Text by Jared SouneyPhotos by Mark Losey
Admittedly I went into this test a bit jaded. The Premium Lagger is a different sort of bike. It certainly looks a lot different from what I’m used to seeing, and as much as cosmetics shouldn’t affect my judgement, they sometimes do. I really didn’t expect to like this bike because it’s design is simply not my style, but much to my surprise I liked it in a lot of ways.
The Premium Lagger is definitely a “flatland only” bike. The frame was designed by flatland legend Jesse Puente, and isn’t necessarily ideal for someone like myself who rides street and ramps in addition to flatland. Overall I liked the way the bike rode for flatland. It took me some time to get used used to the zero-offset fork design, but once I was used to it, I liked it. Tricks with the bars backwards felt very similar to tricks with the bars forwards, which made switching a lot easier. While the frame design is different, it does provide an enormous amount of scuffing room, so I would have to say that it is a successful design. The short rear-end on the Premium Lagger also makes it a great bike for back wheel tricks.
Out of the box, the Premium Lagger is a great bike, however there are a few changes that I would make. The handlebars are a bit wide for my taste (actually a lot wide), but I look at that as a good thing, because you can cut them down to exactly the size you like. As they say, it’s better to start with too much than too little. The upper Gyro cable was extremely long, and was exaggerated even more by the low crossbar on the handlebars. With some of the details KHE addresses on this bike, it really surprised me that they would spec the bike with such a long cable.
It’s not often that you find a complete bike that is set up for flatland right out of the box, but the Premium Lagger does a good job of filling that void. I didn’t expect going into the test that I would recommend this bike, but I think it is a good value for anyone who wants to get into flatland. The geometry is right on, and the components are all top notch. For those people who want to ride a lot of different terrain, this might not be the best bike for you, but that is a decision only you can make.
KHE Premium Lagger specs
Colors: Grey, chrome (the army green color as tested is no longer available).
Top tube length: 20.5″
Chainstay length: 13″
Top tube O.D.: 1.25″
Down tube O.D.: 1.25″
Head tube angle: 75-degrees
Seat tube angle: 72-degrees
Misc.: The Premium Lagger comes stock with Alex chrome plate 48-hole wheels, including a freecoaster hub in the rear. The bike also features KHE’s two piece cranks, and Dia Compe 996 brakes on the front and rear.
Contact: Cycle Source Group, 84 F Horse Block Rd., Yaphank, New York 11980. Toll free (877) 533-7245 or visit www.jeepbikes.com for more info.