wheels were true and tensioned, BB tight, and chainline straight.

stem: very cheap alu. piece. i felt the threads desperately trying to strip as i tightened the bars on. this will definitely be replaced soon, just has a cheap feel/look to it, and i honestly dont trust it to put my full weight on.

bars: also cheaply made, they dont have a great feel to them, but they are adequate and will suffice for now.

brakes: tektro brakes - IMO terrible. there is a ton of flex in them, once they grab the rim you can flex the hell out of the metal, resulting in a very "spongy" feel compared to other caliper brakes i have experience with. i will be replacing the front brake with an ultegra for about $40, which should be money well spent.

crank: cheap look to it, though i'm sure it will be sufficient.

seatpost: ehh, its aluminum and it holds the saddle, it is what it is.

pedals : no comment, i am using my eggbeaters on this bike

saddle : no comment, i have a selle i bought specifically for this bike to commute with.

overall i am happy with the bike. its solid, and after replacing the stem (its a little too short anyway) and the front brake, i think this bike will provide many trouble free miles, and give me some fun in the process.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:03 AM   #2
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Thanks, but... to coin a phrase:

Thread worthless without pics?
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Old 03-24-09, 08:00 AM   #3
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from a previous thread, i got sick of trying to source parts to build a SS so i went ahead and ordered an orange clockwork to commute on. it came last nite and i put it together.

overall quality: good, the frame is solid, wheels were true and tensioned, BB tight, and chainline straight.

stem: very cheap alu. piece. i felt the threads desperately trying to strip as i tightened the bars on. this will definitely be replaced soon, just has a cheap feel/look to it, and i honestly dont trust it to put my full weight on.

bars: also cheaply made, they dont have a great feel to them, but they are adequate and will suffice for now.

brakes: tektro brakes - IMO terrible. there is a ton of flex in them, once they grab the rim you can flex the hell out of the metal, resulting in a very "spongy" feel compared to other caliper brakes i have experience with. i will be replacing the front brake with an ultegra for about $40, which should be money well spent.

crank: cheap look to it, though i'm sure it will be sufficient.

seatpost: ehh, its aluminum and it holds the saddle, it is what it is.

pedals : no comment, i am using my eggbeaters on this bike

saddle : no comment, i have a selle i bought specifically for this bike to commute with.

overall i am happy with the bike. its solid, and after replacing the stem (its a little too short anyway) and the front brake, i think this bike will provide many trouble free miles, and give me some fun in the process.
Agree with you 100% with the stem, too short and cheap looking for me too. I'm trying to find a replacement right now if anyone has any suggestions.

Have you ridden it yet and are you going to run the stock SS cog or put on a fixed one?
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Old 03-24-09, 08:09 AM   #4
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Agree with you 100% with the stem, too short and cheap looking for me too. I'm trying to find a replacement right now if anyone has any suggestions.

Have you ridden it yet and are you going to run the stock SS cog or put on a fixed one?
i am looking at one that nashbar has for 24, and it fits the 26mm bars, i may just order and hope the quality is better.

i havent actually ridden the bike yet, but the main reason i chose a clockwork was for the SS cog and brakes, there are a few sloping downhills on my commute, and i rather enjoy relaxing through them, coasting. perhaps i will get a fixed cog for the other side and try it on the weekends to see how i like it, but for the majority of the time, this will be a SS commuter bike.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:27 AM   #5
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gottcha, hence why you paid close attention to the quality of the brakes. After I put my fixed cog on I have yet to switch it around, but from the few days before that it seemed to ride nice with the SS.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:30 AM   #6
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well, i pulled the trigger, nashbar has campy mirage brakes (F+R) for 39 bucks. surely this will be an upgrade.
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Old 03-24-09, 08:32 AM   #7
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brakes: tektro brakes - IMO terrible. there is a ton of flex in them, once they grab the rim you can flex the hell out of the metal, resulting in a very "spongy" feel compared to other caliper brakes i have experience with. i will be replacing the front brake with an ultegra for about $40, which should be money well spent.
There is NOTHING wrong with those brakes. Adjust them better and get rid of the god awful pads on those. Get some Kool-Stop or Swiss Stop pads and you will have better brakes than you though and more than good enough. I had a Dawes (same bike) and many bikes with the same Tektro Brakes (including my Madison and Nashbar Jailbreak brakes on my KILO TT).
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Old 03-24-09, 08:38 AM   #8
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^^ really? i think i have them adjusted pretty well, my issue is the amount of metal flex. when the brakes are fully clamped down, i can pull the brake lever an additional 2 inches which only serves to flex the caliper, resulting in a mushy type feel, is there anything else i could be doing wrong?

i have replaced the pads allready with ultegra carriers and kool stop pads which i had off another bike.

as i mentioned i havent actually ridden the bike yet, but the initial feel of the brakes is very poor.

any other suggestions?
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Old 03-24-09, 09:43 AM   #9
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^^ really? i think i have them adjusted pretty well, my issue is the amount of metal flex. when the brakes are fully clamped down, i can pull the brake lever an additional 2 inches which only serves to flex the caliper, resulting in a mushy type feel, is there anything else i could be doing wrong?

i have replaced the pads allready with ultegra carriers and kool stop pads which i had off another bike.

as i mentioned i havent actually ridden the bike yet, but the initial feel of the brakes is very poor.

any other suggestions?
You haven't ridden the bike yet and you're already judging the quality of the brake calipers?

