Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-06-11, 01:14 AM   #1
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My Mercier Kilo TT Stripper Chrome 47cm

Here are some pics and my review of the transaction with BikesDirect.com. I just got the bike today.

PURCHASE & SHIPPING
Bikesdirect cannot ship to Canada. So I use a package receiver that is convenient on the US side of the border. The Bikesdirect.com website cannot accept Canadian credit cards. When I emailed them, they gave me a phone number to call whereupon a staff member took my order and credit card info. and booked me a Mercier Kilo TT Stripper in Chrome. Tracking number email soon followed. They did not email me an invoice.

I picked up the package which listed the shipping weight as 30 lbs. thereby causing me some worry about the overall weight of the bike. I set about assembling the bike when I got home. Crossing the border back into Canada, I was assessed the 12% HST sales tax - that's all.


Here is the side view of the box. The metal ruler at the foot of the box is 48 inches long.


Side view of the box.


Contents initially unboxed in the room. Nothing was damaged in shipping.


The handlebars which have been taped and Tektro brake levers attached.


Close up of handlebar showing logo. When the rear brake lever was removed, to my surprise, I discovered the area beneath the lever wasn't polished alloy like the logo part. It was recessed or cut deeper than the logo portion. It looked odd so I mounted some black tape and put an LED light on that spot.


ASSEMBLY & COMPONENTS
I did not read the generic manual that came with the box. I'm no master mechanic but have learned from servicing my bikes and was able to setup the front brake, cut the brake housing and cable to length and adjust it. I like the feel of the action but not the brake pads.

Everything in the box was packaged securely, safely and there was no cosmetic damage except for a semi-circular scratch on the top part of the bottom bracket. The chrome finish is attractive and aside from the previously mentioned scratch, flawless.

The pedals are fine for me. Weird thing is there are reflectors on the front and back of the pedals. I did not bother mounting wheel reflectors. The plastic toe clips are junk. I'll be changing to metal ones when I have a chance.

Here is the completed bike BEFORE a shakedown ride.



FIT & INITIAL RIDE
This is a 47cm frame. I perceive a slight upward slope of the top tube. The standover is EXACTLY 29.75 inches. I have a 28.75" inseam and have no issue with the frame. At 5'5" with short arms, it is a perfect fit for me. Riding with my hands on the flats, the handlebar obscures the front hub. I am able to crouch on the drops with feel comfortable for me especially in tonight's winds.

I took the bike on a shakedown ride to my kickboxing class. Felt very natural. The fistful of seatpost was a estimate and generally correct. Since the shake down ride, I lowered the seat by 2mm and tilted the saddle nose up slightly for a better fit.


GEARING
It came with a 48T chainring and a 16T cog. Measuring the diameter of the wheel and rim combination yielded 27". The gear inches is calculated as follows:

48/16 x 27" = 81 gear inches

I find this too high for general riding on public roads. Its definitely doable, but doesn't optimize my cadence and is hard in any type of wind. Hills will be difficult with this default gearing. I will be lowering the gear inches to something around 72 inches.

The ride was smooth but not as agile as my Softride which has 650c wheels and a much shorter wheelbase. The 81 gear inches made the bike feel sluggish off a traffic light although cruising at high speed was easy except in the wind. The leg muscles definitely tire faster pushing a higher gear. I prefer a cruising cadence around 90-105 to engage more aerobic intensity. This gear is too high for that.


WHEELS & HUB
The wheels arrived true. The rear is a perfect true both horizontally and vertically. The front is not as true as the rear but well within the realms of acceptable trueness. The hubs spin freely.


ISSUES
My only outstanding issue is a hollow, metallic creaking that is heard when I am pedaling. When I spun the front wheel independently, it seemed to spin forever without resistance. When I removed the chain from the crank and spun it, it was completely silent too. When I removed the rear wheel and spun it without a chain, it was quiet. Once a chain is mounted however, there is a metallic, hollow sound. I don't know if this is due to the cog or something else.

Overall, I am happy with the bike. New toe clips and an 18T cog yielding 72 gear inches will be happening pronto.

Victor
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 01:21 AM   #2
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Awesome buy, Victor! I actually didn't know BD didn't take Canadian credit cards, that's very good to know.

Btw, I'm Victor too, formally known as "Vixtor".

Want to ride together sometime?
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 02:51 AM   #3
hairnet
Fresh Garbage
 
hairnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 12,485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
You're going to want to make sure the BB is torqued correctly (mine wasn't) and tension the wheels (they most likely aren't done well and will go out of true with the miles)
hairnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 10:34 AM   #4
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Squirrelli\Vixtor, would be nice to meet another rider buddy. I normally commute2 or 3 days a week from west Richmond to downtown Vancouver and can take a number of routes to downtown. So PM and lets meet up. The weather is still irritatingly cold.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 01:00 PM   #5
liberalswine
ganja mon
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern California
Bikes: affinity marta
Posts: 181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's interesting that the standover height is exactly 29.75" when BI and BD list them as 29" for the 47cm.

