a Weekend Warrior
from brighton, co, USA
Date Reviewed: August 4, 2009
Strengths: The price! Very light and strong. Kenda Karma tires are awesome and very light. TV cranks are good quality.
Weaknesses: Headset needs tightening every few weeks. Needs somekind of chain tensioner. Freewheel is cheap.
The solo-one is an excellent entry-level single-speed for the money. I bought mine back in July 2007 and I'd say it's taken quite a bashing since then. Mine is the red 2006 hardtail model. Even with a stock rigid fork I've taken it through hard rocky descents, 6inches of slime mud, jumping whoop-dee-doos, slamming it into curbs and pot holes, and just plain long dusty loose gravel trails, with no major issues. The only real issue I have with it, is that the headset does get slightly loose after a few weeks of hard riding. I've put many miles and dings on this bike and it just keeps on performing. Have had no major mechanical issues with it whatsoever. My only advice if you buy one is - 1.) get somekind of chain tensioner. 2.) dump the stock freewheel and get something that will last (I've gone through 4 freewheels since I've owned this bike). 3.) Buy a KMC BMX chain (I didn't even want to take chances with the stock chain breaking, I spent the money and bought something stretch-proof and bullet proof).
Bike Setup: White Industries 18T freewheel w/flip hub 16T Tommy Cog fixed gear, DR platforms, DR BMX handle bars, Forte stem (110mm), KMC drop BMX chain (stretch proof), Salsa front skewer, pair of Kore "pistols" keeping the rear wheel tight.
a Cross Country Rider
from Greenwood, SC
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2009
Strengths: This bike is very durable. I don't think I can mess this bike up if I tried. I love everything about this bike.
Weaknesses: I love riding a single speed but didn't like the rigid front fork. My freewheel on my bike went out pretty quickly but that it is to be expected I suppose and I also bought the bike used.
The bottom line is this is a great bike for the money and if you are new to the sport of mountain biking, I couldn't find a better bike to recommend. Of course you are going to get more of a workout just because you are out of the seat more often but that's what I love about this bike.
Similar Products Used: I've ridden my buddy's niner ss and loved it
Bike Setup: stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Grand Junction, CO USA
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2008
Strengths: Decent entry-level SS MTB for the $$$. This is the first SS I have ever bought. Hardware is decent quality for the money.
Weaknesses: No front shock. This would be a great option. Seat clamp is kind of small too. Rear wheel is hard to keep tight.
Fun bike to ride! Someone mentioned previously that it feels just like a big BMX bike. That's totally true. I feel like I'm 10 years old again everytime I find myself flying down a big hill and tackling some jumps.
a Cross Country Rider
from Westminster, CO
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2008
Strengths: Climbing hills on a 33/16 is great! It's just like a big BMX bike - it flies!
Weaknesses: don't care for the seat post clamp or the handle bars - otherwise - hardware is decent for the price
Love the singlespeed life since I bought this bike. I have a 2006 (hard-tail) model and my 1st memorable experience on it was AWESOME!. I was drunk off my @ss cranking on a trail in north Denver at about 12:30am (which I often do). One single headlight was all I needed. I rode through a path by the AMC 24 theater in Westminster Colorado and a f**King pig pointed and yelled at me! I turned around real quick and got the heck out of there (geez dude, it's not like I'm holding up a nearby bank with a sawed-off shotgun!). I started home on a 5 mile bike path and next thing I know, there's a bike cop tailing me (pretty far behind too). He tailed me almost all the way (about 1000 feet behind) until we got to a nice hill behind a college, then I roasted his donut snarfing @ss. I could see the pig at the bottom of the hill huffin' & puffin' downshifting trying to make it on his 27 speed Trek, poor basr@rd! I turned off my headlight and kept on riding towards home. I felt great and my KHS made it happen! LOL!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from SFV, CA
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2007
Strengths: simplified construction, solid 6061 aluminum frame, very light.
