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  1. #1
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    KHS Triathlete Bike ???

    My daughter has decided that while she still likes the Centurion loop frame bike I built up for her she wants something sleeker, lighter and looks like a real bike (her words, something with a top tube.

    She's 15 and 5'-1 maybe 2 and pretty much done growing vertically. Thus, i've been on the look out for a really small lightweight frame for a little while. Last night this popped up on the local CL.



    (picture from ad)
    So I swooped in and picked it up a few hours ago, probably not the greatest deal, but I was finding small size and light is a hard combination to meet.

    Very little information to be found with google so i'm turning to you fine folks. I will get more pics later but here are a few of the specs I gleened from the bike.

    Exage 400EX Derailers, indexed rear.
    Diacompe 5000 brakes (recessed nut)
    Sugino VP130 cranks (170), Double up front, 6 sp freewheel in back, didn't count the teeth.
    Finish in very good condition very few nicks or scratches.
    As for the frame, 47cm, pretty much the size I was looking for, and since my daughter likes birds she will be happy with the little sticker with a bird at the top of the seat tube

    Serial # on the BB 70268462 > Found a little info, this should put this at 1987 I believe...

    If anybody has any information they could fill in I would appreciate it.

    Shaakaa
    Last edited by atmdad; 11-17-11 at 09:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    I bet your daughter will love the bike. I've never ridden a KHS, but they had a good reputation. As I recall, they offered a wide range of bikes from entry to race models. The Triathalon models were made to compete with Centurion Ironmans. I assume your bike has the name John Howard on it somewhere, as he was aligned with KHS just as Dave Scott was with the Centurion Ironman line. I'd also assume it is made with nice double-butted Tange tubing. I believe the Triathalon models originally came with a 105 group. The Exage 400 group came out in 1990, so what you have on the bike is not bad, but probably not OEM.
    -Randy

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    I'd also assume it is made with nice double-butted Tange tubing.
    I had a bare frame just like this. Same color too. Except it was made out of Columbus Matrix tubing and not Tange like the Ironmans. You can see the decal right at the top of the seat tube.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    ^Assume nothing! Thanks for the correction re tubing. I saw the tubing decal, but couldn't make it out.
    -Randy

    '70 Cilo Pacer | '73 Ron Kitching/Speedwell Ti | '74 Nishiki Competition | '74 Peugeot UE-8 | '86 Look Equipe "Bernard Hinault" (Reynolds 753) | '89 Park Precision (Team ParkPre/Conejo Velo issue) | '90 Park Precision MTB (Team ParkPre/Conejo Velo issue)

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  5. #5
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    and since my daughter likes birds she will be happy with the little sticker with a bird at the top of the seat tube
    Maybe you missed this in my initial post.

    Gaucho, that was about the extent of the information I was able to track down as well. There was the Triathlete Pro that was supposedly the "John Howard" signed edition and the plain Triathlete model which was what I picked up I think. I was hoping to try to find out if I have the original components or not. Not a big deal as my primary goal was the small sized frame set.

  6. #6
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    These were decent bikes. I would change the pedals out, those are cheap. Partly spec'd for the fact that "clipless" was coming in, so why spec a decent pedal that will just get tossed anyway?

    The item I would change are the brake levers, most probably too big a reach for her hands, especially while in the drops. Setting up the brakes a bit "loose" can help a bit as that way there will be a short grab for power.
    That and the bike should have 165 mm cranks... but I don't think so.
    That and the bike probably needs a repacking.

  7. #7
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Brought it home last night and the girl was pretty happy with it,

    "That is Swagalicious",

    I think that translates to totally b i t c h e n.

    Standing over in bare feet the top tube just reaches her nether regions so it should be just fine.

    The guy I bought it from said he recently tuned it up and it appeared to have relatively fresh grease and new cables but I will tear it down anyways because, dammit, that is just what we do here.

    Initial plans are to put a 7sp free wheel on it and swap the cranks with a set that has 46-36 rings. She was a little apprehensive about the drop bars, saying she felt her hands were to close together on top. So for the near future I think I will but some flipped north road bars on it so she can can get used to a more dropped riding position but still be comfortable with a wider hand position.

    Other than that there is not much tinkering that needs to be done with this thing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mapleleafs-13's Avatar
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    nice bike, just tear that dork disc off, it'll look a bajillion times better without that crusty old thing...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
    ... I was hoping to try to find out if I have the original components or not. Not a big deal as my primary goal was the small sized frame set.


    Most likely original. IIRC, the litigation over the Matrix name took place in 1987, so it's almost certainly a 1987 as you suggested. Components appear to be a typical, lower mid-range SunTour/Sugino/Dia-Compe mix.

  10. #10
    xn7
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    i saw that on craigslist when it was still posted looked like a nice bike and the price seemed fair. glad it ended up in the hands of a C&V member.

    there was a simliar looking one posted FS a few weeks back, same paint scheme but i believe it had 105/600 components.. hope that found a good home too!

    i have two khs mountain bikes which have been great to ride and have pretty nice factory setups. and i wouldn't hesitate to pick up a khs road bike in the future.. im a bit jealous haha
    1987 Centurion Le Mans RS
    1989 Centurion Ironman Expert

  11. #11
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Bump,
    to add a few pictures and to ask a stupid question.

    So I started tearing it down last night... just a slight wipe down at this point, with some wax this thing should be really nice.

    Stupid question - Are those "studs" for the downtube levers threaded that I can unscew from the bosses? I have some bar ends I plan to run on this thing.







  12. #12
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    The shifter bosses are threaded. Most derailleur manufacturers offer cable stops that mount directly to these bosses to facilitate converison to brifters (or bar end shifters).

  13. #13
    Senior Member velomateo's Avatar
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    They are threaded, but they are not threaded to the frame. Do not put a wrench on them and try to screw them off - they are brazed on.

  14. #14
    Gone World Hepster 23skidoo's Avatar
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    Great score for your girl; those Columbus KHS John Howard series bikes are very nice and if you happen to get lucky enough to find one of the very early series built by Moulton or Tesch, they're worth some good money. I've had both a John Howard Professional and a John Howard Turbo pass through my garage this year and both were excellent examples of production bikes.
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  15. #15
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Anyway to determine if this a Moulton or Tesch?

    Basically all it has on is a small KHS decal on the head tube, a similar but larger KHS decal on the seatube, the squiggly triathlete decal on the top tube, larger KHS on the down tubes and the Columbus sticker.

  16. #16
    Senior Member velomateo's Avatar
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    It's neither a Tesch or Moulton, just a KHS Tri frame. Nice little frame though, well made and often over looked and under valued, IMO. You're lucky to find one so small, it should work well for your daughter.

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