Chris King is rolling out all-new complete wheels built on thermoplastic-based carbon fiber rims that are made in the US.
The designs are modernly wide, hookless and tubeless, but it’s what’s holding the fibers together that make their new rims unique. Using FusionFiber rims made in Utah, the carbon plies are bonded together with a thermoplastic that’s not only recyclable, but offers more and better compliance, too.
FusionFiber claims their design and materials result in a rim that can handle almost 3x the UCI’s standard impact resistance test force, the same or lower weights than typical resins, and up to 50% better damping. And all without sacrificing lateral rigidity or overall strength. (It’s worth noting both Revel and Evil have also launched wheels with FusionFiber rims)
The result, according to both Chris King and FusionFiber, are rims that provide a better, more supple ride quality while still delivering high performance handling. And because the rims cure faster, require much less post-cure finishing work, and get a powder coat finish rather than typical clear coat, they’re more environmentally friendly…from manufacturing process energy savings all the way through to being 100% recyclable.
Chris King GRD23 Gravel Wheels
The Chris King GRD23 gravel wheels are built on FusionFiber’s standard gravel/all-road rims, which measure 23mm internal, 29.5mm external, and 24mm deep. Fusion’s own claimed rim weight is 375g, but Chris King is listing it at 404g and adds that they participated in the development and were able to tune it to their performance specs. Also, they added decals. Either way, it’s a good starting point for pairing with King’s R45 Centerlock hubs.
They’re built with 24 Sapim CX Ray spokes front and rear on your choice of nine different hub colors and standard stainless or ceramic bearings. Claimed wheel weights are 664g front, 804g rear, and 1,468g for the set.
Base price is $2,650 with either Shimano 11/12-speed or SRAM XDR freehub bodies, add $100 for ceramic bearings. That’s only about 100g heavier than the ENVE rim build, but $350 less expensive. The Centerlock rotor lock ring is sold separately, but tubeless tape and valve stem are included. Shipping is expected to begin in February 2022.
Chris King MTN30 Mountain Bike Wheels
The mountain bike wheels come in at $2,550 with your choice of Shimano Microspline, standard Shimano alloy freehub, or SRAM XD. Ceramic bearing upgrades are available here, too, for $100.
They’re built with 28/28 spoke counts using Sapim D-Light spokes on Chris King’s Boost Centerlock mountain bike hubs in your choice of 9 colors. The hubs get 72 points of simultaneous engagement and have solid axles for stiffer, more precise steering and handling.
Claimed weights are 491g for the rim, 808g front wheel, 938g rear wheel, and 1,746g for the wheelset. Rims measurements are 36mm external, 29mm internal, and 23.5mm deep. While they don’t specifically call it out, we’d say these are aimed at the trail/all-mountain rider looking for a bit more personality from their wheels.
Both the gravel and mountain bike wheelsets are covered by their Lifetime warranty.