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Something innate about gravel riding reignites our passion for the simple act of riding a bicycle. Perhaps it’s that rolling over seemingly endless backcountry roads instills a sense of discovery and makes us feel like middle schoolers tasting freedom for the first time. Or maybe it’s the peacefulness of being away from society for a bit. Whatever it is, all too often we get caught up in the arms race of having the most expensive gear and forget about the “enjoying ourselves” part of riding. And while we’ll always appreciate showy top-of-the-line bikes, it doesn’t take a fortune to taste the fun and freedom of riding gravel. With the KHS Grit 440, the “enjoying ourselves” factor is in ample supply.
After recently spending some time with KHS’ alloy gravel bike, the Grit 330, we already knew this brand could deliver a solid deal. The Grit 440 dials the performance factor up a notch, offering a fully featured T700 MSD high-modulus-carbon frame that’s ready to take in the scenery or rip past it at full tilt.
One thing we note time and time again with KHS is that it spends money on builds where it counts. On the $2,799 Grit 440, that means Shimano’s gravel-optimized GRX levers, derailleurs and flat-mount hydraulic brakes. On the flip side, savings happen with components that result in only a slight increase in grams and little to no drop-off in performance, like a SunRace cassette. We also like the 700x40c Kenda Alluvium Pro tires which feature a fast-rolling, low-profile tread design, while including side knobs for traction through corners.
KHS has gone for the 2x route for this build, with a 48/32 FSA Gossamer Pro Compact crankset. Combined with the 11–34 cassette, you have a wide gear range for a diverse array of topography. Three bottle mounts, plus a top-tube-bag mount and rack mounts, mean you can outfit the Grit 440 for whatever you like to ride. Our size medium (53cm) weighed 20.99 pounds (9.54 kilograms), without pedals or cages.
The Grit 440 delivers a surprisingly quick ride, especially for a sub-$3,000 package. Sure, it could stand to lose a pound or two, but it gets out of the way, offering a ride that lets us focus on the ride more and the bike less. While the Grit 440 fits 650b wheels, we’re glad that this build stocks 700c wheels, making ripping across rolling and flat terrain a breeze, especially with its low-profile Kenda tires. If you’re looking to get out there and enjoy the feeling of riding on open, quiet roads, give the Grit 440 a look.
20.99 lbs/9.54kg (size M w/o pedals or cages)
Shimano GRX 2x mechanical (FSA Gossamer Pro Compact 48/32 crankset, 11–34 SunRace cassette); KHS Sport Road saddle; FSA Adventure Compact handlebar; FSA Alloy 3D Forged stem; 700x40c Kenda Alluvium Pro tires.