Chris King is already very well known for its much-respected hubs but now it would like consumers to think of the brand as a wheel company too. Chris King now offers a healthy range of road, cyclocross and mountain bike wheels, all built in-house with a claimed 14-day turnaround time.
"As a hub manufacturer, our hubs need to be built into to complete wheels in order to be used," Chris King communications manager Kyle von Hoetzendorff told BikeRadar. "With the proliferation of wheel systems and complete wheel offerings for some consumers, the extra step needed to figure out how to get a wheel built could be an issue when choosing to go with Chris King hubs. We wanted to address that issue and provide our customers with simple and effortless way to own a set of wheels built with our hubs."
All of the wheels are available in Chris King's usual array of anodised colours and are laced with Sapim spokes to Enve Composites, Stan's NoTubes or HED rims. Carbon wheels will come standard with ceramic hub bearings while aluminium ones will feature Chris King's proprietary stainless steel cartridges.
Chris King is building its complete wheelsets on German-made truing stands from P&K Lie
For now, mountain bike rim options include the Enve XC Carbon (29in and 27.5in only) and AM Carbon (29in, 27.5in/650b, and 26in), and the Arch EX (29in, 27.5in/650b, and 26in) and Flow EX (29in and 27.5in/650b only) from Stan's NoTubes.
Road buyers, on the other hand, have their choice between the Smart Enve 3.4 and 6.7 clinchers or the HED's Belgium alloy tubulars or clinchers. Other variables such as spoke lacing patterns, spoke gauge, and drillings are factory pre-set and unavailable for customisation.
Carbon wheels are built exclusively by hand from start to finish but alloy ones are first laced on a machine and hand-finished. Chris King insists that this shouldn't dissuade buyers from trusting that its wheels are artisan-built.
"We worked hard to refine existing wheel building machines and to build new machines and processes to ensure that each wheel that comes out of the Chris King facility lives up to the standards of precision and quality that are the hallmark of every Chris King component," said von Hoetzendorff.
Disc brake-compatible options built with HED rims will be added by mid-December and Enve wheels won't be in stock until February, but the other options are available now.
That's quite the custom handle for Chris King's Phil Wood spoke cutter, eh?