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Great Ride/Kilo WT Mini Review

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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)

Great Ride/Kilo WT Mini Review

Old 03-11-10, 04:27 PM
  #1  
Roland Owens
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Great Ride/Kilo WT Mini Review

Back in October 2008 I picked up a Motobecane Messenger since I had always wanted to try a fixed gear bike. The bike I really wanted, a Surly Steamroller, was a bit out of my price range especially given that I had no idea if I'd even like riding fixed. Well it turns out I love riding fixed, but I wanted to be able to explore some of the gravel roads in my area. I tried putting the widest tires I could on the Messenger but they were still skinnier than I wanted so I started looking for a new bike. Fast forward to this fall, the Kilo WT gets released and my lovely bride buys me one for Christmas.

In wanting a fixed gear bike with the ability to run wider tires there was a ride in the back of my head that I thought it would be perfect for. The route turned out to be about 36 miles with about a 6 mile stretch in the middle of incredible gravel riding between two mountain ridges. The route leaves Bridgewater, Va, heads west to the mountains via Union Springs, picks up Tilghman Road that runs between Narrowback Mountain and the other mountains to the west to Stokesville, then back to Bridgewater. I had planned to check this route out as soon as I got the bike but the weather did not cooperate (lots of snow) until today.

The route lived up to my expectations. I'd done most of the road portions before but adding in the stretch on Tilghman Road was really great. The road was actually closed to cars due to it being wet and still having foot deep snow drifts across it in the shady places. While climbing I could usually blast about half way through the drifts before stalling out, and while descending I could just ride through the drifts. There were just a few spots where I had to do the hike-a-bike thing. I've attached a couple pictures from that stretch plus a really cool overlook shot once you pop out onto pavement.







I could not be more happy with my Kilo WT over the first ~700 miles I've put on it. I've added clipless pedals, a 19t cog for the hills, a Surly TugNut, swapped the handlebars/Cane Creek levers and my seat/Thompson seatpost off my Messenger before I sold it. One of the reason I got the Kilo WT, other than the obvious ability to run wide tires, was it had the dual water bottle cage bosses which are nice for long rides like this. It does have a little bit of toe overlap but it is a complete non-issue. The stock tires are even holding up well. The only thing I'm not crazy about, and this is just a looks thing, are the stamped rear dropouts. I really wish they were forged. But it really is a great bike at a great price.

Roland
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Old 03-11-10, 04:30 PM
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Its labeled a Mercier?
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Old 03-11-10, 05:10 PM
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Roland Owens
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Yep, then a Kilo WT logo on the TT.
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Old 03-11-10, 05:20 PM
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Whoa, sorry, I totally lapsed on BD's branding- I think I'm just not used to that downtube label.
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Old 03-11-10, 05:26 PM
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Nice report. If I didn't already have a similar bike, that allowed wide tires, I'd be all over this.
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Old 03-11-10, 05:43 PM
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Yup, I'll add on it really is a nice bike besides the toe overlap. Definitely nice to have the option of running large tires and still being a quick handling bike. My main reason for getting it was due to the ability to run wide tires

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Old 03-12-10, 12:24 AM
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Ok so I plan on getting one of these REALLY soon (c'mon tax money). Which parts should I definitely plan on replacing? Looks like Gyes is only running the stock frame.....I don't know if that's indicative of anything.....
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Old 03-12-10, 12:40 AM
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All the parts that come with it are fine. I sold a frame for this bike and swapped its parts to this. Everything, except the stem and brakes, was swapped.
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Old 03-12-10, 08:14 AM
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Just to ditto what Gyeswho said, all of the parts that come stock are perfectly serviceable. I run clipless on all my bikes so the pedals are always they first thing to go but the ones that came with this bike seemed useable, much different than the absolute crap pedals that came on the messenger. Seats are the same way, you'll either like the stock one or find it unbearable. I run Terry Fly saddles on most of my bikes just because my rear end likes them. The only change I had to make was swapping the rear cog...there's no way I could push 48x16 around here.
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