Chris King



M

Marian

Guest
Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
they ought to be pretty ...

But, are they really worth the extra cost?

-M
 
N

Nate Knutson

Guest
On Sep 18, 1:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?
>
> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> they ought to be pretty ...
>
> But, are they really worth the extra cost?
>
> -M


they're really, really designed in ways that most stuff that most
companies churn out just isn't. and ck is a highly credible,
responsible company, pretty much at the top of the heap. and the stuff
performs really well.
the thing to keep in mind is that it's extremely important for their
guidelines to be followed re: ht prep, initial hub adjustment, etc.
it'll all be for naught otherwise.
 
On Sep 18, 1:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?
>
> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> they ought to be pretty ...
>
> But, are they really worth the extra cost?


It depends what your measure of "worth" is. Stuff like
Ultegra hubs tends to be quite durable, so it depends if
you want something ever-so-much-more-so.

I would consider avoiding Chris King rear hubs on the
grounds that while they may be awesomely engineered,
the ratchet is (IME) quite loud while coasting. Your
kilometrage may vary.

Ben
 
D

Donga

Guest
On Sep 18, 7:11 pm, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
wrote:
> On Sep 18, 1:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

>
> > Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> > substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> > up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> > my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> > they ought to be pretty ...

>
> > But, are they really worth the extra cost?

>
> It depends what your measure of "worth" is. Stuff like
> Ultegra hubs tends to be quite durable, so it depends if
> you want something ever-so-much-more-so.
>
> I would consider avoiding Chris King rear hubs on the
> grounds that while they may be awesomely engineered,
> the ratchet is (IME) quite loud while coasting. Your
> kilometrage may vary.
>
> Ben


Aww, I love the sound of my CK rear hub. I even move the cranks back
bits and pieces to change the hum. Beautiful!
 
C

Chalo

Guest
Marian wrote:
>
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?


My opinion? Not worth it at all. Headsets are headsets. The only
ones that have given me a lick of trouble were either cheap 'n crappy,
or else old Shimano 600 headsets (for some unidentifiable reason).
Chris ing headsets work fine and last a long time, but they get pitted
eventually just like everything else. On top of that, they require
tighter tolerances on both the frame and stem to work correctly. I've
had to use a lathe to true up the bottom surfaces of stems for folks
having issues with CK headsets. Why bother?

Woodman headsets are better, Campy Chorus headsets are prettier IMO,
and _anybody's_ headset is more cost-effective.

Hubs? There's nothing magical about CK hubs, and their cassettes are
horribly loud. Phil Wood hubs are prettier IMO (and quieter), but
they are also stupidly expensive.

If you want to choose from among way too many anodized colors, then CK
is probably the only game in town. Coordinate with Velocity rims for
extra style points. http://www.yellowjersey.org/velrim6.jpg

Chalo
 
D

Derk

Guest
Marian wrote:

> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

Don't know the hubs, but the headset is great. If you keep your bike a long
time I would recommend it. If you trade it in usually after 2 years and/or
10.000 km's I wouldn't do it.

I have an original Stronglight headset on a 15 years old steel bike that
must easily have 150.000 km's by now and that was used by a guy who raced
it for 2 years before I bought it second hand.....


Derk
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com

Guest
On Sep 18, 2:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?


Headsets, absolutely yes..hubs, way to complicated and expensive to
maintain. MUCH better alternatives, like Campagnolo, shimanbo and DT
>
> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> they ought to be pretty ...
>
> But, are they really worth the extra cost?


See above. hard to beat a wheelset with Record, DA(if 10s) or DT
hubs.
>
> -M
 
L

landotter

Guest
On Sep 18, 3:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?


No. Decent headsets for normal users are cheap and boring and
pedestrian hubs such as 105/LX, if serviced properly, can last
indefinitely. Spend the money where it counts, on properly handed
handlebar tape. Too many people think that they can simply use a
common set, inverting the strip for the right bar and expect normal
handling. Not true. With properly polarized left/right tape, wrapped
according to your equatorial proximity, your handling and overall
front end ball bearing dynamic will be palpable like a handful of 1/4"
ball bearings in your cornflakes.
 
A

autopi

Guest
I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about CK headset as
well. One of framing the question is like this: suppose CK headsets
(properly installed, etc.) last X times longer than a cheaper headset
(properly installed, etc.). But CK headsets also cost Y times more
than the cheaper headsets. So is X greater than Y, once we factor in
costs such as removal and installation of replacement cheaper
headsets?

