Circles Japan Personal Bike Show: Chris King’s Own Cielo

If you look at each and every Cielo‘s non-drive chainstay, you’ll see the phrase “Built by Chris King” but if you look at a select few, it’ll read “Built by me, Chris King.” This happens to be one of those bikes. Chris King is too busy these days to build frames but there are a few rolling around, including this one that happens to be his own. If you’re skipping to the photos now, you’ll be returning to read all about it.

Chris wanted to run a 1 1/8″ steerer on a 1″ head tube so he could run a more modern cockpit but maintain the elegant lines in the frame. The way he achieved this was by running a stainless steel headset with the skirts cut off. He then counter bore the cups and silver brazed them onto the headtube.

Circles Japan Personal Bike Show: Chris King's Own Cielo

He used Reynolds 953 on the front triangle, NOS Campy fork ends and dropouts, Columbus SL stays from the early 80’s on the rear. After it was built, the frame received a post-build heat treat tempering process to strengthen the brazing points of the stainless tubing. This caused the stainless cups to patina with the headtube, which was then clear coated to maintain this finish.

Circles Japan Personal Bike Show: Chris King's Own Cielo

This bike was built prior to Cielo offering stems and as far as Chris is concerned, if the current cockpit works, why change it out? The same goes for his saddle, his pedals and that saddle bag from 1977…

  • btompkins0112

    Ok, so I just checked my Cross Racer and it says, “Built by Chris King”…..I knew it, but still a bit bummed! ;) Beautiful bike!

  • Steve

    Damn one of the coolest guys in the industry runs an old campy chorus with a centaur chainring. run what ya brought indeed!

  • Ryan

    That patina look is sweet, too bad it’s not an option!

  • kasual

    953 with SL stays and that patina… lifetime bike done very well.

  • CruisinE2W

    Great rig. That first shot is killer.

  • Chris rides campa? what happened to american made?

    • Andrew

      What are the American options?

      • at least sram has something in the usa..

        “SRAM, Avid, RockShox, Truvativ, Quarq, and Zipp. Their components are manufactured primarily in-house, in factories located in Portugal, Taiwan, China, and the U.S.”

        • Andrew

          As I understand, their SRAM component groups are manufactured in Taiwan, and only Zipp wheels are manufactured in US.

        • That’s just Zipp that’s in the USA – campy is made in Italy at least!

          • David Watts

            How is “Made in Italy” or, for that matter, “Made in USA” better than “Made in Taiwan”? Isn’t quality what counts? I guess it makes sense if you personally know the person making a product but if not, how is it any different to have stuff made 3 states away from 3 countries away? Legit questions, not trying to be a dick.

          • Chaise Jonsen

            “Made in USA” is better because domestic manufacturing means domestic jobs, better labor practices and environmental standards, as well as less crap floating around the world on those massive freighters.

          • tony365

            Agreed. The quality is only part of the issue. Personally I cant afford a whole lot of anything made USA, But I do try. Clothing and some fun bits like tool rolls and bags i can swing but I am not in a position to plunk down 2000+ for a frame. and another grand on King, Paul and Thomson components. Would do it in a hart-beat if I had the doe though.

          • AaronBenjamin

            it’s not.

          • I don’t get why made in Italy is any better than Malaysia..

          • Joó

            Interesting fact: Some of their stuff is still manufactured in Italy (chains), but all of their assembly is made in Romania, they have TWO factories there. That doesn’t change the quality ofc.

          • and Romania.

      • Jonathan McCurdy

        obviously he should be running a PAUL cnc rear derailleur with a musa narrow-wide upfront. And uhh.. paul thumbies.

        • Andrew

          I had no idea paul used to make rear derailleurs, those are pretty awesome!

    • Max

      White Industries Cranksets are the most beautiful crankset currently manufactured in the US. IMHO.

  • Hell yes on the stainless details, on that bonkers integrated headset, on all the fun, personal touches!

  • redhead322

    Someone please gift Mr. King a Yanco & Tracko Ramblin’ Roll! I would but they’re perpetually sold out…

  • spencer harding

    dream headtube

  • Matt Rumora

    So nice. Thank crank is classic. Perfect background color to boot!

  • Dr. Thunder Gladstone

    Can’t tell for sure, 20+ year old SPDs?

    • Yep!

    • Yeah, saw that too! I still rock those 747s on my mountain bike AND road bike! Still going strong!

  • That headtube is insane. In a good way.

  • Brett Rothmeyer

    I love the modesty of this bike from a guy who more than likely has access to all of which he desires for a build.

  • Love this, what class! I run the same rear skewer on horizontal dropouts so my wheel doesn’t slip. The spacer stack does look a little off going from the 1″ headtube, but I love this sensible build!

  • Robert0321

    One of the coolest bikes you’ve posted this year atmo.

  • Zac

    Jane Doe…

  • Ian TheMusette Walton

    While most of us love all these beautiful new bikes and the vast options we have available now, Chris’ view is perhaps one many could learn from and thus enjoy what we already have in the garage more

    To paraphrase a little;

    If it works, why change it.

    That’s one of the nice things about coming to theradavist; there’s the shiny new, but also the well used, well proven, bikes on show.