Review: Chris King's US-Made MTN30 Carbon Wheels

Oct 28, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  


Chris King's production facility in Portland, Oregon, has been cranking out mountain bike hubs for decades, but it was only this year that they introduced their first complete wheelset. The MTN30 wheels use US-made FusionFiber rims that are laced to Chris King's Boost Centerlock hubs.

If the name FusionFiber sounds familiar, that's because Revel and Evil also use the material for their own rims. It's still technically a carbon fiber rim, but a nylon polymer is used to hold everything together instead of epoxy. The process of laying up the rims is automated, and the final product doesn't need any sanding or deburring – there's no need for any finishing work or clearcoating. The rims are produced by CSS Composites in Utah, and the assembly of the wheels takes place at Chris King's facility in Oregon.
MTN30 Wheel Details

• FusionFiber thermoplastic rims
• 28 Sapim D-Light spokes, 2 cross pattern
• Inner rim width: 29mm
• Made in USA
• Lifetime warranty
• Weight: 907 grams (27.5" rear) / 808 grams (29" front), 1715 grams total.
• Price:$2,550 USD
• More info: chrisking.com

The use of a nylon polymer instead of epoxy allows the rims to be recycled at the end of their life, although it's worth noting that they're not going to end up as rims again. Think tires levers, stems, or other items that can be compression molded from chopped up fiber. The MTN 30 rims do come with a lifetime warranty – in the event that one breaks, Chris King will send out a shipping label, rebuild the wheel with a fresh rim, and service the hub if necessary while they're at it.

The MTN 30 wheels are available in 29”, 27.5” or mixed wheel configurations, all with Boost spacing hubs and Centerlock rotor mounting. There's a wide range of hub color options, everything from silver to gold. Speaking of gold, the MTN 30 wheels aren't cheap – they're priced at $2,550 USD.

The rims have an 29mm internal width and a depth of 23.5mm.
FusionFiber can be chopped up and compacted into something different at the end of a rim's life.
DESIGN
The MTN 30 rims have a 29mm inner width, and a depth of 23.5mm, numbers that fall right in line with what's become the norm for rims designed for all-round usage. Visually, there isn't anything that immediately sets the rims apart from a 'traditional' carbon rim – they're black, shiny, and the fibers can be seen when the light hits them the right way. Both wheels use 28 spokes laced in a two-cross pattern.

Chris King's machined aluminum hubs are renowned for their high quality and durability – they even make their own stainless steel bearings, which are claimed to burnish and become faster rolling with time. “Sorry, I'm going to be a little late – I need to ride more so my wheels spin even more smoothly” seems like a great excuse to get out for a longer ride than usual. A T10 torx is used to adjust the preload ring on each hub that pushes against the angular contact bearings. It's something that typically needs to be done once or twice as the hubs settle in, and then it rarely needs adjustment, at least in my experience.

At the heart of the rear hub is the RingDrive, which delivers 72 points of simultaneous engagement. That equates to a fairly quick 5-degrees between points of engagement. There are faster engaging hubs out there – I9's Hydra hub checks in at a near-instant .52-degrees between engagement points – but 5-degrees is still plenty quick, and I never found myself wishing for anything less out on the trail.

A basic hub service is a fairly simple procedure, and Chris King has easy-to-find videos and documentation on their website. A special tool is required to fully disassemble the hubs, but that's not something that should be necessary more than once every year or two.


Chris King's Ring Drive has 72-points of simultaneous engagement.

SETUP
Getting the MTN 30 wheels set up was a straighforward procedure, which is pretty much a given these days – wider rim profiles, and the tubeless tires designed for them typically make it simple to get a tire seated and sealed without any swearing. I will say that I've gotten spoiled by Reserve's Fillmore valves this season. Yes, they're expensive, but the speed that they fill a tire and the lack of clogging has made me wish that all wheels came with them. The valves on the MTN30 wheelset are nice, and the top cap even has a little flying hub etched into it, but they don't work as well as the Reserves.

My one gripe when it comes to setting up these wheels has to do with the fact that Chris King only produces Centerlock compatible mountain hubs – the 6-bolt option is no longer in their catalog. I get it, Centerlock is probably lighter and it is easier to install, but I have a stack of 6 bolt rotors, and a non-existent stack of Centerlock rotors. That means I had to use an adaptor in order to use a 6 bolt rotor, which takes away the convenience of the design.

