Wednesday 10 July 2019

KHS Electric Bike

KHS Extended 2.0 Review

 I’ve been interested in the e-assist bicycle genre for some time. Until about a year and a half ago I was riding to work a couple of days a week on one of my normal bicycles, an old touring bike last used for touring in 2003. This worked fairly well most of the year as the start of my commute each day is a half-kilometre climb and the very low gears were ideal for legs which hadn’t yet woken up. The problem with it is was that from June through September it was very difficult to avoid getting sweaty and arriving for work in an office where wet clothing is not really acceptable. 

For 2019, KHS introduced 4 different models of e-assist bicycles, including the Extended 2.0. Here are the specs:

Alloy 6061 w/Custom Formed TT w/C/S Disc Mount, w/Replaceable Derailleur Hanger
SR XCE28, 80mm
Threadless 1-1/8, Zero Stack
Weinmann XTB26 Alloy, 700c x 36H, Doublewall
Hubs (F/R)
F: Aikema 250 Watt Motor; R: Alloy Disc, QR, Cassette
Kenda Kwick, 700 x 40c, 30TPI
14G Black, 36X36
Derailleur, Front
Derailleur, Rear
Shimano Altus M2000
Shimano Altus M2000 Trigger
Samox Forged, 36T w/Guard
Cartridge Bearing
Shimano CS-HG201-9, 11-36, 9-speed
Resin ATB Platform w/DU Bearings
Alloy micro-adjust, 27.2x350mm
KHS Sport, Dual Density
Alloy, 31.8, 680X30mm
Alloy 3D Forged, Threadless 4-bolt, 7-degree, 31.8mm
KHS Sport, Dual Compound
Brake Levers
All Alloy Linear Pull
Bengal Cable Disc, MB606, 160mm Rotors Wave12 w/ABS System
Matte Gray
Frame Size
S/15, M/17, L/19
Battery 36 x 12.8 Ah / 460 Wh, Alloy Rear Carrier, Kickstand, Bell

6-Hour Charge Time / 2 Hour Run Time / Up to 40 Mile Range

The electric motor unit on this bike is built into the front hub and offers a maximum output of 250 watts. In practical terms, this provides very real assistance when the rider is actually pedaling, particularly uphill. It is not like some of the other electric bikes commonly seen on Bermuda’s roads which have 500 watt (or more powerful) motors and can carry the rider along without any pedaling input. These bikes are more like electric mopeds to me rather than true e-assist machines. With the KHS, you don’t pedal and you get no help!
The rest of the bike is built and assembled to KHS’s usual standard, i.e. quality 6061 alloy frame, decent suspension fork and basic but tough drivetrain components. The braking is handled by Bengal cable-operated discs controlled with standard linear-pull levers, giving decent stopping power which is better than standard rim brakes. The gears required a slight adjustment after the first ride but have worked faultlessly during the six weeks of testing.
Battery power has been better than I expected. The specs say up to 40 miles between charges and I would say that’s realistic. I ran it for 37½ hilly miles and the indicator still showed some charge left at that point. My daily commutes include a number of hills and vary between 8 and 11 miles usually. I can do three days between charges routinely and have not yet found myself half way to work with a spent battery. For anyone who lives within a dozen miles of Hamilton this is a viable transportation option. If you live in Somerset and work in St George’s you’ll need to charge the battery while you’re at work J
The lowest gear available on this machine is 27 inches, which is not that low in view of the ultra-low ratios available on many modern road and mountain bikes. However, I have yet to use the lowest gear under any conditions due to the motor-assist nature of the bike. Typically, I don’t go lower than the third-lowest and I’m not a super-fit and highly-trained rider. Fitter riders will find they can use the top two or three gears for most of their riding.
A note of caution to would-be racers…..the e-assist function drops off sharply once you reach around 16mph and after that you will find increased resistance created by the non-functioning motor to be a serious deterrent for any high-speed shenanigans. Stay below that speed and your ride will likely see you expending about a third of the output you would use in riding your standard bike at the same speed. That's the difference for me between getting soaked and not getting soaked!
This bike conforms to the legal requirements for e-assist bikes in the UK and most EU countries. I feel sure that this sort of regulation will eventually show up at TCD in Bermuda and this is one machine which should be "TCD-ready".
I will be continuing the testing so check back for long-term updates from time to time. After the first three weeks of testing I switched the stock saddle to my preferred model....saddles are very much an individual taste item and while there was nothing wrong with the one which came with the bike and I'm sure it will suit a lot of people, it might have become a problem for me in the long term 😉

Monday 20 June 2016


Once again its been a long time with no post but this time there's something a little different for you.....our sizzling Summer Bike Sale!
We have a few new bicycles at the shop which need to find riders so we came up with some pretty aggressive reductions to see if that might help move them to new homes. Please note that these are for sale in Bermuda only and prices are in Bermuda dollars, cash or card. We can probably be persuaded to take US dollars as well :-)

First off is the KHS Flite 500 road bike.Available in 52cm size it features a hydroformed alloy frame with carbon fork and carbon chainstays for a comfortable ride and optimal power transmission. 20-Speed Shimano 105 gearing and a compact crankset provide a wide range of gears ideal for Bermuda's roads. Original price was $1,420.00 and the Sale Price is $994.00.

