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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-07-14, 12:14 PM   #1
WEK
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First road bike is officially on its way--KHS Flite 747

Well folks, I finally took the plunge. After much research, internal debate, advice seeking, hand-wringing, and haggling, I ordered my first road bike today--the KHS Flite 747 in 3xL. I'll have one of the first 3xL models released, so I'm looking forward to putting the bike through its paces. At 6'10" and 350lbs, those paces should give a good idea of what the bike can do. I'll post actual in-hand pictures when it gets here and would be willing to post periodic updates to establish a bit of an information hub on this particular bike if anyone's interested. The most frustrating thing about making this decision was not being able to find much feedback from actual owners.

Any other 747 owners on here? Any advice for a relative novice moving from a riding a fat-tired 29er on the road to his first road bike?

Last edited by WEK; 01-07-14 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:36 PM   #2
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First road bike is officially on its way--KHS Flite 747

Congrats! Can't wait to see photos!
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Old 01-07-14, 02:42 PM   #3
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I don't own a 747, and frankly, I'm too small (long time since I've typed that!). I have a custom steel lugged road bike, built up as a dream ride for my 40th. I got it when I was almost 42. I'm 43 now, and it has more than 6,000 miles on it.

I can tell you that any road bike will feel very different from a 29er. The last 29er I rode last weekend felt like pedaling a bouncy-castle; every pedal stroke included some vertical bounce. And it wasn't very quick to accelerate; more sedate. Finally, the steering was mountain-trail slow.

I think you'll really like the KHS. Looking forward to the reviews; I have a good friend looking at one and I'm sure he'd be grateful for some real-life reviews.
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Old 01-07-14, 03:57 PM   #4
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I can tell you that any road bike will feel very different from a 29er. The last 29er I rode last weekend felt like pedaling a bouncy-castle; every pedal stroke included some vertical bounce. And it wasn't very quick to accelerate; more sedate. Finally, the steering was mountain-trail slow.
You're right about bounce. The 29er bounces like crazy, which is a combination of a lot of things, fit, bike style, my conditioning, crank length, et cetera. I'm glad to hear from someone who's been through the same transition that it's possible for the bounce to go away.

I'm really looking forward to the 200mm cranks. I hope I feel the power increase that I've heard so many others talk about. I'm also curious what I'll think of steel having been on aluminum since I started riding a year ago.
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Old 01-10-14, 10:47 PM   #5
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WEK: Congrats on the purchase... The switch will take a bit of learning, but I think you'll love it. I bought an XXL in 2012 and love riding it. Like any new bike, you're going to have to dial in the fit - hopefully, it now comes with a longer seatpost. You mentioned that it's hard to find any comments from owners... Try searching "khs flite 747" on this site, and you'll find a quite a few interesting threads.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 01-10-14, 11:08 PM   #6
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When does it come in?
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Old 01-10-14, 11:15 PM   #7
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Holy moly, it looks like a normal sized frame with BMX wheels.

Congrats on the new bike!
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Old 01-11-14, 12:00 PM   #8
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...
I'm really looking forward to the 200mm cranks. I hope I feel the power increase that I've heard so many others talk about. I'm also curious what I'll think of steel having been on aluminum since I started riding a year ago.
Sorry if I'm bursting a bubble with this. But, as a recent convert to 200mm cranks, I can tell you that they definately "feel different". However, I've stated before, any performance difference between standard and proportional cranks will only be noticed if one is comparing themselves to a regular group of other riders or the clock on a given course. It's not as though one will suddenly be 20kg lighter or significantly stronger.
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Old 01-11-14, 12:18 PM   #9
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When does it come in?
Just found out it's going to be at least mid-February. Not the greatest news in the world, but such is life when you're talking about a bike like this. At least I'm not waiting on it during summer months.
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Old 01-11-14, 12:19 PM   #10
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Sorry if I'm bursting a bubble with this. But, as a recent convert to 200mm cranks, I can tell you that they definately "feel different". However, I've stated before, any performance difference between standard and proportional cranks will only be noticed if one is comparing themselves to a regular group of other riders or the clock on a given course. It's not as though one will suddenly be 20kg lighter or significantly stronger.
No worries, you haven't burst a bubble. Fortunately, I generally ride the same course most days during good weather, and I track my times, distances, and average speeds, so I may be able to tell a difference. We'll see.
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Old 01-11-14, 12:21 PM   #11
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Holy moly, it looks like a normal sized frame with BMX wheels.

