Is KHS GRIT 55 Worth Buying? – [2023 KHS GRIT 55 Review]

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2023 KHS GRIT 55 Review

  • Price: $1199
  • Frame: Steel
  • Wheels: 700C Aluminum
  • Gear: 2×8

What we like about it: Rugged and all-terrain involved.

What we don’t like about it: The greater weight

Rating (4.6/5)

KHS GRIT 55
KHS GRIT 55

KHS Bicycle Company has been in the bicycle industry since 1974. Over the years, it has earned a reputation for producing high-quality and reliable bicycles that meet the needs of a wide range of riders. One of its most popular series is the GRIT, which is a gravel bike series designed for adventurers who want a versatile ride that can handle any terrain.

The 2022 KHS GRIT 55 is the latest product in this series, featuring a sturdy steel frame, mid-range components, and mechanical disc brakes. With its durable structure and multi-functional capabilities, this bike is an excellent choice for riders who want to explore new roads and push their limits.

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Riding Experience

Recently, I had the opportunity to take the 2022 KHS GRIT 55 for a spin on some local roads and gravel paths. Another thing that needs to be prepared in advance is booking accommodation. This time, I still booked accommodation on Skyscanner, hoping for a good rest. As soon as I hopped on the bike, I could feel the comfortable geometry of the steel frame and knew it was going to be a fun ride.

I usually ride on the road, along some rolling hills near my hometown in the Pacific Northwest. I was a little intimidated when I started riding the GRIT 55, not knowing how a gravel bike would behave on smooth asphalt. But as I started riding, I realized that this bike was built for speed. The bike’s mid-range components make for a smooth and efficient ride. I found myself easily keeping up with the other road cyclists on the route. I felt very light when riding this bike. It was responsive, with power transferred from my legs to the wheels with every pedal stroke.

After finishing the road portion, I was eager to test the bike’s abilities on some gravel segments. I headed to a nearby gravel race, the Grinduro Washington, to put the GRIT 55 through its paces. The race mixed gravel roads, sidewalks, and dirt tracks, some with steep climbs and technical descents.

The first few miles of the race were on flat gravel roads, and the bike performed exceptionally well. The mechanical disc brakes allowed for precise stopping, and I could feel the confident grip of the tires on loose gravel. The geometry of the bike allowed for a comfortable riding position, and I felt like I could continue riding for miles without any fatigue.

Downhill and Uphill

As the race continued, the terrain became more challenging. There were sections of deep sand, rocky descents, and steep climbs. The bike’s 2×8 drivetrain allowed for quick and easy gear changes and I found myself climbing the hills with ease. The bike’s steel frame absorbed the bumps of the rough terrain and I was able to maintain my speed without getting jolted too much.

The most challenging part of the race was a steep, rocky descent with lots of turns. I was a little nervous about using the GRIT 55 on this section, but the bike’s handling was impeccable. The bike’s geometry allowed for precise steering and I felt I could navigate these corners with ease. The mechanical disc brakes also gave me the confidence to go downhill at a controlled speed without worrying about losing control of the bike.

Overall, my experience with the 2022 KHS GRIT 55 has been very good. The bike performed well on both the road and gravel sections that I rode. I was impressed with its speed and comfort. The steel frame and mid-range components of this bike make it a great value for anyone looking for a versatile gravel bike that can handle a variety of terrain. Whether you’re competing in challenging gravel races like Grinduro or just enjoying a leisurely ride on local roads, the GRIT 55 is a great choice.

Specification

The 2022 KHS GRIT 55 features a sturdy Reynolds 520 DB CrMo tube steel frame with rack mounts and disc brake mounting, providing durability and reliability on any terrain. The wheelset includes Weinmann U28 TL rims with double-wall and tubeless-ready design, paired with Kenda K1152 Flintridge 700x40C tires, providing excellent traction and stability on rough surfaces. The 8-speed Shimano Claris groupset provides a smooth and efficient drivetrain, while the Bengal MB700T cable disc brakes ensure precise and reliable stopping power.

