Category Archives: Chris King
It’s a damn shame. Yeah, it really is. It’s a shame that this bike sat in my storage room, with no drivetrain or brake parts for so long. After reviewing this Retrotec Funduro 27.5+ hardtail a few months back, I couldn’t send the frame back to Curtis. I just loved it so much. After some emailing, he agreed I could buy the frame, but I had to send the Shimano parts back to Retrotec HQ in Napa and buy him a new Chris King 40th group.
Months later, Chris King asked to have the bike for their 40th Anniversary show, so I cobbled together a partially working build with a new SRAM Eagle group and sent it to Portland for display purposes only. Partially working? Huh? You see, SRAM and Shimano do chainring offset very differently and SRAM’s Eagle ring isn’t available in 0mm offset, like their other drivetrain systems are and like Shimano’s XTR cranks are designed, so even though it looked damn fine with all that glistening gold on it, the chainring wouldn’t clear the stay… (more…)
A Look at the Bikes from the Chris King 40th Open House
Photos by Billy Sinkford, words by John Watson
Portland was a buzz in December. With the SSCXWC bringing hordes of cycling fanatics to the area, Chris King decided to throw an open house in celebration of their 40th anniversary. After a few months of calling out to select framebuilders, the team at Chris King displayed a wide variety of bicycles all built with select King 40th components. Then, to round-off the display, a few “vintage” bicycles made their way on display, including the matching bike to Chris King’s own classic Cielo. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, many thanks to Billy for taking a few photos of these bikes.
If you’re bummed that you missed out on the 40th collection, they’ve still got some of the Chris King wheels for sale. I bought a set of the Hed Belgiums for my Speedvagen!
Follow Chris King on Instagram and Billy on Instagram.
Today, December 3rd, from 12-3pm, swing through Chris King in Portland for an open house, featuring excellent builds from excellent builders. Oh and pizza! And beer. That too.
A Special Edition Team Dream Bicycling Team Cielo Base Racer
Photos by Kyle Kelley and words by John Watson
Chris King’s 40th anniversary is this year and with that, a whole queue of celebratory events, products and collaborations have taken place. From that coveted olive drab kit, to an Open House tomorrow (details pending) and even working with Team Dream Bicycling Team on a kit design, with a corresponding Cielo Base Racer frame.
Team Dream’s Sean Talkington was asked to design a kit for Chris King, using some of his signature colors and designs. Known for their brightly-colored apparel and unique use of stripes, the resulting design featured a red, white and blue paint job, with stripes that look like torn masking edges.
The accompanying kit has been in stock at both party’s web shops but this Base Racer has been kept under wraps for a bit, so enjoy! Thanks to the team at Golden Saddle for the build and look for this bike going up for auction shortly!
Follow Kyle on Instagram, Team Dream on Instagram and Chris King on Instagram.
Remember Chris King’s personal Cielo? The one that’s made from stainless and has the brazed-in headset cups? Well, here’s a video a reader just tipped me to showcasing the production process. It’s an oldie, but for people interested in the process used in making such a unique bicycle, it’s good as gold.
Team Dream recently designed a capsule collection for Chris King and it’s now in stock. Head over to Chris King to check it out!
Returning customers are a true testament to a brand’s quality. A few years back, Tod ordered a Cielo Cross Classic frame through Golden Saddle Cyclery and had the guys build it up to act as an inner-city singletrack machine and commuter. He went with Ultegra, a SON hub, an S3 lamp and Paul Mini Moto brakes. In the time that’s passed, Tod’s put a good amount of beausage on this bike, showing first hand how much he’s been riding it. When the time came for him to order a road bike, he looked at the Cielo Sportif, a classic road bike with clearance for bigger tires. Again, he chose Ultegra and Chris King for the components, with Velo Orange Gran Cru brakes and those nice n plump Compass 32mm Stampede Pass tires.
Photographing two bikes like this, one new and one that has been loved and ridden for years is a special occasion for me. Especially when you can flip between the two drive-side photos. I can’t wait to see how Tod’s Sportif looks after a few years of use!
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
Holy. Shit. This. Bike.
HSTB. The Crema Duo changed Los Angeles’ riding for me. In fact, it changed how I feel about the potential for ‘cross bikes to be the most versatile bike in your stable. Take everything you love about your bike and turn it up to 11. Big tires, disc brakes, lightweight, snappy geometry and the ability to hold your own in a pace-line, while still being able to crush singletrack and fire roads all in a tight package. (more…)
Nagoya, it’s been real! Thank you for your warm hospitality, your wasabi, your sake and your wonderful, smiling faces. Circles, Sim Works, Pine Fields Market and Early Birds have been fantastic but sadly, we must leave. I’m off to Kyoto, Kobe, Naoshima and Tokyo this week for some tourism but stay tuned, our story has only just begun!
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.
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.
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…