I used Continental's Kryptotal DH tires for the majority of the test period, without inserts, and with pressures set to 21 psi for the front and 23 psi for the rear. The wheels started off the test period on a Santa Cruz Nomad V6, and most recently were installed on a Trek Fuel EX.


PERFORMANCE
It's getting harder and harder to tell carbon wheels apart, at least when it comes to ride feel. That's a good thing, since it means you're less likely to end up with a set of wheels that seem like they're trying to rattle your fillings out whenever the trail gets rough. The days of brutally stiff wheels seem to be mostly behind us as rim profiles and carbon layup have evolved.

The MTN30 wheels fall squarely into the 'comfortable' category, and even when pinballing down some of the jankier trails on Vancouver's North Shore I never felt any harshness. Now, could I notice the supposed 50% increase in damping compared to 'traditional' carbon fiber rims? I wouldn't go that far – the MTN30 wheels traded places with a Reserve 30|HD wheelset and there wasn't a dramatic difference in ride quality. If pressed, I'd say that the MTN30 wheels felt a little more muted at higher speeds in chunkier sections of trail, but again, we're not talking about a night and day difference here. When it comes to tangible differences in compliance, SRAM's ZeroMoto wheels are one of the only options I've tried where the extra flex is immediately noticeable.

As far as stiffness when cornering goes, the wheels offered plenty of support, and no matter how much I squared off a turn the spokes never made any noises to express their displeasure.

The hub engagement was quick and extremely solid, and the trademark 'angry bees' noise when freewheeling was actually less pronounced than I'd expected. Using a different freehub oil could probably change that, but I'm personally a big fan of hubs that don't make much noise, so the fact that these hubs weren't overly loud is a plus in my book.

WEIGHT
The MTN30 wheels are slightly lighter than their counterparts in this category - the 29" set weighs 1746 grams. For comparison, Roval's Traverse wheels and We Are Ones Union wheels weigh 1840 grams, Evil's Loophole wheels weigh 1940 grams, and Santa Cruz's Reserve 30|HD wheels weigh 1880 grams. 100 grams isn't that much in the grand scheme of things, but it all adds up, and for gram conscious riders it's worth noting that the MTN 30's aren't overly heavy.

DURABILITY
Other than a quick adjustment of the hub preload and one brief trip to the truing stand for the rear wheel, the MTN 30 wheels haven't needed any maintenance, and those are adjustments that are typical for a set of new wheels. I've smacked a decent number of rocks and roots that were hiding in piles of moon dust, and so far they've taken all those hits in stride. The bearings are still spinning incredibly smoothly – there's zero grittiness or resistance. They just keep going and going when the wheel is spun.

Trail conditions were extra-dry and dusty for the majority of the test period – I'll put in some additional miles now that the rains have returned and update this review if any issues arise.




Pros

+ On the lighter side for this category
+ Excellent hubs
+ Pleasantly neutral ride quality


Cons

- Expensive
- Centerlock rotor mounting only




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf the price is taken out of the equation, the MTN 30 wheels sit in the upper echelon when it comes to build quality and overall performance. However, that very high price tag can't be overlooked, especially when there are several carbon wheel options currently on the market that deliver a similar ride feel for nearly $1,000 less. The lifetime warranty on the rims and hubs does help a little, and the USA-made, recyclable angle is also worth keeping in mind.  Mike Kazimer








