Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

The other night I swung past the Newtown workshop of Sean Killen, one of Sydney’s new contingent of custom frame builders. He’s been run off his feet with repairs and frame orders, but this all-roader is one he prepared earlier, and it’s got a great story behind it.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Last year, Sean built two frames, for himself and this one for a mate to ride as they journeyed 800kms from Vancouver, Canada, across the line, down through Washington State to Portland, Oregon.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Sean is over 6 feet tall and his frame was designed for his measurements but the other was created to be used as a demo bike when they returned, so was of more standard proportions. For their trip, both were left in a raw, unpainted state.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

After their pilgrimage, which took them back to the Portland faculty of the United Bicycle Institute, where Sean studied under the tutelage of Tony Pereira, the bikes were stripped, cleaned and prepped, and the demo bike was rebuilt.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Its tenure as a demo was a success: the first rider ordered a new Killenbike and the second wanted to own it for himself. Its career so far has been as a commuter from Sydney’s south-western suburbs over the Harbour Bridge to North Sydney.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

However, the frame was made for adventure, and there’s no denying its capabilities. There are no rack mounts but the Canada / US trip was completed just with frame bags and a positive attitude, despite the torrential rain that comes with the territory.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

The frame was designed around Compass’ 48mm Switchback Hill rubber, although the wheelbase and trail were tweaked to combat the ‘slug’ effect created by these tires. Needless to say, it’s still a quick and responsive bike.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Sean fillet brazed the frame with Columbus Life tubing, a light, and oversized selection, with butted sections that are only 0.6mm thick so he used Silver Fillet Pro for the material, rather than bronze. which is stronger, and requires much less heat to flow.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Killenbike focuses mainly on two types of bikes: these all-road models that use up to 48mm tires and a quick geometry to overcome the drag these tires are known for, and more rugged bikepacking rigs with up to 2.5″ tires.

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

The bikepacking frames are no ‘chook chasers’, aimed at self-supported enduro rides and can, Sean tells us, “run long distances quickly on double track, fire roads, open countryside, and can handle head and side winds. But if there’s a 100km stretch of tarmac to tap out en route it can handle that as well, at an acceptable pace.”

In its new guise, Killenbike’s all-roader “is perfect for a mixed-surface enduro race, with plenty of bottle cages, a carbon Curve fork, and a suitable front triangle for a frame bag. The Paragon Machine Works Polydrops have inserts that can be swapped out for four types of transmission, two wheel widths, three axle types, three hanger styles, and three brake caliper mount types — future proofing your frame.”

Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster

Peter at Star Enamel painted the frame in Bondi Blue but seeing as Killenbikes are Handmade In Newtown, I’d describe it more as ‘Newtown Jets Blue‘. And I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more from this local builder.

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Cool Your Jets: Killenbike All-Roadster