i love the 300. it rides smooth gets up an going fast.. but the worst is the gears they are loud and seem to never find the right gear with out it making noise.. i went for a bike ride 4 miles . the chain an gear locked up!!! ya fun.. other then that its fun great bike for the buck and the seat is not that bad as may say it is..
Strengths: VERY VERSATILE, strong, stable geometry, handles dirt very well. It is steel!!!!
Weaknesses: It is quite heavy... so heavy that I don't even bother thinking about what components I put on it since it will always be a heavy bike - that's kind of a strength for me at least.
I LOVE this frame... it has been built up in so many configurations that I can't decide which is best. It was originally straight up 'cross ride w/ Ultegra 9-speed and a Ritchey Compact crank, then I built it up as a SingleSpeed, which was great, then a 1x9 w/ and without a flat bar, and now it's back to being a SS commuter, I put a Redline carbon fork on it and that's kind of cool looking... it can ride dirt or pavement well and is SUPER predictable and stable...
I think I need a new elastomer as the blue one is a bit dried out. I am always surprise at how it takes the edge off the rough stuff - but doesn't feel squishy at all when climbing. I'll give KHS or MOOTS a call and see what they can do.
If you see one of these on ebay or at a garage sale or on craigslist GRAB IT - you will be glad you did.
Favorite Ride: anything without cars.... pavement, dirt or other...
Purchased At: Veloswap, Denver
Bike Setup: Ritchey Compact crank w/ just 34t ring and a bashguard, Avid Shorty 6 cantis, Cane Creek levels, old Campy 8-speed rear wheel as a single speed, Redline Carbon fork.
a Recreational Rider
from Grand Junction, Colorado
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2003
Strengths: A VERY comfortable ride on and off road. Great price, OK components. A few upgrades really make the bike a gem.
This bike is also available as a frame set - if you already have some components that would be a great way to build a bike.
Hauling-butt down a dirt road (or even a firm trail) at paved road speeds is a total hoot!
It handles well and is very stable off road or on.
Do you commute? This bike is Nirvana.
Weaknesses: - The wheel set and cassette are heavy. KHS should either offer two CX models (OK 'cross is a niche so maybe not) or upgrade the wheels. Also, if you are listening KHS, dump the heavy Shimano cassette for the SRAM - a much better product anyway.
-The factory handlebars were far too wide for me. Ask your shop to swap them out and they should do it for free.
-I never could get my rear brake dialed in well with either wheel set. I switched cables, housing, pads, upgraded to a V brake with the thing-ama-gig booster but still never had super breaking. Perpaps it is the Sora lever?
Front brake is great.
A friend turned me onto cross bikes years back - could they really be THAT great? It took me a few years to buy one but it beat my wildest dreams for fun! I had a Surley Crosscheck with Ultegra - liked it (OK, LOVED it!) quite a bit but it was wrecked on a friend's car wacking into a car port (ouch!)
I decided to try the KHS as the soft tail seemed like a sharp idea. The price was reasonable and I’ve only done minor upgrades. The bike is VERY comfortable. I mostly use it as a year-round commuter (10 miles a day unless I take the 50 mile scenic route) but I also road ride and “cross” it on single track and dirt roads.
On the road it rides just fine. I don’t notice any significant “bob” on climbs out of the saddle. I weigh 140 pounds so maybe if you were 200 lbs you would notice. We have some great hills around here - a 3,000 foot climb right out of town and I spend a lot of time climbing on it - no prob. It is also very comfortable over distance and the stock tires make a nice compromise for long distant road rides with some dirt or single track mixed in.
For commuting the soft tail, longer wheelbase, steel frame, and wider-than-road but narrower-than-mtn tires are simply charming.
On dirt the soft tail just gobbles up the bumps! Small washboards literally go unnoticed with my full weight on the saddle (but my hands bounce around like all heck). I felt a noticeable speed gain on singletrack vs. my fixed tail cross bike.
The Sora equipment is adequate. Unlike 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace shifting one direction is done with your thumb (like Campy). It took me a bit to get used to that but it is OK. Shifting is noticeably poorer than Ultegra but not enough that I regret it or want to spend the $$ to upgrade. The Sora shifters are fairly light because of their design differences even though they are lower-end. I swapped out the cassette for a SRAM 8 speed 12x26 (factory Shimano is a 12x25) and this saved about 100 grams for under $30! I still use the wheelset for commuting but it is too heavy for racing or real cross riding - who wants to shoulder the extra weight? If I remember I saved well over 2 pounds between the wheels and cassette alone, another pound or so with other parts.
NOTE! My shop didn't have my size frame in stock. As of spring 2003, the KHS web site was totally wrong on almost all their specs so be careful if you order one of these. Their wheelbase shows several inches too long, seat tube height was wrong, etc... I think KHS probably loses a bunch of business because of their "weird" specs on the web. I almost didn't buy one but checked their web specs against a Large size in the shop and extrapolated out to the Medium size. I am 5' 9" and fit a Medium quite well but your preferences for bike frames may differ.
Favorite Ride: "18 Road" loops single track via road from town
Purchased At: local KHS shop CB Cy
Similar Products Used: Surley Cross-check with Ultegra nine speed.
Also own an Ultegra CAAD 5 Cannondale road bike and a Cannondale late 1990's CAAD 3 mtn bike head shock with XT and a unicycle. Wish I had a folding bike -
Bike Setup: I tried to keep cost low and minimize upgrades.
