A Great Commuter Bike by KHS Bicycles

Ok here’s something that KHS Bicycles came up with for 2009, its the TR-101. We’ve posted a video of this bike from Interbike 2008. Vince Calvillo mentioned that this is a new model for KHS and I really think they built an awesome bike that could be used as a great commuter.
khs tr 101
Here’s the specs:

Reynolds 520 Double Butted full Chromoly w/carrier and cantilever bosses
Fork Full Crmo w/rack bosses
Headset Cane Creek A-Headset
Rims Weinmann SP17 Alloy Doublewall
Hubs Formula Sealed Bearing cassette, QR
Tires Kenda Kwest 700x32c, w/K-Shield Anti-puncture
Spokes 14G Black 36ยฐ
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX Shadow
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace 9-Speed bar ends
Chain KMC Z9000 w/Missing Link
Crankset Shimano FC-R453, 50/39/30, Octalink
Bottom Bracket Shimano Octalink cartridge
Cassette Shimano HG50 11-34, 9-Speed
Pedals Shimano PD-M505
Seatpost Alloy Micro-adjust
Saddle KHS Ultra Comfort, Soft Shell
Handlebar Alloy Butted, 31.8mm
Stem Alloy 3D Forged, 31.8
Tape Cushion Tape
Brake Levers Dia Compe #287 for linear pull brakes
Brakes TektroLinear Pull
Color Black
Frame Size 17, 19, 21, 23, 25″

Just refresh your memory, here’s the video.


  1. Ghost Rider


    KHS got this bike “so right”… it looks like a great platform for commuting or touring and easily stacks up against more established competitors like the Trek 520 or the Surly LHT.

    Tell you what, though…of those three, I’d pick the KHS!

  2. Raiyn

    The cassette is a little deep for my taste, but that’s nit picking

  3. RL Policar (Post author)

    Deep? I figured a 34t cassette will make things easier when climbing a steep hill…especially if you’re loaded with bags and stuff.

  4. Raiyn

    I live in St. Petersburg, FL, the highest thing we have here is an overpass.

  5. Mike Myers

    Outstanding. I like that companies are addressing the long distance commuter/tourist. I think I like the looks of the Raleigh Sojourn better—-but none of them would work as well for me as my Bridgestone XO-2. LOL

  6. Ghost Rider

    Raiyn, although WE probably might not use that 34t cog here in the flatlands, it still might come in handy for a loaded tour setup. Such a wide-ranging cassette is standard for touring rigs, but if it’s not to your taste it is easily swapped for something a bit tighter. But you knew that already ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mike, that Sojourn is sure a nice bike…but it looks a bit like a converted MTB — fat tubes, beefy fork and all that. Gotta say that I love the disc brakes, though!

  7. 2whls3spds

    WOW….1989 all over again LOL

    Nice bike, but it needs to come with lights and a generator for that price point IMHO.


  8. 2whls3spds

    1989 all over again

    Not sure why the first link broke.


  9. mercutio stencil

    I’m a little annoyed that at a few hundred more than the LHT, it comes with Formula hubs. The wheels that come stock with the LHT are killer, which is rather rare for any stock bike. That alone makes it a better bargain than this.

  10. Ghost Rider

    Surly’s hubs might possibly be made by Formula…they’re Taiwanese, in any case. Visually, they look VERY similar…same cones and locknuts, same flange diameter, etc. And the rims listed on Surly’s site are nearly the same as those KHS lists (Alex Adventurer vs. Weinmann…and I tend to prefer Weinmanns). I’m convinced these wheels would totally go toe-to-toe with the Surly’s.

    A generator hub would be a very nice addition at that price point, though.

  11. Raiyn

    Ya sure about that Ghost? The last Formula “sealed bearing” hubs I saw were cup and cone with a Shimano style dust seal. The Surly’s on the other hand, are replaceable cartridge bearing hubs.

  12. Ghost Rider

    I’m pretty sure…the cheapie Formulas are cup ‘n cone, but almost all the others have really nice cartridges. Check Harris Cyclery’s “house brand” hubs to see what I’m talking about — those are the good Formula hubs.

  13. tadster

    ooooo I like it a lot. Lots of awesome features.

    Just a little thing… I would’ve mounted the light on the rear fender or behind the rack. Currently the light would be useless when something big is strapped down.

  14. Iron Man

    I did perk up when seeing that bike. Got my Pavlovian response going like when I see a Pinarello Prince. Curious though, what’s the advantage of the bar end shifters rather than a standard dual control setup? Having the shifting happen at the brakes is a natural for me. I brakes and downshift so much that I think it would get annoying to be moving around the handlebars.

  15. Ghost Rider

    For some reason, that’s the traditional setup for a touring bike…I’ve never quite understood it, but I suspect one reason is that barends are far more robust internally that dual-controls like STI or Ergo. One less thing to go wrong on tour, right? And, most barends can be set to friction if something gets misaligned or the internal ratchet fails.

    Of course, having barends out there means they take a hit if the bike falls over!

  16. Wayne Myer

    The bar-con shifters are for durability and fault-tolerance. While brifters are reasonably robust, if the indexing breaks out in the middle of BFE, you can still shift. Moreover, if you crash and bend something, you can still shift. As a matter of fact, just about as long as the cable is still attached, you can still shift.

    As far as the shifter hanging out in the breeze, I have a few sets of gnarly looking bar-cons that attest to their durability in very severe crashes.

  17. Sungsu

    If they’re going to put fenders and a rack on it, they might as well have a chain guard too. I never can find my pant clips and I don’t like tucking my pant leg into my socks.

  18. Dman

    This is a cool bike.

    Another bike I think would make a great commuter, the Giant Seek line. 700cc wheels, disc brakes, an internal gear option, flat bar, rack and fender mounts (but no rack or fenders). Checked out a Seek 2 at the LBS earlier today, very nice ride. Tons of space in the frame/fork for fenders. you could even run some narrow 29r mtn bike tires on it. Prices range from $600-$1025. I’m hoping to get the Seek 1 in about a year (after getting a house) to use as a commuter.

  19. Ghost Rider

    That Giant is just a smooth-tired mountain bike…not even in the same class as the TR-101/LHT/520.

  20. Mike Myers

    I think another reason for barcons on touring bikes is the use of handlebar bag. I run a WIDE handlebar, so I wouldn’t have a problem with being able to shift with a bag mounted, but most people don’t run wide bars. Putting a bag on a narrow drop bar could affect shifting with brifters.

    As to the ease of use—I was hesitant at first. Now I have no problem shifting as much as I want, and I find that aero levers fit my hands better than brifters. Plus they’re durable and cheap.

  21. Russ Roca

    For me, I like bar-cons in friction mode…I don’t have to mess around with the limit screws and cable pull hardly ever….set it and forget it…

    In friction they don’t require all that precise adjusting to work well….plus you can jump through the whole cassette in a single fluid movement if you had to (i’ve never had to..but if i had to i could…i guess)..

  22. Raiyn

    @ Iron Man
    The reason for the barcons is simple. They spec’d Linear Pull (read “V”) brakes and Tektro 287 V levers. They don’t currently make a brifter with the correct pull for V-brakes. I hope/suspect that Shimano may change that in the near future for the cross market due to the ( my opinion take it as such ) ease of setup found in Vees as opposed to canti’s.

  23. Iron Man

    Those all make sense. So now my question is does the typical commute/city cyclist find bar-cons to be an annoyance, a benefit, or no big whoop? I see their benefit in touring, but in that instance you really aren’t shifting and braking as often as you might in an urban setting. Unless you’re touring New York City that is.

  24. Ghost Rider

    Iron Man, I had no trouble with barcons on one of my commuter rigs…of course, I live in the flatlands so I didn’t have to shift constantly, but the position of the shifter is very easy to get used to.

    @Mike — I’ve often wondered about the use of cantis rather than V-brakes in cyclocross…perhaps something about mud clearance or something?

    It brings up an interesting point, though — I wish that more bike companies would build in a bit more compatibility in their components…brifters that could handle Vs or disc brakes, barcons that will index over a SRAM 1 to 1 derailleur, etc.

  25. FauxPorteur

    I work in a shop that focuses on bike commuters (we don’t sell any carbon/aluminum road bikes or anything that can’t handle at least a 28mm tire with a fender).

    We also sell a lot of used parts. Its a very common occurrence for someone to be looking for a used brifter to replace one that had crapped out on them, I’ll mention the cheaper/more durabe/lighter option of the bar-end shifters. Sometimes they take the bait, sometimes they wait til they’ve replaced the brifter at least twice.

    I’ve taken many a broken/worn out brifter set off and replaced them with bar end shifters and aero brake levers, I’ve never done the opposite job.

  26. Andrea

    Are those narrow fenders high maintenance? They look like they could easily be bent and give you a huge problem if you rode too recklessly. What is the profile of a cyclist who purchases this bike?

  27. Raiyn

    @Ghost, I’d suspect that it has more to do with the typical road lever matching the cable pull requirements as a canti brake as well as a road caliper than anything else.

    @Andrea Those fenders look like SKS Chromoplastic jobs and they’re rather low maintenance and tend to spring back nicely. I could be wrong but I doubt that KHS is going to spec metal fenders on something like this.

  28. FauxPorteur

    The fenders pictured are not SKS. These fenders have floppy plastic bits where the stays attach to the eyelet and the stays are attached to the fender with another plastic bit by a very small set-screw. The whole system is very dodgy and does need much adjustment. Planet Bike Freddy Fender Hardcores are vastly superior to these.

  29. Ghost Rider

    Those sound like Zefal fenders…and you’re right — they are a pain to adjust. God forbid you lose one of the fender clips, too — replacements are nearly impossible to find!

    A bike like the TR-101 deserves some Honjos or Velo Orange metal fenders…a worthwhile upgrade after you buy the bike and get frustrated with the original fenders.

  30. Dominic Dougherty

    I’ve always thought that drop bars on a “traditional touring” setup was silly. How out-of-the-wind are you going to get when you’ve got huge bags and an extra 40+ pounds on your bike?And with that extra weight making a huge difference on even the slightest hill, you will be doing a lot of shifting.Bar end shifters are great on moustache/albatross bars – which are also really great for touring.

    The brifter/linear pull issue can easily be solved with a Travel Agent.

    The LHT doesn’t come with Surly hubs, it comes with Shimano XT.

  31. Raiyn

    @Ghost I wouldn’t suggest putting Honjos on a bike to be locked up outside. Too much bling to go missing.

    @Dominic “Easily” solved? I don’t think so. You’ll have to watch your cables carefully as the Travel Agent puts a rather sharp bend in the cable which typically leads to fraying. I currently run a set on my commuter MTB. I use them in the “roller” setting in place of a noodle with my V-levers and brakes, and in that capacity they work great as it’s a straight pass through around a pulley.

  32. Raiyn

    I should have mentioned that they were scavenged from an earlier project that showed me that I didn’t want to use them as a doubler.

  33. Dominic Dougherty

    I use mine in the roller setting on one of my tandems.

    Works brilliantly.

  34. Ghost Rider

    @Raiyn…do you really think someone would steal fenders? I always figured that was very low on the radar of bike thieves…all the bolts and such that would need to be removed to get at ’em.

    I’ve had a gorgeous pair of French stainless steel fenders on my grocery-getter, and they have never been tampered with. And they are SHINY!

    Funny this came up — I just got a “Just Ask Jack” question about that, and while I told the emailer not to worry about such thefts, I advised him to use security fasteners if he was really worried about losing his Honjos.

  35. 2whls3spds

    Saddles, lights, wheels, bags, whole bikes (including the fenders) But have never had fenders stolen off a bike. Things that are easily removed are the items most likely to be removed.

    @Dominic drop bars are fine for touring, it gives you more hand positions and if you are pushing into a head wind being able to get down in the drops and slog it out is a plus (been there done that)


  36. Raiyn

    I didn’t intend to suggest that the fenders would go missing, I meant that it would make the bike more attractive with the expensive fenders.

  37. Mike Myers

    2whls3spds is right, of course. Drop bars aren’t just about getting out of the wind to go fast. They offer a multitude of hand positions for comfort and they allow one to tuck out of the wind to maintain forward progress. ๐Ÿ™‚ I would imagine that with a fully loaded touring bike every bit of saved effort is worthwhile.

  38. Rain Waters

    Just converted an older REI randonee 520 steel frame to a winter commuter.

    What a coincidence!

    I swapped the drop bars and 8spd sora shifter/brake combos in favor of 9spd deore combos with a flat bar. I love drops on my road bikes where theres an advantage to their use. Hitting a patch of ice in the drops reminds me of Johnny T running the backside of Mammoth similarly equipped, but I’m no JT. I’m not interested in debating flat vs drop, to each his own.