Overall, the combination of the frame, wheelset, drivetrain, and braking system makes the KHS GRIT 55 a versatile and reliable gravel bike suitable for riders of all skill levels.

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What do we like about it?

  • Sturdy steel frame: The Reynolds 520DB chromoly tubular steel frame provides a durable and reliable base for the bike with carrier cams and disc mounts for added versatility.
  • Versatile wheelset: Weinmann U28 TL rims and Kenda K1152 Flintridge tires provide excellent traction and stability on a variety of terrain, from smooth asphalt to rough gravel roads.
  • Smooth and efficient driverain: Shimano’s Claris 8-speed group offers smooth and precise shifting, making it easy to find the right gear in any situation.
  • Precise braking power: Bengal MB700T wired disc brakes provide reliable and consistent braking power, even on steep downhill grades or in wet conditions.
  • Comfortable geometry: The bike’s Adventure Compact Bend handlebars and comfortable saddle with micro-adjustable seatpost provide a comfortable and ergonomic riding position.
  • Wide size range: The KHS GRIT 55 is available in sizes XS, S, M, and L to accommodate a wide range of riders from petite to tall.
  • For any adventure: Whether you’re exploring new roads, commuting, or competing in challenging gravel races, the KHS GRIT 55 is a versatile and reliable bike that can handle whatever you throw at it.

What don’t we like about it?

  • Weight: The whole bike weighs more.

FAQs

  • Is the bike suitable for beginners?

Yes. The KHS GRIT 55 is a great bike for beginners, but also for intermediate and advanced riders. The comfortable geometry and versatile components make it easy to handle and maneuver, while still providing a great riding experience.

  • Can this bike handle rough terrain?

Yes. The KHS GRIT 55 is designed to handle all kinds of terrain, including rough gravel roads and dirt tracks. The sturdy steel frame, reliable wheelset, and powerful brakes make it the perfect choice for any adventure.

  • How does this bike perform on the road?

The KHS GRIT 55 performs well on the road. The drivetrain is smooth and efficient, and the riding position is comfortable. The mid-range components and lightweight design make it a great choice for commuters or riders who like to mix road and gravel surfaces.

  • Is this bike easy to customize?

Yes, the KHS GRIT 55 is easy to customize. With a threadless helmet and 31.8mm handlebars and stem, it can be easily upgraded or customized to meet your specific needs and preferences.

  • What is the quality assurance of the bicycle?

KHS Bicycles offers a lifetime limited warranty on the frame and fork of the KHS GRIT 55, and a one-year warranty on all other components. This provides the rider with peace of mind against any manufacturing defects or problems.

  • What is the maximum load capacity of the KHS GRIT 55 road bike?

The maximum weight capacity of the bike is 113 kg (250 lbs), including the weight of the rider, the bike, and any accessories or cargo.

KHS GRIT 55 Specs

Build

FrameReynolds 520 DB CrMo Tubing w/Carrier Bosses & Disc MountColor: Blue
ForkFull CrMo Unicrown, Low-rider and Fender Bosses w/Disc, Straight Blade
Bottom BracketFSA Cartridge Bearing
HeadsetFSA Threadless 1-1/8, Zero Stack
StemPromax Aluminum 3D Forged, Threadless 4 Bolt, 31.8, XS:80mm, S:90mm, M-L:100mm
HandlebarPromax Aluminum Drop, Adventure Compact Bend, 31.8, XS:40cm, S-M:42cm, L:44cm
SaddleKHS Sport Road
SeatpostAluminum Micro-Adjust, 27.2mm
Pedalsn/a

Groupset

Rear DerailleurShimano Claris RD-R2000GS
Front DerailleurShimano Claris FD-R2000, 31.8mm
CrankAluminum Forged 3pc., 48×32 Compact, XS:165, S-M:170, L:175
ShiftersShimano Claris STI, ST-R2000
CassetteShimano HG318, 11-34, 8-Speed
ChainKMC Z8.3
BrakesBengal MB700T Cable Disc, 160/160 Wave 12
Brake LeversShimano Claris STI