Congrats on the new bike!
Thanks! It's not necessarily a "looker" in the typical sense, I'll give you that. But it should fit properly, which will be a huge improvement.
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Old 01-11-14, 12:45 PM   #12
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I evolved to a road bike this way: from a mountain bike -> to a hybrid -> to a road bike.
I want to share my experience with you.

When I rode the road bike the first couple of times many different parts of my body screamed at me.
They screamed, "This purchase was a huge mistake."
It took a little while for my hips, lower back, neck and arms to adjust to the posture of road cycling.
By my 5th ride, I had put in a little over 100 miles on the new bike in 2 weeks, my body was all adjusted and I loved road cycling.

I hope you enjoy your new bike and the new adventures ahead.
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Old 01-13-14, 12:55 AM   #13
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Thanks! It's not necessarily a "looker" in the typical sense, I'll give you that. But it should fit properly, which will be a huge improvement.
If anyone says anything mean about the bike just stare at them and scowl. At 6'10" they'll get the picture and start to cry.

It's really not too bad looking. The emblem looks a bit tiny on the head tube, though. They need to fill the real estate a little more.

Hopefully it serves you well. Hopefully you'll find some time to write up a review once you get used to the different riding position from the MTB. I'm curious how it feels.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:08 PM   #14
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Congrats! As noted above, it will feel (and be...) much faster and sleeker than your 29'er. You should search for BigFred's write up on his 200mm crank-equipped bike. Lots of good info there.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:35 PM   #15
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Congrats! As noted above, it will feel (and be...) much faster and sleeker than your 29'er. You should search for BigFred's write up on his 200mm crank-equipped bike. Lots of good info there.
Which reminds me: I should post an update there. I continue to learn and things continue to evolve.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:43 PM   #16
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I had pondered one of these seriously but was nervous getting it sight unseen. That is the problem no around here stocked the 2xl and I thought I might need the 3xl.

just curious at 6. 10. What is your inseam?

My current bike is a 69 cm frame.
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Old 01-23-14, 08:20 AM   #17
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That big is great! Amazing they put 36h rims on to start, that will save $250-400 right off the bat. Looking forward to how it rides especially with the 200mm crank arms.
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Old 01-23-14, 04:25 PM   #18
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looks very nice! Won't do me any good, I ride a 54cm Podium 2! I'm only 5'8 though...

Cro-mo is definitely nice! I have an old Speicalized Rockhopper that has been converted to SS for the canal path, it just soaks up vibration (knobbies at 55psi!) and is a joy to ride

Definitely update when it arrives!
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Old 05-20-14, 04:10 PM   #19
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KHS 747 Flite Owners with skipping chain/shifts:

I am seeing other owners of 2014 KHS Flite 747's on this forum complaining of the same "skipping chain/shift" problem I experienced with mine.

I have your solution.

I ordered and picked up my KHS 747 Flite XXXL bike last month and immediately on the first ride the chain skipped mysteriously when giving the extra long 200mm cranks some forward pressure to pedal. I could lightly pedal with no skipping, but any real pressure on the pedal- even moderate- made the chain "skip forward violently". I realized this only happens when on the 52 tooth front big chainring. It never skipped while on the small 36 tooth front inner chainring. My LBS tried all sorts of adjustments to the front and rear derailleurs plus adjusting the barrel adjusters and even tightening the crank arms. It still skipped. We then put another KHS Flite 747 chainring on my bike that was on another new Flite 747 XXL in the showroom- SAME problem- skipping chain.

Here is the defect and the solve: The issue is that the big 52 tooth front chainring KHS installs is far too weak for us Clydesdales-period. When putting pressure to pedal the big chainring "bends" and lets the chain pop off the chainring and jump a tooth- rather violently. My LBS then switched the KHS chainring to a bone stock Shimano 50 tooth big chainring and I had no skipping at all- I could even stand on the cranks with all my weight- perfect!

Here is my permanent solve at my own expense- I bought new forged 52/36 chainrings from Praxis Works (about $165). Forged chainrings are the strongest for us Clydesdales and Praxis is the only (yes only) manufacturer of a 52/36 forged compact 110BCD chainring set in the world- I know because I did many hours of research to find this out! Shimano is the only other maker of forged chainrings in the world, but only makes a 50/34 Ultegra combo, not a 52/36. I installed the Praxis 52/36 forged chainrings on my Flite and it is sheer perfection. The shifts are perfection and I can stand on the cranks and have zero chainring flex. The 50/34 Shimano Ultegra combo will work perfect BTW if you want a setup better for hill climbing- you will just need to have your front derailleur adjusted and moved a little lower on the frame to accommodate the smaller diameter.

