a Cross Country Rider
from frederick md
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2007
Strengths: Quality, ride, and durability. That clean Kelly asthetic.....Rare.....
Weaknesses: he is not in buisness any more
This is my second review of my second kelly deluxe. I have owned 4 Kelly's over the last ten years. Two mountain and Two cross. If you like steel, look for one of his bikes somewhere. Find one before they are gone. I got my last one, a singlespeed frame with canti mounts, right before he closed shop.I hooked it up with a rohloff and have a bombproof east coast bike. You wont find a bike that handles any better or lasts any longer. Now that he isnt making them anymore, you also have something of a keepsake. His bikes have soul. The powdercoat lasts and the geometry works well on the east and west coast...I wish I would have gotten a 29r before he shut down
Bike Setup: rohloff r/hub , phil wood f/hub , magura hs33s, profile cranks in 177mm, bontrager hardware, conti tires. Marzochi mx pro fork. 26 lbs...
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2006
Strengths: Beautiful finish and geometry is dead on for me.
Weaknesses: Chris Kelly is out of business due to a dead beat partner. 20 years down the tube...
It's sad to say, but I've only begun my season with this bike. My dream bike for sure! If you can find one, buy it and keep it because Chris won't be making any more. My 19" fits me (5" 11") like an absolute glove and it climbs better than any bike I've ever ridden. Chris is a straight-shooter who in the end got a crappy hand. It sucks and sucks bad... Never will I sell it!
Similar Products Used: I've only owned steel and don't plan to change... it's all coming back around, isn't it??
Bike Setup: Kelly DeLuxe Disc. Sram drivetrain. Magura Martas. Vicious Cycles custom steel fork. 21.5 lbs soaking wet.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2006
Strengths: Quick, stiff, and a good climber..nice all day hardtail with a very durable finish. The rigid fork is real nice. There is plenty of room for 2.5 tires. A good east coast woods bike.
Weaknesses: Might be a little stiff if you are looking for that real plush steel bike. It climbs really well though.
This is my second Kelly.( also have an old euro cross). I cant say enough for the powder coating on his bikes...real tough. Due to where i live i have torn off a few rear derailleurs and bent the hanger at least three times.(once at about 70 degrees from the bike). I just bend it back and put on a new mech..the ritchey dropouts are really tough. The bike doesnt do anything funny and is always goes where you point it. If you like rigid forks get one of Kelly's they are nice..Kelly's arent cheap but if you factor in ther durability..it fars outweighs the initial cost.
Bike Setup: xt but with magura hs33's..217 rims and 959 pedals..comes in around 22 lbs with the rigid fork. kelly stem and monkey light carbon bars.
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2005
Strengths: Quality bike made with quality materials
Weaknesses: Quality doesn't come cheap.
"Lemmony Snicket's" review prompted me to review this frame due to his personal animosity and lack of restraint. Chris Kelly is just trying to make a few bucks doing something most of us only dream about, enough said. The Deluxe has really nice geometry due to the long top tube and the 16.5" chainstays. A definite climber that's not sketchy up front. Chris will take care of you and actually answers the phone when you call. Ride on...
Similar Products Used: 15 years of bikes of all kinds
Bike Setup: TBD for the '06, '07 race season
a Cross Country Rider
from piscataway, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2004
Strengths: Handmade in the USA!! Steel, awesome fit, amazing ride, and it's really nice to show up at the trails and NEVER see another one!!
Weaknesses: Rear disc tab alignment is off and I sent it back to have it fixed but it's still the same...cheesy rear brake hose guides for such a beautiful bike :(
NOTHING BEATS THE RIDE OF THIS BIKE!! PERIOD!! I've had many bikes and this, even setup as a rigid bike, is smoother and more comfortable than anything on the market!! I live on the east coast so I ride a lot of very technical terrain and this bike handles it as well as, if not better in many cases, than any full suspension bike or hardtail I've ever ridden. Other than the rear brake issue I have no complaints about this bike...and the ride makes me forget I've even complained about that...