Weaknesses: all the cheap parts must go. rear hub uses a larger inner hex nut, needs to be replaced and retrofitted with a washer or it will dig in and eat up the aluminum drop outs.
for the price, its a complete bike that wont let you down. tons of fun right out the shop. replacing components are a matter of preference. the stock pieces are not quality.
over all, the frame construction is rock solid, the paint and finish is good quality but will eventually scratch or chip off. components, what can i say, still better than your top of the line target bike :).
its a great bike to start with if you are a beginner in the world of single speeds and 29ers combined.
I'm giving it an overall rating of 3 because of the rear axle nut. Its a simple fix by putting a washer in it. But for the average consumer it can cost them a new frame or bike down the road.
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, Florida, USA
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2007
Strengths: Relatively light weight, beautiful welds for a frame in this price range, Reynolds tubing provides a compliant ride and is usually unheard of in frames priced this low, the shock takes the edge off rocky or rooty trails without being overly intrusive, simple and clean design and graphics, can fit 2.4" tires in frame.
Weaknesses: In order to fit 2.4 tires, you must run the rear axle near the back of the dropouts (not a problem if you dont mind a lond rear end).
This review is for the frame only: I found a 2003 Solo One frame on E-Bay for $90.00 woth shipping included. The pics were fuzzy, and I expected it to be a slob of a frame for this price. When it arrived, I was happy to see that it was a nearly new condition.
I've ridden my Solo One only a few times so far, but the improvement over my aluminum single speed is tremendous. The shock has just enough give to take the edge off of the bumps, which my knees and back are greatful for. The shock doesn't move enough to be a detriment on climbs, and it allows you to run higher presure in the rear while maintaining comfort. This equates to less rolling resistance and more speed.
The top tube seems to be longer than most frames of this size, but I prefer a very short reach stem, so this works out perfectly for me.
Since I am an old BMXer who is abussive to my parts, I have my bike set up accordingly, with some strong but heavy parts. Although my bike tips the scale at a stout 25lbs, it would be very possible to set it up as a fairly light race machine.
Overall, it's very hard to find a good single speed frame in this price range, and another soft tail in this range simply does not exist.
This is a very versitile bike that anyone can enjoy weather they are: an old BMXer looking to upsize, a first time single speeder, a commuter (with a simple cog swap), or a racer (with a few upgrades). You can't loose with this bike. The frame is of a high enough quality to warrant some higher end upgrades.
***VERY IMPORTANT*** Single speed riding puts a lot of stress on a chain, which leads to stretch and breakage. In my 20+ years of working on bikes, I have found one chain to be superior to all the others (and there are many who agree with me). Do yourself a favor and ask your LBS to order you a KMC 610hx chain. They are about $15, 3/32 single speed specific, and are virtually stretch proof.
Similar Products Used: Trek 6000 converted to a fully rigid single speed.
Bike Setup: Like a big BMX: Easton riser bars, 45mm downhill stem, Cane Creek S-3 headset, Salsa Cromoto Fork, stock seatpost and clamp, WTB Pure V Seat, Truvativ Husefelt Crank, Black Spire Mono Veloce, 32t Chainring, KMC 610hx chain, Odyssey BMX 16t cog, Deore front disc hub, Woodman single speed cassette hub, Sun Rhino Lite front rim and Rhyno Lite XL rear rim, WTB Mutano Raptor 2.4" tires, Cane Creek Direct Curve 2 rear brake, Avid BB-7 front disc brake, Avid Speed Dial SL levers, Bulletproof BMX chain tensioners.
a Weekend Warrior
from Thornton, CO. USA
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2007
Strengths: Hardware is decent quality. Very light compared to other SS mountain bikes I've tried. Thrashed on it quite a bit since I've owned at and it holds together nicely. Stock saddle is better than most others I've tried. I like the power tool grips too (comfy).
Weaknesses: Handle bars are good quality but too fat to fit my Cat Eye light and reflector on. Front cog should be a 38 instead of a 33 but any mod can be made later on.