For example, from a quick glance at Nashbar, you can get a Cane Creek
C-1 threadless for about $30. I believe market rate for CK's is ~
$120-130? Let's say 4 times more expensive. Assume they cost the same
to install, so we can factor that out. I'm guessing that removing &
replacing a pitted headset costs ~$30 (correct me if I'm wrong.) That
means for the cost of a CK headset ($120), you can get one Cane Creek
($30), wear it out, replace it with a new one ($60, parts & labor) and
go halfway towards wearing that one out (namely, $30 worth).

Of course, things come out different if you can do your own labor.
Also, I'm assuming that the need to remove and replace a headset falls
under "normal maintenance." Perhaps if you don't ride in bad
conditions, and/or take care of occasional maintenance you'll never
need to replace even a cheap HS, in which case one should obviously
get the cheap one--i.e., if the CK is a solution to a non-existent
problem. I don't know if this is the case or not.
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 09:11:43 +0000, [email protected] wrote:

> On Sep 18, 1:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?
>>
>> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
>> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
>> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
>> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
>> they ought to be pretty ...
>>
>> But, are they really worth the extra cost?

>
> It depends what your measure of "worth" is. Stuff like
> Ultegra hubs tends to be quite durable, so it depends if
> you want something ever-so-much-more-so.
>
> I would consider avoiding Chris King rear hubs on the
> grounds that while they may be awesomely engineered,
> the ratchet is (IME) quite loud while coasting. Your
> kilometrage may vary.


Actually it's *Shimano* hubs that are superbly engineered, while CK hubs
are very nicely made -- like jewelry for your bike.

CK hubs have very fine ratchets, which may be helpful in technical
mountain biking or trials riding. They can also be serviced easily
with just an allen wrench. However they may not work right without their
special grease.

CK hubs are more distinctive than actually loud. Their fine
ratchet makes them buzz rather than click, so they stand out in a group.
My Rolf/Hugi hub is definitely louder than my friend's CK.

CK headsets are reputably bulletproof, immune from becoming "indexed."
In the early days of mountain biking they were the only thing to have. But
newer Shimano headsets and some others that have come along since the
early 90s are great too.

Matt O.
 
V

velodancer

Guest
On Sep 18, 6:07 am, landotter <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Sep 18, 3:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

>
> No. Decent headsets for normal users are cheap and boring and
> pedestrian hubs such as 105/LX, if serviced properly, can last
> indefinitely. Spend the money where it counts, on properly handed
> handlebar tape. Too many people think that they can simply use a
> common set, inverting the strip for the right bar and expect normal
> handling. Not true. With properly polarized left/right tape, wrapped
> according to your equatorial proximity, your handling and overall
> front end ball bearing dynamic will be palpable like a handful of 1/4"
> ball bearings in your cornflakes.


Can you tell me more about this, do you go faster? Is the tape made by
Rayban? How do you properly measure your equatorial proximity? I've
never taped my handlebars before, too much weight for no gain (or so I
had thought). ;-)
 
L

Lou Holtman

Guest
Marian wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?
>
> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> they ought to be pretty ...
>
> But, are they really worth the extra cost?
>
> -M
>



Hadsets I tend to a yes, hubs definitely not. If you want to spend that
kind of money, I would get de DT240S hubs.

Lou
--
Posted by news://news.nb.nu (http://www.nb.nu)
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
On Sep 18, 7:24 am, autopi <[email protected]> wrote:
> I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about CK headset as
> well. One of framing the question is like this: suppose CK headsets
> (properly installed, etc.) last X times longer than a cheaper headset
> (properly installed, etc.). But CK headsets also cost Y times more
> than the cheaper headsets. So is X greater than Y, once we factor in
> costs such as removal and installation of replacement cheaper
> headsets?
>
> For example, from a quick glance at Nashbar, you can get a Cane Creek
> C-1 threadless for about $30. I believe market rate for CK's is ~
> $120-130? Let's say 4 times more expensive. Assume they cost the same
> to install, so we can factor that out. I'm guessing that removing &
> replacing a pitted headset costs ~$30 (correct me if I'm wrong.) That
> means for the cost of a CK headset ($120), you can get one Cane Creek
> ($30), wear it out, replace it with a new one ($60, parts & labor) and
> go halfway towards wearing that one out (namely, $30 worth).
>
> Of course, things come out different if you can do your own labor.
> Also, I'm assuming that the need to remove and replace a headset falls
> under "normal maintenance." Perhaps if you don't ride in bad
> conditions, and/or take care of occasional maintenance you'll never
> need to replace even a cheap HS, in which case one should obviously
> get the cheap one--i.e., if the CK is a solution to a non-existent
> problem. I don't know if this is the case or not.


