This is my humble review of my ride on a 27.5 KHS 2500 – with SLX drivetrain including the XT shadow plus rear derailleur and 10-speed XT cogset – which makes it somewhere between the 5500 and the 6500 models?
This bike is adapted to trail and all mountain riding. Surprisingly, it feels like a road bike on paved streets – hard and unyielding as the racer bike -BUT transforms into a superb full suspension mountain bike on uneven trails. When hitting the earth and stones, the play of its parts and suspension is not only comfortable but, more than anything, gives comfort to the confidence of the rider. Do you know what I mean? Of course you do.
I plunge into trails and angles which I would have been otherwise afraid to take in another bike (bigger wheel size). The ‘tweener wheel size coupled with the performance of this low center of gravity bike makes it quick, quickly responsive, and playful inside the trails. Adding them all up equals a confident ride.
We were in the middle of the first long trail in the La Mesa Dam watershed in Quezon City, Philippines when the midmorning monsoon rain fell. Afraid that the heavy downpour will make the terrain more dangerous than it was, I pedaled faster than my regular pace through the wet and slippery trails. There were smooth, round stones all over but those didn’t faze me because I was confidently connected to my KHS 2500 MTB. I rode those forest trails faster in the mud and rain than I would have done in a sunny day.
One word I can sum up my ride in this KHS full suspension bike – CONFIDENCE.
This was my email to my biker friends. Didn’t mention the bike because they knew what bike I was riding on. It was my experience that I wrote about. Read on:
Sa ating padyakan Ay walang iwanan.
**** roughly translated “in our pedaling, we leave no one behind”
This past weekend Wallace Miranda won the downhill event in Brazil. The community always come out to support the event and cheer on the racers. If you have seen these events, they are wild!
Great video provided by KHS/WAR/Cytomax Racing’s Chuck Jenkins.
Video editing done by Milo Perez using the new Liquid Image EGO cameras.
Chuck Jenkins riding the 2013 KHS Sixfifty 6500 with Stan’s No Tubes Arch EX 650 wheels, Kenda Honey Badger tires, full X-Fusion suspension, SRAM XX1 drivetrain and Loaded Precision Cockpit.
Thanks to all our sponsors for 2013.
As a sportsmen it is always exciting to be able to race at the highest level possible. All I have to do is mention the title of the race, The USA Cycling Elite National Championships, and you know how excited we were to be racing this event.
This was my second year participating at Nationals and last year we came away with two podium placings, which means we would set our sights even higher this year. By Sunday when we raced the criterium, our team was already on a high note. Teammates Logan Loader and Chris Barton finished 1-2 in the time trial. The early success made us all very hungry to capitalize on the opportunity to bring home another ‘stars and stripes’ jersey for our team.
Much to our liking the criterium started out fast and aggressive. The other teams in the race were also racing aggressive and looking to prevent the race from coming down to a field sprint. Despite the race being fast, long, and hard, the finish came down to a field sprint anyway… With 15km to go in the race, we knew we would be setting up for the final sprint.
Up to that point each of my teammates, Chris Barton, Logan Loader, David Santos, Cole House, Mike Olheiser and myself had been animating the race and using precious energy trying to get off the front. Once the field sprint situation became clear, it was time gather at the front and organize ourselves for the lead out.
The CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team had a great campaign at the US National Championships hosted in Madison, WI. We took 6 riders to the event including Cole House, Brian McCulloch, Michael Olheiser, Logan Loader, Chris Barton and myself, David Santos.
In the road race on Friday, it got a bit crazy on the third lap climb and a group of 8, including myself, got away. Nearly every team was represented and everyone worked to get the break established. Before we knew it, we had a gap of one minute thirty seconds on the field. Everyone in the break worked for the next lap and halfway through the 4th, I heard Cole and one other rider were chasing. Ten minutes later, Cole had successfully bridged the gap with one other rider and now CashCall had the upper hand being the only team with two riders in the break. On the last lap, several riders started attacking, but each attempt was welded back.
