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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 01-28-11, 01:20 PM   #1
rustbelt
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Kilo Commuter: Front rack, rear rack, panniers, pack mule to walk beside me?

My commuter is a Kilo Stripper and I'm riding it fixed. I carry a Banjo Bros. large messenger bag which is really pretty nice for the price but I'm thinking why should I carry the load when the bike could do it for me. I carry a camera and a couple of lenses and a change of clothes, sometimes other junk but rarely more than that. Probably about 15 pounds at most.


I'm resigned to the fact that my stripper will become a townie. So, the question is, what's better? Front rack (a cetma perhaps) with a bag strapped to it or a rear rack with panniers?

I'd be lying if I said aesthetics didn't matter a little bit but ultimately I want something practical.

Here's the bike as it is set up now.

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Old 01-28-11, 01:23 PM   #2
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Wrong bike for your intended purpose. Sell it and get something more appropriate like a Kilo WT.
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Old 01-28-11, 01:40 PM   #3
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What's so wrong about it? I know its technically not a commuter made for carrying stuff. I didn't originally buy it for that. But It does have brazeons for a rack after all.

I'm not opposed to looking at another bike and will likely buy something more relaxed in the future but I love riding this bike and I'm not talking about a ton of weight. I think any rack I buy could probably be easily moved to another bike in the future as well.
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Old 01-28-11, 03:01 PM   #4
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My kilo got relegated to commuter purposes and while it works, it's not ideal. The geometry is too aggressive for commuting and related to that, you will get heel strike if you put panniers in the back. I've thought about installing a rear rack, and I've managed to fit 700x28 tires and still slap on SKS Raceblade fenders for wet days, but in the long run, I think I'd want a frame with better geometry for commuting. If I can find a Redline 925 or Bianchi San Jose I'll gladly get rid of the kilo.
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Old 01-28-11, 03:51 PM   #5
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I didn't think of the heel strike. I guess the short chainstay is kind of a hindrance. I would only need small panniers though I'm thinking the Cetma half-rack might be a good option. I can strap a small bag on it and use it for groceries, beer etc as well. Its just a little pricey. Its nearly a third the price of the bike.
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Old 01-28-11, 08:21 PM   #6
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Wrong bike for your intended purpose. Sell it and get something more appropriate like a Kilo WT.
This. The biggest issues in my head are tire/fender clearance (for which the WT is far superior) and chainstay length (I don't know if the WT is even better at all in this respect). A bikes with generous geometry and clerances performs a lot better for the purposes you describe, and this is actually one place where conversions of old "sport touring" geometries really shine IMHO, especially on 27"->700c conversions that generate even more clearance at the expense of a bit of bb height (but who cares on a townie?).

Also keep in mind that it's tough to find a low trail bike these days (the VO polyvalent is one notable exception I can think of off the top of my head), so be careful about how much you load up the font end of the bike lest you wreak havoc on your handling.
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Old 01-28-11, 10:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'm not being dense. I get it. Its has track geometry and its not made for touring. That's precisely why I like riding the bike. And I am in the market for a nice old frame for a conversion but in the meantime, I don't think a rack isn't going to do much harm on a kilo. I'm not talking about 30 or 40 pounds. I'm talking a camera and some clothes. And while its called a track bike, I don't imagine its used very often for that purpose. I'm betting a good chunk of people on this board aren't using their bikes for their intended purposes. I know I can't be the first person to consider this. It has rack brazeons for some reason or another. Call me crazy, but my best guess is that they're there for a rack.

The question is, what makes more sense, front or back?
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Old 01-29-11, 07:07 AM   #8
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◘ Front will look more awesome but will make steering a little wonky with any weight on it.

◘ Rear is more practical but won't look as cool.

Click the link in my sig for a pic of my FG with a front rack [see how cool it looks?].
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Old 01-29-11, 08:53 AM   #9
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Could you get away with a front bag like THIS? Check out the small top photo, i think it looks great when it's front and forward
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Old 01-29-11, 11:23 AM   #10
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Get a cheap Wald front basket that bolts on at the axle / clamps at the handlebars. The smaller, deep one will work fine for what you're talking about; the wide, shallow one for minimally more style points.

Let the haterz hate.
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Old 01-29-11, 12:10 PM   #11
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i've done both with my Kilo TT.

