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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 08-04-11, 07:51 AM   #1
walnutz
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Kilo TT Pro Impressions

Ok, so this is not a thread about BikesDirect, or why I chose to go with them. It is a thread for those who are thinking about buying a Kilo TT Pro. I will update it over the next few months to provide a long term review.

(no pics for now, sorry, I will try to use my words)

Being a Texan, I had to pay taxes, which sucked, but it also meant that I ordered the bike Monday afternoon and it arrived midday on Wednesday which was cool. Out of the box, I noticed it was packaged well, no complaints there.

I ordered this color scheme. It looks great in person, to these eyes at least. The chrome plating over the lugs on the fork looks awesome, only up close can you tell it's just that, plating.

I ordered a 53. I'm about 5'7". I've been fitted on road bike and I ride 56 on those, but based on everything I've read about the Kilos, and after looking at the geo, I went with 53. I think it was a good choice. (Side note here: All those people I see who say they are 5'11" and and ride a 50, you are crazy. That doesn't make sense.)

Assembly was easy for me, but I do wonder how the people who have never worked on bikes fare. The front hub needed a minor adjustment, but other than that everything was well put together, I was kinda surprised. The headset was Cane Creek, NBD, but it was not listed on the website so I figured I would let people know. The Tektro brakes and levers are decent enough to sell at Frankenbike (the rear set at least, I'll keep the front brake set-up).

Now, this has to be known: the handlebars are pure turd. To put it nicely, they do not inspire confidence. They must be replaced. If you read this site a lot, you would think that most components blow up after a while based on the way people lust for "bombproof" materials, but I really do think this handlebar is liable to break at some point. Pure crap. The stem is nothing to write home about, I'm replacing it, but casual riders would be fine with it.

The Sugino cranks seem decent and I'm not in a hurry to replace them. The wheels are so-so, I'm not an expert on wheels, but I think I'll ride them for a while, no rush there to replace either.After all, partly why I chose BikesDirect is the to save money, it wouldn't make a ton of sense to upgrade these right away. The gold spoke nipples actually look great with the colors of the bikes, and are nice touch. This is coming from someone who hates bling.

The saddle is pure crap as well. I guess some people can get by on it for a few miles, but the thing is junk. Will replace immediately.

I haven't ridden the tires enough to give an impression. They don't seem great, but again, they might be serviceable for some people. I've got some gatorskins from a previous bike that I'm putting on today.

When I fully assembled the bike I was pleasantly surprised by how light it was was, as was my roommate who is a weight-weenie.

I rode a couple miles last night and 1) it was nice to be back on a fixed-gear and, 2) it was a pretty smooth ride, in that short time. Felt great actually. The fit is a little different than what I am used to, but it wasn't a bad thing.

In summary, I'm very happy with it it overall. I am replacing the saddle, handlebars, stem and tires. A few of these things I already have, so it's not a big deal for me. If you are a new rider though, I would probably recommend a budget fixie at your LBS. Here's why: I'm comfortable with assembling/working on bikes. Some of the components I didn't like I can easily replace. If you don't have parts laying around or a local swap-meet where you can get stuff cheap, it's probably not worth getting a Kilo, even the pro. The saddle and handlebars are that bad, and I've heard the cogs aren't great either. Once you replace those, you're getting close to the price of a bike at a shop.

For me though, I think I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this bike.

Will post pics in the future, sorry for such a long post without any pron in it. I will also give some more updates soon.
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Old 08-04-11, 07:54 AM   #2
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Nice review! Thanks.
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Old 08-04-11, 08:26 AM   #3
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Actually the cogs are perfectly fine IMO, they are the same as the Scrodcogs/Origin8 and are pretty high-quality. The lockring however, is usually generic and terrible (although at one point they were Dura-Ace, IIRC)
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Old 08-04-11, 08:29 AM   #4
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Actually the cogs are perfectly fine IMO, they are the same as the Scrodcogs/Origin8 and are pretty high-quality. The lockring however, is usually generic and terrible (although at one point they were Dura-Ace, IIRC)
Ah, ok. Dang just sold a lockring a few weeks ago...

