Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

It’s only been a week since we featured the Bondi Blue Killenbike All-Roadster, but things have been buzzing around the Newtown workshop of Sean Killen, and Bart’s Merlot Red Dirt Tourer is too good not to share.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

During the week, Bart works as a lead instructor at Sydney’s BikeWise, a community-based organization that teaches kids and adults how to ride on Sydney’s ever-growing network of bicycle infrastructure.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

He also teaches maintenance courses and wrenches on various programmes organized by the City of Sydney and InnerWest Council. Eventually, he got to know the crew at Omafiets Dutch Bicycles and was enlisted as a mechanic.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

In early 2017 Bart was looking for a better-fitting and geared replacement for his old rigid single speed 26″ Voodoo Wanga MTB, something with 650b tires that he could take could handle light touring and bikepacking.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

After tossing up between some standard offerings, he got talking to Sean Killen about a custom build, to really crystallize all of his requirements. A test ride on a Killenbike All-Road bike sealed the deal.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

Sean built his dream bike: a fillet brazed Columbus Zona-tubed frame, a matching fork with mounts for panniers and racks, and a custom stem from Paragon hardware — and Bart built it up with top-shelf components.

With a background of exclusively riding single speed bikes, a 1×11 drivetrain would deliver more than enough gears, so he chose a hydraulic SRAM Force 1 group, paired with White Industries’ bombproof G30 cranks.

“Dynamo lighting was a must,” Bart says. “I chose the super-reliable Son 28 thru axle hub internally wired to a Son taillight and the new Sinewave Cycles Beacon front light.

“The cockpit is made up of parts I trust and find comfortable. The handlebars took some time to decide upon, but I bit the bullet and chose the new 46cm Thomson Gravel bars which are similar to the Salsa Cowchippers.

“The wheels are made up of Son 28 dynamo and a White Industries XMR hub laced to Velocity Blunt SS rims, via DT Swiss competition spokes. You may note the large T47 bottom bracket shell, which allowed us to route the rear dynamo wiring and rear brake hose through the shell with miles of room for the 30mm spindle.”

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

Although allusions of bikes to beautiful cars can get somewhat clichéd, Bart’s new Killenbike bears a close resemblance to Toyota’s Landcruiser stock colour of Merlot Red, but the true story behind it is most definitely two-wheeled.

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

“It took me a while to pick out a colour,” he continues, “but after my girlfriend suggested maroon I instantly thought of my Paul Components t-shirt which is a mix of maroon and a cream kind of white.

“I was lucky to have Peter at Star Enamel paint the frame, fork, and stem. Initially, it didn’t look like he would be available as it was coming to the end of December and Peter was temporarily stopping business, as he needed two shoulder reconstructions from so many years as a painter.

“But Peter managed to fit me in just before he closed up shop. Rather than going off a chart, Peter prefers to reference something physical to base the colour on.

“So of course I happily left my Paul Components t-shirt with him. The day Sean and I came to pick up the frame, I was blown away by how well he matched the colours!”

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer

It’s a solid rig, destined for thousands of exploratory kilometres through the Australian countryside — and wherever else Bart’s journeys will take him. Looks like we really are accruing Aussie-made bikes built for Aussie conditions.

Killenbike Website | Instagram

King Off The Street: Killenbike 27.5 Dirt Tourer