Similar Products Used: I work at a shop so I've had 1 of everything ever made I think!!
Bike Setup: Rigid Kelly fork, Chris King everything, XT everything else, Avid mech. disc because it's the only one I can get to work with the rear tab.
from Oslo, Norway
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2003
Strengths: Geomethry, ride, steel.
Weaknesses: Few if any.
Adding to me previous review:
I have been racing the Kelly hardtail for two seasons now and have in these seasons finished some of the worlds toughest mountain bike races. The Kelly hardtail has taken me through The Crocodile Trophy(www.crocodile-trophy.com) in Australia , The TransAlp Challenge (http://upsolutmv.transalp.com) across the European Alps and lastly the La Ruta De Los Conquistadores(www.adventurerace.com) across Costa Rica.
All these races are considered the toughest MTB races in the world and the Kelly Hardtail pulled me through with flying colors. I am amazed at how well the frame rides in all kinds of conditions. From gravel-road hell in outback Australia to Downhill madness in the Alps and mud mayhem in Costa Rica the Kelly handles like a dream in every condition.
I believe I am, much thanks to my Kelly, the first racer to ever finish these three races, all considered the world's toughest, in one single year.
Similar Products Used: All kinds of hardtails, steel, alloy, carbon, Scott, Jamis, Kona, Felt, Cannondale, Merida, Wheeler
Bike Setup: Complete 03 XTR, Monkeylite, Duke Race, Conti tires, Stans, Thomson, SLR, Hugi 240, Mavic x317, ODI Lock ons, 23lbs
from Sydney, Australia/Oslo, Norway
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2002
Strengths: Handcraftet steel frame rides smoothly, Long top tube, geometry suits racing and long rides, reasonably light weight. Smashing looks. The ride!!!
Weaknesses: The hose routing for the rear disc would be better of along the toptube.
I had forgotten how good a steel bike feels.
The Kelly Hardtail is beautifully made by Chris Kelly, with gorgeous welds and a stiff rear disc brake mount. The long top tube and low stand over height on my medium frame is fast and stable yet quick and agile.
Lock out on Manitou make the bike an even quicker accelerator. In or out of the saddle the bike climbs like a goat. When going downhill the slender True Temper OX Platinum tubes smoothens out the ride.
Build up as it is with discs and real 32 spoked wheels, it still weighs only 23,3 pounds/10,5kgs. This Kelly Hardtail is especially made to race in the world longest and hardest MTB race, the Crocodile trophy. Hence it should be a fireroad flyer which it is, but it is also awesome when the trails get a lot more technical. Drops are a lot smoother on the Kelly than on the Homegrown. Roots and ruts are stymied.
Nothing beats the incredible ride of quality steel when it comes to efficiency, comfort, serviceability and beauty. There is no shock to blow, yet the ride is comfortable and nimble. Less complexity means more fun.
The Kelly is a winner from a small enthusiastic builder. Service is great and their uniforms look better than any one else's.
I can recomend this bike to anyone who are looking for a steel racer for anything from a regular NORBA XC race to full on solo 24 hour racing.
Similar Products Used: Steel: 93 Jamis Dragon, 95 Kona Explosif, Carbon: Scott pro racing 97/98 Alu: 96 Cannondale F700, 99 Merida Team Norway, Schwinn Homegrown 2000/2001
Bike Setup: Setup to race hard and long. Kelly Team Issue Disc Frame, Chris King, Manitou Mars Super, Ritchey WCS Stem, Easton Monkeylite, ODI Lock On, Magura Marta discs, Race Face Next LP ISIS, Time Alium, Thomson post, Flite Saddle, Magura Pro Wheelset, XTR Shifters+deraillieurs, Rohloff Chain, Continental Twister Pro tires, Hi5 drinks and food.