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Cielo only rolls out a new model every blue moon, but they’re not immune to trends. And, as you’ll see, neither is parent company Chris King. Hence, the new Base Racer gravel road bike.

The name comes from the gravel base material used under the pavement when they’re building roads. And that’s what it’s designed for, with geometry tweaked from their road bikes and capped off with thru axles. It also gets a few new tube bits to both modernize it and improve the classic aesthetic that steel bikes are known for…

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The latest update to their bikes, starting with the Base Racers, is this new externally tapered 1-1/4″ head tube that can also handle a 1.5″ tapered steerer fork.

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It’s from Standard, and it’s the first time they’ve used a tapered rather than a straight 44mm tube. It’s not particularly lighter, but it definitely looks sleeker. The pics above show the difference between the new one (blue) and the straight 44mm headtube that debuted to frame builders a couple years ago.

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Out back, there’s clearance for up to 38mm tires.

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The bikes use the new T47 bottom bracket, which Chris King, White Industries and several frame builders all collaborated on to ensure compatibility across a lot of brands.

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It’s a sub-4b frame, and the framesets will come with a painted-to-match ENVE GRD gravel fork, with options to add on any of the Chris King bits and pieces to build it up yourself.

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In addition to the 40th Anniversary Olive Crate brushed green limited edition parts that’ll start selling soon, they showed off a few other recent introductions:

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Like the T47 bottom brackets, which come in frame and spindle specific versions so you don’t need adapters.

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And Boost hubs, which debuted at Eurobike last year alongside their Center Lock brake hubs.

ChrisKing.com and Cielo.ChrisKing.com

12 COMMENTS

  1. Seriously. I’m not usually one to complain about writing, but this looks mildly worse than than if it was correctly written in Chinese and fed into Google translate.

  2. @Sick–you’re complaining about guys who are complaining.

    Complainers–feel free to rewrite the article in the comments section. I’m guessing it’s the kinked opening sentence that got your attention, but I’m guessing.

    Tyler–thanks for the hyperlink to centerlock King hubs. Without another image, I might not have registered it. As ChrisDefiance observed on The Radavist: Centerlock Boost! If Campag had come out with it for Pinarello’s new wide-spacing sprinter frame, it would have to be called Centaur.

  3. If you’ve ever read the comments on glassdoor.com about what King employees have to say about working there you’d have second thoughts about shopping Chris King’s products.

    • I was surprised and saddened by this as well. Many years ago I visited CK’s facilities, got a tour, and sat down to talk with Chris Distefano, who treated me like an old friend. I walked away feeling like it was one company who was Doing It Right. Maybe not so much.

      • Yep, Chris and also Kyle Von Hoetzendorff were the best. Unfortunately the shelf-life of employees there is very short, even if they are superheroes.

    • Who’s shopping? I still like XT hubs, and Waltworks resolved the problems of bracing angle, chainline, and tire clearance well before the new spacing. Unsolicited tooting of other’s horns aside, thanks for the link. It does appear that King employees are fomenting a glassdoor coup: ‘Advice to management: immediate removal of the current president from everyday affairs and decision making.’

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