Product DescriptionSolo One SE
Date Reviewed: December 23, 2012
Strengths: precise handling. climbs very well, relatively light weight for its price and component spec. disc brake ready.
Weaknesses: spec-ed with junk headset, brakes and levers.
this bike was given to me as a gift by a neighbor. it was the first twenty niner of any kind that i had ever ridden and i was hooked after the first mile. the solo one is also the first single speed i've ridden extensively. my KHS is also the first steel frame built after 1994 i've owned; riding this bike spurred me to purchase the steel marin pine mountain 29'er in my stable.
the bike was set up with the stock tektro "vee" brakes and levers when i received it in addition to the 2.3 kenda tires. if you find one of these bikes on the market, i'd suggest replacing the brakes and levers with something better as the tektros have a very cheap and clunky feel to them. (i replaced mine with a set of shimano XT vee brakes and mis-matched paul levers). the kenda tires are a matter of preference; i found that their round-ish profile was not acceptable to my style of riding and the terrain i traverse. at this time, i'm using a pair of 2.35 panaracer rampage 29s.
other than my issues with the cheap brakes and tires, i found myself comfortable right away on the solo one SE. the cockpit is long and low, not unlike that of my last steel bike, an early nineties kona. climbing on the KHS is not exactly effortless but it's quick and efficient due to the combination of the bike's reasonable weight (26lbs) in the large size, the meaty panaracer tires and 33 x 20 gearing. even though the bike is fully rigid, rough sections of trail and technical descents don't beat on my fifty one year old body like one might think due to the resilient steel frame and once again, the agressive rampage tires. handling is precise on any descent, from wide fire roads to steep, rock singletrack due to the rigid fork and the oh so slightly upright riding position provided by the stock truvative riser bar.
i'll bet this bike would absolutely rock with a good set of cable actuated discs...
i was lucky enough to have been given this bike by a neighbor when he took delivery of his new lynsky. riding it for close to a year convinced me to purchase a geared steel 29'er hardtail. the solo one is getting to be my go-to bike on wet weather rides and on days i don't feel like listening to disc brakes squeal or dealing with gears.
KHS is no longer building the solo one but if you find a pre owned one in solid condition at the right price, i would definitely pick it up.
Duration Product Used: two years
Purchased At: nomad cyclery, san f
Similar Products Used: marin pine mountain 29'er
Bike Setup: stock with the exception mid level shimano MTB pedals, shimano XT "vee" brakes and mis-matched silver paul's love levers
Related Solo One SE Forum Posts
Hi, LBS has one left over at a great price, the aluminum version and I was thinking of adding it to the stable for those rides I want a rigid bike. The frame has horizontal dropouts (not sliding like the SE version) , and non QR rear wheel. While the bike is new and only has been on display , the ... Read More »