Next up is the Free Agent Champ BMXer. This is a standard 20" wheel BMX bike from one of the top builders in the business. One size fits all. Single speed and equipped with coaster brake and rear wheel linear-pull brake. Was $335.00 and now reduced to $260.00. Several colour options available.

For His and Hers bikes, we have the Manhattan Cycles Green 3 in a 17" Ladies and 20" Gents. Colours as shown.

This bike has classic roadster styling, front and rear linear-pull brakes, alloy rims with stainless spokes and a low-maintenance 3-Speed Shimano hub gear. Here is a bike which is great for summer cruising, commuting or just flouting a little retro style. The price has been reduced from $665.00 to $465.00.

Only one left of the KHS Aguila 29er in size Large. The fork features hydraulic lockout and 100mm of travel. Disc brakes are hydraulic and the Shimano drivetrain is 27-Speed to easily cope with any terrain. The original sticker price was $1,070.00 and we'll be happy to let this last one go for $825.00.

Finally, we have the KHS Vitamin A fitness bike. Suitable for on-road use or light trail riding it features a 21-Speed Shimano drivetrain, lightweight alloy frame with cromoly fork and linear-pull brakes for excellent stopping power and simple wheel removal. This bike is reduced from its original shop price of $625.00 to $499.00. Available in Small and Medium.

For further info on availability, please send us a message or call on 232-2103 or 532-2103. Once again, Bermuda availability only and prices are good until they're gone!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

To torque....or not to torque!

While working on a client's bike the other week I found a flaw which could have conceivably resulted in a nasty accident for him. Note that he had been riding the bike with no indication of a problem right up until then.

Take a look at these photos:

As you can clearly see, the stem clamp failed when I tried to remove it...and not at one bolt but at all four! 

Your immediate reaction to this might be "I'll be sure not to buy that brand of stem" but the truth of the matter is that this brand of stem is excellent and I have used them many times on many different bikes with no problems. The issue actually is all about torque. 

Modern lightweight equipment is made to be assembled with very specific torque guidelines (level of tightening). In this case all four bolts were over-tightened, setting up stress risers in the metal which resulted in the hairline cracks around the area where the bolts seat and eventually a complete fracture. The problem would not have occurred if whoever did the initial assembly had observed the torque value printed or engraved into the body of the stem (or the instructions which came with it) and had been sure not to exceed it. 

I've met a number of people over the years who think they can do safe assembly without using a torque wrench but why take the risk? Using a good torque wrench can help to prevent a lot of potential problems and is absolutely essential with carbon bikes and components.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Just completed last week.....a beautiful custom Pedal Force RS3 ISP bicycle.
The customer supplied his own well-used two-year old Dura Ace 9000 mechanical groupset and saddle. Everything else was new, including a sparkling set of iRT 38C Carbon Clincher wheels. This beauty has already been christened "B-52".
He reports that it rides like a dream, is easily a match on the hills for his two other bikes and is even leaning towards the opinion that it may be quicker into the wind than all of them. Time, of course, will tell.
And just as a footnote....this Dura Ace 9000 equipment functions superbly even though it has somewhere in the region of 12,000 to 15,000 miles of hard riding on it in all weathers. The only new bits have been chains and brake pads.

Monday 6 July 2015

Here's something that has nothing at all to do with bikes or riding them!

