When you have talent at the level of Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello on your DH team, it comes as no surprise that they are almost continually testing new product. It seems that every time we’ve crossed paths with the KHS team they have been testing something new and always happy and willing to strike up a conversation. Recently while at Winter Press Camp in Westlake Village, CA we had a chance to do some riding with the Logan, Kevin, and Quinton, as well as check out what was new at KHS.
At first glance, the bike above looks fairly inconspicuous since it actually looks like a production bike. However, once you realize the frame lacks the typical graphics of a production bike you get the feeling that it may be something new…
Already ridden to victory at the second round of the Southridge USA Winter Series at Fontana by Binggeli, Aiello wasn’t far behind in 4th (the first round they were 1 and 2). Even though the team has been riding the bike for light downhill duties, what we’re looking at is a prototype for the 2016 7500 – a 160mm travel enduro machine. Just by looks alone you can tell that this bike has a longer front center than the current 7500/7200 line which is in line with the current trend for aggressive geometry.
Compared to the current 7500, the prototype adds a number of new forgings to keep the weight down but strength and stiffness up. Other than a new forged rocker link, the suspension looks mostly unchanged with a floating lower link and a pierced seat tube/shock tunnel that is piggy back compatible.
At the back, we find different dropouts which in Kevin’s case do not have a quick release. The current 7200/7500 models have replaceable dropouts which use two bolts on each side to hold them in place. While you won’t be able to replace the entire dropout on the new models, it will likely be lighter and again, stronger. The rear brake mount has been changed to post mount as well. Since this is the same bike that Kevin uses for cross county rides like the hilly spin we were treated to by Team Ojio, it’s not surprising to see a Wolf Tooth Components 40t cassette adapter to match the WTC chainring up front.
Now on ENVE wheels, Kevin was rolling 27.5″ prototype test samples simply labeled #427 Dark 6.
Prototypes are always fun, but KHS also has a few new bikes that should be more exciting – should you happen to be extremely tall. Designed by the renowned Lennard Zinn, KHS is now offering the BNT and Flite 747 for riders taller than 6’2″. Designed by Lennard and built by KHS, both bikes sell complete for less than $2,000 so they won’t exactly compete with Lennard’s custom Zinn Cycles which start around that price for the frame only. While Lennard has been offering big bikes for years, the partnership with KHS is exciting since tall riders will have a chance to buy a bike that actually fits and won’t immediately break at an affordable price.
The BNT (Big and Tall) is a 29″ wheeled hardtail that will be sold in 2XL and 3XL frame size. I can literally ride in the frame’s front triangle. Built from Reynolds 520 double butted chromoly, the bike uses a smart build kit and 36h Stan’s rapid rims to ensure it will hold up to big guy abuse. Additional components include a 400mm long, 29.8mm seat post, 720mm handlebar, and a KHS forged 2 piece double crankset with 210mm arms. Available now, the BNT retails for $1,969.
Using the same build philosophy, the KHS Flite 747 is a monster steel road bike. Also available in 2XL and 3XL, the largest frame size will measure out to a 68 cm frame. Built with Reynolds DB chromoly and a full chromoly fork, an enormous head tube ensures riders can find the right position. Like the BNT, the wheels features 36 spoke Weinmann XP Elite, double wall rims as well as a custom KHS 210mm double 52/36 crankset, 46 cm FSA Gossamer handlebars, a 130mm stem, and 400mm seat post to fit. The Shimano 105 build will sell for $1899.