With this year’s Chris King Open House coming right after the 2023 MADE Bike Show, the event decided to shift gears and focus on the Portland area’s outdoor brands. Chris King opened its doors to the public, unveiling the process that goes into machining bike parts in the USA, while inviting the broader outdoor industry to display their products. It was a full day of bikes and more! Check out our Reportage, sent in by Chris King and let us know your favorite bike in the comments!
Earlier this year I was able to spend some time on the Chris King GRD23 wheelset. It was during the tail end of Portland, Oregon’s rainy season and I rode the wheels, photographed them, and started typing, yet I kept thinking about the wheels and have revisited this “short and quick” review many times over. I was just trying to figure out what I was hung up on or why this particular review was so difficult. Even though I had almost nothing but good things to say. Sometimes it turns out that great products are simply hard to talk about.
The GRD23 is Chris King’s first foray into their own “house” wheels. Featuring a FusionFiber rim (we will get to that) with, you guessed it, a 23mm internal width paired to their legendary center lock R45D hubs. King’s design intent for these was for an all-road wheelset or a perfect wheelset for someone who wants to swap between their slightly-plump-road bike and their gravel bike.
Note: since I did the testing and took forever to wrap this up they have followed up with the deeper more road oriented ARD44.
MADE Bike Show is right around the corner, featuring over 200 bicycle fabricators and brands at Zidell Yards in Portland Oregon. The show will feature builders and makers from all over the world, with an emphasis on community and inclusivity. Read on below for a sneak peek of what’s to come, plus a 15% discount on tickets!
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
SimWorks is pleased to present our latest offering in the Doppo lineup of framesets: The High Plains Drifter. These framesets are handcrafted in small batches by our friends, and adept framebuilding cohorts, at Simple Bicycle Co. here in Portland, OR. It’s a modern twist on a time-honored favorite, sure to bring back more than a few pleasant reminders of some of our earliest memories on a bike, while opening up a world of possibility for future off-road explorations.
Perhaps you’ve seen this bike from 2013? Well, it’s got an interesting story…
“Back in 2013 I was invited to show a bicycle at the Portland Art Museum. I was told there would be a collection of around 40 historic bicycles on display, and there would be space in the foyer for myself and other local builders to show off some of our work. At around this time, hand made bicycles were at the peak of their popularity, and I thought, Wow, this is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I mean, how many people get to make something with their own hands and display it in a major museum?”
… and it’s for sale! Ahearne Cycles is asking
$24,998 $19,950 for this beauty. If that’s a bit rich for you (it most likely is!) then check out this Page St. Tourer for $3850 and Classic Randonneur for sale ($6950) too!
You’ve seen the bikes from the 2021 Chris King Open House in today’s Reportage and now, here’s the video!
For the past five years, we’ve hosted in-depth documentation of the annual Chris King Open House and for the second year in a row, this showcase has gone virtual. Yet, don’t fret, because we have a beautiful showcase of some incredibly talented, international builders for you today. With a catalog spanning the globe, ranging from Australia to Italy, Spain, and France, we’re bringing gravel offerings from Baum, Bixxis, Legor, Prova, and Victoire to the web for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home or office. These bikes feature an extremely limited run of grey and turquoise Chris King bits which won’t be available to the public but have informed the paint designs for each of these noble steeds.
I hope you’re ready for some delicious gravel bikes! Let’s jump right in…
This morning Chrome Industries announced its new Pedal and Pro Series footwear, equipped with an exclusive rubber outsole from legendary Panaracer Tires. The launch video alone is worth the mention! Check it out above and see all the models at Chrome.
My normal yearly schedule usually includes a visit or two to Portland, Oregon, a mecca for bicycle framebuilders. Over the years, I’ve been a part of documenting the projects that come out of the Vanilla Workshop, so when a sweet project like this comes along, I like to elevate it to the Reportage section of the site. Sure, this bike isn’t going to be for everyone, nor is it by any means accessible, but as cyclists, we should be able to appreciate beautiful pieces of craft and thoughtfulness. At least that’s how I look at it!
Anyway, this Vanilla Classic road bike build with custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace is a blast from the past… and that’s its intent! Read on below for more words and beautiful photos from the Vanilla Workshop.
The 2020 Chris King ‘Not So’ Open House brings together a group of the very best bike builders and bike brands to showcase the brand’s new colors and products for 2021. Each of the ten builders being featured stepped up to produce an amazing bike that showcases the new additions to their new color offering (black with gold infill text and gold!) There are also some great edits from brands like Yeti and Specialized, so see those below!
CKPC had a lot of fun putting the video edit together, so enjoy!
The first-place prize for Sim Works’ Social Reform Benefit Raffle is this Doppo ATB tourer, built by Shin in Japan, and decked out with a selection of Sim Works, Chris King, and Paul parts. Let’s check it out in detail in order to ramp up support of this great cause…
As the person behind the marketing of a small brand, I typically have a strategy that I like to think of as, “appear bigger than the bear.” As a tiny brand hustling to compete with some very large brands, we aim to appear larger than we are. My theory is that if we want to be competitive, we need to look like a worthy competitor. You know, if you need to scare off a bear, you should try to look bigger than the bear. The current situation has led me to take pause and give up the ruse. Sometimes there’s more to the story than super sexy photos of bikes. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I am getting lonely here in my home office. I miss my co-workers. I miss shooting hoops in the warehouse in the afternoon and walking to get a slice of pizza, making awkward small talk in the pizza shop.
Los Angeles’ Golden Saddle Cyclery is a hive for unique bicycles. From classic Miyatas to vintage MTBs and even work from framebuilders, if you hang out enough, you’ll see all kinds of bikes roll through. Blake’s Gretlein Cycles is a perfect example of some of the stunning beauties that roll through the shop.
For five years, Speedvagen has designed elaborate Surprise Me paint schemes, offering them for a short window before closing their orders for good. Starting this year each Surprise Me year will be available until the day the following year’s scheme is released. That widens the ordering window for everyone who would like one of these elaborate paint designs on their Speedvagen.
For this year’s design, the crew at Speedvagen looked to old hot rods, rat rods, and garage-built, patina racers. The new design offers up a Detroit Agate-inspired multi-layered paint marring as well as crisp and sharp graphics. Other upgrades people can order include painted to match hubs, a stainless chainstay protector, and ee Cycleworks brakes. Check out all the details at Speedvagen.
My friend Rebecca Gates once told me, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” She quickly admitted that this piece of wisdom came from tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Since then it has been at the top of my mind. There is power in this expression “Start where you are” eliminates steps to action. “Use what you have” wrests back agency– doing this engages oneself in action while giving oneself to taking action, or “do what you can.”
Action, especially towards a greater good, is the most salient way to combat the various tentacles of existential dread, whether they are cancer, capitalism, or climate change. No matter where we turn, dread appears. Unavoidable but not unconquerable, we succumb only through inaction. Taking the first step towards action can be difficult, especially in our culture, which seems to perpetually discovering new heights of apathy. The world and our culture can feel like an incredibly heavyweight.
Path Less Pedaled pointed their video camera to the bikes of the Chris King Open house and interviewed each of the 18 builders about the bikes they brought this year. I love what Russ and Laura do, so don’t miss this one!