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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 01-20-13, 03:12 PM   #1
Nitram612
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Kilo WT vs. Fantom Cross UNO

I am looking at my options for a new low priced winter commuter/city bike. My old tank of a fixed gear conversion was recently stolen and I just want to buy a complete bike to replace it. Both have wide tire and fender clearance which is a must. I am leaning towards the UNO for the lower price and canti brakes. What are the pros and cons of each model when compared side by side? I'm not looking for someone to do my shopping for me, just educated input on things I should consider when making my decision.

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Old 01-20-13, 03:28 PM   #2
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Canti brakes are less powerful, but they do work better with lots of muck. Since you are in MN and are going to be using it through the winter I think they are the way to go.
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Old 01-20-13, 03:53 PM   #3
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Canti brakes are less powerful

Poorly adjusted
cantilevers are less powerful than decent/well-adjusted dual pivot road calipers, but correctly adjusted cantilevers work very well.

I don't have any experience to comment on the long-pull Tektro R556 brakes which come on the Kilo WT, but I have made even $15 Shimano cantilever brakes work great. I vote for the Fantom Cross.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:34 PM   #4
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Another vote for fantom cross. Its more adaptable.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:37 PM   #5
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my stable has both cantis and caliper. i'll advocate for canti cable carriers w/ a set screw and KoolStop pads with proper set-up. beyond that, i have no preference.

i've only seen the Uno in person and can recommend it. love my Nature Boy, but the Uno would make a great daily user.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:43 PM   #6
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My Son has an Uno and loves it.
The only negative he mentioned out-of-the-box, was that the stock lever and hood set-up was all but unusable, so those were replaced with some Cane Creek stuff.
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Old 01-20-13, 07:34 PM   #7
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another vote for the uno. it is geared lower than the WT though, but you could always change that
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Old 01-20-13, 08:02 PM   #8
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long-reach Tektro R556 brakes which come on the Kilo WT,
They are meh. I have been using my pair for a few years and and happy with them on casual bikes like my Fuji commuter. They flex a lot so they dont provide the best responsiveness for a more performance oriented bike
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Old 01-21-13, 12:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input. One review I read said it comes with 175mm crank arms. Is it true that BD components can vary or is that what I should expect out of the box? I intend to ride fixed and that seems a bit long.
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Old 11-20-13, 04:21 PM   #10
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I have been contemplating getting one of these two bikes as I want an inexpensive steel frame bike. Is there any advantage to getting the Fantom Cross if I'm not going to be riding off road and in mud etc? Kilo is Reynolds frame and seems like better components all around for the same price
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Old 11-21-13, 12:30 AM   #11
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I don't have any experience to comment on the long-pull Tektro R556 brakes which come on the Kilo WT, but I have made even $15 Shimano cantilever brakes work great. I vote for the Fantom Cross.
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They are meh. I have been using my pair for a few years and and happy with them on casual bikes like my Fuji commuter. They flex a lot so they dont provide the best responsiveness for a more performance oriented bike
That's interesting, I've got them and really like them. Can't say I'd complain about their responsiveness or flex and I've got to use mine from 75+km/hr down a steep hill every day. That isn't saying they're a racing caliper, just that if you need that sort of reach, I find them very good.

Having said that, I always understood that cantilever or V-brakes were more powerful than calipers (particularly of the long reach variety), provided you set them up right. I had Avid V-brakes on my Trek520 and was happy with them.

For normal road use, I can't say the braking system should be a point of decision, they all work well. Different if you've got a specific purpose such as CX where wheels can get knocked about or bits filled with mud or ...
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Old 11-25-13, 01:42 PM   #12
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I had the same quandary a year and a half or so ago and got the Uno over the WT for the longer chainstays, since I run with a rack for commuting. I love the bike, but it needed a narrower handlebar, diff. levers, and a shorter crank, all of which I had already laying around.
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Old 11-25-13, 01:47 PM   #13
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I had the same quandary a year and a half or so ago and got the Uno over the WT for the longer chainstays, since I run with a rack for commuting. I love the bike, but it needed a narrower handlebar, diff. levers, and a shorter crank, all of which I had already laying around.
Thanks. It seems like most BD bikes need a lot of instant upgrades as soon as you get them
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Old 11-25-13, 01:52 PM   #14
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Thanks. It seems like most BD bikes need a lot of instant upgrades as soon as you get them
Except for the craptastic levers, my changes were for fit only. That and my Uno came from BikeIsland and was a scratched-up special with a few oddball parts.
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Old 11-25-13, 02:14 PM   #15
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Thought I'd mention that I'm a Twin Cities commuter and I've gotten through Minnesota winters on my Kilo TT just fine. Unless your commute consists of actually riding the entire way through unplowed snow (which is possible in some cases; you can always gear down a bit), most of the plowed streets shouldn't be a huge problem for the Kilo TT's tighter geometry.

The only thing you'd be missing out on is more clearance for fenders and such, but the fact that it hasn't even started snowing yet shows that you can get away with a track frame for a majority of the year. Between a Kilo TT and the Uno/WT, I'd pick the Kilo TT (though desired sizes may be limited). Invest in a pair of 28c Randonneurs and you should be gold.
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Old 11-26-13, 01:11 AM   #16
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Thanks. It seems like most BD bikes need a lot of instant upgrades as soon as you get them
Mate, even very expensive bikes can need lots of instant upgrades to get them right. People don't do them because they've either spent so much already they don't want to or they've swallowed the marketing bull and imagine the bike's perfect as is. Remember, a decisions made by a meeting of accountants and marketing men are unlikely to exactly match your personal needs. The more you vary from the marketing norm, the better off you are building your bike from a frame.

Besides, I find people who buy a bike and never change anything to be rather sad and unimaginative cyclists (how's THAT for being judgmental )
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