    The tiagra front d got its pivot arm lengthened 5mm, ask me how, for compatibility with the cable pull of the deore shifters. I recycled an XT crank to 44/32 instead of the heavy tiagra triple. I ride 7500 mi a year and 52t was still too much for this bike. I tossed the absolutely useless (I know how to set ’em up) shorty 4 canti brakes for recycled SD-7’s which actually work as brakes. No offense to cross purists.

    Where I live we have mountains, I recycled a short cage XT rear d which allows a 12-27 or 11-32 cass.

    I purchased a set of 700/32c small block 8 tires and this thing is the total sh** for winter here in Or. The frame geo and gyro effect of the sturdy 36h wheels favors directional stability. Perfect!

    Out of my used parts boxes and an unused touring bike emerged a real beauty.

    Cuz. . .buyin’ new stuff is scary anymore.

  39. Mike Myers

    Not to nitpick, but couldn’t KHS find a silver colored rear derailleur? The crankset and FD are silver and the RD is black. Looks out of place.

    Personally, I’ll be happy when the whole “black component” fad is over. I’m not saying things need to be chromed, but silver looks better. Unless one is going for a blacked out look, like the old Cannondale Black Lightning. Then it’s cool. But I think shiny is better on a road bike. But I’m a retrogrouch and such.

  40. nit’re nit picking…

  41. Ghost Rider

    The rear derailleur matches the brakes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If Interbike 2008 is any indication, we’re going to see a lot more silver components on the market. I tend to prefer silver stuff, too — classier. Of course, I love blacked-out bike schemes as well, but if you’re going to spec a bike, pick one component color and stick with it!

  42. Vince Rodarte - KHS M. I. C.

    THEY’RE HERE!!! THEY’RE HERE!!! THEY’RE HERE!!! The TR-101 has landed!!!

  43. groucho

    On the floor retail ranges from 1099 to 1999 which is ludicrous. It’s not a bad bike, when bought at a run out price. I was lucky.

    The gearing range is sound enough for loaded touring, and wheel-base, fork-rake, wheel/tyre size, drop bars, and bar-cons all make long distance touring sense on most road surfaces short of brutal. Though they stop well, whether the linear brakes with their fiddly guide tubes and etc will stand much rough treatment out on the road remains to be seen.

    The guards are nice to have and correctly tensioned at the sliding-fit eyelet end, readily adjusted in use with a little observation and a little practice. The weak point seems to be in rack provision, where fork & stay mounts, eyelets and QR fittings are in potential conflict.

    The rear rack seems OK at first look, but its only of triangular stay form, instead of rectangular – so a big pannier like the larger Axiom is apt to interfere a little with the guard stays, undesirable on a long trip.

    Worse, the eyelet placement on the dropouts vs the guard fitting vs the conmparatively large quick release end fittings together reduce options for rack choice and fitting. So on the front forks, despite dual eyelets on the dropouts and a mounting button on the fork blade, I can’t get either current Axiom front-rack style, nor an old-style (hooped) Bor Yueh, to fit. That’s 3 rack styles.

    After many years of touring I have settled on a 4-bag set-up, for food, clothes, spares, tools, tent and bag, uniformly loaded front to rear. You’ll never ever see me on the road with anything hanging off the handlebar: an invitation to shimmy and disaster.

    Evenly packed low-mount front bags to balance the rear load gives plenty carrying options and some buffer against the odd “off”. So, I like the TR100 bike but I’m irritated that so far I can’t find a set of front racks that’ll fit to realise its full potential. Unless I take off those dashed guards!

  44. Owen

    Been commuter and tour riding my TR100 all four seasons of the year for 10 to 11 months each year since 2009. The only thing I swapped out was the saddle, to a Brooks B-17. I change to winter tires and that’s it. It’s a hard working, reliable machine. I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe to have KHS introduce a new colour but at the rate this steed is running I won’t be in the market for a new bike for a long time. I paid 1000.00 CND

  45. Matt

    I bought the KHS TR-101 about a year ago. I probably would have been better off with a Walmart bike. It looks great, like it would be an awesome bike, but it is far from that. You will need to replace most parts within about 500 miles. There are so many other nice bikes for the price that you could get and tour on. This bike is not worth anywhere near its cost.

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