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Bike of Theseus: Transforming my Dawes SST to a Kilo TT pro one part at a time.

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)

Bike of Theseus: Transforming my Dawes SST to a Kilo TT pro one part at a time.

Old 07-24-18, 09:06 PM
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atxdmd
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Bike of Theseus: Transforming my Dawes SST to a Kilo TT pro one part at a time.

I bought the [cheapest single speed on all of bikes direct, the daws sst, and later learned that the kilo TT pro is widely considered the best starter fixie bike. I'd like to start a Bike of Theseus project where I replace every component of my bike one part at a time, until I have a Kilo TT pro. This is mostly for fun, and because I want to learn to bike-wrench.


So here's my question: What components are noticeably better than mine? I'd like to prioritize these. Bonus points if you can tell me why they're better.

Also, where can I find a list of the parts? The description on bikesdirect is kind of generic.



The description on bikesdirect is kind of generic.
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Old 07-24-18, 09:46 PM
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Let me make sure I understand correctly...

You're going to replace every component on the bike, so that when you're done you will have spent more money than a new complete Kilo TT would cost. Then, you'll still have an inferior bike, because the frame (the most important part) will still be the cheap Dawes. Am I missing anything? You will indeed gain some wrenching experience, something that can be gained many other ways that don't cost hundreds of dollars. It's your money, though, so feel free to go for it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd sell the Dawes, buy a Kilo, and gain experience by volunteering at a bike co-op. If that's not feasible where you live, just take your bike apart. Piece by piece, clean, measure, study, and inspect everything, and then reassemble it. BOOM! Zero unnecessary spending, and you still get to learn.

Last edited by Broctoon; 07-24-18 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 07-24-18, 09:54 PM
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Itís going to cost a lot more to buy each part individually than it would be to just buy a kilo. If you want the experience of wrenching then just take apart the Dawes and look everything over to make sure its as it should be (something that should be done on bikesdirect bikes anyway). And who knows, you might like the more slack geo of the Dawes over the Kilo anyways.
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Old 07-24-18, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Let me make sure I understand correctly...

You're going to replace every component on the bike, so that when you're done you will have spent more money than a new complete Kilo TT would cost. Then, you'll still have an inferior bike, because the frame (the most important part) will still be the cheap Dawes. Am I missing anything? You will indeed gain some wrenching experience, something that can be gained many other ways that don't cost hundreds of dollars. It's your money, though, so feel free to go for it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd sell the Dawes, buy a Kilo, and gain experience by volunteering at a bike co-op. If that's not feasible where you live, just take your bike apart. Piece by piece, clean, measure, study, and inspect everything, and then reassemble it. BOOM! Zero unnecessary spending, and you still get to learn.

Well, I was going to replace the frame too. Buy used, and sell the parts of my old bike. You may be right. I was going to itemize it and price it out and make sure it was manageable. I'll definitely take your advise and take your advise and take my bike apart. I don't think I'll sell my bike, but I would like to upgrade it a bit. So if the kilo TT pro idea is that bad financially, what parts from my current bike would you say could most benefit from upgrades? Doesn't have to be parts from the kilo.
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Old 07-24-18, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by czr View Post
Itís going to cost a lot more to buy each part individually than it would be to just buy a kilo. If you want the experience of wrenching then just take apart the Dawes and look everything over to make sure its as it should be (something that should be done on bikesdirect bikes anyway). And who knows, you might like the more slack geo of the Dawes over the Kilo anyways.
dang, I already thought the geometry of this bike was pretty agressive. If the kilo is more so, you may be right!
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Old 07-24-18, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by atxdmd View Post
dang, I already thought the geometry of this bike was pretty agressive. If the kilo is more so, you may be right!
Yeah the kilo is more aggressive. The Dawes is about the most relaxed geo ss/fixed frame that I know of. Wabi are supposed to be more lax too from what Iíve heard. I had a Dawes streetfighter(same as the sst but with riser bars) and liked it a lot until the hubs finally went. They arenít really sealed like the bikesdirect description says they are. So thatís what I would address first if I were you or at the least keep them well maintained.

But yeah you can def make it a nicer bike. Sure the frame isnít a butted lightweight but itís a solid chromoly frame with a good geo for the streets. If the cranks or stem arenít exactly the right size you want that would be a good excuse to upgrade them for something nicer/lighter. If you donít want to maintain the hubs just ride them till they die and upgrade to some lighter rims with actual sealed hubs. For sure change the seat out. Too soft, heavy, and ugly imo.
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Old 07-25-18, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by atxdmd View Post
So if the kilo TT pro idea is that bad financially, what parts from my current bike would you say could most benefit from upgrades?.
Wheels. They give the most bang for your buck when you're upgrading stuff. Next would probably be the crank. If you like your seat, there's no reason to change it. If not, that's the first thing to buy. Similar situation for the other points at which your body interfaces with the bike: pedals and handlebar/grips.
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Old 07-25-18, 05:16 AM
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Keep the Dawes.
Learn how to maintain it.
As you get more into it, acquire new parts.
Install them yourself.
Save the old ones.
Eventually build up a new bike, swap the old parts to the Dawes and sell it.

I think this is basically the pattern a lot of people follow. It's not cheaper but you learn gradually and more importantly discover what is important to you and what you like/don't like or feel like is worth the money.

You probably only need one bikesdirect starter bike in your life. If you're going to upgrade, aim higher.
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Old 07-25-18, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Keep the Dawes.
If you're going to upgrade, aim higher.


youíre right. itís silly to aim for the middle when it costs more than buying outright. though it also feel silly to buy a $150 crank or handlebars when the bike was $200... lol.


iím glad someone recommended to upgrade contact points first. i was thinking frame. iíd like something easier to carry like a cyclocross frame. thereís some metal protrusions that dig into my shoulder when I carry mine. theyíre meant to grab the break cable.
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Old 07-25-18, 12:47 PM
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shame on anyone who encourages this waste of time and money.
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Old 07-25-18, 01:59 PM
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You're first mistake was hitting the buy button. Everyone makes a mistake now and then, but continuing to throw money at it, well that's just plain dumb.
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Old 07-25-18, 07:15 PM
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Get yourself a better bike. You can keep the Bikes Direct stuff for a beater bike and replace only things that are worn but don't throw money towards something to make it something that is only marginally better. Figure out a frame and fork you are interested in and get a budget together for components that are a big step up from what you have if that is your goal. Maybe talk to your local shop, chances are at least one person there has a fixed gear or single speed. (I have two and another co-worker with two) and see what they might recommend.
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Old 07-25-18, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by motrheadsroadie View Post
shame on anyone who encourages this waste of time and money.

is it really much different than just building a whole custom bike? my current bike is already a sunk cost. if I threw it away, and built a bike from scratch, it would cost the same. doing t this way lets me keep riding and buy just one piece a month instead of having to save for a year or two.
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Old 07-26-18, 07:19 PM
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It is very different. Building a bike from scratch that is decent or upgrading a decent bike is one thing. Taking a cheap bike and trying to make it into a slightly more expensive bike but in the end a relatively cheap bike is a whole nuther can of beans. I can understand slight upgrades just to keep the bike rideable or cheaper stuff that improves comfort but going all out on something as you are describing just doesn't make good financial sense. You are better off putting that money towards what you want rather than pouring money into something you don't.

As I said keep that bike going until you can't or costs go way up and build yourself something nice.
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Old 07-26-18, 11:27 PM
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using a $200 bike as a starting point to "build" a $450 bike from the ground up is a great example of wasting time and money.
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