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  1. #1
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    XCT 555, Craigslist, a KHS Racer, and a new used bike!... uh oh.

    After riding a friends XCT, I finally ordered a 555 off of craigslist... I have not yet heard from the guy who sold it to me, but below is a note I left on the Mountin Bike Riders website under their 555 review... No worries, though, I'll slowly be getting this one back on its feet. I'll post some 'before' (current) photos soon, and hopefully some after photos as I get some repairs done. (Oh, and my friend just got a Float RP2 to try in place of the Monarch 2.1 on her bike, in case anyone has advice there.) Anyhow, for now...

    "... Strangley, after paying for the bike, but before receieving it, I checked this site for replies to my question, and while mosying around the site, ran into the name of the guy I had ordered the bike from. Turns out he is or was a KHS sponsored Super D racer - sometimes listed as a Factory racer, and sometimes as B Squad (he had only mentioned to me that he was a cop at a school). And the bike he described as being in 'awesome condition' turned out to be pretty beat. Of course, he had never mentioned racing, saying the bike had only been ridden for a year and he didn't know how many miles were on it, but that it was in 'awesome condition.' The most amazing thing is that there are picures of him racing the bike on the web in full KHS garb, and now I get to see first hand what that really meant... the steerer is hacked off at a crude angle, the rear hub was completely loose and misaligned, the rims are banged up, one BB cup appears to have been put on with a pipe wrench (stripping 1/3 to 1/2 the threads in the process), the lower front caliper post mount is completely stripped and the mounting bolt was covered in teflon tape in an attempt to get it to stick in the hole... the list goes on. Do these guys really race stuff like this? Does KHS Racing provide a mechanic, or does each rider maintain his own bike? When I have time, I'll post all the details, with photos, on the KHS forum of the MTBR site, in case anyone is interested. I guess it might be a testament to the bike, if a person can still successfully race one in such mistreated and unmaintained condition. But KHS Racing is looking positively farm-leaugue from this perspective. Lets hope Melissa Buhl doesn't have 5 washers shimming out too-long brake caliper bolts... I have to wonder if some of these guys joke about the sucker they pawned last year's bike off on. I'll get the '5' going again, and this time it will be done right, and I'll ride the wheels off it. In the mean time, here's to hoping this racer-boy responds to an email..."

  2. #2
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    So....you payed for a bike that you found on CL and don't have the bike in your hands. If so, that is one good CL seller.

  3. #3
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    Not too insightful... really, I don't post much, but if there are any replies, it would be best if they stuck to the topics of KHS or the XCT series. These are cool bike, and I don't see as much information regarding setup (or the company) as I do for other brands. So I figured this would be a good place to start.

    As far as craigslist, using PayPal, it is no different than ebay. I have his name, address, and banking info (and now race info) if I were to need it, but that is not the point.

    The most interesting part of the experience is that a bike in that condition came from a KHS racer - that is the point. That, and that it is the first post of a potentially interesting XCT buildup.

    So, if anyone has experience with a fox float RP2 on this frame, or experience with the KHS racing team, that is the kind of info I was hoping to get.

  4. #4
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    "First post of a potentially interesting XCT buildup"?? LOL~~

    Maybe you should read the forums more dude......
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  5. #5
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    First post of THIS potentially interesting 555 build. Of course there are others. I simply meant I hope to add to this thread with developments on this build, hopefully including some technical info.

    But it is looking like the users of this KHS forum may not be so inclined. Have you seen the Chumba forum? Lots of jokers and immaturity, but also lots of tech info. Compared to other manufacturer's forums on MTBR, KHS is one of the most lacking in technical information.

    But that's enough for me here - I'll stick to local contacts.

  6. #6
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    It is because none of us are at your level of expertise. Hopefully, some day.....
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  7. #7
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    Why the hostility? Wyoskin has joined (or will be joining) the KHS family and will be resurrecting an (evidently) abused steed.

    Perhaps I expect to much of my fellow KHS brethren?

    I, for one, am interested in the possibility of seeing the build up.

    C..
    The amount of intelligence on the planet is finite .. the population keeps growing ..

  8. #8
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    Thanks, CFX. I am pretty sure that if I was an expert, I would not be asking questions on MTBR. I am hoping to compile some info on KHS and specifically the XCT series and suspension set-ups. I wonder if there should be a thread for XCT suspension set-ups...?

    Now, between my friend and I, we have a DHX 5.0, a Monarch 2.1, and a Float RP2 to play with on XCT bikes. After we've spent some time hammering on those, or maybe even having one of them PUSH'd, hopefully I'll be back with some perhaps useful tidbit of information.

    But then, if anyone had some advice from the get go, that would be great, especially for the RP2 (or a double barrel, or anything that someone has found to work well in some situation).

    Fork advice as well... Right now, we are just guessing and checking, which I am guessing should not be necessary, as so many people ride and race these. I'll try to get some info out of the guy who sold me the bike, or maybe catch KHS at a race.