The mushy feeling is probably cable flex in a new cable that hasn't been broken in or flex in the rim. Don't just jump to conclusions and think it's all in the caliper, there's more than 1 factor in that equation that causes the "mushy" feeling.

I use cheap tektro calipers on my commuter/beater(rx40), and when setup properly with the salmon kool stops, I can't tell much difference in stopping power between the tektros and the ultegra calipers on my roadie.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:48 AM   #10
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Why people continue to buy anything other than a Kilo TT really blows my mind.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:51 AM   #11
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i am looking at one that nashbar has for 24, and it fits the 26mm bars, i may just order and hope the quality is better.
Why trade in 1 cheap stem for another? For another 5-10 bucks, you can probably find a ritchey pro on ebay.

Or find a local shop that will let you put your bike on a trainer and try a few different stems until you find the reach you like, and buy it from them. Any shop that gives you that kind of service deserves your business.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:56 AM   #12
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Why people continue to buy anything other than a Kilo TT really blows my mind.
The Kilo TT comes with no brakes and a fixed cog only. Some people want a singlespeed with brakes and aero levers, which will quickly increase the price of the kilo TT.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:58 AM   #13
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Why people continue to buy anything other than a Kilo TT really blows my mind.
Geometry. Everyone has different proportions.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:03 AM   #14
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well, i pulled the trigger, nashbar has campy mirage brakes (F+R) for 39 bucks. surely this will be an upgrade.
Heads up. Campys don't have quick releases.

Probably won't be an issue with a skinny tire or if you have the Tektro/Cane Creek levers with the QR's built into them.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:55 AM   #15
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Why people continue to buy anything other than a Kilo TT really blows my mind.
i wanted a SS, i guess your mind is blown huh?
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Old 03-24-09, 11:18 AM   #16
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^^ really? i think i have them adjusted pretty well, my issue is the amount of metal flex. when the brakes are fully clamped down, i can pull the brake lever an additional 2 inches which only serves to flex the caliper, resulting in a mushy type feel, is there anything else i could be doing wrong?

i have replaced the pads allready with ultegra carriers and kool stop pads which i had off another bike.

as i mentioned i havent actually ridden the bike yet, but the initial feel of the brakes is very poor.

any other suggestions?
Did you make sure the caliper is properly centered? if its not when you squeeze the lever its actually putting pressure on one side of the wheel more than the other and its gonna feel mushy. that and the previously mentioned cable stretch, I never use that cheap cable junk and just have extra cables I got from perfomance that won't stretch.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=6812
Something like that but the ones I got were $5.99 a pair.

Tektro, even the cheapest ones won't flex, you're clearly doing something wrong or don't know exactly how the brake should feel, or you have the grip of a gorilla!
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Old 03-24-09, 11:35 AM   #17
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perhaps you all all correct about the cable flex. i definitely have the brakes centered properly. i am only comparing the feel to my road bike, which has a much more solid feel to it (those are shimano 105 brakes).

moot point though, i allready pulled the trigger on the campy brakes, hopefully they will be better, i guess i will replace cables too!
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Old 03-24-09, 11:42 AM   #18
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Why people continue to buy anything other than a Kilo TT really blows my mind.
Beacuase the Kilo BLOWS for long rides. Its a TRACK frame. The Dawes/Clockwork frame is based on ROAD geometry. Which I prefer and which my Kilo TT (BI) had. That's the one thing I miss with my Dawes.

Sorry, but 30-75 miles rides on a TRACK frame is not fun. Also no toe lap.

Is you mind ok now?
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Old 03-24-09, 11:44 AM   #19
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perhaps you all all correct about the cable flex. i definitely have the brakes centered properly. i am only comparing the feel to my road bike, which has a much more solid feel to it (those are shimano 105 brakes).

moot point though, i allready pulled the trigger on the campy brakes, hopefully they will be better, i guess i will replace cables too!
The Campy brakes will work fine as the brake levers are similar to Campy with their release. Not need to new cables either. Just use them and ride first to find the issue.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:21 PM   #20
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and ride i will !
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Old 03-24-09, 12:56 PM   #21
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Which model of Clockwork bike did you get?

Or are you referring to a Windsor Clockwork?
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Old 03-24-09, 01:00 PM   #22
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^^that would be the windsor clockwork...
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Old 03-24-09, 09:58 PM   #23
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going from entry level tektro brakes to dura ace made a world of difference for me. the dura ace has a better spring resulting in better feel and control. i mean, i used tektros for 5 months without a problem, but i switched to dura ace and IMO it was a much better feel even if actual braking power may be comparable.

OT: anybody looking to get rid of their stock shorty stem, PM me!
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Old 03-31-09, 08:19 AM   #24
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You know, something always bugged me when I first started riding my clockwork, but I didn't really put my thumb on it until I rode my old school windsor last night. The handle bars are wide as crap. I much rather have shorter bars. Do track bars have a shorter width?
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Old 03-31-09, 09:40 AM   #25
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i guess i should update this actually: i installed the campy brakes and got another stem, the difference, to me, is very noticeable. the brake feel is much better and i have much more confidence in the stem (it is also a little longer, which helped my fit on the bike too, so that is also a bonus) - with all the other stock parts, minus the pedals and saddle, this is a great little bike for the money. the gearing feels right where it should be, and the bike itself is nice and stable.
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