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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”.
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 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.