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  1. #1
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    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
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  2. #2
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    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?

  3. #3
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    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)
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  5. #5
    ganja mon
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    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.
    velospace 07 affinity marta

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    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
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  7. #7
    ganja mon
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    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?
    velospace 07 affinity marta

  8. #8
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  9. #9
    ganja mon
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    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
    velospace 07 affinity marta

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  12. #12
    GONE~
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    Which shop did you go?

  13. #13
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    Bike Doctor on Broadway. I get stuff from a variety of LBS's depending on which bike needs it.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  14. #14
    Senior Member martinus's Avatar
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    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.

    .
    .
    .


    Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
    Painfully average. calv's Avatar
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    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by ThisJauntyGent View Post
    The stories about the smell are absolutely true: straight elephant dick.
    All City Mr Pink

  17. #17
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  18. #18
    "Livin' Like Superstars!" v1ral's Avatar
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    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.

  19. #19
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  20. #20
    Senior Member robotkiller's Avatar
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    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.

  21. #21
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    ^ Good point, your chain was quite tight.

    Fun ride, Victor, fun ride.

  22. #22
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    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.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  23. #23
    cats cats cats pylea's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #24
    Banana-tastic! JesusBananas's Avatar
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    The banana has spoken.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    "This rides nearly as nicely as your mom."

  25. #25
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    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

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