So, KHS seems to have sourced very cheap chainrings for these "Clydesdale-specific" bikes. I took it upon myself to fix the issue and don't want to point fingers at them. Heck, I am just glad I was able to find a bike for my 6 foot 8 body! KHS should take note though and just ship these with better chainrings- probably 50/34's as the smaller diameter will be even stronger. Yes, It would be ideal if they installed forged chainrings for us bigger folk, but that would add $100-$150 to the price. As I proved, even a mid-range Shimano 50 tooth stamped chainring was better than the stock KHS chainring.

So, if you bought a 2014 KHS Flite 747- change out the chainrings- both if you can afford a new forged set, but at least replace the 52 tooth stock one with a 50 tooth "standard" chainring. When I had the Shimano 50 tooth and the KHS 36 tooth combination on while waitng for my Praxis chainrings it seemed to shift just fine. If you cant afford that, have your LBS change the 52 tooth to a stronger 50 tooth and have them file a warranty claim with KHS ad they should really cover your switch to a stronger chainring. I am not sure you can find a 52 tooth "stamped/machined" chainring strong enough to handle our weight as the extra diameter is what may be causing the flex. If you want to stick with the 52/36 stock setup like I did go with the forged 52/36 Praxis forged- they are strong and don't bend! This is NOT a commercial for Praxis- frankly I wish I did NOT have to spend my money to fix KHS's problem, but i wanted you all to know how I got my Flite shifting perfectly!

Problem Solved!

Good Luck All!

Last edited by svosho; 05-21-14 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-20-14, 07:07 PM   #20
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Congrats...the group riders are going to love riding behind you. LOL......6' 10"...damn.
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Old 05-28-14, 02:30 AM   #21
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The Andel supplied rings are not the stiffest or strongest in the world. I suffered a similiar situation to you with regard to skipping under load. Mine however, was due to a bent tooth, not ring flex. I temporarily cured the issue by simply straightening the offending tooth and cleaning it up with a file. I then replaced the stock outer ring with a simple Speacialites TA ring. Which has been perfectly fine for about 5,000 km.

I would love to have a set of Praxis Works rings and those are probably some of the strongest available. But, there are plenty of other options that are adequately strong. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svosho View Post
KHS 747 Flite Owners with skipping chain/shifts:

I am seeing other owners of 2014 KHS Flite 747's on this forum complaining of the same "skipping chain/shift" problem I experienced with mine.

I have your solution.

I ordered and picked up my KHS 747 Flite XXXL bike last month and immediately on the first ride the chain skipped mysteriously when giving the extra long 200mm cranks some forward pressure to pedal. I could lightly pedal with no skipping, but any real pressure on the pedal- even moderate- made the chain "skip forward violently". I realized this only happens when on the 52 tooth front big chainring. It never skipped while on the small 36 tooth front inner chainring. My LBS tried all sorts of adjustments to the front and rear derailleurs plus adjusting the barrel adjusters and even tightening the crank arms. It still skipped. We then put another KHS Flite 747 chainring on my bike that was on another new Flite 747 XXL in the showroom- SAME problem- skipping chain.

Here is the defect and the solve: The issue is that the big 52 tooth front chainring KHS installs is far too weak for us Clydesdales-period. When putting pressure to pedal the big chainring "bends" and lets the chain pop off the chainring and jump a tooth- rather violently. My LBS then switched the KHS chainring to a bone stock Shimano 50 tooth big chainring and I had no skipping at all- I could even stand on the cranks with all my weight- perfect!

Here is my permanent solve at my own expense- I bought new forged 52/36 chainrings from Praxis Works (about $165). Forged chainrings are the strongest for us Clydesdales and Praxis is the only (yes only) manufacturer of a 52/36 forged compact 110BCD chainring set in the world- I know because I did many hours of research to find this out! Shimano is the only other maker of forged chainrings in the world, but only makes a 50/34 Ultegra combo, not a 52/36. I installed the Praxis 52/36 forged chainrings on my Flite and it is sheer perfection. The shifts are perfection and I can stand on the cranks and have zero chainring flex. The 50/34 Shimano Ultegra combo will work perfect BTW if you want a setup better for hill climbing- you will just need to have your front derailleur adjusted and moved a little lower on the frame to accommodate the smaller diameter.