Also, forgot to mention: I can't comment on the included pedals, I put my clipless on right away.
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Old 08-04-11, 08:32 AM   #5
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Actually the cogs are perfectly fine IMO, they are the same as the Scrodcogs/Origin8 and are pretty high-quality. The lockring however, is usually generic and terrible (although at one point they were Dura-Ace, IIRC)
They had Dura Ace lockrings stock on the Kilo??! Is there anything that bike can't do?
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Old 08-04-11, 08:48 AM   #6
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Nice review, what handlebars did you replace them with?
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Old 08-04-11, 08:54 AM   #7
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These.


They are nothing special, and I'm not into track bars.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:00 AM   #8
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Nice review, that's the same color a friend of mine got.

Why do you say the handlebars are so bad? Just based on material?



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(Side note here: All those people I see who say they are 5'11" and and ride a 50, you are crazy. That doesn't make sense.)

I ride a 50cm and I'm 5'11. I'm not crazy. My roadie is/was a 54 and was still a bit too long for me. I had to get a 20mm shorter stem when getting fitted correctly at my LBS. Competitive Cyclist sizing calculator also says 54cm. The 50cm Kilo is a 53cm c-t, so no I'm not crazy. Not everyone is proportioned the same. Note: Started out with a 56cm.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:10 AM   #9
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Nice review, that's the same color a friend of mine got.

Why do you say the handlebars are so bad? Just based on material?






I ride a 50cm and I'm 5'11. I'm not crazy. My roadie is/was a 54 and was still a bit too long for me. I had to get a 20mm shorter stem when getting fitted correctly at my LBS. Competitive Cyclist sizing calculator also says 54cm. The 50cm Kilo is a 53cm c-t, so no I'm not crazy. Not everyone is proportioned the same. Note: Started out with a 56cm.
Heh, I figured that would get some comments. I was kinda just kidding, it just shows you how different people fit and how their preferences vary. I'm just glad I seemingly gambled correctly on a 53.

As for the handlebars, I'll try to get a pic later, but they are made of a really cheap feeling aluminum with a weird shim on the center with a Sakae rip-off logo. Maybe I was overly harsh on it, but just based on my gut, they felt very cheap and I wouldn't want to ride them, and I'm not super picky on handlebars at all.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:14 AM   #10
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Heh, I figured that would get some comments. I was kinda just kidding, it just shows you how different people fit and how their preferences vary. I'm just glad I seemingly gambled correctly on a 53.

As for the handlebars, I'll try to get a pic later, but they are made of a really cheap feeling aluminum with a weird shim on the center with a Sakae rip-off logo. Maybe I was overly harsh on it, but just based on my gut, they felt very cheap and I wouldn't want to ride them, and I'm not super picky on handlebars at all.
No problem, It's early for me, so I couldn't smell the sarcasm The 53cm c-c is like a 56 c-t right? Must fit perfectly for you.

If that's the case with the bars, I may need to change mine out, haha. It'll give me an excuse to spend more money on this bike.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:19 AM   #11
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No problem, It's early for me, so I couldn't smell the sarcasm The 53cm c-c is like a 56 c-t right? Must fit perfectly for you.

If that's the case with the bars, I may need to change mine out, haha. It'll give me an excuse to spend more money on this bike.
Yeah, I eyeballed how the frame lined up with my Bianchi roadie, which fits like a glove and it was darn near identical.

If the bars work for you, don't worry about it. What really threw me off about them is when you take one of the levers off that is flush with the shim, you see the real handlebars. IDK, like I said, I just don't feel great about them.
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Old 08-04-11, 09:56 AM   #12
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I ride a 50cm and I'm 5'11. I'm not crazy. My roadie is/was a 54 and was still a bit too long for me. I had to get a 20mm shorter stem when getting fitted correctly at my LBS. Competitive Cyclist sizing calculator also says 54cm. The 50cm Kilo is a 53cm c-t, so no I'm not crazy. Not everyone is proportioned the same. Note: Started out with a 56cm.
Yeah, everyone is built different. Getting a bike fit at the LBS is a great investment - I wish I had done it years ago (would have saved me a lot of soreness that I thought was normal).

