About a week ago one of my regular Racing Bikes Biggs682 Facebook page visitors asked my advice about selling his 1980’s KHS Turbo road bike that he had cycled the 100 mile 2015 Eroica Brittanica on without any issues .
I have been looking for a KHS road bike for a while and preferably one of the ones with the curved seat tube but in all fairness I have only seen 2 or 3 of them for sale on e bay in the last few years and not one of them was local or with in my budget. Once he told me what it was, as I couldn’t quite make out the brand on his initial picture, I was quick to reply with “ If you would package and courier it I would love it “ and he was just as quick to reply with “ Really , I could bring it , where do you live ? ” .
So once we sorted out the day and time the bike was duly delivered as promised . I was at work when it was delivered so when I got home at lunch time it was there waiting for me .
My initial inspection was along the lines of that looks as good as expected but what are those tyres? ! In all fairness the seller had warned me and when I looked harder it made a lot more sense as I could see the rims were 27” x 1” and the tyres were 27” x 1 ¼” so it looked over tyred but on closer inspection there was loads of clearance between the tyres and the frame so no real issue at all .
Once I finished work and got home I couldn’t resist jumping aboard and giving it a gentle once round the block , so off I went, all was going well until I applied the rear brake and for whatever reason the cable nipple decided it wasn’t going to sit in the handle any longer and jumped out leaving me with only a front brake , so caution was the main word from there onwards .
The bike felt very fluent indeed , and all the gear changes I made were nice and smooth which is what I expected from Shimano 600 Arabasque units all round apart from a very nice Sugino crankset which looks very similar indeed . The tyres rode well, they didn’t feel over tyred on the short ride a few more miles will tell the tale better . Apart from the rear brake cable incident the brakes worked well enough and once pressure was applied the bike started to slow down without any juddering or pulling which is always a good sign .
For those that don’t know the tubing is Tange champion no 2 which is on a par with Reynolds 501 tubing , I like Tange tubing very much it’s a bit rarer and different to Reynolds and Columbus tubing . I have owned a few bikes that were made of Tange, the main one being my Marin Bear Valley mtb and a couple of Charge branded frames were also Tange tubed . The paintwork has just the right amount of patina for a 20+ year old bike in my mind . The chromed fork crown has suffered worse of all but it’s there and it shines , as does the original blue paintwork .
In theory the frame is a shade small for me so I need to look at getting a longer seatpost and maybe a longer quill stem but will do the seat post first once I have checked my stock for a 26.6mm diameter one . Once that is sorted I can then press on and do some miles on this classic bike .