I just picked up my 2014 Kilo Stripper Matte Black over the weekend. Living in Canada, I had it shipped to a parcel accepting place near the border, and drove down to pick it up, and as others have mentioned, only had to pay the tax when crossing back. Total price all-told was $500 CDN which is decent for a bike of this quality, as others on this forum will vociferously attest to #kilott
Box was in good shape, no damage, and surprisingly light compared to a Vilano (tig-welded) steel bike box I've picked up before. Good hint of things to come, I thought. Wrestled it into the car; 2-door coupe's suck for practical stuff like this, and home a short while later to set it up.
Started setting it up over the weekend, and noted a few things that might interest others:
- The matte-black in person is gorgeous! I had a bit of buyer's regret initially thinking I should have got the Raw, but I'm really happy with how it seems to just suck up light, and looks stealthily menacing. I'm happy I went with the stripper, the only stickers on the bike are a REYNOLDS 520 square on the seat-tube under the top-tube, and a small warning sticker on the top-tube near the head-set (standard "don't use without reflectors and brakes" liability disclaimer). Plus, I wanted both brakes anyway, as I'm planning on using it more as an SS than a FG.
- The down-tube is quite 'ovalised', compared to the other tubes on the frame. This is not easily seen in the pics online, but quite pleasing in person, and I suspect it adds a bit of structural strength? I was worried the bike would look a little too 'slim', but it actually is quite substantial and strong. The wonders of Chromoly, I guess.
- The wheels are decent, and have a matte-silvery sheen to them, which contrasts very nicely with the matte-black of the frame. I wish the other silver components of the bike matched, but everyone differs in what they like aesthetically, I guess. I know this tends to vary quite a bit, but it looks like my fork and frame has plenty of clearance for slightly wider tires, if needed. I suspect at least a 25 will fit, maybe even a 28. I might pick up a pair of 25s to use as rear-tires, and keep the currently stock rear for the front when they wear out. Wheels are not true and show a bit of wobble, but decent enough considering how it was shipped.
- I don't know why I never noticed this before (I should have, the amount I agonized over the bikesdirect website pics) but the bike does not have water-bottle braze-ons on either the down-tube or the seat-tube. Maybe I confused it with the regular kilo tt since that does I think (going by the online pics). Not a big deal for me, but worth mentioning. I can always get a rear-seat bottle harness if I want. It does have rack-braze-ons, however, as the website mentions.
- The bike shipped with the brakes (cables in the parts box) and fork inserted in the frame, headset installed, and rear wheel (quite) tightly mounted. The parts box includes a small plastic bag that contains wheel reflectors, 3 top-tube brake-cable clamps, as well as a set of crimps for both the brake cable housings (in case you need to cut length) as well as the brake cables. I was quite happy to see this, wasn't expecting it at this price level. I see these clamps now in the pics online, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
- The drop handlebars were nicely wrapped and already had the brake levers attached. I will likely use an old set of bullhorns I have lying around and will move the levers over.
- The headset was very loosely held in place with a cardboard tube spacer, and the stem was in the parts box. The stem is obviously poor quality, with very rough edges around it's machined parts (imagine sharp metal burrs and incomplete cutting). I'll use it for now, until I decide what size/angle to replace it with.
- The saddle was already attached to the seat-post and separately packed, ready for grease and insertion into the frame. The seat-tube has an expansion notch cut in it, with a shiny silver seat collar to hold the seat-post in place.
- Headset was quite well greased already, I took it apart to check this. Actually, there was grease in quite a few spots on the bike, which I took to be a good sign.
- I am not very comfortable commuting on a fixed cog yet, so will be getting a freewheel soon, but knew that when I purchased. Pedals, as others have said, are flimsy - I wonder if I can use them without the cages and straps for now (on SS), until I pick something else up; they're a strange triangular shape if I remove the cage and straps.
Sorry for rambling on; just trying to include some info other prospective buyers might find useful. I'm going to put together a list of specs so I know what size parts to upgrade it with later (when things wear out). My chain is a 3/32", and I know the headset is a 1" threadless, etc.. Will pull in the rest from the bikesdirect site and searching the board here.
Thanks to all for the information and help on this board. Couple of pics below: