KHS has targeted the budget-minded rider from its inception, even defines itself as a creator of affordable and quality bikes in its company profile. This doesn’t stop them from having a few fun flourishes now and again. For one thing, they sponsor pro riders and development teams across the country, and we got the pleasure of looking at the company’s latest offerings at Interbike 2014 from the viewpoint of one of the KHS development teams.
For another, it looks as if KHS is looking to expand their high end road lineup over to cyclocross and adventure races. In 2015, they will release a full carbon fiber, all-around adventure bike called the Grit 440, and look to unveil their CX550, which could only be described as KHS’s super cyclocross bike.
The Grit 440 will be priced at $2099, and hits a niche rarely explored by many other companies: the customers who put a premium on the grade of carbon fiber while saving money on the group set. The frame can boast having high-modulus T700, which is a mid-range grade of carbon often found on much more expensive bikes.
With a nearly horizontal top tube and a bottom bracket height of 28.5cm, the Grit 440 can certainly do double duty as a cyclocross bike. The bike comes equipped with Tiagra all-around, although the handlebars sport Tektro’s RL721 interceptor brake levers and the calipers are Tektro MD-C400 mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors. The Maxxis Raze 33c could work as a commuter-friendly tire and perhaps serve a beginner well on an adventure race, although something with more bite could be used in the deep mud of cyclocross.
The KHS Grit 440 will come in four sizes: 51, 53, 55, 57.
While we got to look at KHS’s familiar CX300, which is their aluminum cyclocross model which now uses Shimano’s 11-speed 105 drivetrain (retailing at $2,199), the bigger news was KHS’s entryway into high performance, carbon fiber cyclocross bikes.
Starting in 2015, KHS will also have the CX500 and the CX550, the latter looking like it’s race ready right from the get go. The CX500, priced at $3,099, will come with Shimano 105 as well as hydraulic disc brakes and a full T700 carbon frame and fork.
The CX550, pictured below, takes some large cues from other players as it utilizes SRAM’s CX1 system. Its frame uses one of the highest grade levels of carbon fiber, T800, and especially intriguing is the choice of tires: Challenge’s Chicane open tubulars. The bike also comes built with American Classic Hurricane wheels with the standard quick release system, and will be priced at $4,299.