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Road Trippin’ Out to Bend for the Chris King Swarm with Crow’s Feet Commons

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Road Trippin’ Out to Bend for the Chris King Swarm with Crow’s Feet Commons

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.

Sycip Designs, Shimano and ENVE Created Trans Cascadia Trail Work Rigs

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Sycip Designs, Shimano and ENVE Created Trans Cascadia Trail Work Rigs

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…

Moskito’s Limited Edition Chris King Pink Cycling Computer

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Moskito’s Limited Edition Chris King Pink Cycling Computer

Moskito, the made in Switzerland, analog interface cycling computer that fits on your stem cap or wrist, has teamed up with Chris King to match their matte Punch finish in a limited run, available for pre-order this Friday. This run is limited to 24 pieces, so if pink is your thing, don’t miss out! Head to Moskito for more information.

Annalisa’s Breadwinner Lolo Has a Lotta Portland Love

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Annalisa’s Breadwinner Lolo Has a Lotta Portland Love

Bicycles are often the by-product of their environment, their peer group, and their community. Sure, that might be extending a lot of credit to an inanimate object, but over the years, it’s easy to see that people often kit out their bikes based on these conditions. For people like Annalisa, from Endurance PDX and the We Got to Hang Out podcast, her road bike is a by-product of her community in Portland.

Next door to Endurance PDX is a little company called Breadwinner Cycles. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Tony and Ira, along with a very talented team, build beautiful bikes, designed to be ridden hard on various terrain. The Lolo is their classic, rim brake road bike with room for chubby road tires and a beautiful paint job. Annalisa built her bike up with Chris King parts, another Portland, Oregon-based company and wheels built by none other than Sugar Wheel Works, you guessed it, yet another company that calls Portland home.

While Annalisa was in town doing bike fits at Golden Saddle Cyclery and interviewing Jen Whalen for their latest podcast, I took this Red 22 eTap-equipped roadie to the photo wall for some up close and personal photos.

Thanks to Annalisa for being such a positive and supportive voice in the cycling industry. I can’t wait to come hang with y’all later this summer.

A Matte Sand Breadwinner G-Road at Grinduro – Kyle Kelley

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A Matte Sand Breadwinner G-Road at Grinduro – Kyle Kelley

A Matte Sand Breadwinner G-Road at Grinduro
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

For Grinduro this year, many framebuilders brought their baddest rigs out to get coated in the infamous Quincy dust. In the mix was Breadwinner Cycles from Portland and in tow was this very special version of the Limited Edtion G-Road, painted in Matte Sand and built with an emphasis on made in the USA componentry. This includes a kit based around the 27.5″ wheel and tire platform, perfect for packin’ in plenty of rubber to absorb the rough and rocky terrain, while relying on Chris King for the BB, HS and hubs, White Industries G30 Cranks, Velocity Cliffhanger rims in 27.5″, Thomson stem and seatpost, Paul Klamper brakes, Silca Impero Frame Pump and last but not least, trusty King Cages. Top off this stellar build with an Igleheart fork with cargo cage mounts and you’ve got one trusty and capable shred sled.

Bikes that look this good need very little introduction and at this point, everything Breadwinner has been putting out over the past few years has been enticingly shreddy! If you’re interested in one, holler at Breadwinner!

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and Breadwinner Cycles on Instagram and look for more Grinduro coverage coming next week!

Chris King and Santa Cruz Commemorate Jonas Johnson’s Life with a Harrys Hoard Contest

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Chris King and Santa Cruz Commemorate Jonas Johnson’s Life with a Harrys Hoard Contest

Jonas Johnson passed away earlier this year. He was a smiling spirit at Chris King and was loved by many in the industry. For me, I always looked forward to hanging out at tradeshows with him and I was shaken by the news of his death. Chris King and Santa Cruz are looking to raise money to support HarrysHoard.com. Here are the details from Chris King and see more photos of the bike below:

“Win this bike and more prizes while supporting a great cause at harryshoard.com!

A 12-year employee of Chris King, Jonas Johnson passed away this year. He leaves behind his wife, two young children and a baby due in a few short weeks. We’ve gathered prizes Jonas would have loved and you can win them while supporting Jonas’ family.