    I am also interested in the differences between the early and later XCT bikes (5.5" and 5" models). The older version is stickered 7005 frame, 6061 rear, and the newer version 6061 frame, 7005 rear. The stays are not the same, as the older stays are more squared, but also have more curves to clear the tire. The host links and dropouts are not the same either. The seatstays are longer on the newer version, and leave more clearance between the swing link and the seatstay - maybe enough for a bit longer shock. And, although I think the geometry is listed as being the same between the 5" and 5.5" frames on the KHS site, is it really?

    I weighed the size small 2008 555 frame, with Monarch 2.1 mounted, no headset, no seat clamp, just frame and shock and hardware and derailleur hanger, at 6.5-6.6 lbs. But the scale was not a proper one. Anyone had a frame on a real scale? Many XCT reviews have stated the frames are heavy, but I am not convinced this is the case in comparison to its aluminum competitors.
    Last edited by wyoskin; 02-02-2011 at 04:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    I'd be interested in any upgrade information people have for the xct's. Not much out there on the web. I haven't had mine long enough to do anything major. I did add a BBG Bashguard. Would really like any info you find with the shock/fork swaps you have planned. Quick question...what size is the Monarch 2.1 on my 2008 xct555? I'm thinking it's 7.5" by 2" but want to make sure I'm measuring right. Real happy with mine so far. Just need to get rid of some of this stupid ice so I can go ride it.

  10. #10
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    Ok maybe I shoulda been a little nicer... Sorry...

    Anyhow,
    Good too see some XCT stuff out there.

    Joe- Not sure about the rear shock stuff, but the updated versions (2010) come with a 140mm fork, which is what I went with. The FOX cost me $345 brand new take off from Bobs Bicycles. I haven't ridden it yet because of being buried in snow but the circles I've been riding in the basement are great! lol
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  11. #11
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    The shock size is 7.5 X 2.0, I have a few I've built up, mine, family, ... I actually like the Monarch 2.1 as it's better for high speed descents due to no platform. On one, I put an RP2, but left it in open mode instead of propedal. I have several different forks on the different models, from the Tora 318 Solo Air 130mm travel, Manitou Nixon Super Air 145mm travel, and a Manitou Minute ABS+ 140mm. All in all, these are good bikes. It's a bummer the website was misleading on the 09/10 models as they have 127mm or travel where the 2008 and now 2011 have 140mm. I learned this from an email sent directly to KHS.

  12. #12
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    Really?? wow... Yeah, I thought they all had 140mm of rear travel! That is very ODD.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  13. #13
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    The 08 does have 140mm, the 09/10 have 5.0 or 127,,. The listing on KHS for the 10' has the correct info, the 09 is wrong. I have a few 08's and a single 09, a red 525. The entire swingarm assembly is different.

  14. #14
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    RSabarese - Overall, how do you like the bike? Durable? How does it climb? What is your final advice with regards to the rear shock? Thanks
    Paul
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  15. #15
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    I love the bike, I have used it with different shocks, the Monarch 2.1 feeling pretty good to me, the Bark...a-ok. It's climbs pretty good, very comparable to my Jamis Dakar XLT 2.0 from 2005, which I also ride quite a bit. Right now, I have road tires on the KHS and am using the XLT. No reason for that vs the XLT to have the road tires other than the XLT has a 20mm fork on it right now. I swap things around a bit at my house

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  17. #17
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    Glad I found this thread. I'm very confused about the travel/model changes. Looking at the pics on KHS' site, I can't seem to tell any frame differences between the 08 and 09 models, yet it's being claimed that the 08 has 140mm travel and the 09 has 127mm travel. I also see that the pics on KHS' site for the front shock mounting are different from what I'm seeing on Ebay and Pinkbike. KHS' pics show the mounting as two separate sections, one for the link and one for the front shock mount; the other pics show one long zigzag that is welded to the frame in three spots and encompasses both the link mounting and the shock mount. What gives? Is this one of those things where the mounting is different depending on the frame size?

    Also, comments regarding sticking a 160mm single crown fork on these frames, specifically a Nixon fork? Hence my desire to clear the confusion around the rear travel: I'm not interested in a frame with 127mm or less of travel.

  18. #18
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    Post a picture of what exactly you are talking about. I took a look at the KHS site, ebay, and the site from where I bought the frame and still cannot understand exactly what you are asking. Thanks
    Paul
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  19. #19
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    I think RSabarese knows the answers to this stuff.

    It looks like KHS changed the shock mounts during the 2009 frame year. Some 2009's have the older style, two piece, 140mm mounts and rear end, and some have the newer version 127mm rear end with the long one piece style mount.

    I have the newer version, and a friend has the older version, and I will hopefully soon know more about the differences. For starters, I think the older version looks to be more difficult to build, and has better tire clearance at the chainstays. The older main frame is 7005, and the newer, 6061.

