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No knowledge, no problem? Kilo WT as first fixed bike

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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)

No knowledge, no problem? Kilo WT as first fixed bike

Old 06-23-19, 08:32 PM
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pattrick
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No knowledge, no problem? Kilo WT as first fixed bike

Looking for a single speed / fixed gear bike. Never having ridden one before or pretty much having no idea if I will actually enjoy this type of riding I was wondering if the Kilo WT would give me a good basis to evaluate this. Most current comments seem positive on this model. Just looking for a good starter type for an introduction into this style of riding. Any others I am missing? Not quite sure why but a single speed / fixie just seems like it would be a valuable addition to the quiver at this time. Learning curve? Anything I may have not thought of ? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-23-19, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pattrick View Post
Looking for a single speed / fixed gear bike. Never having ridden one before or pretty much having no idea if I will actually enjoy this type of riding I was wondering if the Kilo WT would give me a good basis to evaluate this. Most current comments seem positive on this model. Just looking for a good starter type for an introduction into this style of riding. Any others I am missing? Not quite sure why but a single speed / fixie just seems like it would be a valuable addition to the quiver at this time. Learning curve? Anything I may have not thought of ? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Just to let you know, the Kilo WT is Wide Tire version of the Kilo TT. If you don't need the tire clearance, you're probably better off getting the TT because it will handle differently.
I think it's a popular bike amongst these folks because of how much of a value it is.
When giving it a once over myself, and after seeing a lot in person, I can't disagree.
You're paying a fraction more than most of the online hipster cash grabs for like 2-3x the bike.

To me, the main feature that popped out to me was the Reynolds 520 frame and fork.
Just getting full 4130 crmo at that price is a difficult, but seeing double butted tubing (material taken out of the inside of the tubes in non crucial areas to save weight), was pretty surprising.

Most cash grab bikes are made of hi-tensile steel. Steel is a very ductile material, and without turning it into an alloy by adding chromium and some other additives, it's extremely flexible and susceptible to stress fracturing. It's also incredibly heavy. Aluminum is on the other extreme end and is extremely stiff,light, and very brittle. Aluminum is basically rock solid up until it reaches it's breaking point and then it just completely snaps. Crmo is somewhere in between the two. Still a forgiving steel, but stiff, light, and strong. Extrusion and hydroforming are the best ways to make tubes out of aluminum while retaining strength.

You generally want to avoid a hi-ten bike. Honestly, they aren't a bad deal around $150-200, because you get something that rolls and most people aren't going to ride a single speed for very long or for a long period of overall time (maybe it'll be a college bike or some round the block bike for a couple of months then it will sit). They also have the same geometry as a better quality build, so you'll get a true to fit SS experience. But most of the online stores charge $300 for these bikes and the entire thing is total crap.

You don't start seeing worthwhile bikes in these online stores until you get to the $550-600 price point. The kilo TT is like $400 shipped?
It also has some pretty decent parts on it. Crap wheels and seat like most sub $600 completes, but everything else seems pretty solid.

So, your options are essentially $300 for a cash grab, that will work and have true to form geometry that gives you a good feel of what it would feel like to ride SS/Fixed.
OR, you can pay $400 for a real, solid sick bike that is worth upgrading if you feel like doing so in the future.
Also, after you upgrade, you can just transfer your parts onto some of these snazzy frames (just go through a few posts and you'll become familiar with the names) if you really get into it.

Honestly though, why not just surf craigslist?
I bought a bianchi san jose complete for less than $300 (with a ritchey/selle italia cockpit). I upgraded it to sealed bearings, custom built wheels (built by me), a front rack, and some accountraments for just like a hundred more.) It was an honestly sick commuter bike that was not something I would miss too hard if something were to happen to it (something did happen to it).
At those prices, I would be looking locally on CL honestly.
The first big wave of fixie riding is essentially dead, (late 00's was it's prime, like 2007-2010).
You can find a TON of bikes that were very sought after back then for very cheap nowadays.
Some bikes that come to mind are mid 00's EAI bareknuckles, Older Soma Rush's, Pakes, Bianchi's (I got mine < $300 for an 08ish model) and all sorts of japanese madness that nobody cares about anymore.
I guess I didn't take living area into consideration though.

