Chris King R45 disc brake hubs for road bikes

While every manufacturer wants to be known for producing quality products, there are a few companies that have become so highly renowned for particular parts that they’ve achieved legend status in cycling history. Thomson’s superlight seatposts and Profile’s BMX cranks are two examples, and if you ask most riders “Who makes the best headsets in cycling?” I’d bet my last dollar they’d say Chris King.

Of course Chris King produces a wide range of other goodies, all to the same high-performance standard of their ubiquitous and time-tested headsets. The company has just announced some new products including two carbon road wheelsets, thru-axles for disc brake equipped road bikes, and a shop apron to keep you clean through the dirty work of bike maintenance. Click below the break for all the info…

Chris King Carbon Race Sprint wheelset

Chris King’s Carbon Race Sprint wheels are built as an ideal all-purpose wheelset for those who don’t want or need to own multiple sets. They strike a balance between light weight for spirited climbing and competitive aerodynamic properties, despite the relatively shallow profile of ENVE’s 4.5 carbon clincher rims.

The wheels are built in-house with Chris King’s R45 20-hole front and 24-hole rear hubs, with options for Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo drive compatibility. Buyers can choose between nine anodized colors for the hubs. Given weight for the rim brake wheelset is 1539g.

Chris King Carbon Race Climb Disc wheelset

The Carbon Race Climb Disc wheels offer a versatile package designed to handle all kinds of conditions including rough roads and gravel surfaces, yet still perform with excellent aerodynamics for race day. Most notably this set makes the jump to disc brake compatibility, which King says barely nudges up the wheelset’s listed weight of 1538g.

The Carbon Race Climb Disc wheels use 24-hole R45D hubs front and rear with Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo compatibility. The ENVE 3.4 carbon clincher rims are designed to accommodate 23-28mm tires, and again buyers can choose from nine anodized hub colors.

For both of the above wheelsets, Chris King offers a five year warranty on their hubs, plus a five year crash replacement policy. The rims are also under warranty for five years through ENVE. The company promises short turnaround times for custom wheel orders, and for pricing see Chris King’s website to locate a dealer near you.

Chris King 142x12mm rear thru-axle for R45D hub

At this year’s Sea Otter Classic, Bikerumor checked out Chris King’s R45D rear thru-axle disc hub, and even earlier we had peeked at an pre-release 100x12mm front thru-axle during the NAHBS show. The big news today is that Chris King’s 142x12mm rear thru-axles for their R45 Disc hubs are now available, and the company is currently working on the 100x12mm front axles which are expected to begin shipping in August.

The 142x12mm rear axle allows riders to convert to the incoming thru-axle standard, and is compatible with their R45 Disc rear hub in both the 135mm and 142mm widths. The rear thru-axle costs $75.00 USD, but there’s no word yet on pricing for the front version.

Chris King  shop apron, side Chris King  shop apron, front

Finally, the brand has released a shop apron for those who make their living fixing what the rest of us mess up during our leisure time. Chris King’s shop apron is made from heavy duty cotton twill fabric with cross-back nylon straps for an adjustable fit. The front section of the apron can be conveniently shortened by folding up the bottom and buttoning it in place.

The apron also includes a bunch of multi-use pockets, and an embroidered Chris King logo so everyone knowns you’re a man/woman who appreciates quality craftsmanship. Outside of the shop, this apron might also come in handy when you’re playing the role of bicycling barista with Chris King’s espresso tamper and coffee mug sets! Chris King’s shop apron is designed and produced in the USA, comes in black only and sells for $85.


  1. Tim on

    I’m with John, Centerlock is a much more convenient standard than 6-bolt. And it happens to allow us to use the world’s best rotors- Shimano Ice-Tech. On a side note- I’ve never seen a rear CK hub that wasn’t slightly loose, including ones owned by shop mechanics. Every time I see a King rear hub on a bike (sample size: around 10 hubs), I walk up to it, grab the rear tire, and am able to “rattle” the rear hub laterally. They have great engagement and are light, and the small wobble doesn’t seem to affect longevity, but those things should be tight IMO.

  2. Alex @ Hermes Sport on

    The main push away from centerlock is the restriction it imposesbearing size – the splined ring is so small that you can’t use Bearings much bigger than 6902 size – it really restricts hub design, and is why why a lot of people don’t use it (the actual license fee is a pittance).

    A revised Centerlock standard which could accommodate newer developments in hubs would be great, but for now it’s a big give and take.

  3. Dougs on

    Finally coming thru with the axles! @Tim I don’t know who is adjusting those hubs but if they went on the website and do the proper preload adjust there shouldn’t be any issue. All the hubs I worked on did for a long time till I checked out the site and never had a problem since with hub play.

  4. Jimmy jazz on

    I have a couple of pairs of king hubs. I can honestly say they are the best I have had, and I have had tried most. I don’t get any play in mine. Granted you have to adjust the preload a little more often than most but it is a price I’m willing to pay.

