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blazeburns's picture
Joined: Feb 11 2007
Posts: 7
Advice about buying a used Kestrel KM40

I've been using a Quintana Roo Kilo with pretty low end components (Tiagra) and although I had it fitted, I am aware that it is not optimal for me simply because the frame size wasn't ideal for me.

I'm considering buying a used Kestrel KM40 (2000 model with Dura Ace components that are a couple of years newer. The owner has put about 1,000-1,500 miles a year on it. It is 52 cm and I am about 5'8" - 5'9", the same as the seller.

I've got a limited budget so I want to get the most bang for my buck. Would this be a worthwhile upgrade? I'm concerned that it is a 2000 model and wonder if technology has changed a lot or wear is a factor. Same for the components. Finally, it was 650 wheels which I was told are falling out of favor. Is that a big deal? Any thoughts would be appreciated

Triguy98's picture
Joined: Apr 10 2005
Posts: 3108

Technology hasnt changed a lot, and the KM40 is a decent bike. However, sizing on it is funky, and you would definately need to ride it first before buying.

650 wheels ARE falling out of style (style? Whats that?) which means that 650 race wheel are around for DIRT CHEAP. Theyre no worse than 700s.

How much time do you have on your Kilo and just how is the frame not optimal? Did the fitting get you into a reasonably comfortable position? Is anything else wrong with your bike?

Run through these options before dropping the $$ on a new used bike. And also remember that bikes are pretty cheap anymore and $1700- $2k can buy you one heck of a tri bike.

blazeburns's picture
Joined: Feb 11 2007
Posts: 7

Thanks for the reply Triguy98. In this case, the used bike is most of the way across the country so riding first is not an option. I'm asssuming you'd say forget it then. I just figured if the guy is my height, the bike would be pretty close to start with and wouldn't need a lot of fussing to get it to fit me properly.

To answer your question, I've had the Quintana Roo for about three or four years and did my first triathlon last year. I intended to get into it sooner, but had to wait unti fate introduced me to someone who taught me how to swim without injuring my shoulder. I don't feel particularly comfortable in it as I feel like I can't breathe properly or get as much leverage in my legs when I'm in the aero position. I'm no expert though and don't know if it gets any better than what I've got. I was just told by the bike store guy that it wasn't optimal. We tried to get it as close as possible using a special order stem and turning it upside down. By the way, just to support what you were saying about buying used, that's how I got my current bike.

The other thing I thought I might appreciate besides a better fit and weight savings was the smoother ride you supposedly get from carbon bikes. The Kilo can feel pretty jarring sometimes and my butt can be pretty sore for days after a good ride. Maybe that's just how it is too, but again, I don't have experience with other bikes to know if I should expect more.

By the way, do you have an opinion about how much wear components will take before they need to be replaced? I imagine the main areas that will experience wear would be the drive train.

Thanks again!

Triguy98's picture
Joined: Apr 10 2005
Posts: 3108

I would forget it unless you can find someone locally willing to let you hop onto their Kestrel. It MIGHT fit, but if it doesnt...

Cassettes, chains, and chainrings are the first to go and are (usually) easily replacable. Cassettes and chains should actually be replaced together and when the chain is stretched-
Chainrings usually last longer, needing to be replaced when dull or heavily chipped.

Derailleurs and shifters should last quite the bit longer, but the lower level components tend to not last as long as the upper level stuff. I just had to replace my bar end shifters after 2 years due to failure. My 105 components are still going strong.

Carbon does add a smoother ride, but if you experience pain for a few days after a ride, its not the material. Its fit and clothing. Decent shorts with a lubricant (body glide or Butt Butt'r) worn while riding in a decent position on a saddle the fits you should not bring any pain. If you have good shorts, and are riding the stock saddle, I would go with a new saddle, you can always put the new saddle on a new bike later. Carbons better ride comes from the reduction of road vibration, not big shock absorbtion.
And remember that the KMs are older and not made with the top of the line materials and processes that we have today. Many modern aluminum framed bikes may be lighter.

Get a FIST fit locally and get some measurements that will help you in your bike search. Heres some solid bikes availble fairly cheap:
For carbon, you are looking at close to $3k new.

Good luck.

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