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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 10-21-10, 07:51 PM   #1
powerband
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Kilo OS - Quick Review and Pictures

I wanted a beater, so I decided on the Kilo OS.

Mike from Bikes Direct said the Kilo OS is just for fun. Whether that's marketing or not, it doesn't matter because that's how I look at the Kilo OS. Just for fun.

Some people like it; some people don't. I think how a person feels about this bike depends on what the person expects from it. I don't expect much, other than a strong frame on which I can casually and periodically update parts. Maybe not.

I already have a few bikes -- one of which is a custom-built frame. The Kilo OS then is a bike I can throw around, lock up on a light post and be OK with it.

The OS is a casual representation of the old-school bike, but I also know it's not accurate and therefore I just look at it as an old-school bike with a new-school twist. But really, it's just bin parts slapped together.

Not a big deal to me, as it's not my main bike.

Anyway, not many review on the Kilo OS, so I figured I give one here.

Typical BikesDirect packaging -- with care, good protection, and with extra parts included that I didn't expect.

For example, a plastic chain guard (that I just threw away), brake cable clips, and 3 sets of extra bar tapes of different colors. Sweet.


It took me about 20 minutes to put together -- stem and handlebar, seat, front wheel, brake cables (took off the rear brake), and pedals.






The seat binder was cheap, and stripped at the hex-head and the thread stripped like it were butter. Threw that out and replaced it with a better one at a LBS. This is one of the small bits with which Bikes Direct can keep the cost down.

The pedals are the other cheap bits. God awful. But I didn't expect any better, as pedals are usually a personal thing among this market. Threw them out and replaced them with MKS pedals and half-clips I had laying around.


I fully expected the leather saddle to be crappy, but I was surprised by the metal and the thickness of the leather, as well as the hardness. It's pretty solid, with brass (?) rivets. It ain't a Brooks (like my B17 and Swift), but I'll definitely keep this one on the OS.








Continued...
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Old 10-21-10, 07:51 PM   #2
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I love the handlebar. It gives the bike character... along with the completely non-functional double top-tube. Yes, the double top-tube is all form and no function, and is one of the defining characteristics for which I wanted to own the OS.






I installed a Soma bell.


I swapped the stock 16t rear cog for an aftermarket 18t. Now running 46X18, or 69.5 gear-inch. Much more casual for a beater.


It ain't a light bike, and I expected that and don't really care. (I ain't no fred.) But it ain't a heavy bike either. The frame seems bomb proof and the welds aren't bad.

Reynolds 520 butted steel. Stiff as a mofo, probably because of the double top-tube.

While some don't like the red deep Vs, I like them and they add to the bike's character. I still need to true them a little, but out of the box they're not that far off. Definitely rideable.

38 tires make a comfortable commute. The OS can accommodate tires up to 50, and plenty of room for fenders.

Decals are under the varnish -- an unfortunate thing for some but not a deal breaker for others. I can just cover the decals with some vinyl adhesives, if I ever go that route -- but I don't mind the modernized font of the decals like some people here might. I think the white lettering is nice. But we'll see.

Do you think I should get a sprung leather saddle?

Thanks for looking.

Edit: I rode it through Santa Cruz this past weekend -- a place that's somewhat bike culture. I received well over a couple dozens of compliments from random people, cyclists and non-cyclists. Interesting.

Last edited by powerband; 10-21-10 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-21-10, 07:53 PM   #3
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Crap, anyone seeing the pics?
Let me know and I'll see if I can fix it.
Damn PhotoBucket!
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Old 10-21-10, 07:55 PM   #4
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bell is great. bike looks good actually.

edit; yes i can see the pics
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Old 10-21-10, 08:00 PM   #5
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Looks greeeaaaaaat. Red really kinda ruins the deal for me though..

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Old 10-21-10, 08:05 PM   #6
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I think it looks pretty good. I don't understand why people seem to dislike this bike.
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Old 10-21-10, 08:10 PM   #7
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I think it looks pretty good. I don't understand why people seem to dislike this bike.
I think some people dislike it, but some people also like it.

