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  1. #1
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    FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review

    My effort to build the perfect race machine.

    The frame is made by Frank Wadelton AKA Frank The Welder using a mix of Easton and Columbus tubing. It rides great, but at a race pace it transforms. You almost forget it under your bum. I've had steel and ti rigs which were much smoother when training, but I've never ridden anything so neutral, almost telepathic. When the game gets really fast, you have no time to appreciate the subtleties of nobler metals, and you just have to fly over things and enter into turns without too thinking because the reduced oxygen doesn't allow for excessively articulated brain output: the bike is gem in these situations.

    Components are a mix of high end product a friend of mine distributes here in Italy. White Industries hubs and German Brake Force One stoppers matched to a German-A Kilo fork. Brakes and shock are incredibly light without suffering from the malfunctions typical of ligthweight components. Costly but reliable; well I remember reading the motto "light, cheap, strong, choose two" on an MBA mag, some time ago.

    Calipers are CNC machined in Germany, and they hava a particular system, in that they don't have an oil reservoir. Pads are a bit farther from the rotors, which means less drag. They are not self centering, so you have an adjuster on the brake lever, which is made in injection moulded carbon. Stopping power is very good; modulation is so great that at first you have the impression that the bike is not stopping. The first part of the lever travel approaches the pad to the disc, the second part is the actual braking phase. Basically, it takes an hour to get used to them, but then you understand how well they work, even with those one finger levers. The only glitch is when you approach a fast turn, because blocking the wheel (if you are into this style of turning) requires more lever travel. But again, one you've got accustomed to it, it gives no problem.

    The fork needs a break-in period, then it's incredibly smooth, but it has the advantage that, being it a parallelogram unit, it's very stiff and precise. I run it softer than its advised pressure because if set up following the company's recommendations it has an anti-dive effect in turns that I don't really like, since I feel it makes steering slower. As it is it's perfect because as I said it's very rigid anyway. Ah, no maintenance in one year and a half. Having it rebuilt shortly only because it's advised.

    The crankset is an old Truvativ unit, sanded to give it a factory look. Just waiting for White Industries to release a 36-22 combo.

    Well... for sure not everybody's cup of tea, but my personal, individual choice.... A retrobiker's approach to modernity
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review-p1060709-small-.jpg  

    FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review-p1060710-small-.jpg  

    FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review-p1060719-small-.jpg  

    FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review-p1060713-small-.jpg  

    FTW Industries Mategua with Brake force One brakes and Kilo fork: a short review-p1060716-small-.jpg  

    Last edited by even; 01-19-2013 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Trail Junkie
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    Nice I've been interested in those Kilo Forks but it is a huge leap of faith (and dent in the pocket book) to commit to...not to mention, no regional support in the U.S.

    Those brakes look really cool too, I would really like to try those out. I have the Magura MT8s which have great modulation and feel..I wonder how those compare.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon
    Lynskey Pro29 SL SS
    Cervelo S2 Ultegra
    Salsa Selma
    Soul Cycle Dillinger Gen3

  3. #3
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    Never tried Maguras, I can compare them to Shimano and Avid and, as I said, they're great once you've got accustomed to them, especially on single tracks, where the extreme modualtion of the brakes avoid wheel locking.

    Kilos are really reliable, but they are not going to export to the USA, at least according to the owner, to whom I spoke at Eurobike. They are really serious about maintenance and warranties, but they do it in house, no problem if you are European, a big deal if you are American. They usually don't need to be fussed around and, as I said, I'm shipping my fork to them after a year and a half, just because a long time has passed since I bought it, but it's still working flawlessly.

    About denting your wallet, both brakes and fork do it. Quite heavily.
    Last edited by even; 01-20-2013 at 12:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    We can order the Kilos to be shipped to the US if we order direct from them..but with the already high price, and shipping, and import fees. It's not realistic.

    Why Kilo doesn't want to break into the U.S. market is beyond me. America is the biggest consumer country in the world, and a market that would be very profitable.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon
    Lynskey Pro29 SL SS
    Cervelo S2 Ultegra
    Salsa Selma
    Soul Cycle Dillinger Gen3

  5. #5
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    They don't have such a great production power, I think. Dunno.... Gary Fisher himself bougth a fork in person at Eurobike some years ago...

  6. #6
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    I'm curious - given the adjustment period to get use to the feel of the brakes - how would it be going back and forth between different bikes if only one bike had these?

  7. #7
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    curious what saddle that is

  8. #8
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    San marco Mantra, test version... just trying how it works


    RW... once you've dialled in I don't think going back to another bike woulf take more than a quarte of an hour....

  9. #9
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    Yup, the guys at German-A told me they couldn't believe it when he popped in at their booth

  10. #10
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    I like this, right up my alley. Quite different from our usual fare here.

  11. #11
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    Thanks....retro bike spirit, buy a bike, keep it for a long time, upgrade it when you can with nice bits. Avoid Eastern stuff. Go American or European

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