Of all the booths at the 2023 Taipei Cycle Show, KS Suspension had the deepest collection of as-yet-unreleased parts that we can’t wait to ride. From new gravel and XC/trail suspension forks to THREE new dropper seatposts, plus a very nice looking remote lever and carbon gravel drop bar, here’s everything it has launching this year …
KS GTC Gravel Suspension Fork
Much sleeker than the early prototypes it had shown previously, the new KS GTC gravel fork gets a mixed material lower with alloy at the bottom and carbon fiber uppers and brake arch.
It’ll offer a 40mm travel model with a 50mm option rumored.
It has an air spring with the negative chamber filled via a check valve as you set positive air pressure. An external low-speed compression adjustment with a lockout lever sits on the top of the right side.
A low-speed rebound adjustment is on the bottom, with holes for inserting a small Allen wrench as a lever for easier turning.
It gets a 12×100 thru-axle with a slide-out lever, giving it a stealth look but tool-free use. Claimed weight is 1,385 g with uncut steerer and without axle. Included weight with thru-axle is 1,445 g.
The release date is mid-summer with a $639 target price.
Rage-iS Suspension Dropper Seatpost
Aimed at both gravel and XC riders, this post is now available. We spotted this at Sea Otter a couple of years ago as a prototype, but now it’s added a 27.2 option in two travel lengths to fit more bikes.
The Rage-iS (integrated Suspension) combines a full air system with an air suspension spring to keep it light. A Schrader valve lets you use any shock pump to adjust the spring pressure, which gives lets you set the effective travel. More air makes it firmer, and less soft, delivering up to 30mm travel depending on how much pressure you put in there. KS recommends 15mm sag as a starting point.
The Rage-iS’ suspension works at all points in its drop travel too. Whether you’re topped out or sitting somewhere in the middle of its travel, the suspension is still active, and top-out and bottom-out bumpers keep it from bumping too hard in either direction.
It’s available in 27.2/30.9/31.6 diameters, with the 27.2 getting 65mm and 100mm drop options. MSRP is a very friendly $199 (without remote).
KS offers a variety of remotes, but the KG Drop 2.0 shown here ($59) is ergonomically amazing for drop bars, making it easy to use in multiple hand positions. Other remotes range from $50-75.
Ether Gravel Cockpit
KS has been making cockpit parts for a while, for both mountain bike and gravel. The forged alloy stem ($75) is basic-looking, but very lightweight at just 86-103 g, depending on size. It’s offered in 70/90/110mm lengths, with 6º and 17º rises for 31.8mm handlebars.
The Ether carbon gravel handlebar is more visually interesting and backs it up with impressive features, like internal cable and hose routing ports are large enough that you don’t need to cut the olive and barb off brake hose lines to fit them through. If you’ve ever had to do this, you know how nice of a feature this is.
The tops have a slight rise and rear sweep for an ergo, aero hand position when you want it, and 18º flare to the drops when it’s time to party. The Ether bar is $225 and comes in 42/44cm widths; claimed weight is 230-235 g.
KS M3.6 Inverted MTB Fork
Working on a basic inverted fork for eMTB, built on 36mm diameter lower stanchions for stiffness. Its chassis comes from a SASO design, which is typically sold as OEM for budget bikes (often unbranded), but this one gets the KS touch to bring performance up to enthusiasts’ standards.
Specs are slim as it’s still in development, but here are the basics …
The damping cartridge will have an external lockout switch (blue) with an adjustable blowoff platform (gold). Called a “sprint” lockout, the blowoff adjustment lets you set how much (or little) of an impact is needed to start the fork moving when locked out.
Low-speed rebound damping is externally adjustable on the bottom of the right leg. It’s a dual air spring, with independent positive and negative chambers that each get their own valves so you can fine-tune the initial feel and sag. KS is still deciding on travel specs, but leaning toward 80/100/120mm options.
LEV Circuit Wireless Dropper Seatpost & Everglyde Coating
The upcoming KS Circuit LEV wireless dropper post builds on the proven internals of its popular mountain bike LEV series but gives it a fully wireless control.
The post gets a removable battery pack, just pull it out to charge.
The remote itself uses a replaceable CR2032 battery behind its incredibly short-throw button. A flat thumb “lever” has its pivot far from the button underneath, and takes barely any motion to actuate it. There’s still a firm “click,” but it’s very quick to hit it with less overall thumb motion required to drop the post.
No word on price, weights, or availability for this one yet.
KS’ new Everglyde anodizing is impregnated with Teflon, which is more slippery and avoids seal stiction than typical anodized finishes. And it works with dry lube, so it stays cleaner.
KS could have done a variety of colors, but went with gold to match Fox’s Kashima forks (but it’s not a Kashima coating), helping its posts blend in on top-spec bikes. It’ll be available next spring 2024, across the entire LEV dropper post series.
A30 Carbon Youth Suspension Fork
As KS moves into a more complete suspension lineup, it hasn’t forgotten about the kids. Borrowing the carbon-over-alloy lowers design from the GTC, the A30 is a high-performance (yet affordable) fork for youth bikes.
It’s a simple air spring with basic adjustments but offers the tighter tolerances and smoother action of premium full-size forks we all ride. Available for 20-, 24-, and 26-inch wheel sizes, pricing and weights are TBA.
Original KS SuperNatural Dropper Seatposts
KS was one of the earliest brands to create a production dropper seatpost. Like any brand, early models started off with on-the-post remote levers followed by external remote cables hitting the top of the post.
Above, the first SuperNatural dropper post with a top-mounted lever. Great for dropping it before a big descent, but …
… the SuperNatural Remote 27.2 gave us a remote lever for more aggressive use without having to stop. Part of the mechanism was kept outboard to give it room to put the early tech into a slim 27.2 post.