It is what it is. I like it.
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Old 10-21-10, 08:12 PM   #8
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It is nice of them to add the different bar tapes, and it is also nice to see photos of the bike outside of a studio. Looks good +1
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Old 10-21-10, 08:15 PM   #9
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I think it looks pretty good. I don't understand why people seem to dislike this bike.
Additionally, I rode the Kilo OS through Santa Cruz this past weekend -- a place that's somewhat bike culture. I received well over a couple dozens of compliments from random people, cyclists and non-cyclists. Interesting.
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Old 10-21-10, 10:55 PM   #10
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Get a sprung leather saddle - Brooks Flyer or B-67 depending on whether you prefer the B17 top or a wide top!
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Old 10-21-10, 10:57 PM   #11
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Its a design statement. Some people love it and some hate it.

I think Bikes Direct should come out with a curved tube model - like the Pashley Tube Rider.

Now THAT is a cool ride!
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Old 10-21-10, 10:59 PM   #12
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The Pashley Guvnor by the way IS single speed path racer... Reynolds double butted 531 tubing.

I pressed mine into a second life as a roadster!
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Old 10-22-10, 05:18 PM   #13
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Why not clips/straps?
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Old 10-22-10, 06:28 PM   #14
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I kinda talked a buddy of mine at work into getting the OS, well I told him I thought he might like it & should check it out. I think he ordered it that night. It really is a pretty bike in person, he covered the decals and put white fatty tires on it. He can't go for a ride without someone yelling, "nice bike!" at him.

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get that Pashley pretty soon here.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:40 PM   #15
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Why not clips/straps?
Because it's a beater on which I'll ride casually around town. I'm not skidding, nor sprinting.
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Old 10-23-10, 12:01 AM   #16
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It took me about 20 minutes to put together -- stem and handlebar, seat, front wheel, brake cables (took off the rear brake), and pedals.

The seat binder was cheap, and stripped at the hex-head and the thread stripped like it were butter. Threw that out and replaced it with a better one at a LBS. This is one of the small bits with which Bikes Direct can keep the cost down.
So, did you check tightness of the cog, lockring or cranks? They were all loose on my Kilo WT. Also, both my wheels were significantly out of true and under tensioned.

And my seat binder bolt, which is the same type as used on the Kilo OS, was also stripped.

I ended up replacing just about all the minor parts on mine. In fact, other than the wheels and cranks, the only original parts that I didn't change were the front brake caliper and chain. Still, it ended up being cheaper than a Surly Steamroller with comparable improvements.
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Old 10-23-10, 12:38 AM   #17
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wow looks very cool
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Old 10-23-10, 01:01 AM   #18
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And to think people were criticizing it when it first came out...
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Old 10-23-10, 01:31 AM   #19
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It looks great!

Throw box rims, gum walled tires, a fluted seatpost, and tire savers on it!
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Old 10-23-10, 04:43 AM   #20
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I don't understand why people seem to dislike this bike.
Because its a tasteless and poorly executed ripoff of this bike built by A.N.T.



OP is fully aware that its just cheap bin parts slapped together to create a fake antique look, so thats fine.

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-23-10 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 10-23-10, 05:39 AM   #21
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Although it's not my thing, I can appreciate the look they went for. I think a sprung seat will def help complete the look you're going for. Also, the crankset/seatpost/quill stem would look better stripped down to silver too.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:31 AM   #22
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Nice bike OP, I think it makes a cool bar bike too.

Count me as another Kilo owner with a stripped seat binder bolt, my WT5 had the same issue. A spare bolt from an old set of Tektro brakes fits perfectly btw.

Has anyone else in the LA area seen the bizarre hi-ten Pashley knockoff on craigslist? I hesitate to link to it cos the seller is a massive spammer, but it is sort of tempting for the coaster wheelset and weirdness factor.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac...019141684.html
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Old 10-23-10, 11:49 AM   #23
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Because its a tasteless and poorly executed ripoff of this bike built by A.N.T.
that bike "starts" at 3 grand...give me a break


pretty bike btw powerband
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Old 10-23-10, 02:02 PM   #24
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The ANT is the real deal... custom built. Most of us don't want to blow 3 figures on a bike.... even a very nice one!

For most of us, off the rack will have to do.
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Old 10-23-10, 02:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
So, did you check tightness of the cog, lockring or cranks? They were all loose on my Kilo WT. Also, both my wheels were significantly out of true and under tensioned.

And my seat binder bolt, which is the same type as used on the Kilo OS, was also stripped.
Yep, I replaced the seat binder, the rear cog (to 18t), the lockring, and the pedals. All parts had been double-checked. Thanks for the headsup.
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