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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the bike itch today and poked around Craigslist. Found a KHS Flite 800 Reynolds 853 bike for $550. Price and frame size is right, and have heard 853 is the best Reynolds has to offer. I have been riding my Surly Crosscheck (4130 CroMo) for the past year and really enjoy the ride quality of steel. It has served me well as a daily commuter and I have been able to hold my own on 50+ mile supported rides.

While researching steels, it seems 853 can be lighter than 4130 but has a bit more flex if the tubes are thinner (which I don't mind since I seldom hammer it). Alternatively, if it is the same thickness as 4130, it would be stiffer. I know a test ride is the best way to determine if the frame is right for me, but what are some thoughts from people who has owned both 4130 and 853 bikes? Do you have a preference to a certain steel?
 

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I wouldn't snicker at one. KHS has been around for decades and even if they aren't a huge company, they are a good one. If you decide to buy it, you won't regret it.
 

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Do you know what year it is? Can you link the ad? I remember that Flight 800s had longish top tubes, so don't go solely on the frame size. Throw a leg over it and make sure it fits well.
 

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I've had both and the rides are fantastic, I have an 02 Lemond Zurich with 853 and I love how solid it feels. I've never felt any flex whatsoever, if the bike fits you I wouldn't be apprehensive at all to buying it.
 

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My current custom frame has 4130 but be advised; 4130 is pretty much a generic term when speaking of high end steels. Sometimes the manufacturer does not want to disclose the exact origin of the tubing for fear it will dissuade buyers.

I sincerely doubt anyone could tell the difference between an 853 bike and a "4130" bike, given everything being equal. I know I couldn't.

My old ATB frame, a Salsa Ala Carte, was built with 853. It rode fine.

I could be wrong but I believe some KHS frames were built in the U.S. by Zinn Cycles. Lennard and his company have a long, good reputation.

The only thing to detract from buying a KHS frame would be the lack of status from owning a less than popular name. You'd essentially would be riding a bargain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think its been sold as the seller hasn't responded and the ad is now over 30 days old.

As far as brand recognition goes, I'm not partial to any brand, so that's not much of an issue. I was more interested in an 853 frame since it can (will?) be lighter than my Crosscheck.
 

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As far as brand recognition goes, I'm not partial to any brand, so that's not much of an issue. I was more interested in an 853 frame since it can (will?) be lighter than my Crosscheck.
You're probably right that any builder choosing 853 will be making bikes lighter that Surly.....but don't choose a bike based just on it using 853. 853 is the type of steel. The 'recipe' of the alloys for lack of a better way to say it.

That type of steel may be shaped, bent, butted or have certain wall thickness. I'm not sure how many wall thickness and butting options Reynolds offers but I do know they have at least two with those being road and mountain. The available options of 853 may or may not be a good choice for your body weight and riding style. And that stuff is secondary to geometry anyway.

In other words, it would be possible to make a very poor riding bike with 853 steel so don't make any assumptions that a bike will be a certain way because it uses it. Although, it is really good steel and can result in about the best steel bike there can be when it's in the hands of a skilled bike designer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It says that it's deleted. Did you end up getting it?
Yep, I went to check it out, had a test ride, really liked the fitment and geo. He even took off another $85 since the inner tubes weren't holding air very well and the front tire had a cut.

I took a screen shot of the ad and can post it at a later time if anyone is interested in the ad. I'll go through it this coming week and take it for a test ride this coming weekend.
 

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Sounds like a well-equipped bike. Good deal, especially if the wheels are similar quality. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's the original craigslist ad:



The wheels included are AClass Wheels, pretty new as the brake tracks show little to no wear.
 
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