200 Comments

  • 163 6
 There needs to be more attention to products that AREN'T made in Taiwan or Asia. This is great. Made in Utah. Assembled in Oregon. No container ship. Shorter production times. I'm sure the cost is 2 or 3 times that of China carbon for Chris King. Cool product.
  • 113 0
 I agree. We Are One does this in Kamloops BC for half the price of King. Great wheels and they turn around warranty claims really quickly.
  • 100 0
 WAO? Made in Canada, choice of hubs (I9, Hadley or Onyx), lifetime warranty and $1000 cheaper...
  • 50 40
 @jsnfschr: I like Chris King. Not too worried about saving 1k on something i like or want.
  • 43 1
 @Super7: The WR1 have really eliminated all the competition for me. There is zero reason to buy anything else at this point at any price.
  • 18 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: I guess, but I can go to my local shop and have a WAO wheelset built with CK hubs for the same price (and still have all the warranty, etc). I suppose if you want to spend the money, all the power to you.
  • 9 0
 @Super7: Agreed x 2. I'm a frugal delusional xc rider still holding on to the days of $700 handbuilt LB wheels, but customwheelbuilder has WAO at 10% off and free shipping: $1360 delivered. For US buyers that's basically giving them away.
  • 3 0
 @Super7: I’d rather have Chris King Hubs, but WAO does have sweet rims. They’re definitely going to be my first set of carbon rims when I decide to go that route.
  • 6 4
 I agree, 100% nobody is taking into account the REAL cost of cheap stuff... It's not even funny. And honestly, the price on these isn't that crazy for what it is and p of bikes these days.
  • 13 3
 @nickfranko: there are better hubs out there...
  • 3 0
 @Super7: I would really prefer thermoplastic carbon so if WAO would get on that then I would be very happy.
  • 15 5
 @alexsin: I think WAO has done some great things, but currently the reason they are able to make wheels so affordability is the ability to manufacture in their own facility using traditional resin based carbon layup. It’s the second pill that is getting harder and harder for me to swallow. We need to stop making stuff out of non-reusable materials and Thermal Plastics is a very good option in the carbon world. If WAO starts using this technology and keeps costs low, they’ll truly run away with the market.
  • 19 0
 @jsnfschr: Hadley hubs are awesome. The nicest people to deal with. Too bad more people don’t know about them.
  • 1 0
 @Super7: agree, I have a few pairs of WAO wheels. The most expensive set I bought were about $1400.
  • 30 0
 @Dorkin: though if you're *really* concerned about recyclability you'll go aluminum. i imagine the percentage of thermal plastics that actually gets recycled will be very low, given the specialized process, and even then it's a one time deal, and the next iteration is landfill. at this point i think it's effectively more a marketing differentiator than anything. of course, the biggest (potential) environmental upsell of carbon based rims (thermal or resin) is the ability to build a product that stays out of landfill OR recycling streams for an extended service life.
  • 10 0
 @xy9ine: completely agree. The recyclable angle is a nice marketing bullet point and recyclable is better than not (assuming no other compromises).

But I’d bet low single digit percentages of these are ever actually recycled. Yes maximizing service life is the most eco-friendly option.
  • 1 1
 @alexsin: Too right. Service wise they are great. My son races Enduro and has broken a few. They ended up sending us a "Super Strife" last time and that has stood up nicely. They may not thank me for this but if you break a strife rim maybe ask them for the beefier version. Just weighs 20g more. It's not on their website and I don't know how often they make batches. If anyone from WA1 is looking at this can you please weigh in. It would make sense to carry it as a regular item for DH and Enduro riders.
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: I have to admit I'm totally ignorant on this. Who makes rims out of this and what are the chances it gets recycled?
  • 1 0
 Why? If you live outside of N America its going on a big ship whether its made in the Far East or America
  • 3 2
 @SoftSoilSampler: dentist mentality...FTW
  • 2 0
 @xy9ine: Thanks for mentioning this, it's a really important point. I also wonder, how many aluminum rims actually get recycled? The whole industry, including us the end consumer, need to do better here.

Don't even get my started on tires. I hate how many get discarded. I have a stack I don't want to use for trail riding anymore that I try to give away when I can to people for in-town riding. But still they all end in the landfill. err.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: chris king hubs are heavy, but in that case i would say, also there rims are not so light at all Big Grin
  • 6 0
 @Super7: The rims being reviewed here are exactly what he is talking about. This is why Chris King uses them I imagine, fitting with their B Corp status - aside from the hoops actually being quite good, of course.

Everything coming from CSS - Be it from Revel, Evil, King, Atomik, or anyone else using FusionFiber, is recyclable. And getting that rim back for recycling is part of the warranty process as I understand it.

