Is KHS FLITE 280 Worth Buying? – [ KHS FLITE 280 Review]

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KHS FLITE 280 Review

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

What we like about it: Affordable price, very good value for money.

What we don’t like about it: Rim brakes.

Rating (4.6/5)

KHS FLITE 280
KHS FLITE 280

KHS Bicycle Company has been producing high-quality bicycles for over 45 years and has become a respected name in the cycling industry. The KHS FLITE series was first introduced in the 1980s and has been a cornerstone of the brand’s success. It combines performance, style, and affordability.

The 2022 KHS FLITE 280 is a versatile road bike that continues this tradition, offering riders a multifunctional and reliable option for both leisure and competitive cycling. This bike features a lightweight and durable aluminum frame, a carbon fiber fork, and Shimano Claris components, designed to handle various terrains, from smooth city streets to challenging mountain roads.

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Riding Experience

As a retired professional racer, I’ve had the opportunity to ride some of the best bikes in the world. But no bike has impressed me as much as the 2022 KHS FLITE 280. This bike has become my go-to for regular rides and long road pulls, and it has proven to be reliable and comfortable on every occasion. Before setting off, I also booked accommodation through Skyscanner to give myself ample space to rest and prepare.

I recently took the FLITE 280 around the San Francisco Bay Area, starting from Sausalito and heading up Mt. Tamalpais. The ride started with a long climb. The bike felt incredibly responsive and nimble as I navigated the tight turns and steep inclines. I was able to maintain a steady pace without sacrificing comfort, and the light frame allowed me to shift gears quickly and handle the inclines with ease.

As I reached the top of the hill, the terrain flattened out and I was able to pick up some serious speed. When I was going downhill, the KHS FLITE 280 felt very stable and secure, and even when I hit some bumps in the road, I was able to stay in control.

Challenge Riding

I also took the KHS FLITE 280 for a longer ride, including the Rapha Prestige on the Santa Monica Mountains. This grueling ride covered over 100 miles of different terrains, from steep climbs to winding descents, and the bike performed flawlessly throughout the entire journey. The carbon fiber fork provided excellent shock absorption, and even during the longest rides, the padded saddle made me feel comfortable.

One of my favorite memories of riding the FLITE 280 was during the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. The race is known for its grueling climbs and unpredictable weather, but the FLITE 280 was up to the challenge. With the bike’s efficient pedaling and responsive handling, I was able to easily navigate technical terrain and stay ahead on the flats.

Overall, I am impressed with the 2022 KHS FLITE 280. It is a reliable and versatile bike that can handle various terrains and conditions. Every time I take it out, it provides a comfortable and exhilarating ride. Whether I am chasing speed on short rides or tackling tough races, the KHS FLITE 280 has become my trusted partner on the road.

Specification

The 2022 KHS FLITE 280 boasts an impressive component configuration, making it a standout choice for road bike athletes. The 6061 aluminum frame features custom-formed double-butted T/T and D/T, internal cable routing, and a replaceable derailleur hanger, providing a sturdy and reliable platform for any ride. The carbon fiber fork paired with the aluminum steerer, Weinmann XP-24 aluminum double-wall rims, and Kenda K-193 Kwest road tires provide a responsive ride. Additionally, the Shimano Claris groupset paired with the FSA Vero aluminum crankset offers smooth and efficient shifting.

The Tektro MD-C550 dual-piston flat mount road disc brake system provides reliable and powerful braking, making this bike the top choice for riders seeking a versatile and high-performance ride.

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What do we like about it?

  • Lightweight and durable aluminum frame makes for a more agile and responsive ride.
  • The efficient and reliable Shimano Claris group with smooth shifting and responsive pedaling.
  • The Tektro MD-C550 dual piston flush mount road line disc brake system provides reliable and powerful braking capability.
  • Internal cable routing for a clean, streamlined look
  • Replaceable transmission mounts for easy maintenance and repair
  • Kenda K-193 Kwest road tires for a smooth and comfortable ride.
  • FSA Vero aluminum crankset for efficient pedaling and power transmission

What don’t we like about it?

