Last year’s Chris King Open House was a great time and this year, to coincide with their two new colors for 2020, the factory will be open to the public once again, and once again, a number of beautiful custom bikes will be on display from a whole roster of talented builders. We’ll be covering each bike in detail, as well as the weekend’s events, so please, come out and enjoy the hangs with food, beer, and Beautiful Bicycles. Head to the event’s Facebook Page to sign up so they know how many to expect and we’ll see ya there!
I have a Chris King story. Do you? Well, I have a few Chris King stories and that’s because I own more than a couple of their products. In fact, most of my bikes have their headsets and hubs. My Retrotec is what I would consider the epitome of King’s reliability. This bike was built for NAHBS with the King 40th group: Hubs, headset, and even a stem faceplate. I still ride this bike as much as I can and still haven’t had to service anything, three years later. I really need to do an update gallery to the bike!
Knowing that now, King stands behind their products with a no-questions replacement warranty really sweetens the deal. King also now offers a lifetime warranty on their carbon wheels, including the Santa Cruz Reserve and ENVE wheels.
Head over to Chris King to see their Lifetime Warranty post!
A bike that’s perfect for its one imperfection. Mick hasn’t ever owned a new bike. Not new, new. Like pulling a brand new frame out of a box, new. It’s not that he was opposed to new bikes, he just never really found a company or a frame that fit his ideologies. Over the past few months however, Crust Bikes‘ offerings have really piqued his interest. He works at Golden Saddle Cyclery, a shop that churns out balleur Crust builds all the time. When he saw the new Nor’Easter, it strummed his heartstrings.
It took a long time and there’s a long story behind the reason for the abnormal wait but at NAHBS this year, Chris King released the plug-n-play XD driver for their R45 road hubs. Now, there is a compatibility window for this replacement driver, so you should check with your local bike shop to see if your hubs can take the 11-speed driver, but if you have a Centerlock hub, then you’re good to go. Head to your local shop to inquire about the upgrade so you can use SRAM’s 10-42 cassette on your all-road bike.
You’ve seen our photo documentation from the Chris King Open House and the bikes from the show, now here’s Path Less Pedaled’s recap video!
For the past few years, Chris King has opened their doors to the public as part of an entire weekend of events dubbed the Chris King Open House. This event’s intent is to be coordinated with a product launch of their new colors for the year, as well as to showcase what makes their operations tick, and to display a selection of custom bikes, built by some of their best builder customers.
the two new colors for this year: matte turqoise and matte mango.
This year, they sent out an open invite to 30 of their best builder accounts, offering up discounted pricing to them to build a bike for the show, passing on the discount to their customers. Out of those 30 builders, 17 showed up, and they were displayed alongside a Pegoretti bike, which we looked at on Friday. These bikes lined the halls of the Chris King factory, where visitors could look at their features in great detail, chat with the builders about their process, and if they were so inclined, purchase their dream bike.
I was invited up to the Open House to document these bikes for the builders and for Chris King, as well as offering up an ultimate dream bike gallery for you, the readers of this website. Please enjoy! Which bike do you like the best and why? Oh and if you’re interested in one of the bikes showcased here, be sure to reach out to the builders, who are linked in the bike descriptions below.
Finally! I finally made it to a Chris King Open House. Over the years, I’ve heard how much fun these events are. The events began on Thursday with an Industry Summit. On Friday we rode out to Chris King’s barn for lunch and Saturday, the doors at the Chris King factory opened to the public where visitors could take tours of the facilities, see the DropSet in person, check out the new limited edition colors – Matte Mango and Matte Turquoise – and ogle the bikes on display from 18 frame builders.
We’ll take a look at those tomorrow, but for now, let’s look inside the Chris King Open House!
This weekend is the Chris King Open House, an event open to the public for free. Coinciding with the open house are these two parties, beginning Friday night at the Chrome Hub, following up on Saturday is a party at the Athletic. See you there!
See you at the Chris King Open House this weekend! There will be a handful of bikes on display, as well as symposiums, and all are invited. All you’ve gotta do is RSVP on the Facebook event page. See ya there!
If you have a Santa Cruz, Yeti, Alchemy or other compatible brand’s full sus MTB and want some Chris King bling on your head tube, well, the wait is over. I feel like I first heard about the PR&D behind this headset years ago, so it’s great to see it come to fruition. Check out specs below and get on the pre-order at Chris King.
I love it when two MUSA companies join forces on something simple like this. Spurcycle and Chris King teamed up to make round two of their limited edition anodized bells. In stock now at Chris King for $69. I love how sinister it looks. Almost like HAL 9000.
Eric Koston – yes, that Eric Koston – is hooked on cycling. A few months back, he acquired a Santa Cruz Stigmata, much to the disbelief of internet cycling experts, who claimed he “wouldn’t ride that bike.” There’s something to note about these naysayers, particularly with cycling. At the time, I was bummed out on readers, and Instagram commentators from the Radavist’s audience. What is it about the sport, hobby, and activity of cycling that brews this discontent? At any rate, he proved them wrong. Eric rides bikes.
He shows up at the Golden Saddle Friday rides where he’s learned the ways of riding in Los Angeles, ascending the steep dirt roads of the Verdugo Mountains, tubeless woes, promptly taking a digger on the singletrack, getting his feet wet in the LA river, and cruising up behind the Hollywood sign.
Fishing analogies aside, Eric is hooked.