I'm trying to determine if I can squeeze my girlfriend on a 47cm kilo tt. We got her pro-fitted via waterford fit bike using the geometry of a 44cm kilo which is listed as a 28.5" standover. She has an inseam of 28" without shoes.

The thing is, the standover on her previous 50cm tomasso was 29.75"- she had to tippy toe in order to clear the tt. The 44cm geo on the fitbike was good, but not sure if how the 47cm will be for her.

Just about ready to order the fully lugged kilo from BI, but seeing if there are any local folks with a 47cm kilo for a quick test fit before committing with the purchase.
liberalswine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 02:53 PM   #6
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
IMO, the standover test should be done in her "normal" riding shoes as one seldom rides barefeet. There is toe overlap at 47cm but that only comes in play at very slow speeds.

I found Dave Moulton's article on bike fitting very helpful. You may wish to read it here:
http://www.prodigalchild.net/Bicycle6.htm
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 02:55 PM   #7
liberalswine
ganja mon
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern California
Bikes: affinity marta
Posts: 181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Given your inseam, do you need to tippy toe at all over the stand over? Or do you need to tilt your bike at a stop?
liberalswine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 03:33 PM   #8
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Very slight tilt to the left. I normally reposition my pedal to have my right foot at the start of the power stroke down at the red light. I place my left foot flat to the ground, then with my right hand on the top tube behind my butt, I lift the rear of the bicycle while rotating the crank with my right foot.

If your lady's torso is short, consider getting a 44cm Kilo. If her torso is long, then the 47cm might be better. Having said that, its easier to make a small frame fit bigger than the other way around.

Bike weighs about 20 lbs as pictured above.

Last edited by puppypilgrim; 04-06-11 at 03:37 PM.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-11, 07:40 PM   #9
liberalswine
ganja mon
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern California
Bikes: affinity marta
Posts: 181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the insight. 44cm was ideal, but aesthetically she doesn't like the geo as the tt has an upward slope toward the headtube. Its not as apparent for the 47cm from what I've been researching
liberalswine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 12:40 AM   #10
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The slope is not very apparent but its there. I put a fluid level and verified it for your research. So the top tube slopes a little.

One nice feature of the smaller sizes is they put 165mm cranks on these smaller sizes which is a good thing IMO.

Was able to replace the factory cog of 16T to 18T making it 72 gear inches instead of 81 gear inches. 81 isn't good for anything but the flats with no wind. 72 is more practical for my geography where wind and hills come into play. I like spinning and can maintain 100 - 105 rpm cadences with no issues. I would rather spin and not hurt my knees. Another option is just changing the cog to 17T which would yield 76 gear inches.

There is toe overlap at these sizes but only at very slow speeds and tight turns. No big deal.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 03:37 PM   #11
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rear hub is noisy. Took it to LBS for an inspection. Got lots of compliments on how sharp it looks. Technician recommended to ride it more and let everything bed in.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 03:56 PM   #12
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Which shop did you go?
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 04:07 PM   #13
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bike Doctor on Broadway. I get stuff from a variety of LBS's depending on which bike needs it.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 08:03 PM   #14
martinus
Senior Member
 
martinus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 939
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
... the rear brake lever was removed, to my surprise, I discovered the area beneath the lever wasn't polished alloy like the logo part. It was recessed or cut deeper than the logo portion. It looked odd so I mounted some black tape and put an LED light on that spot...
Normal.
martinus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 09:32 PM   #15
Kylemac
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd just like to thank you for this thread OP, I just bought a white one like 2 days ago and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival.
Kylemac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-11, 11:23 PM   #16
calv
Painfully average.
 
calv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oakland/Davis, CA
Bikes: all city mr pink
Posts: 2,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My girlfriends 44cm red light stripper just came in, but the box says kilo tt, and the downtube has water bottle mounts? Wtf? Lol.. anyone else's like that?
calv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-11, 11:01 AM   #17
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just tossed the factory pedals and toe clips in favor of silver MKS Stream (nice and smooth) with some chrome toe clips and leather straps.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-11, 11:05 AM   #18
v1ral
"Livin' Like Superstars!"
 
v1ral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Bikes: Mercier Kilo TT
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just bought a the other model Kilo TT on BikesDirect and I love it also. Can't say I'm happy with the toe straps, but it's an amazing bike and super light with those Kenda tires.
v1ral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-11, 12:48 PM   #19
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Problem with cheap plastic toe clips & straps is they don't hold their shape making it difficult to place your foot into the toe clip starting from a traffic light. Steel toe clips with leather (or sturdy strap) straps are much better.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-11, 10:13 PM   #20
robotkiller
Senior Member
 
robotkiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Bikes: Cannondale Capo and Rize
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
My only outstanding issue is a hollow, metallic creaking that is heard when I am pedaling. When I spun the front wheel independently, it seemed to spin forever without resistance. When I removed the chain from the crank and spun it, it was completely silent too. When I removed the rear wheel and spun it without a chain, it was quiet. Once a chain is mounted however, there is a metallic, hollow sound. I don't know if this is due to the cog or something else.