  • Rim brakes.

FAQs

  • Is this bike suitable for long-distance riding?

Yes, the KHS FLITE 280 is suitable for long-distance riding. The carbon fiber fork provides good shock absorption, while the padded saddle and ergonomic handlebars ensure comfort even during long rides.

  • Can I upgrade the parts on this bike?

Yes, the components on the KHS FLITE 280 can be upgraded. The frame is compatible with various components, and you can easily replace wheels, drivetrains, brakes, and other parts as needed.

  • Is the bike suitable for recreational and competitive cycling?

Yes, the KHS FLITE 280 is suitable for both recreational and competitive cycling. The lightweight and responsive frame, efficient drivetrain, and powerful brakes make it a versatile and high-performance bike for a variety of cycling disciplines.

  • Is the bike easy to assemble?

The KHS FLITE 280 requires some assembly, but it comes with clear instructions and most of the parts are already pre-installed. If you are not comfortable assembling the bike yourself, you can take it to a local bike store for professional assembly.

KHS FLITE 280 Specs

Build

FrameNew Disc Design, 6061 Aluminum w/Custom Formed Double Butted T/T & D/T, Internal Cable, Flat Mount Disc, Replaceable Derailleur HangerColor: Black
ForkCarbon w/Aluminum Steerer, Flat Mount Disc, Straight Blades
Bottom BracketFSA Cartridge Bearing
HeadsetFSA Integrated Cartridge Bearing
StemAluminum 3D Forged, Threadless 4-bolt, 7-degree, 31.8, XS-S:90mm, M-ML:100mm, L-XL:110mm, Ladies: 80mm
HandlebarFSA Vero Compact Bend, 31.8, XS-ML:42cm, L-XL:44cm, Ladies:38cm
SaddleDDK Road Padded
SeatpostKHS Aluminum Micro-Adjust, 27.2
PedalsFull Aluminum w/DU Bearing

Groupset

Rear DerailleurShimano Claris RD-R2000SS
Front DerailleurShimano Claris FD-R2000, 31.8mm
CrankFSA Vero Aluminum, 50/34T, XS:165, S-M:170, L-XL-175
ShiftersShimano Claris STI, ST-R2000
CassetteShimano HG200-8, 12-32T, 8-Speed
ChainKMC Z8.3 w/Missing Link
BrakesTektro MD-C550 Dual Piston, Flat Mount Road Cable Disc Brake w/160mm Rotors
Brake LeversShimano Claris ST-R2000

Wheels

RimsWeinmann XP-24 Aluminum Double Wall
Spokes14G Stainless Black, 24×28
Front HubKK Aluminum Disc, QR
Rear HubKK Aluminum Disc QR, Cassette
TiresKenda K-193 Kwest Road, 700x28C

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewDrivetrainFrame materialGroupset
2023 Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4Click view2×10Carbon FiberShimano Tiagra
2023 Polygon Strattos S4Click view2×11Carbon FiberShimano 105
2023 Jamis VENTURA A2Click view2×11AluminumShimano 105
2022 Specialized Allez EliteClick view2×11AluminumShimano 105, FSA

KHS FLITE 280 vs Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4

Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4
Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4

For starters, the KHS FLITE 280 is more expensive than the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4. This price difference is reflected in the bike’s premium components, including the Shimano Claris groupset and Tektro MD-C550 two-piston disc brake system. It offers better performance and reliability than the FSA components and rim brakes on the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4.

In addition, the KHS FLITE 280 has a carbon fiber fork. It offers good damping and handling compared to the aluminum fork of the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4. And it also has internal cable routing and replaceable derailleur hangers. These provide a clean streamlined look and make maintenance and repairs easier.

