Strengths: Built really strong and solid. Wonderfully plush suspension. Great components for the price the bike is typically available for nowadays. Climbs like a beast.
Weaknesses: I find the shifters a bit counterintuitive. The gear shifter's trigger shifts down, while the chain ring shifter's trigger shifts up. I don't like having to think about each ring and gear change; I like it to be automatic and subconscious.
While I'm only a relatively average rider with not a lot of experience, this was my first purpose-built mountain bike purchase. My first bike was a piece together Walmart bike that I had built up since I don't have a lot of money. My new KHS Velvet was in a shop in a relatively small town near where I live. I was in said town one day and just decided to see what was in it. The owner, very friendly chap, asked me what kind of application I was looking for, and I told him something in the range of 5 to 6" of travel, all mountain, free ride, type thing. He showed me the Velvet which he had initially brought in for himself, being a rider himself. He told me he never gets out so he decided to sell it. I looked it over (I know SOMETHING about decent components), and went home to look up some information on the web. I went back the next day and bought it for 1300.I tried it out the next day at a local 6 mile trail and the thing just flies. I think my Walmart bike weighed something like 50-55 lbs. This, weighing in about 35 or so felt like air to me having ridden my other bike for something around 4 years. Up hills, down swirly singletrack, over rocks, roots and anything, it feels wonderful and much more solid. I love having a purpose-built bike for the first time in my life. I'll be using this for a long time to come, and I'd happily recommend it to anyone, should they ever ask about it. :)
Strengths: Very strong frame, rides well, very comfortable bike in all terrain,climbs well
Weaknesses: about 10 lbs heavier than my other bike, suspension is very smooth and plush, however, is a little sluggish when jumping.
I had been looking at buying a new frame when I spotted this bike on internet sale through a l.b.s.. Like others here I bought the bike without actually seeing the model first. I bought the 2009 model in dec. of 2012, good price! Bike is a knockout in real life. picture does no justice! The frame looks unusual in photos but it is a very tough, well built frame with very little flex in the rear triangle. Rides great uphill,through single track, handles tight turns,and slays down hill.I also like the fact that the frame does not need a gimmicky shock to perform, which is what I think a well designed frame should do. So I am very glad that I took a chance on this bike,and I would deffinately do it again. A Keeper!
Strengths: Built like a tank. Great Feel and Fit. Looks sexy as hell! Supper smooth in the rough stuff and the faster you go the smoother it gets. Pedals great for 36.4 lbs. Shifts smooth and brakes stop me when I want to stop. Tires hold me to the rocks(read in weakness too). Lots of travel when I need it but great on the flat XC stuff as well!
Weaknesses: There is not much wrong here for me. The 55 TST2 is great for the price of the bike, but might be a little jittery in the movement and has little adjustment. I see no need to replace right away but something more linear and with more adjustments might be nice. Also I found the tires pretty soft and sticky, which can be nice, but the really stick to the rocks in the slow stuff.
I just switched from ridding mostly hard tails and I would always ride them past their abilities. I searched for months for the right bike and found the Velvet at a pretty great price. I couldn't be happy with the bike. Definitely confident inspiring!
For the price, you get great components, a rock solid frame and overall a bike that could cost hundreds or thousands more with another name on it. I had trouble finding info on this bike but decided to take the plunge and couldn't be happier. So anyone looking for a great AM bike, with good travel, good components at a decent price, look at the velvet.
Favorite Trail: anything fast and looks like the Forest Moon of Endor
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Online
Similar Products Used: Just switched from hard tails but Have ridden an Iron Horse 6point and Giant Trance.
Bike Setup: 2010 small(all Stock) 36.4 lbs
a Weekend Warrior
from St. George, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2011
Strengths: Solid build. Rides as well as bikes two or three times the price. Very little pedal feedback. Way easier to pedal than I thought it would be. Not a bad climber.
Weaknesses: Being as slack as it is, the front end does want to come up on steep climbs. This is to be expected for a freeride bike, but I guess it's still a weakness.
This is my first full suspension bike. I absolutely love it. I have been out with guys on $5000-$8000 bikes and they are all surprised with how well my Velvet performs. I don't have any problems doing anything they do (That I can get up the balls to do). I have done 4'-5' drops on flat slickrock. I have done 6' plus drops on clay. It eats them up no problem. I am getting more comfortable with every ride, thanks to the confidence I am gaining in the bike itself. I would recommend this bike to anyone. I think it's damn sexy too. I pedal it all over too, so a pretty good all around bike I think.
Weaknesses: brakes, likes to lift front tire on steep climbs (geometry, again)
Love this bike! Tried to find reviews before buying, could only find one (mtbr). Bought it anyway, and had some doubts before riding. However, all doubts had vanished as soon as I set tire on trail. This bike climbs great, descends even better. Marzocchi fork has a strange feel, but sucks up everything in the way. Rockshox HV rear does a great job despite being labeled cheap. This bike loves high speed banked corners and with a slight upward tug on the bars will drop anything you ask it to (haven't tried anything more than 6 feet yet). The velvet definitely rides alot lighter than its 36 lb curb weight would suggest. I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a frugal entry into the freeride/trail/light downhill world.
Strengths: A true do it all bike at a very resonable 36Lbs! good build for the price, maxle front and rear. KHS web pic does not do it justice, this thing looks sick with the dark green frame and white componets, frame is burly looking. FSR suspension horse link works well
Weaknesses: not sure about the 55r yet, the back tire will rub the seat tube on my med if i bottom out, you cant feel it touch but it does rub the pain a little, and the WTB Prowler MX are on the heavy side but seem to work okay,
This bike is sick, first weekend i rode this thing was at the Clemson DH race where there was a 35ft moto table plus some other big jumps, super fast turns and alot of flow. i have climbed, ridden cross country, decented fast flow or gnar tech, and free rode. the bike is really great. if the 36Lbs sounds to heavy for you then it would be easy to cut weight, the 55r is heavy and so are the tires. But once you ride it you might change your mind because it rides and feels very light. I cant decide on the marzzochi 55r, it takes hits great but has a funny feel cant really explain. if your looking for a true do it all bike at an affordable price get this bike, you want be disappointed.