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KHS Flagstaff 29er update

Posted by Moe Ramirez On August - 20 - 2008

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Let me begin by saying that this bike freaking ROCKS! I wasn’t 100% on board with the whole 29er thing until I rode this bike. Last Saturday‘s ride at Santiago Oaks was what sold me on this bike. I’ve never ridden Santiago Oaks, and it is definitely a step ‘up’ in technicality from what I’m used to riding. What was so special about the ride? The bike that I was riding has as much travel as an ‘old school’ cross country bike. That’s right, 80 mm in the front and 3.5″ in the back.

However, the bike felt as if I was riding a 5″ travel bike. The video does not do justice to the type of terrain we rode; there were small drop offs, loose rocks, loose dirt and ruts. The Flagstaff did ride over everything and gave me a great sense of confidence as I was going down the trails.

The Flagstaff is not perfect though, I would consider the WTB Exiwolf tires the weak point (sorry WTB fanboys) for the type of trails that I’ve been riding. As some of you know, most of the SoCal trails are really sandy or the dirt is very loose and these tires just don’t grip as good as the Kenda Nevegals that I have on my KHS Solo One 29er.

I’m planning to take this bike to Aliso and to Turnbull Canyon, I want to see what this bike can do on Rock it and on the tight Turnbull Canyon switchbacks.

Oh, Quinn… you don’t know what you are missing, riding a full suspension 29er is way more fun than riding a 29er hardtail :)

9 Responses to “KHS Flagstaff 29er update”

  1. Weyland says:

    Have you ridden any other FS 29ers? Just wondering how it stacks up to the rest in terms of pedaling efficiency, plushness, etc.

  2. The Moe says:

    I test rode the Titus Racer X 29er at Sea Otter on their test demo track. It is kind of hard to compare both since I have dialed in the Flagstaff to how I like to ride my bikes. However, I feel that the Flagstaff’s geometry suits me better.

  3. Weyland says:

    BTW on the Flagstaff, you might want to check that rear brake line. In the picture, it looks rather tight.

  4. flatlander says:

    Hi Moe

    Based on your review I just bought this bike off ebay for $1500… likely considered a bad move from the check the fitment fit fit fit guys… unfortunately the cheapest 29er FS in my locale is ~$2500 and even if it isn’t perfect it will be an upgrade… I am moving up from a late eighty’s Nishki /Norco that has served me well but is a super harsh ride…

    Most of my terrain is Cross Country with a little bit of single track and downhill (literally hills not mtns) and I think I will love what this bike has to offer…

    I will postback with my own review when I get the Bike Thx Tons

  5. Moe says:

    $1500 bucks? Wow what a deal! You won’t be disappointed, I’m considering buying this bike myself after the test period is over.

  6. flatlander says:

    Ya … def too good to pass up… no wrnty or pedals but new from a bike shop I bought the small… they also had a med but I think it is sold already but I can get you their contact info if you want…

  7. flatlander says:

    Rcvd my KHS Flagstaff today and I am very happy with it so far.

    Firstly… It looks great! Big 29er fat tires and a stealth bomber paint job.

    This my first 29er and my first DS or any suspension for that matter. As I was moving it around my garage it definately seems much bigger than my old 26… almost too the point where I was worried that maybe its too big.

    Once I started riding it my thoughts instantly went to …Big is good!! Once it gets rolling it feels smooth and much more nimble than I anticipated. My favorite aspect so far has to be that it rides over anything in its way with ease… I have not done any serious riding in close to 15 years so my skills needs plenty of work but I found myself easily riding up stairs of 4 risers and doing drops of 3 ft with great confidence. I easily rides over curbs without having to pop the front

    At 31 pounds it is not a lightweight but is still 5 pounds lighter than my old Nishiki/Norco and actually feels very responsive with plenty of gears to offset the heft.

    I have tested several ds 26 and a few 29er hardtails during the past month and this bike blows them all away for the flatlander style terrain that I ride. Once I tweak it for my weight etc.I think it will even get better.

    Thx Moe for tipping me off on this bike.

  8. flatlander says:

    I have put over a hundred miles of mixed riding on my KHS Flagstaff and have come to the conclusion that this may be the best all round mountain bike ever built.

    On the smooth it cruises with that big wheel feel that a 26 can’t duplicate.

    Hardpack- loves it

    Mud- insane !! just goes and goes and will not lose traction completely leaves my 26 stuck with the wheels spinning and eventually locked up

    Off road/ditches / feilds drives place that you would never go with a 26

    Drops/jumps- handles 4 footers onto the flat … an experienced rider could really do some big air if the shocks were on the stiff side … this bike feels like it has 5-6 inches of travel under you

    The only place that I find it less steady than a 26 w/ no suspension is in really slow manouvers … all crashes involed slow speed not pedaling and the shock at full action

    It rides so smooth compared to my 26 no susp…

    The exiwolf tires are great all round but a bit of cauton is reqd on loose gravel topping hardpack
    .
    An adjustable lockout on the rear shock would be nice but I think I wouldn’t even need that once I get a bit more air pressure in the shocks both front and rear

    It does almost everything at an above average level IMO. For $2000 I do’t thik you will find a better all rounder.

    I could see myself doing an epic 100 mile multi day trail/ climbs/streams /road etc. journey with this bike and taking less dives than than with a 26er

    Thx

  9. Phil says:

    wheel reflectors are cool

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