Interbike outdoor demo 1: Chris King, WTB and Rotor

Finally, a bottom bracket from Chris King

Chris King debuts its long awaited bottom bracket

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After years of anticipation and piles of rumour and speculation, Chris King will finally offer a bottom bracket with its much-respected logo.  The new bit will use stainless steel bearings similar to those in its near-bulletproof headset and will also incorporate a clever grease injection system that makes for fast overhauls or even situation-specific lube replacement.  

The new bottom bracket can be had in either road or mountain versions and Chris King will offer the precision machined aluminium cups in the entire range of ten anodised colours, which now also includes brown.  Also on tap will be a similarly precise machined aluminium cup installation/removal tool, though unfortunately a few months after the bottom bracket’s October debut.  

If the bottom bracket is anything like Chris King’s headsets, we have grand expectations.  The best part is that it’s not even terribly expensive: suggested retail is a palatable US$129.

Chris King has been busy in the hub department, too, with a wealth of new sizes that include 10mm and 12mm thru-axle rears and road-specific 130mm OLD bolt-on singlespeed and cassette hubs.   Front hub fitment options now cover the complete gamut of possibilities and now includes not one, but two 15mm thru-axle options.  

The lighter route uses the 9mm shell but the 20mm option will likely appeal to riders who might already have a 20mm Chris King front wheel in the corral.  Retrofit axle kits will be available for both.  

Things haven’t slowed down in the headset realm, though.  Soon to be standard ‘sotto voce’ shallow etching retains the standard Chris King logo but doesn’t go all the way down to the base metal for a more subtle look.  Deep-style etching will remain a stock option for black headsets and a special order for other colours.  

And coming sometime in the future are hidden-type internal headsets called InSet.  Chris King is still evaluating fitment options with a number of key builders but like the bottom bracket, this is something many of us have been anticipating for quite a while.  Unfortunately, no possible release date was offered nor were we permitted to shoot images.   Suffice to say, though, the samples were shiny and anodised with laser-etched logos.  Stay tuned.

WTB brings back the SST

WTB reintroduces the venerable SST saddle in virtually the same shape as before.
WTB reintroduces the venerable sst saddle in virtually the same shape as before.: wtb reintroduces the venerable sst saddle in virtually the same shape as before.
James Huang

SST devotees can finally stop scouring the pages of eBay for their beloved saddles as WTB will bring back the classic shape for 2009.  While not exactly the same as it was when it was discontinued in 2003, the new version is a near carbon copy.  There’s the same broad and flat rear, that telltale