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Bike Review: DK Opsis


 When I (re-)started riding flatland in 2008, the consensus best entry-level flatland bike at the time was the DK Signal.   Since that time, DK has renamed the bike the Opsis, and they've made so many changes and improvements to it over the years that it really does warrant the different name (as well as the bump in price from about $290 for the Signal to about $370 for the Opsis).  Since the Opsis is the clear descendant of the Signal that I had, my view of the Opsis is naturally in comparison to its predecessor that I rode for two years before switching it out for a Suelo last year.

2008 DK Signal 
The Signal was already considered a great deal for beginning riders with the features it had at the time: chromoly main frame, chromoly fork with tapered legs, front and rear brakes with gyro, two pairs of pegs, and even a Taska unsealed freecoaster.  (For all the bad things that people say about the Taska, I actually thought it worked okay, until the threaded 12-tooth cog eventually cracked and I upgraded to a Nankai.)

2012 DK Opsis

If the Signal was a good deal, then the Opsis is a mind-blowing one.   There is no complete flatland bike in the sub-$400 range that even comes close to the feature set offered here.  DK transitioned from the Signal to the Opsis in 2009 and upgraded its features year by year until arriving at the 2012 model, which boasts componentry that is downright depressing when I see all the things that were improved over those from my old Signal:

  • Revamped frame with integrated headset and sealed mid-size bottom bracket
  • 160mm three-piece chromoly cranks instead of one-piece with American bb
  • Plastic pedals instead of painful metal ones
  • 1.85" tires instead of big fat ones that were more than 2" wide
  • Plastic pivotal seat (mine had rails and the old heavy-style seat guts)
  • Nice slender pegs, which I prefer over the fat ones from the Signal
  • 14t rear cog instead of 12t, which makes for an easier gear ratio for riding out, as well as being presumably stronger than the 12t that cracked on me
  • Sealed front hub instead of loose ball bearings
  • Complete bike weight of only 27.8 lbs, compared to 30+ for the Signal

Definitely an impressive set of upgrades for only an $80 price increase. And again, the Signal was already the consensus best deal for an entry-level flatland bike as it was to begin with.

So if it sounds like I've drunk the DK Opsis Kool-Aid: I have, as have many other riders in the market for an entry-level flatland complete, who agree that it is delicious.

But a review wouldn't be a review without some nitpicking, so I won't exclude that here.  The one thing I'm glad to have gotten on my Signal - which doesn't come on an Opsis - is a pair of chrome rims.   The Alienation chromed PBR rims that I got have since been replaced with (presumably cheaper) colored PBR rims.  This doesn't mean a thing for brakeless riders; but considering that the Opsis is a beginners' bike that comes stock with front and rear brakes, I see this as the one downgrade from the Signal.

Also: if I were to buy an Opsis, I would definitely switch out the brake pads for some better ones (ideally a set of Odyssey clear pads).  The stock Tektro brakes are fine, but the brake pads that come with them suck.

But that's all there is to naysay here.   If you don't have $600+ to blow on a higher-level KHE/Colony/St. Martin complete - and if you want a brand-new bike instead of purchasing a used one - then there isn't any competition here.   The Opsis is it.

Get the best price on a DK Opsis by clicking here.



FRAME: DK Flatland design, 4130 Chromoly 19" tt
FORK: DK 4130 Chromoly (1-1/8")
HANDLEBAR: DK 2 pc Chromoly
STEM: DK Alloy 1-1/8" Front Load
HEADSET: Integrated, sealed cartridge 1-1/8"
DETANGLER: Driving Force
BRAKE: Tektro Frt & Rear Alloy U-brake w/angled brake arms
CRANK: 4130 Chromoly 3pc 160mm
BB: Mid sealed w/ 8 splined Chromoly spindle
PEDALS: DK Plastic
WHEELS: 36H Alienation PBR rims w/Sealed 10mm front and 14mm Freecoaster rear hub with a 14T Cog
SEAT: DK Pivotal
POST: Alloy 25.4 mm Pivotal 300mm length
TIRES: Kenda Street design, 20"X 1.85" front & rear
PEGS: DK Alloy flatland pegs (front and rear)