We love Chris King's wide range of hubs, headsets, and bottom brackets, so we were saddened recently when we saw their new, significantly reduced offerings. Chris King has long been a go-to for top quality parts for rare configurations (Devolution headset anyone?), and that put them in an odd position because while it's nice to be able to offer those parts, the reality is that they don't sell very often.
While we haven't been told the specifics of why they chose to reduce their line so much, we suspect that it's mostly because it had just gotten to vast, and maintaining stock of all of the parts that go into that sea of components just got unrealistic. We completely understand the need to reel-in their line, but that doesn't change that fact that we'll miss that huge range.
Because we've gotten a lot of requests recently for some of the discontinued parts, we wanted to do a post about which parts are being offered going forward. If you need something that's not on the list, please check our Rare and Hard to Find section first, and then get in touch. We'll do our best to find the parts you need, and will be looking for good substitutes as well (you can expect posts detailing those in the future). With that introduction, let's get into Chris King's revised offerings!
The main new development in terms of hubs is that mountain hubs are only offered in Boost (110x15mm front, and 148x12mm rear) and Super Boost (110x15mm front and 157x12mm rear). If you still need a 142 or 135-spaced mountain hub (or a singlespeed hub), Chris King still has a good stock of these shells and parts, so they're still available; however, at least for the moment, they aren't planning on making any more of them.
Chris King's headset line has long been extensive, with options for 1", 1 1/8", and 1 1/4" in their NoThreadSet, GripNut, and 2Nut headsets. Some of these options didn't sell very often, but for the riders who needed them, they really saved the day. The new lineup, is arguably a lot more sensible, but we'll still miss the ability to get a new headset for that bike that has a 1 1/4" threaded steerer....
The big news with Chris King's line of bottom brackets is that they have discontinued all pressfit options. At this point their offerings are limited to to the excellent ThreadFit line. Given the difficulties associated with getting a frame with an accurately-sized pressfit bottom bracket shell, and the industry's move back toward standard threaded bottom brackets, this isn't exactly surprising, but it does limit the options for those riders who have such a frame and who want a great bottom bracket. Right now, for riders with pressfit 30 frames, we do have White Industries Pressfit 30 bottom bracketsthat are sweet, so there is at least a very good option for that standard. So let's take a look at the options for Chris King bottom brackets:
The range of conversion kits for these bottom brackets has also gotten smaller, and in keeping with the rest of the line, stays right on track with trends in the industry. Gone are the conversion kits for Sram's GXP system (not surprising given that Sram seems to almost completely stopped using it). Given this, the conversion kits that are available are: #8, #10, #12, #22 through #25, and #27 through #30. These support 24mm spindles for 68mm road and mountain, 24mm spindles for 73mm mountain, and wide and narrow 30mm spindles across all of the bottom brackets they offer.
Chris King has trimmed their tool line down significantly as well. While in the past they offered everything from headset press adapters to bottom bracket tools and grease injectors, now they are offering their hub rebuild tools exclusively. We have a stock of headset and bottom bracket tools, and will continue to stock up on them when possible, but we will run out, so if you've been thinking about getting any of these other tools, now's a good time.
Got questions? As noted above, if you're looking for an item that is no longer offered, check with us first, because Chris King still has stock of many discontinued parts, and we will do our best to keep filling orders. And as usual, if you're looking for a part that you know is no longer being produced, our Rare and Hard to Find section is a great place to check first!