Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike Review
A fantastic all-around commuter bike consisting of a hand-forged steel frame built specifically for the rough roads of city riding. Choose between riding in standard freewheel single speed mode or trigger the flip flop hub to ride in fixed gear.
Even though you’re essentially working with only one gear, don’t think that you won’t be able to ascend steep hills. You’ll be surprised how much torque you can get out of this crank. After years of riding, you’ll also be satisfied to know you’ve saved yourself on maintenance cost as derailleurs and gear cassettes can be very pricey. Choosing this bike as a road-only is another valid option. You’ll encounter a better workout in the long run.
Grooves, cracks, and bumps are no match for the 700 x 32 tires fitted on the 32 hole alloy wheels. The extra spokes give strength when it’s needed most: in adverse conditions at high speeds. However, you may want to upgrade to Avenir Schrader tubes and a rim tape as the spoke holes have a tendency to poke into the stock tubes. With this upgraded combo, you’ll wear out the tires before the tubes go. As with most commuter bike tubes, you’ll still need to increase the PSI every couple of weeks. The Avenirs operate best on this bike between 90 and 100 pounds per square inch.
- Rims: Alloy singlewall 32 hole with stainless steel spoke
- Hub Rear: Joytech alloy 16-tooth freewheel and fix gear, bolt on
- Hub Front: Joytech allow high flange, bolt on
- Tires: Kenda Yellow 700 x 32
When it comes time to stop—or avoid an obstacle—utilize the alloy pull brakes connected to the front and rear tries. Stopping has never been an issue. The only item needing replacement is the brake pad, which wore normally over time. You may find yourself manually adjusting the center of the pads after replacement, as they are not dual pivot. This bike comfortably fits riders from 5ft 8in all the way to 6ft tall. It has a standover clearance of 31 inches. If you’re 5ft 7 and lower, you may want to look into a smaller frame.
All in all, this is a great commuter bike for the price. You may purchase it as a “starter bike”, but soon find yourself hanging onto is as the quality is quite good. If the bike requires assembly, be sure to tighten all the nuts as there may be a clicking in the right or left crank at the top of the rotation.