The skaters turned cyclists Eric hangs with all ride Rivendell, Crust, and All City with more upright riding positions. So he started shopping around and settled on the Gorilla Monsoon, prompting this insane build from the guys at Golden Saddle. All-City and Chris King sent in some goods, prompting the build. All these components are familiar to you, the readers of this site, yet seeing them all in one place makes me feel all tingly inside. Down to the Spitfire top cap! So yes, Eric rides bikes, he’ll ride this bike, and hopefully one day, his friends will take him bicycle camping.
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
This year, I’ll be covering the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Triple Crown events: Lost & Found, Grinduro, and the Downieville Classic. My intent with this is to grow the Stweardship’s presence, help them raise money and spread the stoke for the Lost Sierra. Jumping on board with this project is just the icing on the dirt cake!
“Custom frame makers Sklar, Stinner, Mosaic, and McGovern have teamed up with world-class component makers ENVE, Chris King, SRAM and WTB to create four unique and beautiful custom bicycles that will be raffled after the gun goes off for the Lost and Found Gravel race. All proceeds will benefit the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a non-profit organization that builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen national forests. Their mission is building sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and hosting world-class events. SBTS has donated an estimated 72,000 hours of volunteer labor, maintained over 800 miles of shared use trails and created nearly 80 miles of new trails since 2003.
The bikes will be exhibited at the Lost and Found gravel race and the raffle will be live, with $20 tickets, from June 2nd through June 15th, hosted by The Pro’s Closet. All donations and raffle ticket purchases are tax deductible.”
Check out more details on these bikes and how to buy a raffle ticket below!
With builders like Pegoretti growing in popularity over the years, the idea of an “art bike” has certainly been given a lot of traction in the market. At the Chris King Swarm event in Bend, Oregon, Crow’s Feet Commons displayed this stunning OPEN UP, painted by local Bend artist, Sheila Dunn. The UPs have certainly signalled a sea change in the road, all-road and ‘gravel’ market, with their unique drop stay design, allowing for road cranks, with an XC tire selection, all made from the utmost of carbon technology, and designed for anything from a casual road ride to full-on endurance bikepacking events.
So what did Sheila use as inspiration for this build? Well, I’d say she didn’t have to look any further than out of her window.
I must say, this has to be one of Sheila’s fastest-looking canvases to date! If you’d like one of these custom painted OPEN UP frames, holler at Crow’s Feet, who is taking deposits for 10 right now.
At the Chris King Swarm event in Bend, the brand compiled a short list of builders who would display various kinds of bikes, built up with components fabricated in their Portland facilities. We’ll start off the showcase with this beautiful Doppo All Road.
Nagoya, Japan’s Sim Works has been making moves to open a base in the USA. Located in Portland – actually in the Chris King factory – Rie Sawada has been working on increasing the stock and inventory for this brand that sells products exclusively made in Japan by Nitto, Panaracer, and Honjo, the powerhouses of Japanese component manufacturing. When it came to bikes, however, Sim Works has been sampling builders to make their Doppo model. Initially, we saw a Made in Japan Doppo touring bike a few years back, so I was surprised to see a Doppo at the event this weekend. Especially one made from aluminum and in the USA!
Oscar from Simple Bicycle Co has been building frames for over a decade and in that time, he’s moonlighted as a behind the scenes fabricator for many brands featured on this site. His talents lie in anything metallic, ranging from titanium to aluminum, and dirt jumpers to all-roads. When Cielo closed their doors last year – where he built full-time for the brand – Oscar pursued more of his own projects, including two bikes we’ll be looking at in detail here at the site.
The resulting bike features clearance for a massive tire, while maintaining a road q-factor and chain line, allowing for the rider to choose a 700c or 650b wheel. For the Swarm, Sim Works built this bike to spec with many of their own parts, resulting in a largely made in Japan kit, on a MUSA frame.
As the snow melts in the high desert of California, Nevada, Oregon, and the rest of the West, small towns like Bend, Oregon begins to welcome the influx of mountain bikers thirsty for a hefty serving of dirt, before the sun cooks it into dust. It just so happens that Memorial Day weekend in Bend has historically been prime for such a feast of trails.
Years back, the Chris King Gourmet Century was held in this mountain town, tapping into not only the vast amount of singletrack but also the food culture. While the Gourmet Century brought about a lot of good times, it ultimately was a lot of work, eventually causing the brand to move onto more low-key, informal gatherings. That’s where the Swarm idea came from. In short, Chris King wanted to engage with the community of Bend, one of their local dealers, Crow’s Feet Commons, and do it in a lower-stress environment. It was open to the public and best of all, free.
As the invites were posted on social media and this website, none of us knew exactly how many people would show up. Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, the town of Bend was busting at the seams already with tourists and mountain bikers seeking solace on the trails of this mountain bike mecca. Our trip to the event began in Los Angeles, where we loaded up the Cruiser with everything we’d need to camp, ride bikes, hike, and document the happenings. Two days later and we were rolling into the sleepy town of Bend, just prior to the three-day weekend and the first ever Chris King Swarm.
Chris King is Swarming Bend, Oregon this weekend, with group rides and parties planned. We’ll be making the drive up, so if you’re going to be there, come say hi. Check out all the details below, from the Chris King Instagram.
Trail work is tough and that is a massive understatement. For the crew that runs Trans Cascadia each year, it means loading up chainsaws, fuel, and other tools, usually on their back, as they pedal into the great unknown that is the wild Oregon backcountry. Usually, the singletrack is overgrown, with felled trees, and other obstacles the crew needs to clear. In years past, the team has utilized motos when possible, but they can be large and cumbersome, so this year, the team at Trans Cascadia worked with Jeremy at Sycip Designs to make something extra special, just in time for Sea Otter…