I frequently see extremly sick bikes online here for ridiculous prices, but I always forget that i'm in a very cycling friendly area.

I don't like shilling for companies that aren't paying me (it's kind of embarassing given my context), so I think the main takeways here and what you should look for in a beginner bike is a full 4130 crmo frame and fork, as well as solid 7075/6061 aluminum components that are manufactured to minimum safe riding tolerances. If you can find that cheaper than a kilo tt jump on it, but i think you'll have a hard time.

Vuelta pistas are standard on most low end/mid range completes, and in my opinion they are a very solid crankset and the bare minimum for a daily commuter. If you familiarize yourself with the pictures of the crankset, you'll be able to recognize them brandless on other bikes. When I smashed through the urban jungle on a fixed, I had vuelta pistas and they were great. They just weren't very stiff or as responsive as I would have liked them to be.

Last edited by BicycleBicycle; 06-24-19 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:02 PM
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A little more info

My planned use for this bike is purely recreational. I bike primarily for exercise and enjoyment. My hope is for the fixed gear / single speed to give me an option for a quick workout when time is short, the weather a bit sketchy or just to add diversity to keep things amusing to myself. I live in western P.A. where hills are abundant seven to thirteen percent grades are common. I am quite used to hills. Traveling rail trails or just the local suburbs will keep me on the modestly level where I think this bike will excel at giving me a workout. My son just had my first grandchild unfortunately in Michigan. We plan to visit often. I feel this bike will travel well sans tires inside my car. His entire area is surrounded by vast networks of large sidewalks/ mups every where. It is amazing to me the infrastructure in place. Being accustomed to Western P.A. these mups should give me a wonderful workout on a single speed / fixed gear. This bike will be a N+1. I will look at craigslist but at my age these things are somewhat foreign.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pattrick View Post
My planned use for this bike is purely recreational. I bike primarily for exercise and enjoyment. My hope is for the fixed gear / single speed to give me an option for a quick workout when time is short, the weather a bit sketchy or just to add diversity to keep things amusing to myself. I live in western P.A. where hills are abundant seven to thirteen percent grades are common. I am quite used to hills. Traveling rail trails or just the local suburbs will keep me on the modestly level where I think this bike will excel at giving me a workout. My son just had my first grandchild unfortunately in Michigan. We plan to visit often. I feel this bike will travel well sans tires inside my car. His entire area is surrounded by vast networks of large sidewalks/ mups every where. It is amazing to me the infrastructure in place. Being accustomed to Western P.A. these mups should give me a wonderful workout on a single speed / fixed gear. This bike will be a N+1. I will look at craigslist but at my age these things are somewhat foreign.
If you plan on going offroad or onto gravel paths you won't regret getting a bike that can accommodate wide tires. Just know that canti brakes are TERRIBLE for a lot of people, and if you like to go fast you won't like them.
Most single speeds that accomodate wide tires use canti's. Calipers are much better for road use. Of course, you may also prefer being brakeless (which IMO is honestly more effective than canti's).

Yeah, it sounds like you're doing a little more than just "trying it out", and you'll want something that can be a little rugged.
Don't get a hi-ten bike, and consider wide tires if you plan on gravelling at all.
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Old 07-02-19, 07:20 PM
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Thank you for your responses.

Just wanted to thank you for your help. I appreciate the time , effort and detail you put into your responses. Thanks again.
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Old 07-03-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pattrick View Post
Just wanted to thank you for your help. I appreciate the time , effort and detail you put into your responses. Thanks again.
NP. It's really not an effort on my end as i'm just typing as I think and I rarely edit my posts (You probably notice the many grmamatical errors). Sometimes I feel like taking a short break and talking/thinking about bike stuff is one of the ways I do that. I guess it's wired into my brain as an anxiety reducing activity. I'm glad you are getting something out of it lol.
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