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Kilo tt, upgrades and the point of diminshing returns?

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Kilo tt, upgrades and the point of diminshing returns?

Old 11-10-11, 08:32 AM
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Kilo tt, upgrades and the point of diminshing returns?

I've been shopping for my first fixed gear bike for a few weeks and have hit a road block. I thought I would post here for some pointers from more experienced folks.

Here in Thread City lbs simply don't stock fixed gears but they can order them through their distributors. So, other then getting lucky on cl, I probably won't have a chance to test road too many bikes.

Here's what's on my radar:

All City Big Block-

lbs can order it, only bike I'll be able to test ride. Haven't read anything negative about this from owners. Can take 32's for easier winter riding, a plus here. Seems like a sleeper.

Wabi lightning/classic

15lbs for my size seems pretty attractive for the hills around here. Never ridden an alu bike, much negative hype has me a bit concerned. Classic seems fine, but kinda like a cop out vs what attracts me to the lightning.

Soma rush

Seems popular online. Looks good. I used to live in SF. Downside is cost since I'm starting from scratch.


Leader 722ts

Mostly, the same as above. TT length makes me think I'll need to drop from a 56 to a 50 0o...just doesn't seem right geo wise. Think this is one I would need to ride before buying, but I could be 100% wrong here.

Lastly, Kilo tt

This is what's causing me problems. It's so cheap it's impossible to ignore and difficult to pass up even though budget isn't the last word, (I love a deal tho ).

Sure, the big block has better parts but how much better, and would I even notice the difference if I could ride them blind?

Given the Kilo's price even minor upgrades bump up the total cost to somwhere near the big block ($700).


if you've owned a kilo before and upgraded components, which upgrades made the biggest overall improvement. If you've gone on to replace the frame, how has the ride improved?
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Old 11-10-11, 08:43 AM
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The Kilo TT can't take fat tires.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:05 AM
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If you plan on upgrading most of the bike, you should probably just build one from scratch.

That, or eventually upgrade literally every part until you can build back your old bike. Then you will have two bikes. For your health.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:11 AM
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@TT
I noticed. It seems to have pretty tight clearances. I've read, depending on the particular frame, folks have been able to fit 25's and 28's. If I were to purchase one, I would only expect to fit 23's.

Thanks for the comment!
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Old 11-10-11, 09:23 AM
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I just built a Kilo TT (47cm) for my girlfriend. That stock 700x23 front tire barely fits with the front Tektro brake. I do not see the Kilo fitting a 700x25 unless that Tektro brake is removed and replaced with something else.
Except for terrible pedals and horrible seat that ships with it: Kilo TT is a great bike. I think my Surly Steamroller is waaaay better, but people on this forum will vouch that its lighter and is made of better steel than the Steamroller - after having read that - how can you NOT buy a Kilo or two!?
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Old 11-10-11, 09:25 AM
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The point of diminishing returns occurs as soon as you buy a stock Kilo TT. No amount of upgrading will make it much better. The point made about the fat tires is well taken...buy the bike that has the best geometry for your needs and forget about upgrading. Replace or add parts according to your needs, not according to your desires.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:27 AM
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"The point of diminishing returns occurs as soon as you buy a stock Kilo TT. No amount of upgrading will make it much better."

So then, the stock frame is relatively poor? The faults I've read are relatively high weight and flex, but this last doesn't seem to be a common criticism. Does this jive with your experience or are there other issues?

" The point made about the fat tires is well taken...buy the bike that has the best geometry for your needs and forget about upgrading. Replace or add parts according to your needs, not according to your desires."

That's a good insight.

Perhaps my OP was unclear, but I'm not terribly fussed by tire width. The big blocks clearances are an asset, but they aren't a "must have".

I suppose I should have just asked what can I, as a new fg cyclist, expect to see (performance wise) in any the other bikes that I won't see in a kilo.