I sat down in person with a team from CSS last month. I can tell you they very much want broken rims back so they can use the materials for other products. It's good for the environment, but also it's cheaper for them to use these materials instead of buying virgin materials at full cost again, so it's a win win from the perspective of a socially and environmentally responsible business. No chances about it, they are for sure being recycled/down-cycled.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: that's a good point; with a "lifetime" warranty - assuming standard policy includes returning damaged product to manufacturer - you're in a position to control disposal / recycling of a good percentage of the goods.
  • 4 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: lol, you're not worried about saving R16000 on a set of wheels? Must be nice haha
  • 2 0
 @jaydawg69: there are, really? Similar? OK. Actually better,.... Which?
  • 3 0
 @Super7: I wasn’t thrilled with the durability of my WAO rims. I imagine warranty process is better in-country but a $200 cost to ship and rebuild every time I broke a wheel got old in a hurry.

I ended up going with Santa Cruz Reserve specifically because they ship me a complete wheel rather than have to go through the rebuild process.
  • 1 0
 @blensen: so do you mail them the hub?
  • 1 0
 Thats ok,you will make enough carbon footprint simply by making so much money to pay them
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: While I don't disagree, I wonder who actually recycles aluminium/metal bike parts in an approved manner, as it's not like you can just drop them in your blue bin. I have quite a collection of bits in my basement needing to be dragged to the recycling center.
  • 2 0
 @Gdg1: we recycle busted alloy rims rims and spokes, and all spoke ends that are trimmed in custom spoke cutting process. We have recycling depots here that will pay you for these materials by weight. Bring your stuff in, and collect your beer monies Smile
  • 1 0
 @Super7: Yep exactly. International USPS to Canada, they rebuild the wheel with new spokes and nipples and send it back.

They also will just ship you a rim, but then the wheel build is your responsibility.
  • 3 1
 @softsoilsampler weeeell I dunno. Part of the innovation should be figuring out how to make stuff in the west cheaper. Lazy slap of a 2500 price tag, because “made in usa bro, recyclable bro” is a lame greenwashing and appeal to pity. It should make sense to buy local from economic point of view.. and it doesnt mean it should be cheaper, if a premium product costs more because noone in asia can offer a comparable product, thats fine.. but as long as asian manufacturing offers similar product for half the price, i will be buying from them, till western businesses learn a lesson…
  • 1 0
 @Super7: half the price with I9's cheaper hubs available in one color. Not sure where those hubs are made,

My humble opinion is that no hub holds a candle when it comes to quality and finish when compared to Kings. Every part of the hub is precision quality and jewelry finished. Just take apart some Kings and some I9's and theres some subtle differences - which I get arent a big deal to everyone.

However- if I was in my 20's I'd go I9 ones (or honestly DT350's) with ex471's and it makes no difference in race results except you get to $1000 more races.
  • 3 0
 @Grosey: This CK wheel set is just over $3400cad (current exchange). WAO with Hydra's are just over $1900. With Hadley's or Onyx, just over $2k.

Regardless of how good CK hubs may be, they are definitely not $700/wheel better.
  • 40 3
 While I do like Chris King products, for 2.5 thou I‘d rather buy food or pay my mortgage…
  • 17 2
 what is a "mortgage" is that like rent?
  • 45 0
 @kokofosho: it’s like rent but you have to buy the new appliances when the old ones die.
  • 10 7
 @kokofosho: Like rent but you aren't throwing money out the window entirely, and can actually make the home yours.
  • 19 1
 @noplacelikeloam: but you ‘buy’ it with borrowed money from the bank and you pay taxes on the purchase. Then you pay taxes to rent it from the bank every year plus an interest rate with money that you get taxed on to earn.
  • 5 2
 @noplacelikeloam: You'll always be paying rent in the form of property tax.
  • 6 3
 A mortgage with a 7% APR is not with owning.
  • 15 1
 @leviatanouroboro: vs literally giving all your money to someone else to do this for their benefit. You are doing it either way, but one of them you actually get to keep something at the end.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Mayyybe. If the value of the home is growing faster than that, then it is (with some hand-waving due to closing costs and other non-PB-comment-section-friendly costs/topics).

