Photos/Video: Pat Carrigan
Within KHS’s large assortment of bikes are four different drop-bar build options intended to be used as a gravel bike. To find out more about KHS’s concept of quality with value, we had the opportunity to put the latest gravel build through our testing.
KHS offers the Grit as a complete bike in four different builds ranging from a chromoly frameset at $829 with quick releases, to a $2799 carbon bike with front and rear thru-axles. The Grit 220 we tested comes right in the middle at $1,199 with internal cable routing and a carbon fork (with an alloy steerer). You’ll find a fashionably flared aluminum handlebar mounted on the alloy stem.
The 6061 double butted aluminum frame that has an abundance of mounts including two on top tube for a small pack, rear fender and rack mounts and eight on the fork (six mounts, two eyelets) which allows the bike to be compatible with racks, fenders, and even bike-packing essentials.
Our test bike featured Shimano’s entry-level Sora R3000 nine-speed drivetrain which consisted a 50/34t crankset with an 11-32t cassette. Yes, you might have some cycling friends who boast of their 11-12 speed drivetrains, but this is one of the component details that is ultimately curtailed by cost.
We put the KHS up against routes that ran through a mix of surfaces and technical terrain. Throughout, the bike responded well and felt planted to the ground with a long 104cm wheelbase. We did feel that the reach was on the long-side so we swapped a the stock 100mm stem for a 90mm stem which also improved the handling traits by making it a bit snappier.
KHS didn’t intend the 220 to be a hardcore gravel bike, but considering the price and build, the Grit 220 can open new doors to a rider that is looking to get more involved with the mixed-surface endeavors. Along the way of learning more, the rider will surely begin to modify it from stock and further upgrade this capable machine.
● Good value for a rider looking to branch out
● Bike packing will need an easier gear range
● A worthy upgrade would be a tubeless conversion
Weight: 25.03 pounds
Sizes: 49, 52, 55, 58cm (tested)
For the complete test – look for the September issue of Road Bike Action.