Mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels are becoming increasingly popular. Fans say 29ers offer better traction and more control in turns and descents, and the large wheels power over obstacles more easily than smaller mountain bikes. Reviewers say the KHS Tucson strikes the best balance between price and performance. It's an excellent value, reviews say, and the hardtail aluminum frame is a good choice for new riders. The KHS Tucson has a good selection of components for the price, and testers say the bike is comfortable without sacrificing speed. However, one reviewer would like to see a longer travel fork (the current RST fork has 3.15 inches of travel), and we also saw a complaint that the brakes feel "wooden" and would be worthy of an upgrade. If you don't need a 29er, the Trek Fuel EX 8 (MSRP: $2,470) gets the best reviews overall.
The best review of the KHS Tucson comes from Mountain Biking UK, a cycling publication that conducts a group test of affordable 29ers. Although the full test is not available online, parts of the review are republished at BikeRadar.com. The Los Angeles Times also has a useful review, although its analysis is not as detailed.
1. Mountain Biking UK
The KHS Tucson wins a group test of four affordable 29ers in Mountain Biking UK magazine. "For value for money the Tucson is unbeatable," the editors write. Although the article is not available online, parts of the review are reprinted below at BikeRadar.com. Testing details are only available to subscribers.
Review: Big Wheelers, Mike Davis, Fall 2010
BikeRadar.com gives the KHS Tucson a 4-star rating (out of 5). Mike Davis says the bike is a good value and a solid choice for new riders; however, he would like to see an 11-36T cassette for more gearing options.
Review: KHS Tucson 29er Review, Mike Davis, Dec. 4, 2010
3. Los Angeles Times
Roy Wallack tests four 29ers for the Los Angeles Times, including the KHS Tucson. Wallack says the bike is simple but speedy, and he thinks it is a good choice for new riders. However, a longer travel fork would be appreciated.
Review: The Big Deal about 29er Bicycles, Roy Wallack, Oct. 18, 2010
Only a handful of owners have reviewed the KHS Tucson at MTBR.com, and most reviews refer to previous model years. Still, the site is useful for those considering used or older models.
Review: KHS Tucson 29er, Contributors to MTBR.com