Wheels

RimsWeinmann U28 TL, Disc Double Wall, Tubeless-Ready
Spokes14G Stainless Black, 32×32
Front HubKK Aluminum Disc, QR w/Rubber Seal
Rear HubKK Aluminum Disc, QR w/Rubber Seal, Cassette
TiresKenda K1152 Flintridge, 700x40C, 60TPI

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewDrivetrainFrame materialGroupset
Specialized Diverge E5Click view2×10Aluminum alloyGRX 400, GRX 600
2023 Cannondale Topstone 4Click view1×10Aluminum alloymicroSHIFT Advent X
2023 Canyon Grail 6Click view2×10Aluminum alloyGRX 400, GRX 600
Kona Rove AL 700Click view2×8Aluminum alloyClaris

KHS GRIT 55 vs Specialized Diverge E5

Specialized Diverge E5
Specialized Diverge E5

A comparison of the two bikes shows that the Specialized Diverge E5 has a super high specification component configuration. The aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork bring the weight down to a very respectable standard. The hydraulic disc brakes are also equipped to keep the bike braking very efficiently in wet weather.

The KHS GRIT 55 uses Shimano’s cost-effective Claris components, while the Specialized Diverge E5 uses Shimano’s gravel road bike kit, which is designed for gravel road bikes and allows the chain to stay on the cogs and not come off due to bumps.

Learn More: Is Specialized Diverge Comp E5 Worth Buying? [2022 Specialized Diverge Comp E5 Review]

KHS GRIT 55 vs Cannondale Topstone 4

Cannondale Topstone 4
Cannondale Topstone 4

From my multiple test rides and comparisons, I can tell that both bikes are high-quality gravel road bikes. The Cannondale Topstone 4 has a higher price and relatively better component configuration. It features an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber fork, which helps to reduce the weight of the bike while providing excellent rigidity, making it suitable for power rides.

On the other hand, the KHS GRIT 55 features a Reynolds 520 steel frame that provides good shock absorption and durability, making it a bike that can be used for a very long time without damage. However, it compromises a bit on weight compared to the Cannondale Topstone 4.

KHS GRIT 55 vs Canyon Grail 6

Canyon Grail 6
Canyon Grail 6

This bike features a 2×10-speed freewheel configuration, providing a denser range of gearing and making it ideal for riders who seek a more dynamic shifting experience. The wheel size of either 650b or 700c allows riders to choose from a variety of sizes, and even smaller riders can achieve the same geometry as the standard frame.

At the same time, the Canyon Grail 6 on the list is the lightest in weight, making it easy to carry over challenging terrain. However, neither bike can match the durability and ease of maintenance of the KHS GRIT 55’s steel frame.

Learn More: Is Canyon Grail 7 Worth Buying? [2022 Canyon Grail 7 Review]

KHS GRIT 55 vs Kona Rove AL 700

Kona Rove AL 700
Kona Rove AL 700

This bike has a very low price point and features an aluminum frame and aluminum fork. Therefore, its shock-absorbing performance is relatively inferior to the KHS GRIT 55’s steel frame, but it is lighter in weight.

In terms of braking, both bikes use mechanical disc brakes. Although they do not perform as well as high-cost hydraulic disc brakes, they are still much better than rim brakes. The two bikes have identical drivetrain systems. Therefore, the choice between the two bikes depends entirely on your preference for the frame.

Learn More: Is Kona Rove Worth Buying? – [Kona Rove Review]

Summary

Above is our test of the KHS GRIT 55. Based on our test, we can tell that it is a steel-frame gravel road bike that is very suitable for riding on complex and rugged terrain. It can be used roughly without worrying about damage to your bike. The wide tires also provide better stability and better traction for the bike.

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