Kept most Sora 8 speed equipment but did these changes:
Ultegra Rear D. - had one in the parts bin and it saves weight, probably shifts better but never rode long with the Sora.
SRAM 8 spd rear cassette - saved about 100 grams for $27 - the least $/g I've ever spent and I think it is a better cassette anyway.
Replaced factory wheels - KHS wheels are HEAVY and not so great but I still use them to commute.
WTB Rocket V seat - came with it from the bike shop but not spec - mid weight but comfy.
Profile Design Handlebars - lighter than stock and also factory bars were too wide - your bike shop should switch out for narrower bars or they are posers.
IRD upper bar brakes - these are just the coolest! There are several manufactures but these devices let you brake from the tops of your bars - very nifty for commuting or while off road especially dropping over stairs/rocks. They allow the same hand position as mtn biking.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2003
Strengths: (1) THE RIDE: plush, but it doesn't feel like a noodle.
(2) THE PRICE: you can buy an entire CX100 bike for only about $700.
(3) THE RELIABILITY: takes a licking, but keeps on ticking--crash with confidence
Weaknesses: (1) THE WHEELS: OEM wheels way too heavy; extremely difficult to replace tires on the rims (I believe that they are not truly 700c, but somewhat larger).
(2) SORA SHIFTERS: the thumb shifting is non-intuitive and imprecise; must upgrade to at least 105 STI shifters for minimally competent and reliable shifting
(3) THE CRANK: perhaps I had a defective TRUVATIV crank, but my pedal threads became stripped after only one short 25 mile ride; evidently the crank material is VERY soft; be certain to check threading-in of pedal cranks during installation.
The CX100 is an EXTREMELY comfortable and durable frame. The ride is highly compliant due to the steel construction and rear suspension, yet there is no "bobbing" during hard climbs or while staning on the pedals. The handling is first rate--it can carve corners, both on road and off road, with confidence and agility. Lastly, it is my most durable frame, as I have had two major crashes with it, yet it looks and rides just as good as new.
Similar Products Used: This is my first cyclocross frame.
Bike Setup: 105 Shifters (switched from OEM Sora)
Alex hubs and rims (switched from OEM Sun)
Selle Italia Flite Trans-Am (switched from OEM Selle Italia XO)
Truvativ Cyclocross Crankset (replaced OEM Truvativ with same due to failure)
TTT "The" threadless stem and bars
Cane creek threadless headset
Weyless seatpost (replaced OEM post)
from SEATTLE, WA USA
Weaknesses: paint job, lack of braze-ons for rack and fenders
i actually only have the khs frame. i bought the frame and fork and sold the fork. replaced the aluminum fork with a kona project 2 steel fork. then built the bike up from the frame. i use the bike to commute on and its great. i'm about 210 lbs. and the rear softail shock definitely smooths out the little bumps you encounter on the road. i ride seattle's burke gilman trail often and i've taken this bike on the same route i ride my lemond zurich and i intentionally rode over all of the ruts and cracks, large and small i usually avoid on my zurich. the rear shock handles the normal road ruts, cracks deformities with ease. smooths them right out. on the zurich, i'd get a nice little jolt if i ever went to sleep and hit one of those ruts; with the khs, you dont even feel them.
frame is nice and quick and agile. just as it is supposed to be, its like a combination of road bike speed with mountain bike toughness and agility. climbs very well, and the softail doesnt appear to be impair your ability to hammer up the steepest hills. and here in seattle, we certainly have to deal with large, intimidating hills.
the only issue i have with the bike is that the paint job appears to be a bit second rate. its already chipped in a couple of spots a bit too easily. it doesnt have the usual braze-ons for fenders or a rack either, but with a little bit of creativity and several inexpensive clamps i was easily able to mount both, and there is still plenty of room for fat tires. i am running 28's on mine now, but i've slipped a 40 mm tire on just to size it on the bike and it appeared to fit fine.
i've seen the frame, alone, retailed for four to five hundred bucks at various places online. i dont know if i would pay that much for the frame alone. but if i were looking for a versatile frame to build up and knock around the city on, and could buy one of these for 200-300 bucks, i would definitely jump at that deal. there are lots of these frames for sale online and at the prices you can buy them for on ebay or other online outlets, they are a steal. the steel frame is nice and compliant and the shock ads that nice little touch. it doesnt hurt performance and it definitely adds a bit of comfort.
admittedly, i'm just cruising, usually, back and forth to work, seven miles each way and i'm not hammering around, but i imagine lots of folks who buy cyclocross bikes end up doing pretty much the same thing, and this bike is excellent for that use.
by the way, i have the 2001 model, and this one uses true temper ox II steel and not the reynolds tubing used in the 2002 model. not sure how that changes the bike's ride.
Similar Products Used: specialized ground control bike fitted for road use; nishiki manitoba mountain bike fitted with slicks; trek 720 multitrack; lemond zurich, although that's not really a similar bike at all
Bike Setup: titec flat bar, 9 speed attack sram gripshifters, koski brake levers, jamis stem, kona project 2 fork, fsa pig headset, tektro brakes, specialized armidillo sport tires, 105 triple crank, 105 splined bottom bracket, body geometry leather saddle, parallax hubs, sram 9 speed cassette, xt front and rear derailleurs