The Torker brand of bicycles traces its roots back to 1977, when it began producing BMX bicycle frames. There have been a lot of changes since then, and the Torker brand is now home to a wide variety of bicycles and unicycles.
New for this year in Torker’s commuter lineup is the Torker KB2, which many people are calling the Torker Kickback due to its unique way of shifting (more on that below). Once I read the initial news about the KB2 I was eager to learn more about it. I’ve had the bike for a little while now, but for now I’ll go over the basics about the KB2 and then follow up with another riding review a little later. So, here’s my preliminary Torker Kickback review:
Torker KB2 Kickback Bicycle Specifications
The Torker KB2 frame is made from chromoly steel, and the fork is made from high tensile steel. The KB2 comes with mounting holes for installing hand brakes, fenders and a rear rack. The bike comes with a removable chainguard also, which is nice to have on a commuter bike, and the KB2 also has mounting bosses for two water bottle cages (or 1 cage and a frame-mounted pump). The KB2 has some very sturdy wheels with Alex rims, and big 700×38 Kenda tires with a meaty tread for traction.
What’s really intersting about the KB2 is its “kickback” gearing. The bike has a 2-speed Sturmey Archer hub, and you shift simply by kicking the pedals back slightly (before engaging the brake). The low gear gives you an easier gear for starting out and for climbing hills, while the higher gear is good for cruising speeds. Braking on the Torker KB2 is handled by a coaster brake in the rear hub — you just push the pedals all the way back and the brake engages.
The nice thing about all shifting and braking being done with your feet is that there are no cables, shifters, brake levers or derailleurs on the bike — so you get the clean look of a single speed or fixed gear bike, but with two gears and a brake. Besides the clean look, the lack of all of those parts mean that there is not much to maintain or to worry about when parking the bike. The KB2’s steel handlebars go well with the clean look, as does the Torker racing riveted saddle.
I’ve had some fun on the bike already, and will be giving a full report on riding the KB2 in my next review, so be sure to check back with us for our next Torker KB2 review. UPDATE: My riding review of the KB2 is now posted here: Torker KB2 Riding Review. Also, you can read more about the KB2 on the Torker bicycles website.