Grabs hard from a standing start (no bullsh*t derailleurs and missed gears - just GO!) - makes me feel like I'm a kid again on my BMX and puts the sheer fun of riding a bike back into my life - it's a fun and simple bike to ride. I love it, and it makes me get my lazy a$$ out of the saddle and really work for it on steep hills - Mikey likes!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2007
Strengths: I beat this bike to blithering bits yall, and its still screaming. I didn't really know what the soft tail would be like or if it would stand the test of time; but it made my bum quite a bit happier, and has lasted three years with out much maintainance at all. Most of the riding was in Arizona tough and technical both.
Weaknesses: Comes with low caste componenets, but they'll get you bye and take a beating. It's more the rider that makes the bike anyway right!
if you want something cheeeep, that ll get you through the night; this bike is more than alright.
Strengths: This review is for 2006 model, which is not a soft tail.Great price, steel frame gives a great riding experience and good components, except for the brakes. I was very impressed with this bike on my first ride in one of Puerto Rico’s most technical trail. I ended up riding for 2 hours because I was having a lot of fun.
Weaknesses: Brakes and seat post clamp (too weak)
I bought this bike for training purposes and I think it will serve this purpose just fine. Plus the challenge of riding a SS uphill is a lot of fun.
Similar Products Used: None, I ride a Cannondale Scalpel
Bike Setup: I only added EggBeater Candy SL pedals and changed the brake levels for a pair old shimanos. I am also planning to add tubeless tires. I will keep the rigid fork because it comes in handy when you encounter an unexpected hill.
a Weekend Warrior
from Gallup, NM
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2006
Strengths: 1) Steel frame with 25 year warranty 2) Soft tail actually does work to take the edge off chatter 3) Complete bike for $500 makes trying singlespeeding cheap 4) Fast. Acceleration is unreal when you put the hammer down. 5) It's nice to look at (frame is spartan, clean, basic black) 6) Good standover clearance 7) Most of all: very, very fun to ride
Weaknesses: All related to low-end components (see especially the Tektro (alleged) brakes, though it's unfair to call these weaknesses on a complete bike with an MSRP of only $549)
1) There are exactly three steel singlespeeds for under $1000 complete: Redline Monocog (~$419); KHS Solo One ($549) and the Kona Unit ($799). If you want an inexpensive steel single speed, these are your choices. Period. 2) The soft tail works surprisingly well. It's action is reasonably smooth (as long as you don't over-tighten the two side bolts). It's an elastomer, but with only 1" of travel max, the lack of damping is unnoticeable). In the rough, you'll be reminded that you're not on a 4&4" trailbike, but for everywhere else, it really takes away the punishment. 3) Frame geometry is dead-on perfect, responsive without being twitchy. Stable at speed, rails corners, and climbs very, very well. 4) Bottom line: The Solo One is a lot of fun for very little green.