I typically ride 80-120 mi/week. Indoors when it's nasty and mild rolling hills when it's decent. I ride a 20 year old beat to hell road bike, which I believe is stock aside from lube and tres
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Old 11-10-11, 10:43 AM
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OK, my 2 cents. I'd get the Wabi Lightning. I have one and ride it a lot, so I can vouch for it. The frame geometry is perfect for road riding and the ride is compliant like a steel bike, unlike most aluminum frames. You won't have to change anything, because you can order it customized to fit you properly and geared to your needs. All the components, except the tires, are good enough quality that there is no need to upgrade them. The sevice from the owner, Richard Snook is great, and the bike will arrive perfectly adjusted just like buying from an lbs.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Thread City View Post
"The point of diminishing returns occurs as soon as you buy a stock Kilo TT. No amount of upgrading will make it much better."

So then, the stock frame is relatively poor?
That wasn't my point. My point was that the Kilo TT is simply good enough. Assuming the geometry is right for you, you could spend thousands upgrading it and the improvements in terms of comfort, speed, handling, and durability would be disproportionate to the cost.
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Old 11-10-11, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw View Post
I do not see the Kilo fitting a 700x25 unless that Tektro brake is removed and replaced with something else.
https://youtu.be/tM3NglJU7rc to the OP:

I love my leader's (or rather loved as I got the wrong size) and I would definitely steer you towards the 722 if you are looking for a good steel frame. The all-city would be great if you wanted to go with bigger tires, but as you mentioned sticking with 23's its not really worth the added cost. The rush and the TT are both 1" which might affect your decision. Lastly, the wabi is expensive from the get-go, but all I've heard is good reviews. I would LOVE to try their frames out, and I am constantly on the look out for one on my craigslist. If you have the money to spend, I'd suggest the wabi.
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Old 11-10-11, 07:02 PM
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@that video: what tire pressure is that at? i can fit 25s on my kilo @115psi. i tried to fit 28s but it just wouldn't happen with tire pressure.

my trek fit 35s with 40psi but the tires literally ballooned when i added more air. to the point where i couldnt spin the tire anymore
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Old 11-10-11, 07:05 PM
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For the record, I had a 32c rear tire on my 53cm Kilo a couple of years ago. My frame seemed to be an anomaly though. I honestly don't think any two are alike.
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Old 11-10-11, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
For the record, I had a 32c rear tire on my 53cm Kilo a couple of years ago. My frame seemed to be an anomaly though. I honestly don't think any two are alike.
A Kilo TT is like a box of chocolates.......
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Old 11-10-11, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by solbrothers View Post
@that video: what tire pressure is that at? i can fit 25s on my kilo @115psi. i tried to fit 28s but it just wouldn't happen with tire pressure.

my trek fit 35s with 40psi but the tires literally ballooned when i added more air. to the point where i couldnt spin the tire anymore
I don't remember what the suggested psi was on those tires, but I can tell you I ran them fully inflated. Also, for the record, those tires measure more like 32c.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
For the record, I had a 32c rear tire on my 53cm Kilo a couple of years ago. My frame seemed to be an anomaly though. I honestly don't think any two are alike.
Was it a real 32? I've had 32s that were more like 27s.
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Old 11-10-11, 09:28 PM
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loved mine for 4 years and then took all the parts off it and put them in a pile for use on a better frame(when i want/find/get one)
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Old 11-10-11, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
Was it a real 32? I've had 32s that were more like 27s.
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Old 11-11-11, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilcphoto View Post
https://youtu.be/tM3NglJU7rc to the OP:

I love my leader's (or rather loved as I got the wrong size) and I would definitely steer you towards the 722 if you are looking for a good steel frame. The all-city would be great if you wanted to go with bigger tires, but as you mentioned sticking with 23's its not really worth the added cost. The rush and the TT are both 1" which might affect your decision. Lastly, the wabi is expensive from the get-go, but all I've heard is good reviews. I would LOVE to try their frames out, and I am constantly on the look out for one on my craigslist. If you have the money to spend, I'd suggest the wabi.
That's awesome.





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Old 11-11-11, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
That's awesome.









Agreed. Blowing up the formatting.
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Old 11-11-11, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
Was it a real 32? I've had 32s that were more like 27s.
It was a Rando. If anything, it was bigger.
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Old 11-11-11, 09:58 AM
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Sorry gaies.... mah 24" screen doesn't seem to be as encroaching with the photo... I changed it for yallz
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