That being said, the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4 does have some advantages over the KHS FLITE 280. It has a lower price point, which makes it more accessible to budget-conscious riders. The combination of FSA components on the bike is also a good balance between affordability and performance. In addition, the rim brakes on the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4 may require less maintenance than the disc brakes on the KHS FLITE 280.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If performance is a priority for you and you don’t mind spending a little more, the KHS FLITE 280 is probably the better choice. However, if you’re on a tight budget or prefer simple rim brakes, the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4 may be a better choice for you.

Learn More: Is Cannondale CAADX 1 A Good Bike? [2022 Cannondale CAADX 1 Review]

KHS FLITE 280 vs Polygon Strattos S4

Polygon Strattos S4
Polygon Strattos S4

For starters, the Polygon Strattos S4 is less expensive than the KHS FLITE 280, making it a more accessible option for budget-conscious riders. In addition, the Polygon Strattos S4 is lighter, which can make it easier to maneuver and accelerate.

The Polygon Strattos S4 also has rim brakes, which may require less maintenance than the disc brakes on the KHS FLITE 280. However, the FLITE 280 has a Tektro MD-C550 two-piston disc brake system. It offers greater braking capability and reliability than rim brakes.

Another notable difference is the number of gears. Compared to the KHS FLITE 280, the Polygon Strattos S4 has one more gear speed. This may provide the rider with more versatility and options.

However, compared to the Polygon Strattos S4’s Shimano Sora groupset and rim brakes, the KHS FLITE has a higher quality Shimano Claris groupset and Tektro rim brakes. The FLITE 280 also has a carbon fiber fork and an aluminum fork. It offers better damping and handling compared to the aluminum fork of the Polygon Strattos S4.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If economy and weight are a priority for you, the Polygon Strattos S4 is probably the better choice. However, if performance and superior components are a priority for you, the KHS FLITE 280 may be the better choice.

KHS FLITE 280 vs Jamis VENTURA A2

Jamis VENTURA A2
Jamis VENTURA A2

First, the Jamis VENTURA A2 is less expensive than the KHS FLITE 280, making it a more accessible option for budget-conscious riders. However, the Jamis VENTURA A2 is heavier than the FLITE 280, which may make it less nimble and less responsive.

In terms of components, the KHS FLITE 280 has a Shimano Claris groupset, Tektro MD-C550 two-piston disc brakes, and a carbon fiber fork with an aluminum fork. In comparison, the Jamis VENTURA A2 has a Shimano Claris groupset, rim brakes, and an aluminum fork. While both bikes have similar component configurations, the KHS FLITE 280’s Tektronix disc brakes and carbon fork provide superior braking power and handling compared to the Jamis VENTURA A2’s rim brakes and aluminum fork.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize affordability and don’t mind the extra weight, the Jamis VENTURA A2 may be the better choice. However, if you prioritize superior components and handling, the KHS FLITE 280 may be the better choice, despite its higher price tag.

KHS FLITE 280 vs Specialized Allez Elite

Specialized Allez Elite
Specialized Allez Elite

First of all, the Specialized Allez Elite is much more expensive than the KHS FLITE 280. The reason for this is in the bike’s premium components, including the Sram Rival groupset and hydraulic disc brakes. Compared to the Shimano Claris combo Tektro MD-C550 dual piston flush mount road cable disc brake system on the FLITE 280, the Specialized Allez Elite has more performance and reliability in its components.

In addition, the Specialized Allez Elite is lighter than the KHS FLITE 280. The Allez Elite also has a more advanced carbon fiber fork and seat tube. It offers superior damping and handling compared to the aluminum fork of the KHS FLITE 280 and the aluminum micro-adjustable seatpost of the KHS.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you prioritize superior components and can afford the higher price tag, the Specialized Allez Elite may be the better choice. However, if you’re on a budget but still want a high-performance bike, the KHS FLITE 280 offers a great balance of affordability and performance.

Summary

These are our tests of the KHS FLITE 280, and based on our tests we can see that this bike is an affordable product but doesn’t compromise on any component aspects, which is more than good news for those riding beginners.

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