What's bonkers to me is when people were buying, homes at 14% or even 18% interest. Granted, relative to adjusted wages, those home were much much cheaper. If this possibly shady website is to be believed, we're at a roughly historically average interest rate right now. themortgagereports.com/61853/30-year-mortgage-rates-chart

Where things get really complicated is how interest rates affect the sales price of the home. As I understand it, lower rates lead to cheaper mortgages which lead to bidding wars and higher prices (great for sellers, bad for buyers). Higher rates make the mortgages more expensive, so prices cool down (bad for sellers, a wash for buyers).
  • 6 0
 @suspended-flesh: historically 7 is pretty reasonable. Can’t run quantitative easing forever. Maybe wasn’t such a smart move to begin with. Should have learned a lesson from Japan.
  • 2 0
 Maybe I can time it right when the market cools enough that I can pick a home, and then refi soon after when they stomp on the gas pedal again. Until then, I can mooch off my GF. Otherwise, I have my van that cost me as much as a set of wheels, apparently.
  • 1 0
 @leviatanouroboro: Flag flair checks out.
  • 1 0
 @leviatanouroboro: we’ll when you put it like that…
  • 25 0
 Why didn't they use the KING font that's on the headsets? How am I going to match it all up now???
  • 27 7
 Yeah, no reason to spend this if you can get some We Are One's for $1000 less. If someone loves spending money for "Made in US," or "Recyclable," that's fine, there's an argument to be had there.

I personally don't care if they are made in the US, Taiwan, or Asgard. A good product at a fair price is what I put my $$$ towards.
  • 11 0
 I dont know man, you say Asgard? I might take those. :-)
  • 29 2
 And made in Canada is essentially the same as made in the US... because really, anything made in North America is what we're all looking for. Supports non-overseas jobs etc. As a Canadian, I look at products made in the US the same way.
  • 13 0
 @islandforlife: exactly, Made in Canada and Made in the US are the same to me
  • 4 0
 @noplacelikeloam: Hubs made of uru. Forged from the heart of a dying star.
  • 5 1
 @islandforlife: Wonder what the point of view is for the "locals" in Asia that are producing these goods? Think they wouldn't have pride in there work? Think they care about there local jobs? Wonder if they hold N. American products in high regard for quality? Guarantee they laugh at our prices though, that's for damn sure! Seriously though, everything is local somewhere.
The discussion should be about supporting safe working environments and decent wages. Unfortunately there's to many spoiled/entitled people to fill manufacturing and raw material production jobs that we need to bring down cost here. Not to mention when we "cleaned up the environment" when we moved these massively polluting industries overseas so a bunch of politicians could pat there selves on the back for doing a "good job at reducing pollution with regulation/laws" all the while the put the garbage in someone else's closet and dismembered our position in global manufacturing. About another 20-30yrs and we're going to be the cheap labor force of the world if they keep running this ship into the ground, which it seems like there trying to do...sorry had to get that off my chest, not directed at you just screaming at the Cloud like an old man.
  • 3 0
 @MikeGruhler: that is my point. Great stuff coming out of Asia. And those living in Asia should buy it.
  • 14 1
 I personally think CK rims should have been aluminum cause they are famous for alu products, plus then they could have offered a chance to spend even more to have the colour and finishes matched. Like, matte pink hubs and matte pink highlights on the rims. I along with 50% of other CK buyers do it for style points more than performance so give us more opportunities for coordination. I bought some CL hubs from them a while back and kinda regret it. Just assumed 6 bolt was going out of fashion, but guess not.
  • 10 5
 If you are travelling, a bent or heat damaged 6 bolt rotor can be changed with a T25 (and ideally a small travel torque wrench) even the T25 on a mini pocket tool can manage this kind of 'fix'.
Centre lock requires a lock ring tool, a longer torque arm (and it might as well be a torque wrench as CL has a reputation for loosening off if it isn't torqued up perfectly) and good luck finding a CL rotor in your favourite flavour in Madeira or some other destination (in fact good luck finding a CL rotor in Whistler in the middle of the bike season - 13 shops and no CL rotors).
So you are back to using an adapter which is a. ugly, and b. has the same torque issues as the CL lock ring.
CK has grand ideas of being more sustainable and using less with the move to CL only but just like T47 was made available to the bike world and it is a better BB standard over all if the industry isn't on board it will be CK and XC racers using CL rotors and everyone else is going to stick with 6 bolt.
  • 8 4
 @andrewbikeguide: agreed it’s a massive mistake dropping six bolt. Who’s going to spend all that money on something they don’t really need like a blingy hub if you have to use adapters with it? People are just going to stick with 240’s or pro4’s and spend elsewhere if they want some pimp bike jewellery.
  • 16 4
 @andrewbikeguide: "as CL has a reputation for loosening off if it isn't torqued up perfectly"