So, KHS seems to have sourced very cheap chainrings for these "Clydesdale-specific" bikes. I took it upon myself to fix the issue and don't want to point fingers at them. Heck, I am just glad I was able to find a bike for my 6 foot 8 body! KHS should take note though and just ship these with better chainrings- probably 50/34's as the smaller diameter will be even stronger. Yes, It would be ideal if they installed forged chainrings for us bigger folk, but that would add $100-$150 to the price. As I proved, even a mid-range Shimano 50 tooth stamped chainring was better than the stock KHS chainring.

So, if you bought a 2014 KHS Flite 747- change out the chainrings- both if you can afford a new forged set, but at least replace the 52 tooth stock one with a 50 tooth "standard" chainring. When I had the Shimano 50 tooth and the KHS 36 tooth combination on while waitng for my Praxis chainrings it seemed to shift just fine. If you cant afford that, have your LBS change the 52 tooth to a stronger 50 tooth and have them file a warranty claim with KHS ad they should really cover your switch to a stronger chainring. I am not sure you can find a 52 tooth "stamped/machined" chainring strong enough to handle our weight as the extra diameter is what may be causing the flex. If you want to stick with the 52/36 stock setup like I did go with the forged 52/36 Praxis forged- they are strong and don't bend! This is NOT a commercial for Praxis- frankly I wish I did NOT have to spend my money to fix KHS's problem, but i wanted you all to know how I got my Flite shifting perfectly!

Problem Solved!

Good Luck All!
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Old 05-28-14, 02:34 PM   #22
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Thanks for feedback. Since 2 different KHS/Andel stock 52tooth chainrings had the exact same issue, it is clearly a defect in the strength of the stock chainring. My 2014 came with 52/36 but I think earlier models came with 50/34's. As the 50 is smaller in diameter it wont flex as much as the 52, so perhaps KHS changing to the 52/36 is the culprit. Anyway, i can't say enough great things about these Praxis rings. Glad to hear your Specialties TA rings are working out well.

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Old 08-06-14, 05:41 PM   #23
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Thanks! It's not necessarily a "looker" in the typical sense, I'll give you that. But it should fit properly, which will be a huge improvement.

Hiya WEK, did you get it? What are your thoughts now? I'm 6'8" 320lbs and would def like your input.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:20 PM   #24
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My friend has one and loves it. He's 6'6" about 220 lbs. He told me it's the first bike he's ever owned that felt like it fit him. It's very fast and he's had zero issues with it.

Enjoy your ride!
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Old 08-14-14, 10:22 PM   #25
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Hiya WEK, did you get it? What are your thoughts now? I'm 6'8" 320lbs and would def like your input.
Put simply, I love it. But it's not perfect from the factory, and my love for it is at least partly based on my willingness to do what's necessary to make it into what it has the potential to be. This sounds like a GREAT bike for you (you probably wants the 3X), but you need to accept that, given your size, the few issues this bike has will show up and you'll need to be willing to spend a little on top of the initial cost to make the bike what it needs to be.

First, you should replace the seatpost, arguably right away. The stock seatpost bends and starts to collapse within the first few hundred miles. I replaced mine with a Thomson straight post, which has been wonderful, but I hear they're impossible to find in the right size for this bike. About half a dozen people have since told me that when I purchased mine, I actually bought the last one available online nationwide, so I got extremely lucky. A used one may randomly pop up, so it's worth looking, but I wouldn't count on it. But fear not, there's another brand that has worked well for others and has been discussed on this forum. I don't remember the name, but a search for the KHS 747 should turn up the thread containing that information. When you replace the post, it's a good idea to replace the post clamp too. Mine cracked pretty early on. I replaced it with the Constrictor clamp from Surly, which has performed brilliantly.

Second, the chainrings need to be changed out if KHS hasn't gone back to 50/34 rings from the factory. The 52/36 rings that came on my bike (and may still be coming on the bikes) simply can't handle the torque bigger riders put down. I'm in the process of replacing mine now. The details of replacement options have been discussed above. The chainring issue didn't become a must-fix for me until a particularly violent skip caused me to nearly stop dead and fall in front of an approaching car on a steep climb.

Other than that, the bike has been an absolute dream. Even with the additional costs I've incurred, I've never regretted it. And besides, with how hard we really big guys are on equipment, riding any road bike is going to require more maintenance/replacements than it would for someone else (even on a bike seemingly made for us). It's just the nature of the beast. We break things.

And lastly, unrelated to bike recommendations, if you haven't already spent the money to do it, please buy the best helmet you possibly can. When we fall, it's from higher up with enormous force and high torsion. A helmet with good coverage that fits properly is a must. Even though it's probably going to be expensive. I'm a POC fan, but there are several good helmet makers out there.

Last edited by WEK; 08-14-14 at 10:42 PM.
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