Ultimately, the break stayed together up until the last 3K climb, where Stephen Leece of CalGiant decided to put in a huge effort and basically rode away from the break. Other riders started lifting the pace and by the time we hit the feed zone, there were three riders up the road with the rest of us still together. As we made the final right turn, everyone stayed together until we hit the steepest climb of the day at a 17% grade with 500 meters to go. At this point, I made one more big effort and nearly imploded. Cole did his notorious sprint and landed 6th, while I managed to finish 10th. Overall, the Road Race National Championship was one of the hardest races I have ever done. Even though we didn’t finish how we wanted, CashCall rode the best we could.
Going into the National Criterium Championships on Sunday, I never imagined I would be contesting the win via a sprint. With a handful of some of the best US sprinters in the field, we knew we needed a hard and very aggressive race. At our team meeting, we decided our best chance to win was putting one of our workhorses in the break with either Logan Loader or Cole House to contest the sprint. If that plan failed, our back up plan was to line it up with one lap to go, have Logan sprint off 4th wheel, while Chris Barton and Cole sat up to leave a gap. In that scenario, my job was to take the guys to the front of the field with one lap to go and drill it as hard as I could for as long as I could. But as the race got underway, dozens and dozens of attacks were made, counters followed, and a few short-lived breaks were established.
Every rider in the field wanted to be in the break, and as a result, every break was welded back together. I spent most of the day trying to get off the front, following attacks, and countering when breaks came back. With 15 laps remaining on the 1k course and still no break, our plan was to ride for a field sprint. Resorting to our back-up plan, the team got together and rode at the front. With 4 laps to go, CashCall ended up taking control of the race; which actually was 3 laps sooner than we wanted. Mike Olhieser ended up switching roles with me and he went to the front to set tempo while the rest of us lined up behind him.
I ended up being the last CashCall left at the front with one lap to go, which I didn’t realize until I crossed the finish line. Just before the second to last turn, I began my lead out thinking teammate Logan Loader was still on my wheel. I began my sprint as soon as we came out of turn 3 and within seconds, I was 100% all in. I sprinted as if my finish line was halfway up the hill before the final turn. It wasn’t until I was about to go through the last turn that I realized Logan was not on my wheel unfortunately due to being caught up behind a crash. At that point, I knew I had to continue my sprint to the line and put in one final effort in hopes of getting to the line first. Right before the turn, Travis McCabe from Elbows just barely managed to come around me for the win. I tried to find one more gear, but having started my sprint so early, I was completely gassed. Fortunately, I had just enough to hold off everyone else and crossed the line in second.
A few days before my schedule depart for the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June, I received a phone call from my director, Paul Abrahams. We spoke about my form, my motivation along with some of my past results. In the past, I have had quite a few good time trials. I have been very close to winning on multiple occasions and I had never trained for the discipline specifically. Paul told me he thought I could win the National Title as long as I put 100 percent into the preparation. So thats exactly what I did and apparently it payed of.
Several weeks ago I traveled to Oregon to race the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic as a test of my fitness. I went to see what I could expect for the National Championships. After winning the time trial at Hood, I had a feeling that the win at Nationals was possible. It also gave me a bit of comfort knowing that as long as I had the same legs as that I had at Mt. Hood, I would probably win. I was excited my preparation and focus was paying off.
One thing I really try not to do is be overly confident. I knew looking at my power data from training that I was on track for one of my best rides I have had. I also knew the race was not won yet. As I caught my three minute man near the end of the race though, I had a good feeling I would in for at least a podium spot.
I honestly had no idea what winning this title would do for me. Not only career-wise but mentally. I am very excited to train in the national colors with my Jakroo Kit as well as racing in the stars and stripes. It has only been 6 days since winning but I can tell you it sure feels good.
The team as a whole performed amazing at the National Championships. Going into the time trial, I had a strong feeling someone from our CashCall Mortgage Team would win the race not only because of talent but also knowing we had the best equipment there. It was great that teammate Chris Barton shared the podium with me in 2nd place, and David Santos had a great ride for 11th. We have such a wide range of talent on our team from climbers, sprinters, and time trialists that I knew we would have success at Nationals. I can honestly say I have never been more proud to ride for a team as I have for CashCall.
Thank you to our sponsors for making it all possible and for helping reach a huge goal for myself and our team: KHS Bicycles, iRT Wheels, CashCall Mortgage, Hammer Nutrition, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo, Jakroo Custom Apparel, Chamois Butt’r, Finish Line, Shimano, Rudy Project, Serfas, Kenda Tire.