Up for grabs is a custom Jonas inspired Santa Cruz 5010 (large), with Fox suspension, ENVE wheels, bar, and stem, Shimano XTR, SDG Shibuya saddle, Continental mountain king tires, and Chris King Matte Punch components! We also have a collection of Oakley glasses made for the Rio Olympic athletes, a Moots Ti stem and seatpost, a Fox Prorfame helmet and kit, and three Oakley backpacks! Enter now at HarrysHoard.com

$10 gets you a ticket, $50 gets you ten. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! See more photos of this beautiful, unique bike below.

Come to the Chris King Open House this Saturday

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Come to the Chris King Open House this Saturday

This looks like it’ll be a good time in Chris King in Portland:

“Join us for our annual Open House and Builder Showcase! We’ll have food and drinks, and a plethora of custom bikes on hand. We are also offering the chance to see where our parts are made on a rarely offered shop floor tour.

Allied, Argonaut, Breadwinner, Caletti, Crema, DeSalvo, Moots, Seven, and Simworks will all be showing bikes made custom for this showcase. We’ll also have ENVE composites and Santa Cruz showing off some very special bikes from our sponsored riders.

We hope you’ll come by and raise a glass with us.”

See more at the event’s Facebook page and join Breadwinner for a group ride on Sunday.

Chris King’s Cielo to Cease Production

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Chris King’s Cielo to Cease Production

This was shocking news to me, but someone smarter than me once said “do what you’re good at” and I can see Chris King just wanting to shift all their energy on hubs, headsets and bottom brackets. Still, it makes me sad every time a framebuilding operation shuts down. Here’s the official news from Chris King:

“AS OF AUGUST 15, 2017 WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING NEW CIELO ORDERS.

We are quite proud of the product that Cielo has produced over the years and are honored by those who ride our frames. We are suspending Cielo indefinitely to focus our attention on Chris King Precision Components core product families (headsets, bottom brackets, and hubs).

We will continue to support the Cielo warranty and will fulfill any outstanding orders. For any questions, email mycielo@chrisking.com”

Cielo will always live on here, on the Radavist, so check out some of the archives on the Related column to the left.

Chris King’s New Limited Edition Colors

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Chris King’s New Limited Edition Colors

We’ve seen the bright and matte emerald color on the Moots from NAHBS, now here’s a look at all three limited edition colors from Chris King: matte black, matte slate and matte emerald. All three colors are available for ordering now. Limited Edition Matte Emerald is available for pre-order now and has a 40-day lead time. The last day to place an order for Matte Emerald is June 12, 2017, so holler at your local Chris King dealer today.

2017 NAHBS: Cielo Dirt Drop Bourbon and Fire MTB

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2017 NAHBS: Cielo Dirt Drop Bourbon and Fire MTB

Some of the finest bourbons in the world are unobtainable, so it would make sense that Chris King‘s newest limited edition color was so small batch that only a select few builders were able to put it on their bikes at this year’s NAHBS. This was not their intention, however. It seems the brown anodizing was nearly impossible to get consistent, so making headsets, hubs and other bits to match wasn’t gonna happen. Big frowny face. There are two other colors which King has launched at NAHBS this year, which I’ll get to in a bit. Up first is this fire red Cielo dirt drop MTB. Now, this is their standard frame, which can be run as a rigid or a hardtail, with dirt drops, set up for touring with bikepacking bags. These frames no longer use slider dropouts and switched to front and rear thru-axles.

I dunno about you, but I wish that bourbon brown would happen because it’s so damn smooth!

My Retrotec Funduro is Rollin’ Again with SRAM GX, Level ULT Brakes and Terrene Chunk Tires

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My Retrotec Funduro is Rollin’ Again with SRAM GX, Level ULT Brakes and Terrene Chunk Tires

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…

A Look at the Bikes from the Chris King 40th Open House

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A Look at the Bikes from the Chris King 40th Open House

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!

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Follow Chris King on Instagram and Billy on Instagram.

A Special Edition Team Dream Bicycling Team Cielo Base Racer – Kyle Kelley

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A Special Edition Team Dream Bicycling Team Cielo Base Racer – Kyle Kelley

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!

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Follow Kyle on Instagram, Team Dream on Instagram and Chris King on Instagram.

Golden Saddle Rides: Tod’s Two Classic Cielos

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Golden Saddle Rides: Tod’s Two Classic Cielos

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!

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If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.