Prior to 2009, the widely agreed-upon best entry-level flatland bicycle at the time was DK’s Signal model. Since that time, DK has renamed the bicycle the Opsis, and they’ve made so many betterments to it that it really does give reason for the different name (as well as the increase in cost from about $300 for the Signal to about $375 for the Opsis). Since the Opsis is the descendant of the Signal that I rode, my perception of the Opsis is clearly in comparison to its forerunner that I rode for two years before eventually switching it out.
The Signal was already thought a great deal for beginning riders with the features it had already: CRMO main frame, CRMO 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 fine, until the threaded 12-tooth cog eventually cracked after a year.)
If the Signal was a good deal, then the Opsis is a great one. There is no complete flatland bicycle in the less-than-$400 range that even comes close to the feature set offered here. DK switched from the Signal to the Opsis in 2009 and improved its features year by year until arriving at the 2012 model, which boasts a part list that is downright shocking when I see all the things that were improved over those from my old ride:
Redone frame with integrated headset and sealed mid bb
160mm three-piece CRMO cranks
Plastic pedals instead of metal ones
1.85″ tires instead of fat ones that were more than 2″ wide
Plastic pivotal seat
Nice slender pegs
14t rear cog instead of 12t
Sealed front hub
Complete bicycle weight of only about 28 pounds
Definitely a nice set of upgrades for only an $80 price bump. And again, the Signal was already the widely agreed-upon best deal for a beginner flatland bicycle as it was already.
But a review wouldn’t be complete without some flaws pointed out, so I won’t exclude that part of it. The one thing I’m glad to have gotten on my Signal – which doesn’t come on the Opsis – is a pair of chrome rims. The Alienation chromed PBR rims that I got have since been replaced with (presumably cheaper) colored ones. This doesn’t mean much for brakeless users; but considering that the Opsis is an entry-level bicycle that comes stock with brakes, I see this as the one downgrade from before.
Also: if I were to buy an Opsis, I would switch out the brake pads for some better ones (ideally a set of Odyssey clears). The stock brakes are fine, but the brake pads that come with them are terrible.
But that’s all there is to frown upon here. If you don’t have $650+ to blow on a higher-level complete – and if you want a brand-new bicycle instead of purchasing a pre-owned one – then the Opsis comes out on top.