I have a Chris King headset on my racing bike because I got the frame
as a free replacement and was feeling foolish with my money. But I
knew I was being foolish because decent headsets rarely ever **** out.
I agree with Chalo that the King headset is a waste of money. Plus,
its not like the old days when you had to replace pitted cups and
races. Now you just throw in a new bearing cartridge. So, even with
the cheap Cane Creeks, you just change bearings and not the whole
headset. As for hubs, I have never owned King hubs, but many love
them. I would consider them for cyclocross or mtb or some other high
stress, high gunk application -- and if I won the lottery. But on the
road, I have gotten excellent service from ordinary Ultegra hubs
riding 6 months a year in the rain. In fact, I got better service out
of my Ultegra hubs than my ancient Phil hubs ('75) with rubber wipers
rather than labrynth seals like on the Ultegra. -- Jay Beattie.
 
B

Bellsouth Ijit 2.0 - Global Warming Edition ®

Guest
"Marian" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?
>
> Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> they ought to be pretty ...
>
> But, are they really worth the extra cost?
>
> -M
>


I refuse to buy them for their draconian pricing policy. Nice bling,
though.
 
D

David L. Johnson

Guest
Marian wrote:
> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?


In my opinion, no. I have a Chris King headset, currently sitting in my
parts box. It's a good headset, but overkill. You don't need that
"good" (i.e., expensive) a headset. When I went to threadless it cost
less to buy a new headset than convert the King to threadless. Go
figure. My Cane Creek headset works just fine.

As far as hubs go, I still use cup-and-cone Campy or Shimano hubs. They
work just fine; I see no reason to pay for Chris King.

--

David L. Johnson

Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig...
You soon find out the pig likes it!
 
J

Jambo

Guest
"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Marian wrote:
>> Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

>
> In my opinion, no. I have a Chris King headset, currently sitting in my
> parts box.


I sold mine that was held in spare, because the eventuality that the FSA
headset on my MTB will need replacing after 5 years didn't happen.
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsky

Guest
> For example, from a quick glance at Nashbar, you can get a Cane Creek
> C-1 threadless for about $30. I believe market rate for CK's is ~
> $120-130? Let's say 4 times more expensive. Assume they cost the same
> to install, so we can factor that out. I'm guessing that removing &
> replacing a pitted headset costs ~$30 (correct me if I'm wrong.) That
> means for the cost of a CK headset ($120), you can get one Cane Creek
> ($30), wear it out, replace it with a new one ($60, parts & labor) and
> go halfway towards wearing that one out (namely, $30 worth).



In my opinion, it's false economy to buy *any* cartridge-style headset with
chrome-plated (rather than stainless) ball bearings. Unless you live
somewhere it never gets wet, you'll be replacing the bearings quite soon.
And if you want to upgrade to a set of stainless steel bearings, they cost
as much as a new headset.

--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA


"autopi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about CK headset as
> well. One of framing the question is like this: suppose CK headsets
> (properly installed, etc.) last X times longer than a cheaper headset
> (properly installed, etc.). But CK headsets also cost Y times more
> than the cheaper headsets. So is X greater than Y, once we factor in
> costs such as removal and installation of replacement cheaper
> headsets?
>
> For example, from a quick glance at Nashbar, you can get a Cane Creek
> C-1 threadless for about $30. I believe market rate for CK's is ~
> $120-130? Let's say 4 times more expensive. Assume they cost the same
> to install, so we can factor that out. I'm guessing that removing &
> replacing a pitted headset costs ~$30 (correct me if I'm wrong.) That
> means for the cost of a CK headset ($120), you can get one Cane Creek
> ($30), wear it out, replace it with a new one ($60, parts & labor) and
> go halfway towards wearing that one out (namely, $30 worth).
>
> Of course, things come out different if you can do your own labor.
> Also, I'm assuming that the need to remove and replace a headset falls
> under "normal maintenance." Perhaps if you don't ride in bad
> conditions, and/or take care of occasional maintenance you'll never
> need to replace even a cheap HS, in which case one should obviously
> get the cheap one--i.e., if the CK is a solution to a non-existent
> problem. I don't know if this is the case or not.
>
 
N

Nate Knutson

Guest
On Sep 18, 8:59 am, Jay Beattie <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Sep 18, 7:24 am, autopi <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>
> > I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about CK headset as
> > well. One of framing the question is like this: suppose CK headsets
> > (properly installed, etc.) last X times longer than a cheaper headset
> > (properly installed, etc.). But CK headsets also cost Y times more
> > than the cheaper headsets. So is X greater than Y, once we factor in
> > costs such as removal and installation of replacement cheaper
> > headsets?