In my decades in a bike shop, I've seen far more loose six-bolt rotors than Centerlock. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a loose centerlock, but on my own bikes I've had the six-bolt rotors come loose more than once. Of course a nice dose of loctite fixes this, but even at torque and with the factory applied loctite, they do occasionally come loose.
  • 7 0
 Aluminum and steel can be recycled over and over for approx 10 years. Chipping and reforming this carbon/nylon stuff into a Spam-like stem doesn't really sound......wait for it.........'sustainable 'in a way that's up to CK's usually very high standards.
  • 1 0
 99% sure it was my screw up, but I did have a 6 bolt rotor come loose. So far on my XC bike, the CL rotor has been fine.

Still prefer 6 bolt for no good reason though. and that is what I have on my trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Oh feck! Now you have started the useless argument about 6B v CL.
It is simple…some folk like CL and some folk like 6B.
  • 2 0
 @NZRalphy: but now the folks who like 6B can't choose CK hubs. Boo.
  • 5 1
 pick a rotor mount and be a dick about it
  • 4 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: in my decades of riding and wrenching, I never had a rotor bolt loosen … but I’m a good mechanic, not everyone has such luck Wink
  • 2 3
 @sanchofula: yeah, it’s never a problem for people who ride like grannies.
  • 2 0
 Just run a CL adapter and then you're flexible to purchase whichever type of discs are available / cheapest / most to your liking...
  • 1 1
 @andrewbikeguide: I had a CL rotor loosen up on a 1000 ft descent and by the time I got to the bottom it was toasted. Who can afford to blow up a 65 dollar rotor because you can't carry a tool to tighten it trailside.
  • 2 3
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: thanks for reminding me that my centre lock rotor has worked loose… again and is rocking on the spline and needs tightening. I keeping forgetting until I drop into the first trail of the day and hear it and off course I never have a massive bottom bracket wrench on my multi tool so I just have to put up with it. Absolute terrible design. 6 bolt all the way.
  • 16 1
 “It’s getting harder and harder to tell carbon rims apart” because you’re putting 6lbs of DH tires on them to judge minute performance differences
  • 10 1
 "The use of a nylon polymer instead of epoxy allows the rims to be recycled at the end of their life, although it's worth noting that they're not going to end up as rims again. Think tires levers, stems, or other items that can be compression molded from chopped up fiber." Is there an example of a stem made from downcycled thermoplastic composite?
  • 5 0
 I may start Spam Stems, chipped and formed into the iconic can shape and size. And graphics if i can license them.
  • 3 0
 Exactly. At best, CFRP can only be downcycled, which is nowhere near as eco friendly as aluminium or steel. This thermoplastic CFRP is better than thermoset, but still tantamount to greenwashing.
  • 3 0
 @Tambo: it might not ever get recycled, but the improved impact toughness of thermoplastic carbon fiber sounds nice.
  • 2 0
 @ABhardtail: absolutely. I wonder how that compares with aluminium though
  • 8 0
 The whole appeal of Chris King was the quality and longevity. Their headsets, hubs and bottom brackets would last forever and justified their price. Standards change, no problem, here is a new axle, freehub or spacer kit. They slowly killed support for older components negating the longevity of their products, completely eroding that justification for the price.
  • 6 0
 Gotta disagree with using an adapter taking away the convenience of centerlock. Yes it's less convinient than with a cl disc, but still faster and easier than six individual bolts. Don't get me wrong, would have been nice to see both options, but at least cl is compatible with both types of discs.
  • 9 0
 They are heavy but at least they are expensive.
  • 5 1
 Bike industry has jumped the shark with their pricing. $3,473 CAD for a wheelset! I have purchased entire cars in good working order that I have driven for over 100,000kms for less money than that. And these are made mostly by robots with automated layup? I guess they have to payoff their line ASAP.
  • 4 3
 I didn't own a car worth more than these wheels for the first 13 years of having my license.

