KHS ARMY at the Sea Otter Classic

While the best riders in the world were racing (KHS ARMY), the guys and I stopped by the KHS Bicycles booth to say “Que Paso” to our buddy, and KHS Team Manager, Quinton Spaulding.

He started showing us around the tent by starting of with some of the bikes that the Pros ride. Unfortunately “My Girl” Melissa Buhl wasn’t there, but I made sure I got a picture of her KHS Lucky 7.
khs lucky 7

We spent some time with Quinton, or “Q” and he gave us a break down on a few team tips/techniques that helps the KHS Army win race after race. For one, he told us that Kenda provides them up to 200 tires per season and that they don’t ride with a set of tires no more than 1 race. After a race, they replace those for a new set. Plus if they get a flat, they immediately replace the tires, they don’t bother using them afterwards. He also went into great detail about going tubeless. Apparently running tubeless gives the rider a better feel of the terrain and the bike is more responsive, plus he mentioned that you get a “true” feel of what PSI you should be running.

Here’s Q with one of the DH bikes.

Another interesting thing he had told us was that they use the XCT 555, a XC bike in the dual slalom and sometimes as a DH bike. He talked about how the “little” bikes such as the XCT are perfect for smaller courses and the big bikes such as the DH200 are used for courses that are gnarlier and harder.
khs xct 555

I then noticed that they were running Kenda Small Blocks on the rear tire of most of their bikes. If you didn’t know this, (I didn’t either until Jeremy educated me) but the Small Blocks are great fast rolling tires for XC and they’re super light. They’re not the greatest in hooking up, but they’ll propel a rider down the trail really fast. I’m going to take a guess and say that they were running 2.35’s in the back and perhaps a 2.4’s in the front. But the front tire used were some big Kenda DH tires. Q mentioned that they use the fast rolling tires in the back to get the riders moving quickly and explained that when you’re cornering, the front wheel is the one that will dictate where your bike will be. So rule of thumb, fast rolling in the back, and grippy tire in the front!

Here’s Moe and Q with the DH200.

Thanks again to Q for hanging out with us, a super cool guy!

6 Replies to “KHS ARMY at the Sea Otter Classic”

  1. KHS is way, way underrated as a brand. Most shops only stock their low end stuff so they get that sort of vibe. They give you a horst link suspension design without paying Specialized $$$ or dealing with all their propriety suspension stuff. I’m definately considering the KHS flagstaff…29er full suspension for around 2.2k. Can’t beat that.

  2. I agree with you. I own more than a few KHS bikes and not because they are our sponsors, but because I do believe in the brand.

  3. Jeff,

    I’d have to agree with you on this. But in the past 2 years KHS has done a bang up job in getting some major titles under their belt. With Melissa Buhl, Dale Holmes and Kyle Bennett(Free Agent BMX), they’ve done a great job winning a few for KHS.

  4. It was our pleasure Q. You run a tight ship over there at Team KHS.

    By the way, I’ll be trying out that “tubeless” technique you told us about pretty soon!

    Thanks again,

    RL

  5. I once beat that “Quinton” dude back in 2001, just before he turned PRO. Seriously, he is super fast himself, musta been a bad day for him, LOL. Quinton is a super great guy and glad to see his face after so many years. Its also great to run into Melissa on the motorcycle out here in AZ.

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