Similar Products Used: Friend's single speed conversion
Bike Setup: Stock except for four personal preference changes: 1) Avid SD-7 v-brakes; 2) Time ATAC pedals; 3) Kenda Nevegal 2.1 tires; and 4) suspension fork
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2006
Strengths: Inexpensive! Reynolds Steel frame Fantastic parts value for the money spent
Weaknesses: Seat post clamp Stiction in shock
A fantastic bike. I ride this bike mostly in town so I have modified it a bit but kept true to the budget bike concept so as not to attract bike thieves. I didn't give the seat clamp a chance. I swapped it for a non-quick-release style to minimize the liklihood of saddle rip-offs. The lone Hayes disc I set up in front is more than capable of slowing the bike down in heavy traffic and keeps the handlebar clutter down to one brake lever (again less stuff to rip-off). I played with a shorter stem for awhile but went back to the stock stem and switched to a two-inch rise no-name bar. I feel the bike is a little long and am kind of looking to bring my body position up and back a bit. I am currently happy with this personal set-up. Switched the chain-ring to a 44 which is better for around town but I wouldn't dream of off-roading with this gear. I think the stock gearing was great for off-road. The Surly Tuggnut I got talked into by the local bike-shop. I never had a problem but as the mechanic explained: "if that rear wheel slips under a real heavy, out-of-the-saddle-load, the chain WILL come off and the rider is likely to come away with a mounthfull of Chicklets or worse." Since I don't have a good dental plan, I accepted his advice and although I never had any slippage, I will say that when I have had flats or take the wheel off to do maintenance, the Tuggnut makes it easy to remember where the old chain-tension was set. I have ridden this bike all winter in salt-enrcusted Ottawa and it has performed well. I did spray Rust-Check on the internal frame tubes but the hubs and BB look new with zero salt contamination at all. The soft-tail shock has developed a bit of stiction but it is a crude and simple beast and I'm sure all the salt wasn't good for it. I see for this year KHS has dumped the shock for its singlespeed and it is now a straight hardtail. I never really liked this soft-tail as it always feels a bit noodly back there and now with the stiction feels like a loose hub or something. I may jack up the pre-load and make it a true hardtail. I have overhauled the shock four times over the course of the year but it never was really smooth even when new. It feels like you a riding around on a low-pressure tire sometimes. Highly reccomended bike an at $750 Cdn I think it is fantactic value for a Reynolds frame and all name brand parts including Truvativ BB. Most of the parts I swapped are personal choce and the stock bike in my opinion is ready to rock. Try the rigid fork for awhile. I love it and have decide to pass on the suspension fork for now. My first and last singlespeed. Why pay more?
Similar Products Used: Lots of hardtails Santa Cruz Bullit
Bike Setup: Swapped out: tires for 2.0 slicks; Shimano 858 clipless pedals; 2-inch rise bar, and added Surly Tuggnut tensioner, pulled the V-brakes and run a single Hayes mech disc brake on the front and, 44 tooth chainring for urban commutes.
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2006
Strengths: Good Looks Price Light weight The ride
Weaknesses: No tensioner,seat post and clamp.
A great ss bike for anyone who wants to get into the single speed scene.A few minor upgrades and your good to go.Refer to the FAQ section on the KHS web site for info on maintaining your soft tail shock(it is adjustable and needs service).
SOFT TAIL SET-UP
The following information is provided to help you setup your new KHS Soft-Tail bicycle to achieve the highest level of performance. While the Soft-Tail design is very simple it is still important you take the time to set your suspension to your weight to achieve the best ride. Although the pre-load is preset at the factory it is best to check it, plus it will help familiarize your self with the setup. The pre-load is set at the factory at 5-8mm. But as with a spring the Elastomer will take a set from compression or sag after putting some miles on it. The best way to check this is to unscrew the Pre-Load cap (see illustrations at bottom of page) until it is loose. Place a plastic zip tie around the Shock Shaft and slide the zip tie all the way down the Shock Shaft until it makes contact with the Wiper/Seal Cap. Now screw the Pre-Load Cap back in until it stops and measure how much the Shock Shaft has extended. This distance should be somewhere between 5-8mm. If not you need to either replace the elastomer or add spacers inside the Pre-Load Cap between the cap and the Elastomer to reach the desired thickness needed to obtain the 5-8mm of preload. To make things simple a dime is the perfect size and you can stack a few to reach the desired height, do not use more than 7mm of spacers (five dimes). If you need more it is time to replace the Elastomer. After you set the pre-load you will need to check the sag. To do this use the same zip