1985 Civic - $800
1985 Civic Hatchback - $700
1987 Accord - $1000
1992 Saturn - $1000
1992 Mercedes 300E - $2000 (one of my favorite cars ever)
1996 Volvo 850 wagon - $2000
  • 2 2
 @jsnfschr:
1994 Nissan Pickup - $1500
1992 Ford Escort - $2000
2002 Ford Focus Wagon - $3000
  • 2 0
 @jsnfschr: @excel: You could buy all those cars or save up a couple more K and buy 1 SC MTB. I wouldn't blame for doing that, mind you.
  • 3 0
 @jsnfschr: 1992 300E is an epic car, can confirm.
  • 6 1
 Are they recycled by way of just throwing them in plastic recycling, or do they have to be flown several hundred Km to a special facility?
  • 5 2
 they are recycled by being sold to the next owner or displayed in your garage when retired. Who throws out bike parts? I've never "recycled" any bike part other than tires.
  • 3 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: I have given old frames, bars, stems, etc... to a metal man who takes scrap to the junkyard.
  • 6 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: I had to throw around 20 carbon rims and loads of broken carbon frames, handlebars etc into landfill the other day. Hence the question. (No I didn't break them all!)
  • 2 0
 @SoftSoilSampler: I've recycled a few beat and broken aluminum rims. My local dump takes them for free in the metal recycling section.
  • 1 0
 CK website sez that with the lifetime warranty you ship a busted wheel to them and they send you a new one and then they send the old one off to be recycled. I'd be curious to know exactly how and where that happens. Not saying they're lying but my greenwashing-detector is flickering a little bit...
  • 2 0
 @nilswalk: your greenwashing detector isn't wrong!
  • 2 0
 @nilswalk as far as I know that recycling takes place at CSS Composites, the same place where the rims are made.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Interesting! But even CSS Composites doesn't actually say that they recycle the stuff:

"Automated cutting means we have no wasted material, and recycling FusionFiber is as simple as shredding it into short fibers. These fibers can be directly repurposed into new compression-molded parts for other commercial applications with zero waste."

i.e. "these fibers CAN be directly repurposed"... but are they?