Overall, I am happy with the bike. New toe clips and an 18T cog yielding 72 gear inches will be happening pronto.

Victor
The noise could be from chain tension that's too high - the hub can bind and knock.
robotkiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-11, 11:11 PM   #21
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^ Good point, your chain was quite tight.

Fun ride, Victor, fun ride.
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-11, 11:50 AM   #22
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, gonna check the chain tension, and spoke tension on the bike this morning while watching the Masters golf on TV.

Meanwhile, here is a ride report after 5 days of riding fixed:


here are some observations:

- the all chrome bike draws lots of attention and admiration in bike shops. I'm glad I got the crhome. My second choice was the Kilo Stripper in "gold digger" or "white."

- the bike is a not especially light. If I wanted to make it lighter, I would have to change to a carbon seatpost, carbon fork and a lighter wheelset. At around 20 lbs., its reasonable so I'm holding off upgrades unless needed.

- the factory pedals are crap. The plastic toe cage would not hold its shape making the placement of your foot into the the cage very very difficult. I changed to MKS Steam pedals with metal toe cages and getting my foot into place is easy now.

- Factory gearing is too high at 81 gear inches. I'm riding the bike at 72 gear inches by swapping an 18T cog (stock is 16T with a large 48T chainring) and it feels right for the terrain I encounter riding around Vancouver.

- fixed gear bikes can climb! I am able to climb more efficiently (hence faster) on a fixed gear bike as it doesn't have a dead spot at the top and bottom of the stroke. I was not very aware of the the deadspot UNTIL I rode my Softride singlespeed freewheel back to back.

- maintaining a fast cruising speed is also slightly easier on the fixed gear as the momentum of the wheels turning aids producing power. No wonder this style of bike is used for velodrome racing.

- the factory seat doesn't fit. I've thrown on an old saddle for now and its fine.

- riding fixed is more enjoyable than riding free. - especially for rides around the city. It requires more mindfulness and some aspects of fixed gearing riding are more dangerous than freewheeling.

Having said that, fixed gear riding will always be a fringe activity of a sub-culture. Just like people who ride Penny Farthings and even tour the world on one. http://www.pennyfarthingworldtour.com/ Penny Farthings are the original fixed gear bikes!

If Joff's tour around the world on a hopelessly antiquated fixed gear amuses you, you may wish to read his travel diary in detail: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/joff1

Last edited by puppypilgrim; 04-10-11 at 11:56 AM.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-11, 12:22 PM   #23
pylea
cats cats cats
 
pylea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: PNW
Bikes: unicycle
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Blah I'm still riding the factory gearing of 48/16... it's mostly flat here but just earlier I was climbing kind of a big hill, thinking "YES! MOMENTUM!" and then had to stop at a red light in the middle of it.

Note to self: need new cog.
pylea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-11, 12:38 PM   #24
JesusBananas
Banana-tastic!
 
JesusBananas's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 1,974
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
- maintaining a fast cruising speed is also slightly easier on the fixed gear as the momentum of the wheels turning aids producing power. No wonder this style of bike is used for velodrome racing.
Track bikes are actually fixed and brakeless so that people can't stop abruptly, for everyone's safety.
JesusBananas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-11, 06:24 PM   #25
vicoll135
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver BC.
Bikes:
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
Here are some pics and my review of the transaction with BikesDirect.com. I just got the bike today.

PURCHASE & SHIPPING
Bikesdirect cannot ship to Canada. So I use a package receiver that is convenient on the US side of the border. The Bikesdirect.com website cannot accept Canadian credit cards. When I emailed them, they gave me a phone number to call whereupon a staff member took my order and credit card info. and booked me a Mercier Kilo TT Stripper in Chrome. Tracking number email soon followed. They did not email me an invoice.

I picked up the package which listed the shipping weight as 30 lbs. thereby causing me some worry about the overall weight of the bike. I set about assembling the bike when I got home. Crossing the border back into Canada, I was assessed the 12% HST sales tax - that's all.
... Funny, I am also a Victor and I am also in Vancouver.

Could you explain the process of actually getting BikesDirect good up to Vancouver? I'm curious about things such as holding services and what questions/ things did you need to fill out at the border. Also some more explanation on how to use a Canadian credit card would be helpful!

Thanks!!

Ps. Take a look at fixedvancouver.com if you want to check out the local fixed community
vicoll135 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:49 PM.