-ANYTHING on the front will mess with the handling a lot. It is definitely not designed for that sort of thing, and riding it feels real sketchy with anything over seven or so pounds.
-A rear rack, however, it much less sketch. I put a rack on and tied down a milk crate and it worked great. I could put my backpack and shoes in it while commuting and it worked great. This setup was used much longer than the front rack, and was much more comfortable. I made sure to use road drops with hood for when the rack was loaded, as this gave the most predictable steering. I imagine that you'd like the risers more.

I loved being able to carry stuff with my Kilo, and I enjoyed the decent track geo when I wasn't carrying anything but myself. Try it for yourself, and if you really dislike how the bike rides, get something designed better for carrying stuff. But, if you're like me and like having the capablility of carrying ten or so pounds of stuff while riding a bike with a 75 degree seattube, then you'll love it.

Or, at least, learn to live with it!
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Old 01-29-11, 12:26 PM   #12
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Bike is yours and ride it however you want

go for the half rack cetma or get a wald rack and cut it so it's and L shape like the cetma rack
The handling is a little funny when you get a lot of weight on the fun but you get used to it
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Old 01-29-11, 09:47 PM   #13
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Thanks. That's the kind of input I was looking for. I think I'm going with the Cetma half rack. There are quite a few track bikes in their gallery with them and it looks sweet. Grahamcracker's photo helped tip the scales.

@rwmichel - That salsa bag looks pretty cool but it looks pretty limited in what it can carry. The beauty of something like the Cetma or Wald is how many different things I can carry.

@Submission - It has risers now which are really comfortable but I have a set of Soma Sparrow's that I think I'm going to use. It's going to be a totally different bike.

Thanks again.

Next, a bag that'll fit on the Cetma.

I'll post photos once I get it set up.
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Old 01-30-11, 12:51 PM   #14
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nashbar has some contoured panniers that will help with heel strike

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_166983_-1
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Old 07-11-11, 09:17 AM   #15
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Sorry to bump this but how could Kramer go ignored in post 12???
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Old 07-11-11, 09:29 AM   #16
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Stop ignoring me !!!!

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Old 07-11-11, 10:08 AM   #17
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I use a Topeak removable clamp-on style beamrack and one of their bags on my Fixie when I'm running around.
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Old 07-11-11, 10:16 AM   #18
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Stop ignoring me !!!!

Hahaha!
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Old 07-13-11, 12:20 PM   #19
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I got lucky. I commute on the Fuji team conversion and it is great. It is a little big for me though, and I actually have considered buying a Kilo frame one day just to have proper sizing.

Difference between me and OP is that I don't use panniers or anything, just a messenger bag.

Is the Kilo still a bad idea? I commute about 15 miles round trip in a city.
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Old 07-13-11, 01:44 PM   #20
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Difference between me and OP is that I don't use panniers or anything, just a messenger bag.

Is the Kilo still a bad idea? I commute about 15 miles round trip in a city.
That's more or less what I used to do on my Kilo. It was fine, but then I got a Bianchi San Jose with a rear rack and pannier and it's so much better. The fat 32s helped, too.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:01 PM   #21
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Oh I am sure..I just want a fast, steel bike really. I never need more than my messenger bag, so that is why I wondered about the Kilo frame.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:16 PM   #22
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just get a unicycle
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Old 07-14-11, 10:25 PM   #23
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I carry a messenger bag everyday but I just figured I could let the bike to the carrying. I just ordered some panniers for an old raleigh that I am going to try on the Kilo for a day. I'll report back and post photos when I do.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:56 AM   #24
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Throw a Carradice Camper (or similar hauling system from Riv Bike) with a quick release system on the back and call it a day. Big enough to carry everything you are talking about (and plenty more) and the bike still feels agile and quick since the weight is centered and directly behind/under your arse.

If you go with a front rack you can avoid some of the handling problems by strapping your load down more securely. After a certain poundage your handling can get sketchy no matter what (how much weight it can take before that happens depends on your setup...mine was about 25 pounds and then it just wasn't any good).
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Old 08-17-11, 08:09 AM   #25
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Here's the bike now. I added a rack and Timbuk2 Tandem Panniers. Up front I swapped the bars for the oh so cheap Pyramid North Road Bars. I gotta tell ya, it's a blast to ride. My ride to work is a little slower but so relaxed.
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