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Chris King quietly unveils matte black, silver headsets & hubs

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Chris king matte jet black headsets hubs and components

Via their blog, Chris King has snuck these new Matte Jet headsets and hubs onto a special edition Seven Cycles road bike. Why the new finish option? Because shiny just doesn’t look as good on modern brushed titanium and matte carbon bikes and components, of course…
Chris king matte jet black headsets hubs and componentsChris king matte jet black headsets hubs and components

Also available is a silver called Matte Slate. the finish looks different that the brushed finish of their Olive Crate green that debuted at NAHBS a while back. Being the weekend, we dont have a ton of info, but they’re hinting through social media that it took quite a while to develop. We’ve reached out for more info, but in the meantime, here’s a few more pics of the Seven Evergreen SL with the parts.

Chris king matte jet black headsets hubs and components
All photos c. Chris King

Chris king matte jet black headsets hubs and componentsChris king matte jet black headsets hubs and components

ChrisKing.com

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49 Comments
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-S
-S
5 years ago

Why not go even farther, and limit the amount of “KING” logos to one?

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago
Reply to  -S

…. because when you produce the best headset on the planet for 41 years you get a bit of an ego and you can do anything you want. That includes laser etching your last name multiple times on them.

E
E
5 years ago

People don’t buy Kings because they’re the best. They buy them because they’re designer.

Jeb
Jeb
5 years ago

Sorry, King headsets were never the best, they had the coolest colors, that’s it. For threaded, Campy and Shimano were better, and threadless, don’t get me started on that lame O-Ring trying to get around Cane Creeks superior compression ring patent….which King said was unnecessary yet adopted when the Patent ran out.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

I’ll second this. King doesn’t make bad stuff, but some of it seems to hold reference purely because their price makes it seems special. I’ll give them kudos for making the stuff in my country (US) but they are not unique in this – Cane Creek does as well (at least for their premium products)

Jonas
Jonas
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

My Shimano threaded headsets would always only hold up for maximum one season – then they started to lock in on the the 0° position.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

S.I.S shimano index steering , my 30 year old king still perfect

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

“were” being the operative word. When you’re done living in the past wake me up.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago

You know, Jeb. What business does a 1″ threaded King with original bearings have any business doing still in service on my daily commuter? Better my foot.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
5 years ago

circa.. 1991

i
i
5 years ago

In that time I’ve gone through 3 $15 headsets… think of the money and time you saved by spending $120 up front…

There’s no reasoning with King fans. Then, sure if you wanted to spend a lot to get “the best”… today Cane Creek makes a better headset for less money, and King refuses to keep up with standards.

lop
lop
5 years ago
Reply to  i

By some combination of internet lore and tradition, people regard Chris King products as “the best” without any evidence whatsoever. I mean, it costs more, so it must be better, right?!

OriginalMarkV
OriginalMarkV
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

I’ve installed between 800-1100 King headsets since 2003. I warranteed less than 5 bearing cup sets (two of them were 1″ on tandems), replaced less than 30 bearing caps (mainly 1″ and none of them being the newer compression ring type). Shimano headsets (the cartridge type) were cheaper but certainly not better, Campagnolo headsets never really beat Kings on price or durability. Cane Creek 110 is a close second but just as expensive and less colours; I’m kinda meh on the lower priced Cane Creeks. King hubs are very nice, but White Industries are more serviceable, cost less, more drilling options, and don’t lack for colour choices (except turquoise). Plus the R45 Centerlock Disc hubs are maddening (disassemble the axle to install the rotor? No thank you).

There’s movement in the industry to integrated bearing seats on the crowns of tapered carbon steerer forks. The King headset design doesn’t lend itself to that, so we’re spec’ing Cane Creek 110 headset more often. If Cane Creek offered just a few more colours in ZeroStack-style, we’d probably sell more.

I thought White Industries were gonna make headsets….I’d be willing to give them a try, especially since we buy so many WhiteInd hubs. Yet King headsets have been our go-to for decades and that’s not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

But matte silver and matte black is news? I’m over their limited edition colours. Maybe they should just concentrate on keeping the established colours in stock….I don’t want to hear “3 weeks” when I order standard black headsets.

lop
lop
5 years ago
Reply to  OriginalMarkV

What could possible be wrong with a Cane Creek 40? It’s two aluminum cups, two cartridge bearings, and a split ring washer. It costs less than Chris King for a superior design.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

I always had good luck with King headsets, but not with their rear hubs. I also never had bad luck with other headsets, though. It doesn’t take much to make a good headset, or front hub for that matter.

Chase
Chase
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I have 6 sets of CK hubs that have never even needed any maintenance on multiple MTB’s that are power washed. I have taken them apart (have the tools) and found there really wasn’t a reason . Just my nagging concerns since most other branded stuff was trash by then. Same as the BB’s and headsets. I cannot imagine better designed or finished products. Not denigrating CC either as they are fine as well.
But if you’re building the bike of your desires and want the BEST. Chris King is it. Period.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

I was a mechanic for several years, and every time a King hub rear hub came in the door, it had one of two problems: it had play in the bearings, or it had chain sag when back pedaling because the bearing was too tight. I had three King rear hubs myself, and all of them had the same issue. You might ask why I kept buying them. The answer is that this was a long time ago, and at the time they were practically the only fast-engaging hubs out there (and I rode trials, where fast engagement is really needed); they were indeed light; finally, I had drunk the Kool-Aid. The play in the bearings never resulted in damage to any of my hubs, but it shouldn’t have been there anyways. Nowadays, there are better options out there.

