KHS Flagstaff First Impression

We finally took possession of the much awaited KHS Flagstaff Full Suspension 29er yesterday. Unfortunately, the only test bike they had was a medium and the bike was a little too small for Jeremy, our resident 29er expert. Luckily, the bike fits me just fine so the duties of testing/reviewing this bike will fall upon me (yeah, I know, you feel bad for me).

Let’s begin by checking out the specs:

Frame: 29″ AL 7005 w/4-bar Horst bearing linkage, 3.5″ Travel w/RockShox Monarch 2.1 air shock
Fork: 29″ Rock Shox Reba SL 80mm, Dual Air, Motion Control, External Rebound, Internal Floodgate, Compression adjust to ‘Lock’
Headset: Tioga ZST2 Threadless, Zero Stack
Rims: WTB Speed Disc29 All MTN w/eyelets
Hubs Front: Alloy Disc Rear: Shimano Disc
Tires: WTB Exiwolf Race, 29×2.3, Folding
Spokes: 14G Black Stainless, 32°
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X-9
Shifters: SRAM X-7 Trigger
Chain: KMC Z9000
Crankset: Truvativ Firex Giga X Pipe, 44/32/22
Bottom Bracket: Truvativ GXP outboard cartridge bearing
Cassette: SRAM PG950 11-34, 9-Speed
Pedals: Wellgo W41 Clipless
Seatpost: Truvativ XR
Saddle: WTB Silverado Race
Handlebar: Truvativ XR 31.8, Triple Butted
Stem: Truvativ XR 31.8, 3D Forged
Grips: WTB Weirwolf Dual Density
Brake Levers: Hayes Stroker Ryde
Brakes: Hayes Stroker Ryde Hydraulic, 6″ rotors
Color: Flat Black
Frame Sizes: S, M, L
MSRP: $2,399

Not a bad spec sheet if you ask me. Highlights include the Hayes Stroker Ryde Hydros, 4-bar Horst Suspension, X7 shifters and a X9 rear derailleur.

Wasting no time, I took the KHS Flagstaff for its maiden ride this morning. I rode the world famous Fullerton Loop, a perfect trail to get acquainted with a new bike. I was supposed to have ridden with my 2 other compadres, RL and Jeremy, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up riding solo. This means that I won’t be able to post action photos, but we will post them on the next update.

I’m not a stranger to the big 29er wheeled bikes; I’ve owned a Gary Fisher Cobia 29er and I currently own a KHS Solo One 29er. I also believe that 29er bikes have advantages and disadvantages, so I’m not all for them nor I’m against them.

OK, now that I’ve given you the skinny on me, here are a few observations on the bike. Aesthetically speaking, the bike looks bad ass, the flat black paint job makes it look like a stealth bomber. The big wheels are imposing, you CAN tell that this bike is a 29er. The Rockshox suspension is easy to set up, simply look at their chart, match your weight (be honest) and pump the required PSI.

On the trail, the bike felt a little stiff and responsive, I was able to really hammer the flat singletrack section of the loop. Going up, well, being spoiled from riding a light hardtail, I really felt the bike’s weight. No biggie, this bike has plenty of gears. The bike behaved rather well downhill, I didn’t have to worry about picking the best line, but I didn’t let it rip like I do on my 6″ travel bike. Although the bike has only 3.5 inches of rear suspension, it didn’t leave me asking for more. I will see how this bike does on more challenging terrain.

I would like to thank Mr. Calvillo from KHS bicycles for giving us the chance to test this bike, we know that this bike is in high demand and they are hard to come by.