Adventuremobile: KHS Flite 100
The Adventuremobile series on Adventure Seekers will showcase the best ways of exploring your environment; whether it be off or off road, human powered or driven by a motor we are constantly looking for ways to improve your daily experience.
In this edition, we bring out the urban adventure seekers in a fixed gear bicycle build. We hooked up with KHS Bicycles, WTB tires, Giro, Kryptonite and Fyxation to help complete a reasonably priced and stylish human powered adventuremobile with all the essential gear you’ll need to get out there and explore.
– The Build –
Fixed gear bicycles are very simple; with no gears to jam or break down they offer a simplistic mode of transportation. It’s just you, the road and your legs powering the machine through city streets, alleys and dodging cars and pedestrians all while attempting to arrive safely to your destination. Our bike is a mostly stock KHS Flite 100 (with a sweet Canadian-only matte black paint job) with upgraded WTB Thickslick tires to ensure you avoid flats and punctures by picking up road debris, Serfas cam bar wrap to keep the bad vibrations away and to help break-up the color scheme, a Giro Atmos helmet to keep your noggin safe on the streets and a Kryptonite Evo Mini to keep the thieves away. We’re also running a very reasonable set of pedals, the Shimano A520s for durability and reliability along with Giro Republic (you can read our impressions here) shoes to keep up with the style theme of the build. We did add a front brake (regardless of your opinion of running fixed w/brake, it’s just something we feel necessary and can’t wrap our heads around NOT having a lever there so we added one for convenience).
We also added a special treat from our friends at Fyxation that allows even the thirstiest of riders to quench their thirst, because no adventure is complete until a celebration is had by all.
The bike comes well equipped for under $700; the gem of the build being the Reynolds Chromoly frame that provides the rigidity and forgiveness one needs out of a urban explorer. The parts build isn’t anything to write home about, especially at this price point but that’s okay because we’re looking for a reliable and reasonable machine, not a show queen. The matte black paint job with the phantom graphic set (a Canadian specific colourway) blends in with the rest of the bikes on the street which we prefer. The chrome accents help break of the monotony of the all-black rig and add a splash of shine. The Thickslick tires add puncture protection and beefier sidewalls to help avoid punctures along the way which is incredibly important – nothing ruins an urban exploration faster than a flat and we love how they have white and pronounced lettering on the sidewalls. The 44 / 16 gearing allows the rider to maintain speed through the flat sections and also be able to climb out of any hills encountered along the way and we didn’t wish for different gearing, but others may.
We picked the Kryptonite Evolution Mini w/cable to keep the bike safe when parked out in public. We like Kryptonite because of their guarantee and if your bike is stolen when using their products, they’ll send you a check for the value; we don’t like leaving any of our bikes unattended for any reason, but the lock helped alleviate that a bit).
We have taken the bike all over our local stomping grounds (the streets of Toronto) and overall liked how the KHS performed on city streets; although the saddle isn’t the most comfortable unit out there it definitely took a few rides to break it in but as mentioned earlier, the frame is what makes the bike.
– The Goods –
We set out to assemble a great looking and reliable starting point for anyone looking to get into fixed gear cycling and using it as a tool for urban exploration, commuting, fitness or even to enjoy the simplicity and joy that riding a bicycle brings. We looked to add protection on the contact patch to avoid flats, a helmet that looks good but also has the reputation of a great cycling brand behind it, a lock that is guaranteed to keep your bike safe and above all else, a bike that can take you there without disintegrating underneath you and can make your hard earned money go the distance, bypassing the trendy urban bikes that are flooding the market nowadays. A great addition to this was the “beverage” holder by Fyxation. Their bottle holder is the icing on the cake here, allowing a quick rip to the local establishment to bring refreshments with you or to a friends place, a beach or wherever thirst may strike there’s always an option for you.
So go forth and explore and hopefully by seeing what choices we made to ensure the most smiles-per-miles were had that can help you start your journey into the wonderful world of cycling.