I am 5'10" and my cockpit length is 65cm. That length is the only thing that really matters when sizing a frame. I use the 53cm frame which has a 548 top tube length. A 55mm Top Tube + 100mm stem is ideal for my fit.

Last edited by chas58; 08-04-11 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 08-04-11, 10:04 AM   #13
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Yeah, everyone is built different. Getting a bike fit at the LBS is a great investment - I wish I had done it years ago (would have saved me a lot of soreness that I thought was normal).

I am 5'10" and my cockpit length is 65cm. That length is the only thing that really matters when sizing a frame. I use the 53cm frame which has a 548 top tube length. A 55mm Top Tube + 100mm stem is ideal for my fit.
Most definitely. Probably the best money I've ever put into my bike really. It was only a "basic fit" which was like $50 or so, but when I get another roadie, I'm probably going to do a real "pro fit" and get everything dialed in perfectly.
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Old 08-04-11, 10:39 AM   #14
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pix or it didn't happen
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Old 08-04-11, 10:53 AM   #15
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pix or it didn't happen
lol, I promise I will post some. Fair warning though, I don't take the artsy style pics, so don't get too excited...
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Old 08-05-11, 10:33 AM   #16
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Some pics:








I'm not a great photographer, sorry.
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Old 08-05-11, 10:41 AM   #17
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I'm way Jelly. My friend has the same color/setup, and he just got his too.

I'm debating on stealing the M520's off my wrecked roadie myself. as well.
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Old 08-05-11, 09:26 PM   #18
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Update: Rode it around Austin all day, the fit and ride is awesome, did about 50 miles. Still riding the stock handlebars for now, not as bad as I thought, but I still don't like them. Stock tires held up well also. I haven't changed them yet because I need some 700x25 tubes.
GD, I love steel bikes.
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Old 08-05-11, 09:33 PM   #19
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Great review so far. I'm debating whether or not to get it for zipping around campus without getting it stolen before next year.

"How are you going to go anywhere with that kind of mentality?"
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Old 08-05-11, 11:30 PM   #20
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I got my kilo today. First time I have ever rode fixed. Wow I banged my knee up twice and almost ejected by accident once. might switch the hub over tomorrow to free wheel. Fixed is scary when your so used to free.

Pedals suck. Hard to get feet in and the plastic clip is too weak.

My fit is weird. My back feels fine but my hands kill after awhile of riding on the top bars with hands in brakes. They feel better when my hands are in the drops. May raise my bar up since I'm too spacers down right now. I got a half inch raise left.

Fun bike thou. I love the handling.
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Old 08-06-11, 12:00 AM   #21
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That 9-page thread worth it? lol
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Old 08-06-11, 12:17 AM   #22
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lol^

don't wuss out and go singlespeed yet. and get some new clips/straps. those floppy rubber clips felt like such a piece of **** when I first had them that it's the only time I decided '**** it' and rode without foot retention (had a brake at the time, though still stupid looking back).

Your hands will adjust, your ass will adjust, your legs will adjust.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:09 PM   #23
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I'm noticing this grinding vibration feeling in my pedals or crank when I put hard down torque on my crank. Is there something that needs to be looked at on the bike when you first buy it within the bottom bracket.

I plan on getting mks gr9 pedals with steel mks clip. Need to figure out a good pair of double strap. Dunno what brand to buy.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:17 PM   #24
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I'm noticing this grinding vibration feeling in my pedals or crank when I put hard down torque on my crank. Is there something that needs to be looked at on the bike when you first buy it within the bottom bracket.
You may have your chain too tight. Try loosening it a bit and see if that makes a difference. Also make sure your chainring bolts are tight.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:31 PM   #25
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I'm noticing this grinding vibration feeling in my pedals or crank when I put hard down torque on my crank. Is there something that needs to be looked at on the bike when you first buy it within the bottom bracket.

I plan on getting mks gr9 pedals with steel mks clip. Need to figure out a good pair of double strap. Dunno what brand to buy.
When i had this problem it turned out to be ungreased pedal threads.
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