tie you installed on the Shock Shaft. Slide it back down again to make contact with the Wiper/Seal Cap and simply sit on the bike with both feet off of the ground (you may support yourself in a doorway to prevent a fall). Now dismount the bike again and check the distance. This number works best at 3-5mm. If this number is off you may want to change the Elastomer. There are two choices a 92A Blue Elastomer and a Yellow that is 82A's the Blue being stiffer and the Yellow being softer. If you already have a new Blue Elastomer installed on your bike and it is still not stiff enough you can increase the pre-load to max from the 8mm number to 10mm if necessary and this will stiffen it up. On the opposite side If the Yellow Elastomer is to soft you can decrease the pre-load to 5mm but it is not recommended to go below that number. If you want to get creative you can also mix Elastomers by cutting them into sections to create a perfect combination for you.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Proper and routine maintenance of your KHS Soft Tail series frame is simple but nevertheless important to assure years of trouble free riding enjoyment. It is best to take your KHS Soft-Tail to your local KHS dealer periodically for regular maintenance and suspension inspections. How often this is needed will depend on usage, anywhere from a minimum of once a year, to two or three times a year. The Shock Shaft Bushing will wear with normal use and must be kept in good condition. Your professional dealer can help you keep your Soft Tail in perfect working order. It is suggested you keep your Shock Shaft clean and free of heavy dirt or mud. After you ride in wet conditions always wipe the Shock Shaft and lightly lube it with a Silicone spray. It is important you check your frame periodically for cracks in the tubing and welded areas. If any cracks are detected you should not ride the bike and take your frame to your local KHS dealer ASAP. Early detection is important for your safety. It is also important you check your frame periodically for loose nuts and bolts. If any loose bolts are detected you should tighten them immediately if you do not have the proper tools take your bike and to your local KHS dealer.
Bike Setup: Stock with a Salsa seat post,clamp and Surly tug nut tensioner on the drive side
a Cross Country Rider
from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2006
Strengths: Well priced and well built, sweet looking ride! Swap out the chromoly fork for a suspension fork, add disk brakes, clipless pedals and this would be a cool cross country bike!
Weaknesses: No chain tensioner! Headset was loose from the factory had to add another spacer to tighten it up. Brakes are ok but discs would be the way to go.
This is a good bike for the price, I shopped around but this was the only one resonably priced other then the Redline Monocog (chromoly) and Flight Monocog (aluminum). I have been riding it for the past month in everything from dry to wet to icy (snowy) conditions and other then having to install the chain tensioner and tightening the the headset it has stood up very well. It's a nice light bike and climbs suprisingly well for a single speed, the light weight really helps; sub 20 pounds. The soft-tail isn't that noticeable but it does take the edge off when hitting bumps and hoping curbs; 1/2 to 3/4 inch travel. I think the only thing that could be improved is to add a chain tensioner and quick release to the rear hub. If your new to the single-speed scene get used to high rpms on the flat (max 24-26 km/hr), thigh burning grinds up inclines and not being in a particular hurry to get anywhere. I love this thing because I don't have to worry about shifters and cables causing problems in bad weather, it makes a great all weather commuter!
Bike Setup: 2005 black medium chromoly frame, stock set up; 33:16 gearing, soft-tail, flat pedals, chromoly fork with disc brake tabs, Tektro v-brakes and levers, WTB headset and seat, TruVativ bars and crankset, Kenda tires and Sun rims.
I added a Surly "Tuggnut" chain tensioner to the drive side of the bike, this made a big difference; prior to installing it I had to re-tighten the chain after every ride especially after any hill climb where a lot of torque was put on the drive train.
[url=http://khsbicycles.com/02_solo-one_09.htm]KHS Bicycles :: Solo-One[/url]
I have these sliders on my Solo One. The prior owner really had to crank it down to keep the wheel from slipping, because there are some grooves in the metal. I find that I have to do the same thing too, now. May be I a ... Read More »
Can anyone tell me if they've had success and where to find a replacement elastomer for the soft tail suspension on the 2005 model.
Other than the soft tail rattling like crazy, it's a great bike. I am assuming that the elastomer has just gotten worn out because it used to be smooth and now it clun ... Read More »
I placed an ad in the classifieds already but I thought it couldn't hurt to post it here too. I have a brand new 2007 Solo-one SE in size LG that i need to sell. The bike sold for $770 I'm only asking for $450. PM me if your interested or have any questionsRead More »