Tuesday, March 27, 2012

KHS Urban Uno Review

After dealing with installing a new drivetrain because I had worn the old one out, I was asked by a roommate to reflect on the quality of the bike (he's a Trek guy).  Admittedly, it may have been a bit underdesigned/engineered.  If I had to do it again, I may have opted for a different brand or model.  Allow me to enumerate the issues I've had with my KHS Urban Uno after saying that I have enjoyed riding it as a fixed gear.  I should also say that I probably ride it a bit more than average.  I think an average of 45-65 miles/week sounds fair.

1. I had a crash because my left crank arm snapped in half.  Not sure whose fault that is (I'm ruling myself out)...either Driveline the crankset manufacturer or KHS somehow.
2. I had some squeaking after that crash and at that point I replaced the bottom bracket.  It might have been the frame.
3. After the BB, I replaced the pedals because I still had creaking and the left pedal had been damaged in the crash.
4.  In order to deal with the creak, I replaced just about everything and we realized it was the frame.  I got a new frame and transferred all my components.  It does feel like the soul of a bike is in its frame.  The new frame just doesn't connect with me like the old one did, but at least it doesn't creak.
5.  The bike came as a 3/32" fixed/free setup which I thought was good because I can still use my same chain tool or extra chain parts on all my bikes...well, I don't want to mix my 9 speed chains with this 5-7 speed chain that I'm using for the fixie.  Maybe 1/8" would be worth a shot next time I have to replace the drivetrain.
6.  The gear ratio of 44/15 (16 free which I never use) was good to start out with.  After the crash, I replaced the crankset and got a 48T chainring.  I like the new ratio of 48/15 way better, even for climbing.

I have been thinking that a Trek or a Felt might have been a better fixed gear option, but I got a really good price on the KHS Urban Uno.  I don't think I'd recommend paying full price for it if you plan on using it a lot.
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