set up with 700C wheels, city tires, fenders,
It is my understanding that Cambridge Bicycle contributed to the design of the KHS Green, and that the New England based distributor was instrumental in these bicycles coming to exist as well. Maybe that is why there are so many of them in the Boston area (though this begs the question why it has "Manhattan" in the name...).
KHS Green bikes are so ubiquitous in my neighborhood in fact, that I have made a game of snapping pictures of them. They are usually black, and are left parked overnight on the streets with abandon. Here is one locked up next to my Gazelle. And here's another. And another. A friend of mine has one. A neighbor has one. I've even seen two seemingly unrelated ones locked up to the same rack at the grocery store. The ones from a few years back are a bit rusty, sure. But they appear to be fully functional and well-used.
I rode my own bike to Cambridge Bicycles, left it with them, and then took the Green around town on some of my typical urban routes. Clipping my pannier to the rear rack was easy, and I carried all my stuff just like when riding my own bike.
The bike felt fairly easy to ride, with the 3-speed hub being more than sufficient for the urban environment. It does not have the luxurious ride quality of a Dutch bike, but it is not terrible over bumps either. It is not a fast bike, but fast enough for local commutes and errands. The brakes and gears worked without problems. Nothing rattled or came loose during my test ride. The bike rides as it looks: simply and with no frills.
The KHS Green is missing lights, but otherwise it is fully equipped for transportation cycling. While I cannot personally comment on its durability, the dozens of exemplars I have seen parked around Boston don't look too shabby and I have not heard any feedback about component failure tendencies. Having test ridden the bike 3 years after I last tried it, my impression has not changed much. It is not a gorgeous or an especially fast bike, but it is perfectly decent and functional. With a price tag in the mid-$300s, it is a great deal if you are in the market for a step-through city bike on a tiny budget. Many thanks to Cambridge Bicycle for the test ride!