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Thread: Solo-One

  1. #1
    TR
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    Solo-One

    After some off site discussions with Mattman I am now seriously considering the KHS Solo-One in my quest for my first SS (been through Surly and Bianchi BUSS). It looks like a killer deal on a brand new SS bike seeing as though I can buy one brand new for the price of the others secondhand.
    Just wondered whether anyone else here is riding one and what they think of it. (No offense Matt. Just looking for a second opinion ).
    Also if anyone has any good pics of their Solo-One I would love to see them. So far I have only seen 3 pictures on the site, none of which gave me much of a look at the bike itself.
    Lastly are any of you riding the 2004 model with the rigid fork. If so is it strong enough for general XC riding or would you recommend swapping it out for another rigid fork?? I am thinking perhaps the Kona or if I have to go for a curved fork then the Surly (I would prefer a straight bladed fork and would love a Kelly but cannot afford to pay big $).

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    Solo One -> Unit -> SASS

    As my signature name indicates I was going to get a 2004 KHS Solo One. I ordered it in March for $620, waited until May only to find out that it would not be available (possibly) in July. The 2003 KHS Solo One was available immediately but because I really wanted disc brakes eventually and the gear ratio wasn't 2:1 (what most SSers recommend for beginners), I did the math and decided to raise the price bar a little ($100-$200).

    If you are set on the KHS Solo One then you can stop reading now. (BTW I still think the Solo One is a nice bike. I was just unwilling to wait.)


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I then tried to get a 2004 Kona Unit(~$800). This model is and will continue to be unavailable until the 2005 models come out. There are a few 16" Units available but nothing else. The frames were still available but building them to a bike from a Unit frame takes you to over $1000 easily even if you select marginal parts.

    Finally I checked out the 2004 Bianchi SASS. (I know there were some issues with frame cracks on the 2003 Bianchi SISS, but there have been no posts of SASS frame problems, so possibly Bianchi got the issues resolved.) It has a rigid steel frame, reasonable parts, Avid Mechanical disc brakes, 2.4" MutanoRaptor tires and new I could get it for a little over $100 for what the 2004 KHS Solo One was going for.

    So I got it, and have been riding it for the last 2 weeks and it's a blast. The pedals are junk, but everyone says that's typically the case with complete bikes. The seat rides fine, but the shiny surface started to wear off and I'll probably replace it in a moment of weakness.

    I was not wild about the chrome (probably a reason many people won't buy the bike), but after I got it I saw that it actually looks good. Being chrome, the frame surface is very durable (just like chrome handlebars) and cleans up after a ride really easily. The Avid mechanical Disc brakes are great! (I now understand why people say when you have disc brakes you won't go back.)

    The issues regarding the Spot hub being too tight on the SISS appear to be resolved and the chain line is not perfect but does not appear to cause any problems.


    Hunting down an available new low priced SS bike was work, but in the end the bike is a really nice bike and the right choice for me.


    P.S. My biggest problem is that my handle on the MTBR board is SOLO_ONE.....
    Last edited by SOLO_ONE; 06-18-2004 at 08:52 PM.

  3. #3
    TR
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    Thanks for the reply Solo-One.
    I am not 100% guaranteed to buy the KHS but it seems to be a reasonably well specced bike for the $ so it was high on my list.
    I will definitely have a look at the Bianchi as I was pretty interested in the BUSS except that I could buy a brand new KHS for the prices being asked for the Bianchi.
    I still have nearly 3 months until I hit LA so am really stil doing as much homework on my options as I can before I get there.
    So far what I know I want is a steel frame, rigid fork and large volume tyres. Regardless of what bike I get I want a Thomson seatpost and stem, WTB Racing or Pure V saddle and a Maxm or Easton carbon handlebar.
    I would prefer discs and currently run Avids on my NRS but am prepared to run with V brakes if I have to.
    Pretty broad and basic mayb but it is all I have for now.

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    For business, I spent a good portion of a year in Cronulla (near Sidney) and a shorter time in Brisbane. Beautiful country and very pleasant people. What area of Australia are you leaving?

  5. #5
    TR
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    Not leaving mate. Just vacationing O/S.
    I am in Toowoomba which is and hour and a half west of Brisbane and on top iof the Great Dividing Range.
    We are heading to LA and Vancouver for a 3 week holiday in September/October.

  6. #6
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    Solo-One love!

    I bought a 2003 Solo-One in april 2003, I bought it as training tool , but by the end of the year I had shelved my Klein and was racing it. I think it is a great bike for the money. I do recomend upgrading the headset and stem if you are close to 2 balloons like I am. As for the fork it is very tough I have ridden this bike hard from day( I am a Former BMX'er) and the bike has been airborne on several occasions.
    I have since built up a Karate Monkey (which is sooo choice) so the KHS is once again a training tool, i have returned it to the higher gear and use it for hill training and winds sprints.
    If your on a budget the Solo-One is a solid buy, if you can free up some more cash go with the Surly, there is not a better designed frame at there price point.
    on a side note I have a friend who has a Redline monocog and it is a sweet bike for the low cash. and what makes it neat is the the rear hubs spacing is that of bmx hubs not MTB so you can build up wheels with CHI-CHI BMX hubs which are usually less expensive then their MTB counter parts. Enjoy- Angus

  7. #7
    TR
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    Thanks for th reply Angus.
    You dont happen to have an picturs of your Solo-One do you??
    Are you running your rigid and if so did you upgrade the fork to something a little more beefy?? That 2003 model fork looks very skinny and I reckon my 211lbs would snap it in half in no time at all.

