BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: commuter bike

I’ve Been Slimed!

The folks from Slime recently sent some products for us to try — a “care package”, if you will, of goodies to keep us safe on the road.

I got a selection of pre-filled tubes to try out, a bottle of Slime Sealant and a nifty digital tire gauge.

Tubes

The tubes went in without a hitch — and they’re pre-filled with that lovely green goop, so there is no mess to speak of. I installed these tubes on my dedicated commuter bike which runs 26″ x 1.25″ slicks. Although I haven’t intentionally ridden over anything to test the puncture resistance (and subsequent sealing) properties of the tubes, I do go through some rough areas where there is a lot of broken glass and bits of metal in the road, and I haven’t gotten a flat yet!

I also got a bottle of Slime tube sealant — enough to fill two fat 26″ MTB tubes. I treated my “Bike Snob Disapproved” Patriot MTB to this treatment, since I depend on this bike to get my son to school on time.

Sealant

Getting the Slime sealant into the tubes was fairly easy — the sealant packaging even comes with a valve core remover! I did have a problem once I got the valve cores back in, though. I discovered that the cores “goop up” and prevent the tire from reinflating unless they are cleaned. To prevent this from happening, clean the inside of the rubber valve with a cotton swab before you reinsert the valve core. Luckily, I have a drawer at home full of punctured tubes waiting to be patched, so I just salvaged clean cores from a couple of them and was on my way in no time.

Again, I haven’t intentionally tried to pop one of these self-treated tubes either…but I just might one of the these days to see how the Slime works! I have noticed, though, that on these and the pre-filled tubes that I don’t have to add air to my tires as often, and I have also noticed that there is no difference in “feel” as the tires roll along the ground. I was expecting some wobbling or something, but apparently the Slime coats the tube evenly with no puddling. It pays to ride around the block a couple times just after you fill your tubes to help distribute the goop around the inside of the tubes.

Finally, I have used the digital tire gauge a few times — the tip and digital display light up for nighttime pressure checks! The gauge appears fairly accurate…the readings match both my tire pump gauge and a traditional “sliding stick” tire gauge. The Slime gauge fits nicely in my hand and has a rubbery gripping surface. Best of all, it has an auto shutoff feature so I don’t burn through the batteries!

gauge

These products are certainly worth a try, even for added peace of mind. I’ll report back in a few weeks after I devise some terrifying ways of really testing the puncture-sealing abilities of these products! Back to the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory — surely there’s a box of thumbtacks in there that I could sprinkle on the street?

secret lab

KHS Green Review

KHS Green

Overview: When KHS unveiled the Green, I knew I had to test one. The KHS Green is a no frills, no thrills bicycle that will basically haul you and your stuff from point A to Point B. What is the major point of this bike? Price. I’ve seen the KHS Green sell for below $275 at bike shops. It is very hard to find a bicycle under $300 that comes with all the goodies for bike commuting. I used the KHS Green for my 4.6 mile one way commute, how did it fare? Read On..

KHS Green
A nice Sturdy rack for your panniers is a standard feature of the Green

First, here are the specs from the manufacturer:

Frame:Hi-Ten Classic Mens or Ladies Step-thru frame
Fork: Hi-Ten
Headset: 1″ Treaded
Rims: Weinmann ZAC21 silver anodized alloy 700 x 38c
Hubs: Shimano 3 speed Nexus Coaster Brake Rear Hub
Tires: Staad 700 x 38c
Spokes: 14G UCP, 36°
Front Derailleur: N/A
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 3 speed Nexus Coaster Brake Rear Hub
Shifters: Shimano 3 speed Nexus Revo Twist
Chain: 1/2″ x 1/8″
Crankset: 3-piece with complete chainguard
Pedals: VP alloy w/steel cage w/boron axle
Saddle: Dual Density with Elastomer Springs
Handlebar: 4″ rise
Stem: Alloy w/Tall Quill
Grips: Kraton
Brakes: Coaster Rear, Hand Brake Front
Color: Black
Frame Sizes: 17″, 21″ Men’s and 14″, 17″ Ladies
Extras: Fenders, Alloy Rear Carrier, Kick Stand, Bell and Rear Wheel Lock

KHS Green
Front and Rear Fenders, a must for soggy commutes

The Looks: The Green will definitely not win any beauty contests, but this could be a blessing in disguise since the bike will be less desirable to thieves. I personally like the solid Black with Green Accents paint scheme. The fenders and the chain guard kind of reminds me of a dutch style bike. I didn’t really care much for the handlebars, a more subtle riser bar can make the bike look better.

KHS Green
Full Chain Guard

The Ride: The bike felt very comfortable, the plush, wide saddle is a big plus for those who care about their butt not being so sore. The upright position was also comfortable, I didn’t experience any neck, back or wrist fatigue. I was expecting the Green to be a slouch due to the upright position, but I was cruising the streets at 16-17mph. I was actually surprised at the speeds that I reached even though I was not pedaling super hard. As far as handling goes, well, this is the Green’s weakness. The high center of gravity and the 700 cc wheels made it hard to turn on tight bends, I almost fell down once when I overshot a turn on the river trail as I was going a little too fast. Braking was not an issue, the front hand brake/rear coaster brake combo worked beautifully.

KHS Green
3 Speed Nexus integrated hub, adequate for short commutes

Hits:The bike comes with fenders, chain guard, rear rack, lock, suspension saddle and a bell. Just add your favorite lights! The bike is also low-maintenance, I never had to anything to the bike.


Integrated Wheel Lock

The integrated lock is also a plus, for those quick stops for a Slurpee or a 40oz (of Gatorade, of course), simply lock up the rear wheel and anyone that will try to run away with the bike will easily be caught. Cost, As I mentioned before, you can find this bike for less than $275.

KHS Green
Not a beauty Queen, but a great short commute bike.

Misses:Weight, yeah, this bike is a tank but what do you expect for less than $275??

My recommendation:Are you a person that wants to start bike commuting? Are you in a budget? Is your commute less than 5 miles and want to leave your $1,000 bike at home? The KHS Green is the bike for you!!! The Green may not win beauty contests or set speed records, but it will get the job done. I also think that this bike has potential to be a longer commute bike if a Nexus 7 or 8 speed is used instead of the 3, that will help out with climbing hills as well as the flats.

For More information, check out www.khsbicycles.com.