  5. eyerolls on

    My own sample size is in the dozens. And the last CK apron I owned was terrible, but at least it wasn’t $85.

  6. mateo on

    So these are just ENVE 3.4 disc and 4.5 wheels, but you can buy them from CK? ENVE already offers stock builds using CK hubs.

  7. Lancelotlink on

    Nice to see that people are finally waking up. I’ve owned three sets of King hubs. The first set about 15 years ago was great and never had problems. The second and third set were horrible. Way too much drag and rebuilt several times with zero improvement. King wasn’t a huge help either. They had the “our sh*t doesn’t stink attitude” when I contacted them. Switched to DT and have never been happier. Much better customer service and reliability. The Kings are pretty though.

  8. Der Snap on

    Running Many CK ISO hubs, not a single one has any play in over 8 years now and 20K on them.

    Did have to clean one once after 3 years but that was my own fault.

  9. -Rizza on

    I think Alex is right and Centerlock hub bearing size is a non-issue for Shimano hubs because they use cup & cone bearings which can fit more ball bearings into a smaller area than a cartridge-bearing can in the same space.

  10. cole on

    rounding out the line of reasoning, cup and cone bearings also make it possible to adjust away the looseness/play.
    That said, it’s likely that CK hubs being loose is intentional and good engineering; the appropriate tolerances for cartridge bearing fitment are dependent upon the temperature rise (and thus material expansion) at operating load. (much like how cup and cone bearings need to be adjusted to account for the significant compression of a properly tight internal cam QR). Every cartridge bearing hub I’ve checked has been snug when when at room temp, which is one reason why I prefer adjustable cup and cone bearings.
    Hopefully this comment won’t get censored for some silly reason…

  11. Ripnshread on

    Chris King hubs imop can have a very slight amount of play work fine and last “forever”. This, I think, is why many of us don’t adjust them tighter.

    Adjust your hubs!

    Just cause they wont break like that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix them. If I remember correctly it actually says in their litterature that the hubs will develope a small amount of play over time as the myriad of bearing surfaces wear in. This is then followed by instructions on how to tighten them. I’ve done it with a couple of allen wrenches and my fingers on my own sets over the years.

  12. joe on


    All my ck’s i’ve had in the last 6yrs do that. They get loose pretty fast the first year or 100hrs or so. Then they begin to stay tighter and tighter as time goes on. Now I only have to adjust them once every 2-300hrs.

    I do agree about ck’s drag. However, I’ll take the engagement over a little drag any day.

    Yeah CL would be awesome.

  13. Eric on

    Just like Ripnshread said…they can have a nice long life with a little bit of play. There are other brands out there that actually recommend having a little bit of play…specifically Zipp comes to mind.

    I’m still a little annoyed at the 12mm front standard replacing 15mm since I already have 3 sets of 15mm road/cross front hubs, but that’s a different issue. Hopefully I can get end caps or something to convert them down if I ever get a new fork.

  14. Frank on

    I’m guessing that since the price isn’t listed, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. No doubt each wheelset costs more than my top two bikes combined.

    King plus Envy is a lot of bling, but I gotta say I’m not impressed with the result weight wise. The actual weight of my 8-year-old Mavic Ksyrium ES wheelset is 9 grams lighter than the claimed weight of these. I’m sure these are a little stronger and stiffer, maybe a wider rim profile, but for a set of wheels that probably costs more than most cars, I would expect them to drop 100 grams or more under my decade-old wheelset.

  15. Frank on

    Edit: they’re “only” $3150. I was assuming they would be $4-5k. Still seem heavy for the price and technology going into them.

  16. Heffe on

    I love Chris King stuff but that loud high-pitched whine from the rear hub drives me nuts – I finally ditched it.

  17. Kernel Flickitov on

    @Frank your 9gm difference is usurped by aerodynamics. It could be 100g difference and the more aero wheel will still be faster. Expensive, sure. But someone is buying them, otherwise you’re relegated to complaining about price points on a comment board instead of finding a new job that pays you better.

  18. Tim on

    @ripnshred, joe. Thanks for the tips. I heard once that if you really make the QR super tight, it solves the problem. As for the tips on the site, and the minor play at the beginning disappearing after a breaking in period and adjustment- I did those things, and it didn’t help either of my two non-singlespeed rear hubs. One of them had a locking collar with a (English-sized!) Allen bolt, it was really a major pain to adjust that one. The other had the more standard splined ring, and it was easier, but multiple adjustments never helped it for long. I called and was told I was the problem. Anyways, I gave up and rode very slightly loose hubs, which didn’t harm them after quite a lot of riding, including trials riding.
    I’m glad no one jumped down my throat on this one- King is a revered brand, and people sometimes get quite miffed if you point at a hair in the soup.

  19. Brian on

    Ongoing issues with my rear CK r45 ceramic hub and now a crack in the front hub. I’m going back to DT Swiss. I had a set of 180 that were great and I never had to think about them.


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