  8. #8
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    Forky Spoony...

    As for the fork it is very tough I have ridden this bike hard from day( I am a Former BMX'er) and the bike has been airborne on several occasions.
    Sounds tough to me ...

  9. #9
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    D'oh!! How did I miss that?!?!?!!

  10. #10
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    Sole-One comments

    I got my Solo-One last August but my bike is a 2001 model going by the VIN - KHS must have a few hanging around their warehouse here in Canada. I've ridden mine as hard as I can and in LOTS of water and mud this spring and the bike is finally starting to show wear. I have to replace the bottom bracket and headset now, I've already replaced the cranks (as I'm sure you know, the earlier units came with that goofy 38t front). Too many sets of brake pads to count but that's to be expected with as much mud as we've had this year in my area. Paint could be more durable as mine is really showing scratches and chips. At first my headset came loose a couple of times but after breakin it settled down. Right now my front hub is loose so I'll redo both hubs when I get my new HS/BB installed. The bolts for the rear wheel need to really be wrenched on HARD to keep the rear wheel from slipping. Becuase it uses an allen key, mine are starting to round out. Gotta get them replaced soon as well. Oh, the rear softtail shock thingy needs to be looked at, right now it's worked itself apart and the rear end is wiggling around on me. And the seat post and handlebar/stem creak like an old mans knees when I'm grinding or climbing.

    Crap, that seems like a lot of wear and tear for less than a year doesn't it? My going on 4 year old Trek 8000 has needed nothing but tires, chain, and brake pads more or less. Guess you get what you pay for.

    I'm still running the stock rigid fork on mine and unless I come across a can't refuse deal on a boinger, will keep it that way. I like how point-n-shoot it is compared to a cush cush front. I've done some XC races on the Solo-One and think the rigid fork is fine, I weigh about 175-180lbs.

    For the money it's a nice bike. Knowing what I know now and If I had to do it over again I would DEFINITELY have purchased something better with better components but I'll just upgrade this one as the parts wearout. I did the conservative route and bought something affordable to make sure I liked SS'ing and I love it!!!

    Hope this helps.
    DobeManSS

    Quote Originally Posted by toowoombarider
    After some off site discussions with Mattman I am now seriously considering the KHS Solo-One in my quest for my first SS (been through Surly and Bianchi BUSS). It looks like a killer deal on a brand new SS bike seeing as though I can buy one brand new for the price of the others secondhand.
    Just wondered whether anyone else here is riding one and what they think of it. (No offense Matt. Just looking for a second opinion ).
    Also if anyone has any good pics of their Solo-One I would love to see them. So far I have only seen 3 pictures on the site, none of which gave me much of a look at the bike itself.
    Lastly are any of you riding the 2004 model with the rigid fork. If so is it strong enough for general XC riding or would you recommend swapping it out for another rigid fork?? I am thinking perhaps the Kona or if I have to go for a curved fork then the Surly (I would prefer a straight bladed fork and would love a Kelly but cannot afford to pay big $).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Don't do it!!!

    I bought one for my wife. If I had to do it again I'd buy something else. All the bearing parts( hubs, headset, BB, brakes) are some cheep ****. But the biggest problem with the bike is lack of rear tire clearance. However the bike does ride well and has a general confy fit. The soft tail seems to work well but I'm not sure for how long. It will save you money in the long run to buy a Surly, Kona or Bianchi.

    Just my .02

  12. #12
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    Thanks for th pic's DobeManSS. That fork doesn't look anywhere near as skinny as in the picture from the KHS website.
    Sounds like you have had to upgrade a lot of the moving parts but then again I have had to replace a few on my NRS as well.

  13. #13
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    LBS gouging you?

    Quote Originally Posted by SOLO_ONE
    I was going to get a 2004 KHS Solo One. I ordered it in March for $620, waited until May only to find out that it would not be available (possibly) in July. ...................................I then tried to get a 2004 Kona Unit(~$800). This model is and will continue to be unavailable until the 2005 models come out. There are a few 16" Units available but nothing else. .................P.S. My biggest problem is that my handle on the MTBR board is SOLO_ONE.....
    Solo_One, I don't mean to offend, but where are you shopping? The '04 Solo-One has been available pretty consistantly since late last year for $519. I can drive an hour and buy one today. The Unit is also available for $775 in 19" and 20" as of today, but the supply is dwindling. Spend a little time on the phone or internet and there is little that is not available, and at good prices. I'm in So Cal but the places here that have the bikes will be happy to ship to Texas or wherever.

    If your biggest problem is your handle, can I swap you problems? Just set up a new one and indicate you were formerly Solo_One.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

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