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Scenes from the Chris King Open House

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Scenes from the Chris King Open House

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!

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Follow Chris King Precision Components on Instagram and check out more from the Open House at #ChrisKingOpenHouse.

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.

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!

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.

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

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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.

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…

2016 NAHBS: Cielo Base Racer with Olive Drab Chris King 40th Components

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2016 NAHBS: Cielo Base Racer with Olive Drab Chris King 40th Components

Chris King‘s in-house bike production label Cielo has really grown over the years, branching out from sportif road bikes to cross racing bikes and now, the Base Racer gravel machine. We took a look at this model late last year in Portland, when it was dubbed the “Stereo.” After some in-house tweaking, Cielo decided on Base Racer. The name wasn’t the only thing to change. The head tube got shorter across the six sizes and the chainstays were lengthened.

Look closely though, because this one sports the new olive drab Chris King 40th components, as well as the T47 bottom bracket standard. Also, check out the annodized Spurcycle bell ringer! So what’s my consensus? I gotta get my hands on that 40th group!

Ordering the 40th anniversary components will commence later this spring, so stay tuned to Chris King.

The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Cielo Disc All Road

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The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Cielo Disc All Road

I’m here in Portland, Oregon attending the Bike and Beer festival at HopWorks Urban Brewery. While I’ll be documenting many of the frames, I’ll also be capturing the general vibes. For now, let’s just check out some bikes!

Chris King’s in-house brand Cielo has done its best to stay inline with the current state of cycling. They offer both rim brake and disc in their road or cross frames, Di2 integration, lightweight tubing and clearance for bigger tires.

With more and more people looking to pack a fatter tire into their road bikes, their newest offering picks up the torch and does just that. This new all-road bike uses 12mm thru-axles, the ENVE GRD fork, disc R45 hubs, a Solid Bikes tapered head tube and clearances for a 38mm tire.

Tires aren’t the only necessary clearance concerns for an “all-road” bike however. This size XL Cielo has improved standover to ensure an easy dismount if the road gets too steep… Stay tuned for more at Cielo.

Will Black’s Cielo Road Racer with Dura Ace

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Will Black’s Cielo Road Racer with Dura Ace

The Cielo Road Racer is a favorite of mine and of Chris King dealers everywhere. Over at Mellow Johnny‘s, store manager Will Black ordered this size large around the same time I was reviewing the chartreuse x-large. He went all in with Dura Ace, Chris King, ENVE rims and the bright orange paint.

Mellow’s has had this bike on the shop floor all week and it’s creating a bit of a stir. Such flash for such little cash, when compared to bikes in the same pricepoint and higher even.

I couldn’t help but wish I could have gotten photos of this bike up in time for Halloween…

Farewell Review: The Cielo Road Racer Di2

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Farewell Review: The Cielo Road Racer Di2

Reviewing bikes like the Cielo Road Racer is easy. Well, sort of. Isn’t the whole idea about a bike review to critically assess its potential for the market? That means looking and discussing honestly the strengths and the weaknesses.

Luckily, for Cielo, these were apparent after the first ride and continued to hold strong throughout the several weeks that the Road Racer Di2 was in my possession. Some of my critiques are merely aesthetic or tied in with the build kit on this particular bike.

Whatever my thoughts are, I can tell you, it’s gonna be tough to send her home.

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Let the Good Times Roll

With Tanner Goods and Cielo!

“Our friends across the river at Chris King and Cielo know how to craft three things extremely well: precision bike components, hand-built frames and tasty food. Every year they bring their love of all three together for the Gourmet Century, a 100-kilometer tour through the countryside with four stops along the route for riders to enjoy some of the best food Portland has to offer.

This year we took the Tanner Goods edition Cielo Sportif Classic out for the daylong tour with a few hundred other riders, both old friends and new riding buddies alike. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the bike yet, take a look at the video above, in our online shop or at our LA Flagship Store.”

Cielo Introduces the Sportif Road

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Cielo Introduces the Sportif Road

Cielo is really striving to make better bicycles, not only in craft, but in their use:

“The Sportif is a refined combination of our Sportif Classic and Sportif Racer. With the introduction of our Road Racer we felt that there was too much of an overlap between the Road Racer and Sportif Racer. This overlap gave us the opportunity to redesign our Sportif models to create a bike that combines the best aspects of our Sportif Classic and Sportif Racer into one bike that personifies the Sportif ideal.”

See more of the Sportif at Cielo.

Introducing the Cielo Road Racer Disc

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Introducing the Cielo Road Racer Disc

Cielo is on fire this year! All their new frame offerings look incredible. The latest being their newly-announced Road Racer Disc. These new disc-equipped frames feature a Press Fit 30 bottom bracket, tapered fork, lightweight steel tubing, come with a Chris King InSet 8 headset and an ENVE fork for $2,495. See more at Cielo!