Friday, March 6, 2009

Chris King Launches Cielo Bike Line

Chris King-Cielo bikes now in full swing
By James Huang

Chris King is best known for his line of nearly indestructible headsets but he is now returning to a passion he once abandoned long ago: framebuilding. We first saw a sample back at last year's show but production is now finally underway and will actually comprise two distinct lines: 'Cielo' and 'Cielo by Chris King'.

Cielo frames are TIG-welded by a Portland-based 'build team' and will be offered in 'sportif' - think stable and comfy for long road rides - and 'cross varieties, both using True Temper OX Platinum tubes. Finishing bits including seat stay caps, head tube badges, fork tips, dropouts, head tube collars and fork crowns are all produced fully in-house.

Cielo sportif frames will be offered in 49-62cm sizes in 1cm increments and 'cross frame size offerings are similarly broad.

In contrast, 'Cielo by Chris King' frames are made by the man himself using individually chosen tubesets and hand-finished and shaped Henry James lugs. Models will vary by season and King has opted for a sportif model for this first go around.

Details include polished head tube lugs, dropouts and fork tips, a machined stainless steel fork crown, and a unique front end that squeezes a 1 1/8" fork through a head tube normally used with a 1" steerer. Custom skirt-free stainless steel cups are brazed right to the ends of the tube, leaving a classic appearance but one fully compatible with modern stems.

Both the Cielo and Cielo by Chris King framesets will also be available as 'modules' with any number of factory-installed Chris King components such as headsets, bottom brackets, and wheelsets.

Speaking of headsets, Chris King has also launched a long-awaited hidden-cup version. The new InSets will use similar stainless steel bearings as on other Chris King headsets and will carry the same 10-year warranty.

Chris King will offer both 1 1/8" (120g) and tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" (150g) sizes in its full range of ten anodized colors beginning this June. Suggested retail price will be US$129.

Though the InSets are designed to fit industry-standard press diameters used by manufacturers such as Giant, Chris King still recommends that installers first ream and face head tubes to ensure a proper fit and the intended level of performance. Cutting tools are slated for production shortly after the headsets.

1 comment:

bingofix24 said...

first you kiss the Rapha butt, now Chris king, what's up with you guys? at least post something interesting about CK not the mainstream... vigilantes eh?

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