Preview: KHS Flite 250

Well, I had to return the Flite 100 that I reviewed last month. As I was checking out the KHS Bike Catalog, one bike caught my eye: The KHS Flite 250, an entry level Flat-bar steel (yep, steel!) road bike with a carbon fiber fork.

Here’s the spec list:

Frame: CrMo 4130 Double butted 3-main w/carrier bosses
Fork: Carbon w/Alloy steerer
Headset: Cane Creek Aheadset
Rims: Weinmann XTR16 Doublewall w/CNC sidewall
Hubs: Formula alloy QR, Cassette
Tires: Kenda Kontender 700X26C
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-R440
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-2200
Shifters: Shimano ST-R221 for Flat Bar
Chain: KMC Z82
Crankset: Alloy Forged 50/34
Bottom Bracket: Sealed cartridge
Cassette: SRAM PG-850 11-28, 8 Speed
Pedals: Resin w/steel cage
Seatpost: Alloy Micro-adjust
Saddle: KHS Road Padded
Handlebar: Alloy Flat Bar, 580mm
Brake Levers: Shimano ST-R221 for Flat Bar
Brakes: Alloy dual pivot
MSRP: $599

As I mentioned, this bike comes with a carbon fiber fork,

a 50/34 compact double crank:

and 2 sets of water bottle bosses and rear rack mounts.

We’ll be putting on some miles on this bike, come back for the updates.


17 Comments

  1. Ghost Rider August 13, 2008 4:39 pm 

    Dang, that’s a quick-looking bike. I like it!

    I really dig the fact that KHS does nice, subtle paint schemes…flat or matte colors and minimalist logos. Very nice touch.

  2. Scott August 13, 2008 4:59 pm 

    That’s a good looking bike. I’ve been looking pretty hard at a Specialized Sirrus, but the Flight 250 looks like it might be worth comparing.

  3. tadster August 13, 2008 7:00 pm 

    those seat stays make it look like someone really heavy had a ride. 😉

  4. Bob August 13, 2008 9:20 pm 

    It looks like a sweet ride. I like the minimalist and understated look of the bike. The inner chain ring looks a little small, but it should work any incline.

  5. Mike Myers August 14, 2008 2:30 am 

    Steel is real. Should be a comfortable ride. Don’t get why a steel bike needs a carbon fork. Seems a good steel fork would accomplish much the same thing. But we may be to the point that a Chinese carbon fork is cheaper for the manufacturer than building a steel one.

  6. Ghost Rider August 14, 2008 5:48 am 

    Mike, I think you pinned it…and it is also probably that folks demand carbon forks (“it’s on everyone else’s bike…why can’t it be on MINE?”).

    I know that when I ruined the original steel fork on my Trek, it was far cheaper for me to replace it with a carbon model…even cheaper than getting my steel fork repaired. Strangely enough, the bike actually handles better and is vastly more comfortable.

  7. Ghost Rider August 14, 2008 5:49 am 

    Oh, and Bob: that’s a standard chainring pairing for a “compact double”. It offers many of the benefits of a triple chainring without the weight penalty.

  8. Iron Man August 14, 2008 5:55 am 

    KHS is one of those “Best Bang for the Buck” brands. My household owns two and three Jamis bikes. Another “Bang” brand. I still lust after the higher zoot gear from the big guys, but keep coming back to the great spec for the price of KHS and Jamis.

  9. cafn8 August 14, 2008 6:44 am 

    That does look like a deal. I’ve come to prefer drop bars for the road, but a rack and pair of fenders and that would be a pretty sweet speedy commuter. Not sure how easy it would be to mount a front fender, but what bike can’t take a fender with a little creativity? How’s the tire clearance, BTW? It’s nice to see more nice-but-affordable steel bikes on the market.

  10. RL August 14, 2008 7:22 am 

    Man that’s an awesome looking bike. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  11. Evan August 14, 2008 10:15 am 

    That looks like a pretty sweet ride!

    Besides weight and a cheaper price, what exactly is the advantage of having a carbon-fiber fork?

    I always thought steel was more durable and provided a smoother ride, but I’ve never had a chance to ride any bikes with carbon-fiber parts.

  12. Iron Man August 14, 2008 10:41 am 

    A CF fork on a road bike like this is like a suspension fork on a comfort bike—that will never see a dirt trail. It’s all about perceived value to the buyer. There is some weight savings, but then most no-name Chinese made CF forks are not really lightweight. But they raise the bike in value to the consumer, particularly if it’s sitting next to a similar bike with a steel or aluminum fork. Especially if the weave is visible. Shoot the weave is mostly a cosmetic feature when it comes to carbon.

  13. Lonley Bike Rack August 14, 2008 2:47 pm 

    Good looking ride! Will it take off the shelf fenders or will it need something modified?

  14. Eric August 15, 2008 9:17 am 

    What’s it weigh in at out of curiosity?

  15. Moe August 15, 2008 2:22 pm 

    24.3 lbs

  16. Shark Week August 18, 2008 2:48 am 

    Looks like it might be able to take down tube shifters

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