Nash
Nash
5 years ago

I hit extreme speed and use my ride as emergency response vehicle across London. The hope headset holds up just fine . Front mudguard is the secret. Keeping that water and shite out of the bottom bearing will make a headset last years

Seth
Seth
5 years ago

I have a King and a CC 110 on my two Canfields. The CC 110 is the better setup.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

“Best” would be questionable… Cane Creek patented the Threadless headset and for my money they beat the CK headsets in quality/durability hands down. Even my 40 Series base level headset lasted longer than my CK.

Kris
Kris
5 years ago

How about boost axle conversions so we don’t need to replace our nice wheel sets needlessly. Not all of us want an additional 2% stiffness

Apignam Edtyler
5 years ago
Reply to  Kris

You would need to redish your wheel 6mm to the drive side, the rotor cannot be spaced over 3mm without a custom mount.

shafty
shafty
5 years ago
Reply to  Kris

It’s not possible to make a proper boost conversion, because the freehub body location is crucial. Where would you accomplish the offset necessary to change from, presumably 142mm, to 148mm?

The point of boost spacing is more space between the *flanges*, not the dropouts. Ya can’t really convert that. If you don’t want the additional stiffness then don’t buy a boost frame or fork. Seems pretty simple to me.

gringo
gringo
5 years ago
Reply to  Kris

Because Boost conversions are the Walmart solution: NO benefit and arguably unsafe.

Brian
Brian
5 years ago

I already have the headset, bottom bracket, and hubs on my ti-carb Firefly. Awesome.

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
5 years ago

In other industries, objective testing showing data and results are the norm. In the bicycle industry, however, subjective anecdotes is what counts as conclusive evidence of superiority. Whichever bro drinking quadruple IPAs at the trailhead can cite the most Wikipedia pages on the subject usually wins.

So…has there ever been a long-term test of headsets that can definitely say one way or the other which headset is best?

I have yet to find one.

Lewis
Lewis
5 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

The problem is that some people like to look after their headsets, and other people point the jetwash straight at them.

I feel like there is a correlation between people who look after their things, and people who buy CK headsets, hence why people think they are good.

Bmx
Bmx
5 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

Like the like the car industry and VW with emmision testing. (deleted) . All industry is based on mass speculation and deception.

JNH
JNH
5 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

Modern headsets are mostly reliable and use standard sized cartride bearings. Even if the bearing dies on a cheap OE headset you can buy a nice quality bearing from someone like Enduro and it will run smoothly for years after that.

When King headsets first came on the scene a headset was something you changed twice a year, so one that was warrantied for five years was pretty mind blowing. But the goalposts move and now headsets just work, so they’re nice but no longer particularly special.

lop
lop
5 years ago
Reply to  JNH

Exactly. A $30-40 FSA or Cane Creek works just fine for years. If you do let it get out of adjustment and wreck the bearings, it costs about $20 and takes ten minutes to change them out.

ELEVEN_g
5 years ago

I had a few Kings. One was OK, one was rubbish. I have had a few Cane Creeks, they were all flawless. I know for the money which way I’ll go next time (which is actually now!)

vincent
vincent
5 years ago

King : where are the mtb centerlock hubs ?
Shimano ice tech are the best disc for long mountain dh…

Scott
Scott
5 years ago

King front boost hub has the same flange spacing as their normal 100mm hub, it’s pretty sad. I think Chris king makes some nice stuff but on at least their hubs it seems like they are just trying to make new standards work w/ modifications to current products. Kind of like how an above poster said you need to disassemble the axle to change a centerlock rotor on R45 rear hubs. Same things for their not boost, boost hub.

Jaap
Jaap
5 years ago

nothing quiet about this, they announced it in March..

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

I’m always bummed when a ‘new’ color is the story… :0 (

JNH
JNH
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I’m always shocked people buy King stuff in colours other than gloss black. That mirror finish is pure porn.

the biz
the biz
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

what kind of innovation are you expecting with a headset?

Ben
Ben
5 years ago

King can’t even make a modern mountain bike hub. Hard pass.

Kyle
Kyle
5 years ago

This is the first time I’ve questioned BR. Thank you for all the continuous content. However, you guys were at NAHBS. Chris King had this on display, as well as it’s been available for 3 months, and on their website for longer.

Zach Overholt
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Kyle

Yup, and we covered them there too: https://bikerumor.com/2017/03/11/nahbs-2017-chris-king-goes-matte-with-standard-and-limited-edition-finishes/ Honestly, we cover so much that sometimes it’s hard to remember what’s been on the site, especially when it was covered by someone else. Judging by the traffic on this post though, it’s still something people are very interested in, and who doesn’t like to look at pretty bikes!?

Kyle
Kyle
5 years ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

Good point. Keep it up. As always, much appreciated.

Zach Overholt
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Kyle

Thanks!!

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

Indeed.

JNH
JNH
5 years ago

Ouch, that made for painful reading.

tyler
5 years ago

got a bad chris king bottom bracket. really inexplicable. like REALLY draggy. went to Hawk Racing instead and happy as a clam!

ChknBreast
ChknBreast
5 years ago

Didn’t take long to pay for a Chris King hub since I was blowing up a Shimano freehub body once a year. 10 years later the CK is still running fine. I really wish they made a 197mm fatbike hub. I’ve been blowing up SunRingles 2 or 3 times a year. The other offerings are as expensive, but don’t really have the legacy that Chris King has.

curtisinglis
curtisinglis
5 years ago

I have been specking King headsets on bikes for 24 years with hardly any issues. No company is perfect, but they strive to make the best parts domestically. It is the only headset and BB that i have placed in multiple frames due to its longevity.

Steve Scarich
Steve Scarich
4 years ago

I have a question on CK headsets. I just got a used frame, with CK threadless HS. Unfortunately the top cap was missing. Full carbon Enve fork. My understanding was that you need an expander bolt on this setup, but CK does not seem to sell one. Is their star-type nut sufficient to clamp without squishing the steerer?

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