Chris King the Portland, Oregon maker of hubs, bottom brackets and headsets is introducing a Campagnolo-fitting version of his R45 rear road cassette freehub. The date for shipments from the USA is January 2012.
We reviewed the relatively new R45 hubs back in July last year when they were first launched, our Mat Brett concluding, "Superbly engineered road racing hubs that are both lightweight and tough – they'll last an age." The R45s are a 20%-lighter, fatter axled evolution of the long standing and continuing hubs now known as Chris King Classics. There are also hub variants for mountain bikes including the downhill specific ISO, as well as for BMX and specialist applications like tandems.
Meanwhile the UK importer Evolution Imports is teaming up with a new company Amontour to offer through local bike shops a built-up wheel service using Chris King hubs plus rims and spokes from leading manufacturers like HED, Reynolds and DT Swiss.
There should be no difference in price for the Campagnolo-fitting rear hub over the Shimano version when it becomes available which is £359.99 with the front costing £156.99.
Chris King R45 road hubs with freehub body to accept Campagnolo's 11-speed cassette.
An example of complete wheels using Chris King R45 hubs, DT spokes and DT RR415 alloy rims with tubeless fit would cost £778 and weigh 1,424 grams.
A pair of wheels using a Hed Stinger 6 20h tubular rims at the front with a 24h Stinger 7 at the rear would cost £1,899 per pair.
HED Ardennes 28 hole clincher rims on R45 hubs would be £899 the pair.
As a final example, a pair of Reynolds clincher Attacks on Chris King R45s would be £1,570.
Chris King R45 rear hub cutaway.
The bearings in Chris King hubs, which are available in either stainless steel or ceramic versions, are made in the Portland factory to an ingenious labyrinth design, according to the company, which means they can guarantee the hubs for an unconditional five years. When the time comes, the hubs are easily dismantled and serviced using standard tools, with the spares held in stock in the UK.
King's patented RingDrive engagement system is a big part of the reputation for the rear hubs; the company claims engagement is over three times faster than a standard 24-tooth pawl-type freehub using a stainless steel engagement ring with 45 teeth. Apart from the faster grab and higher potential loads, Chris King rear hubs are distinctive for a freewheeling noise that the company describes as "angry bee." You can even download an iPhone ringtone.
Chris King R45 hubs are available in ten anodized colours; Black, Silver, Pewter, Red, Navy, Green, Gold, Mango, Pink, and Brown. Drillings available for the front hubs are 20, 24, 28 & 32 holes with rears available in 24, 28, & 32 holes.
Chris King R45 road hub front cutaway.