>
> > For example, from a quick glance at Nashbar, you can get a Cane Creek
> > C-1 threadless for about $30. I believe market rate for CK's is ~
> > $120-130? Let's say 4 times more expensive. Assume they cost the same
> > to install, so we can factor that out. I'm guessing that removing &
> > replacing a pitted headset costs ~$30 (correct me if I'm wrong.) That
> > means for the cost of a CK headset ($120), you can get one Cane Creek
> > ($30), wear it out, replace it with a new one ($60, parts & labor) and
> > go halfway towards wearing that one out (namely, $30 worth).

>
> > Of course, things come out different if you can do your own labor.
> > Also, I'm assuming that the need to remove and replace a headset falls
> > under "normal maintenance." Perhaps if you don't ride in bad
> > conditions, and/or take care of occasional maintenance you'll never
> > need to replace even a cheap HS, in which case one should obviously
> > get the cheap one--i.e., if the CK is a solution to a non-existent
> > problem. I don't know if this is the case or not.

>
> I have a Chris King headset on my racing bike because I got the frame
> as a free replacement and was feeling foolish with my money. But I
> knew I was being foolish because decent headsets rarely ever **** out.
> I agree with Chalo that the King headset is a waste of money. Plus,
> its not like the old days when you had to replace pitted cups and
> races. Now you just throw in a new bearing cartridge.


it's really not that simple. there are only so many cartridge headsets
that replacement cartridges are available for, and of those only a
smaller handful will have the bearings available indefinitely. the
majority of cartridge headsets are more expendable than they are
maintainable.
 
M

Marian

Guest
On Sep 18, 8:22 pm, "Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> On Sep 18, 2:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

>
> Headsets, absolutely yes..hubs, way to complicated and expensive to
> maintain. MUCH better alternatives, like Campagnolo, shimanbo and DT


Okay.

> > Planning on going on a road bike rather than a mountain bike and a
> > substantial chunk of my reasoning is cause they're pretty ... followed
> > up by rbt's insistence on handbuilt wheels having somehow gotten under
> > my skin and my decision that if I'm going to drop a bundle on wheels
> > they ought to be pretty ...

>
> > But, are they really worth the extra cost?

>
> See above. hard to beat a wheelset with Record, DA(if 10s) or DT
> hubs.


I was figuring that if I had a CK headset then matching hubs would be
a cool 'pretty factor'. On the other hand I wanted to make sure that
I had a good reason other than 'pretty factor'.

How much more expensive than a DA 10s or DT hub is a CK hub? Are they
comparable quality? Is one lots better (or lots worse) than the
other?

If the quality is approximately the same and we're talking a
difference of no more than $20 or $30, the pretty factor might be
enough to officially tip me in favor of CK. But if we're talking a
LOT more for a LOT less I'll have to have a good think about it.

-M
 
M

Marian

Guest
On Sep 18, 11:31 pm, velodancer <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Sep 18, 6:07 am, landotter <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > On Sep 18, 3:30 am, Marian <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> > > Are Chris King headsets and hubs really worth the extra cost?

>
> > No. Decent headsets for normal users are cheap and boring and
> > pedestrian hubs such as 105/LX, if serviced properly, can last
> > indefinitely. Spend the money where it counts, on properly handed
> > handlebar tape. Too many people think that they can simply use a
> > common set, inverting the strip for the right bar and expect normal
> > handling. Not true. With properly polarized left/right tape, wrapped
> > according to your equatorial proximity, your handling and overall
> > front end ball bearing dynamic will be palpable like a handful of 1/4"
> > ball bearings in your cornflakes.

>
> Can you tell me more about this, do you go faster? Is the tape made by
> Rayban? How do you properly measure your equatorial proximity? I've
> never taped my handlebars before, too much weight for no gain (or so I
> had thought). ;-)


Indeed, this is a very important matter that I had not previously
considered. Given that bicycling as a sport is mostly practice by
people in Europe, North America, Australia, and parts of Japan but is
not practiced as much in equatorial countries, what problems am I
likely to encounter by being at 18 degrees north latitude instead of a
latitude more suited for conventional handlebar tape?

-M