    Since we have the bikes built differently and the frames are different sizes, I will have to take more time to measure, but it is looking as though the new version's BB sits 1/2" lower, and the head tube angle is a bit slacker. With a Manitou Minute 140mm fork, I measured the newer version at about a 67 degree head tube angle unweighted, but that is with an older rotary-style tool; I'll have to borrow proper tools to get the best measurements.

    I have not yet measured actual wheel travel, but I'll get that as well. I am not convinced the differences in travel are even notable.

    If I had a 160, I would try it for sure.

  20. #20
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    The KHS site is confusing looking at the photos so I would not go by them. Wheelworld has a good picture of the XCT535. Also, I have an 08 XCT535 in M and so does my wife in S, odd, the size small for her has a different seatstay mount, like the 09's. I'd bet the small size only has 5.0 rather than 5.5 inches of travel. Now, on to my frames, take a look where the seat stay mounts to the shock link. On the 2008, it goes higher than the swing link, then slopes down. On the 2009/2010, it's just about a straight path from the seat stay to the swin link rocker. Since I have both years, it's really easy to se it. I'm not sure the actual mount makes a difference unless it is positioned differently.
    Let me know if that helps. I also verifed my information via an email from KHS.

    Oh, I have a 160mm Marz 55 TST2 on for a ride...not good if you want to climb anything. The front kept coming up. I run either a 140 Minute ABS+ or Nixon 145mm 06 Superair.

  21. #21
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    Here are photo

    Here are photos since it may be easier:

    2008

    XCT 555, Craigslist, a KHS Racer, and a new used bike!... uh oh.-2008.jpg

    2009

    XCT 555, Craigslist, a KHS Racer, and a new used bike!... uh oh.-2009.jpg

  22. #22
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    WOW totally different swingarm!
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  23. #23
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    Guys, thanks a ton for the pics and info!

    I realized I should've posted pics to clarify my questions, but I didn't get any notifications and was unable to get into this forum for the past three days? I thought no one was responding.

    It's clear that KHS' site is incorrect. None of their XCT pics show the earlier, 2008 arrangement.

    I'm building up a new-for-me bike, and this will be for use in the California/Marin County area, so I will be doing my share of climbing. I've already got a 160mm Nixon fork, so I don't think this frame will work for me.

    Just to let you guys know, I recently ran an inquiry by Gary Maltby of Cane Creek. I had heard something in the works or put two and two together, but the bottom line is this: Cane Creek will supposedly have an AngleSet that will work with a bike such as the XCT by April. The XCT uses a ZeroStack headset, with 44mm i.d. headtube dimensions top and bottom. Yes, Cane Creek will be providing an angleset that will work with this type of headtube and a standard 1 1/8" steerer fork. The adjustment will be confined to 1 deg., only, either steeper or slacker. For those of you, who want to really push the gravity dimension of this bike, I think it might be worth a serious look. Those AngleSets are not cheap, around $150-200 on Pricepoint, but think about it, lots of people spend even a little more for an adjustable seatpost.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the headset tip. I can see using one of those when they are available, especially since the older XCT is set up with a 130mm Magura Menja, which is about 1.5cm shorter than the Minute 140, and steepens up the head angle noticeably. My experience with Cane Creek products and people has always been really good.

    I recently stuck down the DHX Air I was running on the newer XCT, and so took the opportunity to try the RP2. There are certainly advantages to the smaller volume shock, pedals pretty good with the platform on and at 20% sag, and with the platform off it still runs plush on the little stuff.

    All the snow has covered up and smoothed out trails for now, so I probably won't have a favorite shock setup til summer.

    Also measured wheel travel, and the newer version of the XCT measures just over 120mm vertical travel. That is measured travel based on a 5.5" compressed shock length, which leaves just under 3/4" between the seat tube and a Weirwolf 2.1. BB height measures 13 1/8" with the Minute 140, unweighted.

    Hmmm, 120mm versus the sometimes stated 140mm is a bit disappointing, but for now it rips, and I like the lowish BB. When I get the DHX sorted, maybe adjust its volume, I doubt there will be any complaints about the missing 2cm of travel. I'll be able to compare it to the older, 5.5" version anyhow.

    The rear end feels to have more flex than I expected. Will be looking into bearings and hardware soon, though everything appears to be fine...

    I'll measure the older version when I can.

  25. #25
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    I have a 555 '08 small... it has 5 inches of travel.. use great climber fast descender.. no complaints for 2+ years..!

    im planning to change the stock rear shox monarch 2.1 since it cant stand the abuse.. oil is leaking. (has been serviced by a RS for 3 times oil seal replacement)

    does anyone know if my frame can fit a FOX vanR coil (7.5x2.0) with piggyback..
    without hitting the top tube on full travel???
    how about on FOX dhx Air with piggyback??

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