Vince Calvillo talks about the new bikes being offered by KHS Bicycles for 2011.
I struggled for a couple days to write the review of the KHS Lucky 7. I kept transitioning from reviewing the bike to telling stories about the bike. Finally, I’ve decided that’s exactly what I’m going to do. What follows, is the story of my time aboard this bike. The trips, the rides and the races that the KHS Lucky 7 carried me through. Watch for the review in the upcoming weeks.
The Lucky 7 has been my go to gravity bike this year. Team sponsor KHS cycles has been nice enough to grant me extended time with this demo bike, on the condition it is raced and that I share the results.
Though designed for free-ride use, the Lucky 7 is the go to bike for the KHS race team at smaller DH race courses. However a thorough resume is not a prerequisite for hopping aboard the Lucky 7 and getting the most out of the experience. I was a casual mountain biker, I owned one trail bike and rode two or three times a month. I had other hobbies and interests that split my time. From 2006 till November 2008, that was my riding experience. That’s when I met RL through this very blog and eventually the rest of the Mtnbikeriders team. Which led me into single-speeding, then XC racing and eventually DH racing. So as I, a true newbie to downhill, I began my time with the Lucky 7. The first race [Southridge Winter Series, 2/22/2009, 13th out of 14] was a disaster! I did manage to get the durability testing out of the way immediately, though!
The next race [Southridge Winter Series Finals, 3/22/2009, 10th out of 20] was a lot better! With no dirt naps in-store for me. I began to see the capabilities in the bike and the potential I had to become competitive [in Beginner Men 27-34]. Unfortunately, I would be without the Lucky 7 after this point until a shuttle session at Telonics a couple weeks before the 3rd race of the Golden State series in Fontana on 07/12/2009.
In Telonics I got to ride some real DH terrain on the Lucky 7 and it was amazing! It’s just a forgiving bike that soaks up the small and big hits. We had a ton of fun and burned through a set of brake pads in the process! Now onto the race, with a two run format and no “wall” to pedal, this is the closest to a true DH race located in So-Cal nowadays. With a fresh new attitude on DH riding and fresh legs (normally I race XC the day before the DH race), I was able to put together “the run of my life” I recall telling Tony at the bottom. What a rush! To have a clean DH run, one where I honestly felt I rode as fast as I possibly could, clean without any mistakes, I get excited thinking about it! The result was a 3rd place and my first DH podium.
Next up was Mammoth mountain, now this is a true DH race. On a mountain with loose pumice, a nasty rock section, a wall ride and a finish through the 4x track. Mammoth lived up to its name, with a fast race run coming in 4 minutes, the track was over a minute longer than any Fontana run. The Lucky 7 was beautiful here, through the steep sections, over the jumps and pedaling the straights. We were a team, and we were determined to make it to the podium. Well, we did better than podium, we won!
So, now here we are near the year end. The 18th annual Southridge classic has just concluded (though I’m gonna make you wait for that story). Be sure to check out the upcoming Lucky 7 review and review the 1st impression here. It’s funny, we’re so used to reviews coming from expert and pro riders. It’s true that they can push a bike to it’s limits, but couldn’t they ride almost any bike down the Mountain? Wouldn’t a bike we (mountain bike enthusiast) consider stable and comforting seem slow and unresponsive to them? Anyways, if you don’t want to read a review from a Beginner DH racer, don’t worry. I’m moving up to sport the first race next year. I’ve got to say thanks one more time by the way to KHS Bicycles and their our Lucky 7. Don’t forget to check out the KHS SixFifty 606 too.
First Impression by David “Mini-Mal” Sanderson.
The world famous Moe has been tasked with the envious duty of performing in-depth reviews on the KHS DH200 downhill and Lucky 7 freeride bikes. Due to the technical difficulties associated with attempting to ride two bikes at once, I did Moe a favor and spent some time aboard whichever bike he wasn’t on, spending most of the time aboard the Lucky 7.
The Lucky 7 is a value in the freeride bike marketplace, spec’d with a full complement of capable durable components from Truvativ, WTB, Sram, Hayes and FSA and highlighted with a Fox Van R rear coil shock providing 7.3” of travel along with a Marzocchi 66RCV fork giving 180mm up front. I’m also impressed to see Hussefelt cranks, stem and bars by Truvativ on here. Full part specs are provided at the end of this article.
Truvativ Hussefelt cranks
Our testing grounds were the Southridge DH course located in Fontana CA. The course features a couple small rock gardens, several banked and flat turns along with a couple of long pedaling sections. It is by no means a future World Cup stop but Donny Jackson and the crew at Southridge Racing Co have done well with what the terrain has provided them. A small note also, several members of the KHS Downhill team reach for the Lucky 7 at this particular venue.
Practice at Southridge.
The Lucky 7 is by no means a bike I would chose for an all day climbing epic, but with its dual ring drivetrain and horst link suspension and long seat tube adjustment range, you just might find yourself skipping the shuttle line (when its long anyways). You can’t stand up and hammer the pedals efficiently, but if you stay seated and spin you’ll make acceptable progress up hill.
Pointed downhill the Lucky 7 hits its stride, the plush travel absorbing bumps, rocks and ruts smoothly while the slack head angle keeps things stable and is definitely confidence inspiring at speed and allowed me to push harder and faster downhill than I ever could on a trail bike.
Downhill Winter Series
Frame New Design AL6061, 4-bar Horst bearing linkage, 7.3″ travel
Rear Shock FOX Van R, rebound adjust
Fork Marzocchi 66RCV, 180mm, rebound & compression adjust
Headset FSA Pig, 1-1/8″ Threadless
Rims WTB Speed Disc XL, Double wall
Front Hub: Formula Disc, Sealed Bearings, 20mm through axle
Rear Hub: Cassette 12mm x 150mm
Tires WTB Prowler MX 26×2.5, Kevlar bead, 60TPI
Spokes 14G black, 32°
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Rear Derailleur Sram X-7
Shifters SRAM X-7 Trigger
Chain KMC Z9000 w/Missing Link
Crankset Truvativ Hussefelt w/guard, 36/24t, 175mm
Bottom Bracket Truvativ Howitzer outboard bearing splined
Cassette SRAM PG950, 11-34 9-Speeds
Pedals Alloy platform w/crmo axles & replaceable pins
Seatpost Truvativ XR
Saddle WTB Pure V Comp
Handlebar Truvativ Hussefelt, 31.8
Stem Truvativ Hussefelt, 50mm
Grips WTB WeirWolf dual density
Brake Levers Hayes Stroker Trail
Brakes Hayes Stroker Trail, 8″ rotors
Color Gloss White
Frame Size S, M, L
As I promised we’ve got some videos of the new KHS Flagstaff and the Lucky 7.
Here’s the XTC.