I just had the good luck to have tested the KHS Lucky 7 for the last 2 weeks. I tested it out in Crowsnest Pass - the only place with good riding conditions in the Alberta Rockies at the end of November.Anyways, I always think when I read a test in a magazine or whatever, that the author needs to explain more - more about themselves, how they ride, what their personal ride is etc.
So here I go. I rode almost the entire summer on a Marin Quake 7.2 with a Rock Shox Totem. The bike was set up with a dual ring including an E13 DRS - I ride places where I have to ride up more often than chairlift hills. I like freeride trails but like the satisfaction of climbing/riding to gain my vertical.
I ended up convincing the KHS guys to let me have this bike for 2 weeks of testing. This way I'd be able to get that initial feeling - like when you notice all the little handling differences compared to the regular ride, then get a couple days on the bike once it started feeling at home. Initial thoughts on the KHS Lucky 7 were
1)looks good in red & white
2)the new Marzocchi 66 looks rad and has some sort of maxle style axle going on
3)the parts seem well thought out
4)I can't believe it has a Marzocchi 66, over 7" travel and a 150mm through axle rear end for only $2500. Oh, I weighed the bike too and it measured 40lbs - quite nice!
The first week the weather sucked so I got a shuttle to my favorite ride in the Crowsnest Pass called Good Riddance. The trail isn't long but has everything from steeps, to pedaling, to cornering, to drops and little gaps. Unfortunately, I was an idiot the first week and forgot to remove the KHS rep's clipless pedals. It was a challenge riding clipless with my skate shoes but I got comfy enough very quickly to do a couple stunts - that was definitely a good sign.Week 2 rolled around
I had enjoyed the bike enough in week 1 to devote some quality time. This time hiking up to Great Riddance - the super version of Good Riddance that adds 45 minutes of hiking to the summit above Good Riddance. I wouldn't waste my time doing this hike to ride a crappy bike. Oh, yeah, and I remembered to install my 1664 flat pedals this time!
The Crowsnest Pass, like everywhere in the Alberta Rockies in late November was a bit chilly. The weather was around zero degrees Celsius, sunny and calm on test day - about as good as November riding weather gets. At temperatures like this I was glad to have my winter riding gloves and glad the Hayes Stroker Trail brakes had a super easy reach adjustment - as in I moved them out to make up for my fat, insulated fingers.
After spending some time gazing at the view from the Southern end of the Livingstone mountain range, it was time to point downward and rip. The Kenda Nevegal StickE tires proved to work quite well in the packed snow/ice/frozen ground. The bike handled really well overall. It felt a bit more snappy than my Marin and felt quite light too. The frame was a tad small for me but (I think it was a medium - I usually have to ride a large) was easy enough to adjust to. My only criticism was the small bump sensitivity. I couldn't tell if it was a characteristic of the Horst link, the Fox Vanilla R rear shock, the Marzocchi 66 or the frozen ground, but overall the bike was not ultra plush on the small bumps.
By the time I reached the end of the ride I was dreading having to give this bike back. I had enjoyed some excellent riding with my buddy Steve aboard this bike and would be happy to ride a KHS Lucky 7 (Guys at KHS can feel free to give this one to me... hint hint). We cruised back into town where I pulled a mile long manual but Steve was in front of me so he didn't believe me. He did believe that I liked the bike because I was sporting a silly grin.
|Frame size||Medium KHS Lucky 7|
•7.3” (185mm) Travel
|Rear Shock||Fox Vanilla R|
|Fork||2008 Marzocchi 66 RCV 180mm travel|
|Crankarms||Truvativ Hussefelt, 175 mm|
•104mm 4 bolt pattern
|Chainrings||Truvativ 24/36T w/ Bash Guard|
|Bottom Bracket||Truvativ Howitzer 68/73mm|
|Chain||SRAM 9 speed|
|Cassette||SRAM 11-32T 9 speed|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Deore|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM X.7 Mid-Cage|
|Shifter Pods||SRAM X.7|
|Brakes||Hayes Stroker Trail|
|Front Wheel||WTB Dual Duty FR Rim on Formula 20mm TA hub|
|Rear Wheel||WTB Dual Duty FR Rim on Formula 150X12mm TA|
|Tires||Kenda Nevegal 26x2.5" StickE|
|Saddle||WTB Pure V White|
|Seatpost||Alloy 2 Bolt|
-The KHS Lucky 7 is a very good bike - especially considering its relatively affordable price.
-I must remember to take the stupid pedals off test bikes in the future.
-Kids who wreck stunts are in danger of being pummeled.
-The chain never fell off - thought it might - if this was my bike I'd be installing an e13 DRS guide.
-The bike handled quickly and felt STIFF - both laterally (very good thing) and in small bumps (is that the Horst link or the shock?).
-The red/white color is very attractive. It inspires you to buy some white Syncros hubs and rims for the ultimate in snazz.
-This bike is a "must consider" for budget minded riders.www.KHScanada.com