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Review: KHS DH200 Downhill bike

Posted by Moe Ramirez On April - 26 - 2009

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Brief Background:I never considered myself much of a “technical” rider, nor a downhill rider. After RL and I created Team MtnBikeRiders.com, I focused on racing SuperD and didn’t consider downhill, especially since I didn’t have a downhill bike. Since half of the team were downhill riders, I picked up the phone and called my buddy Vince Calvillo from KHS Bicycles and asked him if he had a Downhill bike for me to review, he asked me what size and he said “I have one, come on over and pick it up”.

Specs:

Frame: 6061, 8.5 travel with 4 bar Horst bearing linkage & ISCG mount
Rear Shock: FOX DHX 5.0, Pro Pedal, Rebound adjust, Bottom out resistance
Fork: FOX 40RC2, 203mm, External Adjust: rebound, preload and low and hi speed adjust Headset:Cane Creek Pig, 1-1/8″ Threadless
Rims: Sun Ringle Single Track, Welded
Hubs Front: Formula Disc, Sealed Bearing, 20mm thru-axle
Rear: Cassette 12mm x 150mm
Tires: John Tomac Nevegal 26×2.5 F/2.35 R, kevlar bead
Spokes: 14G Stainless, Black, 32°
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Saint
Shifters: SRAM X.7 Trigger
Chain: KMC Z9000
Crankset : Truvativ Holzfeller OCT Open Core, 170mm x 40T
Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Howitzer outboard bearing splined
Cassette: SRAM PG950 11-26, 9 Speed
Pedals: Alloy platform w/replaceable pins
Seatpost: Truvativ XR
Saddle: WTB Rocket V Comp
Handlebar: Truvativ Holzfeller, 31.8mm, Triple Butted
Stem: Truvativ Holzfeller, 60mm
Grips: PowerTools dual density
Brake Levers: Hayes Stroker Trail
Brakes: Hayes Stroker Trail, 8 ” rotors
Color: Flat Black
Frame Size S, M (Small Tested)
Click here for geometry specs.

The KHS DH200 comes very well spec’d, check out the top of the line suspension components:


Fox 40RC2


FOX DHX 5.0

Thumbs Up:As mentioned, the KHS200 comes with some of the most sought after DH suspension components, the Fox fork and rear shock were very plush and I never bottomed out either of them. This bike is built for the harsh abuse of downhill riding, after a few mishaps, the frame is still in awesome condition, no dings or dents.

The bike’s geometry and suspension suited me quite well, I was always confident going over rocks and rough terrain. The bike also behaved predictably on turns and G-outs, I basically pointed the bike to where I wanted to go without much worry.

Braking was provided by the Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, they never faded and they never failed. It is always good to know that your brakes will do their job specially on a downhill bike.

Thumbs Down:I mentioned that this bike is built like a tank, well, unfortunately it also weighs like a tank, it tip the scale over 40 lbs! To me, I didn’t care about the weight when I was going downhill, but when I had to push the bike to the starting line or when I had to pedal on the infamous wall, I really felt the weight. I also noticed that the grips that came with the bike were not lock-ons, I felt that the lock-ons were essential on those white knuckle descents. I also had mixed feelings about the Kenda Nevegals, they worked well most of the time, but there were times that they felt a little slippery.

Bottom line: Yes, at a MSRP of $5,299 this bike is not cheap, but consider that a beginner like myself was able to podium 3 times, an experienced racer will definitely be able to push this bike to its limits (ask Melissa Buhl!). You may also consider KHS’ R.A.C.E.R program, their grassroots racing program not only helps up and coming racers, but enthusiasts as well! So would I recommend this bike? Heck ya, in fact, I loved racing it so much that it has become a part of my permanent stable of bikes!

I would really like to thank Vince Calvillo from KHS bicycles for trusting me and giving me the chance to test this awesome bike and discovering the exhilarating sport of Downhill racing.

10 Responses to “Review: KHS DH200 Downhill bike”

  1. Wesley Castro says:

    Hey guys considering where we race and our Southern Cal terrain after reading this review what do you think of maybe going with the Lucky 7? Just thinking due to wieght and pedaling with the right build it should be lighter than the full downhill rig…any thoughts.

  2. Wesley Castro says:

    By the way dam you look sexy on that bike MOE J/K good write up.

  3. Moe says:

    I actually test rode the Lucky 7 at Southridge. I felt that the Geometry didn’t suit me as well as the DH200′s. Although the Lucky 7 is lighter, I found it to be more of a handful to maneuver, in other words, I had to to pick a better line than if I was riding the DH200.

    Now, the KHS racing team’s Lucky 7s are fitted with Manitou’s El Dorado, I’ll see if I can convince one of them to let me ride one so I can feel the difference.

  4. Moe says:

    Wes, if you ever want to test out the DH200, just let me know.

  5. Wesley Castro says:

    Moe I would like to test the DH200 at the next Fontana Race to get a feel for it and if you can maybe a lucky 7????

  6. Wesley Castro says:

    By the way thanks for the help!!!!!!!!

  7. peter says:

    i love downhill riding

  8. ali eftikhar says:

    thats a nice ride dude ive have a specialized big 2005 model

  9. Johnny says:

    Looks like you had allot of fun wish I could ride one, how was the pedal feed back

  10. Moe says:

    I never messed around with the shock’s propedal, but I did not have an issue pedaling up some of the small hills or flats where I raced. (Southridge and Tehachapi)

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