For anyone who doesn't already know, I'm in Boston at the moment with Sheila who has been here for medical treatment and surgery at Brigham & Womens Hospital. This has been a successful experience thus far and on Friday, July 3rd she was advised by her surgeons that she would be discharged from hospital on the Fourth of July. This news immediately filled both of us with feelings of great patriotism even though neither of us is an American. Little did we understand the process of being discharged from a top drawer American medical institution!
If you're ever in hospital in Bermuda you should know that the biggest challenge you face once the physician handling your case discharges you is that the various members of his support squad immediately forget that you exist. You're then compelled to keep pressing the Call button or sending attending family members to search for them in an effort to remind them that you're still there and would like to go home. This can take most of the day or, if there's a shift change during this time, perhaps into the next day. 
At BWH the wait can be lengthy but the time is filled with visits from all sorts of nice people representing various post-surgical services. In Sheila's case, she had very thorough examinations by the departments of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. In each case she answered many of the same questions plus went for several pleasant walks all around the ward and up and down stairs. All of these tests were passed with flying colours....we thought we'd be out the door in seconds! 
We then discovered that's not exactly how it works. All of these kind folk then have to write reports which they then must submit to the poor surgical resident whose unfortunate lot it was to be working on the country's most important summer holiday. Only then would we be "signed" out. After that, all the discharge papers and prescriptions needed to be assembled with the nurse-in-charge finally giving us a complete debrief followed by a question and answer period. To put things into perspective, the discharge process began around 10.30 a.m. and we walked out of the ward at 6.20 p.m.
Now was my chance to actually play a useful role in the proceedings...or so I thought. Sheila and I took the elevator from the tenth floor to the lobby of the mostly-deserted hospital. The plan was to take a taxi back to Cambridge Street but I reasoned that it would be easier to fill the prescriptions we needed at the CVS pharmacy about two blocks away than to try to go out later in the evening and pick them up. Feeling quite pleased with myself at coming up with this clever strategy I parked Sheila in a comfortable chaise, armed her with her smartphone and set off on the quick side-trip to CVS. 
The pharmacy itself was easily located and was also open. I was beginning to think I was on a bit of a roll until I walked up to the shuttered prescription counter and read a small printed note which said the dispensing side was closed and that to fill any prescriptions I should take myself off to the CVS dispensary at Boston Children's Hospital which was a three minute walk away. 
After briefly panicking and thinking of trying to find the Walgreen's somewhere near the subway stop I'd got off earlier in the day and a healthy stroll from where I was, I walked out of the shopping center and round the corner to find the Children's Hospital staring me in the face. I was back on that roll again!
I picked my way through the yellow tape guiding pedestrians through the labyrinth of re-modelling being done to the hospital's front entrance and approached the Information desk. Security at this hospital is a step up from BWH. My identification was scanned and I was given my very own visitor's pass which was to be clipped to my clothing. I was then directed to a pair of security guards, one of whom accompanied me on the key-only elevator to the second floor where CVS was located. I was impressed to say the least and would feel confident that if I had a child being treated at BCH he or she would be most unlikely to be abducted.
Once in CVS the pharmacist was very helpful, assured me that my Rx card would be honoured and asked me to take a seat for twenty minutes while he sorted the prescriptions. While I was sitting there looking at pharmacist-of-the-month photos on the walls and flipping through various pharmaceutical leaflets, a man came in towing behind him a boy of about four years who had the worst hacking cough I have ever heard....believe me, this kid was in the right place! All I could think was that I needed to keep a wide margin between him and myself. A bit of a heated discussion ensued between the pharmacist and the child's father over payment and I started to worry that this might drag on well into the evening. However, it was sorted out quickly and they mercifully left the premises instead of sitting down to wait with me for their prescription to be filled and infecting me with whatever dreadful malady the poor waif was suffering from.
Once in possession of the required drugs, I then followed a reverse process back through security to extricate myself from the building and with this done, determined by frenzied text that Sheila had not got up and wandered off. The rest of the return trip to BWH was uneventful and Sheila was very understanding as she knows well my propensity for losing any sense of direction at all when in a city. Once reunited, we were soon in a cab and on our way to the condo in Cambridge :)

Sunday 5 July 2015

Cycle Cellar's new face

The bike shop was dealt an untimely blow when we discovered in June that we had to make an unscheduled visit to Boston for medical treatment for Sheila. This effectively meant that the shop had to be closed for however long the Boston trip would last.
Just when things were looking really bleak my good friend Kelly Sullivan stepped forward and has agreed to open the shop for business on Saturdays. Kelly has had lots of experience as a rider over the years and I was able to give her a mini-crash course on how the shop operates. Her skills are mostly in the sales area so there will be no service in our absence.
Kelly has already had a positive impact on Cycle Cellar. She brings fresh views and a can-do outlook to the little shop. The positive comments are starting to roll in  and we are so happy to have her looking after things!

Friday 5 June 2015

The final word on compact cranks

The experiment is over. I fitted a 46 tooth outer ring so ended up with 46/34 x 12/23 gearing. This was definitely an improvement but I think I may just be too used to a cassette with more 2-tooth jumps between gears so couldn't gel with the straight block run from 12 through 19.
So.......from this weekend it will be a standard 130 mm BCD crank fitted with 50/38 rings and a 12/25 at the rear dérailleur. All of which means that for me I still don't see the point of using a compact crank in Bermuda for competitive riding.
For my next post I plan to cover a bike build I'll be doing for one of my favourite clients :)