I know, I'm a suspicious/cynical SOB
  • 14 11
 These would be cool if they came with non-CK hubs. CK hubs look real nice in NAHBS photos, but for how much they cost, they just need to work better. I have owned several over the years, and every one of them has constantly given me problems - without the expensive proprietary toolkit that they sell, you are forced into an LBS visit every 3 months to make adjustments for play - if you neglect this maintenance, they eventually start to randomly seize up and try to kill you while you are out on a ride.
  • 19 3
 You must be the outlier in the world of CK hubs. I have owned multiple sets and never had any issues that you speak of. No proprietary tools are required to adjust play should it exist, just allen keys. The CK tool is only required if you plan on changing bearings (which I have never had to do even on hubs now 15 years old). Im just not sure where you are getting this information from. Yearly cleaning of the ring drive and some ring drive lube and you are good to go for another season. You can tell when this needs to be done, as the angry bees in the hub slowly get louder and louder.
  • 9 1
 Onyx hubs ftw
  • 4 4
 @shoreboy1866: Pretty funny when a guy on CK hubs has to pedal on the downhills while squeezing the brakes because the rear hub is seizing. They do it because they are just trying to avoid the chain coiling around the cassette and ripping the derailleur off. At the end of the ride, they still tell you CK hubs are the best, it's just that it was cold today and they forgot to replace the thick grease with some light oil.
  • 6 2
 @Baciatutti: The same problem would have happened on any hub with incorrect maintenance? This example isnt a CK problem specifically, its a user problem.
  • 10 0
 "No one ever got fired for buying DT Swiss"
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: International Bicycle Machines.
  • 3 0
 At least one othe company (Revel) uses this technology on their rims, and I believe they make them available by themselves. The rims are not really a Chris King product in the sense that the hubs and headsets are.
  • 2 0
 @brihep: Evil Loop holes too
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: love my Onyx hubs....bulletproof and silent!
  • 1 0
 @brihep: Revel, Evil, and Atomik are using fusion fiber rims.
  • 2 0
 I agree. I owned a pair of CK hubs a while ago, and I could never dial the drag out of it. It felt like my rear brakes were on constantly! Loosening the preload to minimize the drag would then result in lateral play. I guess they’re sealed well, but I live and ride in a desert, so water intrusion isn’t really something I need to deal with. Never bothered with CK hubs again after that.
  • 3 1
 I have two sets that are faultless, one set is about 17 years old the other is 3. Adjusted play twice and had a couple of lube ups. I know they are expensive but is this your hobby or not?
  • 2 0
 I've had lots of problem with CK hubs too. Mostly the bearing preload constantly coming loose. They're both fussier and quite a bit heavier than pretty much every other hub I've owned.
  • 4 1
 Centrelock, booooo, bad choice there. I love the made domestically thing but for that eye watering price, are these really that much better than a set of alum i9 wheels, or what i did, have a local shop build me a set of i9 101 with dt ex511 rims, for a little over $1k CDN?
  • 6 0
 Rider weight limit? Spoke details?
  • 1 0
 Don’t ask real questions or evaluate rationally! You’re just suppose to mindlessly buy into the dogma that CL products are superior and justify the inflated prices.
  • 4 2
 I don’t know why people always get so fired up about pricing. We have so many choices for great products and at all ends of the pricing spectrum and No one is forcing you to buy this wheelsets. Is it 5x times better than a 500$ wheelset? Probably not but that’s hard to quantify. However CK has been around along time and has through no small feet successfully positioned themselves as a market leader in environmentally friendly North American inhouse production and as such are able command a premium price for their products. I would guess that 99% of the people who buy this wheelset will be extremely happy with it.
  • 3 5
 It's because the CK brand is so tightly associated with excellence and quality that everyone that can't afford them is bitter
  • 1 0
 @oldfartne: there is a difference between being bitter and being smart enough not to be taken advantage of by marketing. These wheels are overpriced for what they are, period. Chris King headsets are pointless for most people as a cane creek 40 is all most people would ever need. If you want to throw away your money on some perceived excellence and make yourself feel special go ahead, but there is no rational argument that can be made for the performance benefits of these over wheels that cost much less. Same goes for thier headsets and bottom brackets. It's all about the bling
  • 2 0
 So let me get this straight; they streamlined and automated production, removed several steps in the finishing product, and cost $1000 more than other similar products? And don't give me that "made in the US" nonsense, the free market applies on a global scale in the 21st century.
  • 4 0
 Revel Wheels has the same exact thing but with different hub on sale now for like $1800
  • 2 0
 No thanks. I'll by Industry Nine or We Are One wheels before Chris King anything. Heck, I'd buy Reserve or Revel wheels before this. At least you can get Revel wheels in 6 bolt.
  • 1 0
 The issues with this wheel set is that we r one exists. I got a custom wheel set for 1800 with onyx vesper hubs. The only time they have seen the shop was when the rims would ping which turned out to be because of the bladed spokes. And they have a lifetime warranty that I will probably never have to use.
  • 2 0
 Meanwhile, my aluminum DT Swiss wheels are roughly 1680g and less than half the cost. I'm having a very difficult time justifying a switch to heavier carbon with slightly better hubs. Worth it, or no?
  • 4 0
 Great looking wheel set but expensive AF!
  • 4 0
 They look nice, but I wish they hadn't cheaped out on the hubs....
  • 4 0
 Will lighter wallet make me faster?
  • 2 0
 I just have all my body hair waxed off. Way faster now. Lol
  • 7 7
 The once "best in industry" King has lost their way on the rear hubs.

CL only is not good, but the real bummer is no more needle bearing between the ring driver and axle. The indestructible nature is gone, just google "clunking in rear Chris King hub" or "play in rear Chris King hub", or look on MTBR. Myriad of issues and warranty claims with the current generation mtn hubs.

The current hubs are a sad comparison to what they once were. There are now many options that are just as good, if not better, and many times less expensive.

Chris King is now for the dentists who want pretty colors so everyone looks at their bike while they drive it around town on their Tesla.
  • 6 1
 This is really melodramatic. I googled what you suggested, found a MTBR thread from august. A small handful of folks had an issue with noise from their rear hub, and all were successfully taken care of by CK.
  • 2 0
 While I tend to agree on their pricing/target consumer, Chris seems like a really nice guy. Have run into him at races and he lets the local trail alliance frequently use the conference room for member meetings, etc. Seems like they mean well and arent just charging high prices for the sake of evil laughter
  • 1 0
 @bikebasher when it costs over $80 to fill up my truck and a Tesla now costs less than a nice new truck, I get the economics of a Tesla. However, CK hubs are now mostly vanity.
  • 7 2
 No 6 bolt no interest
  • 3 0
 5 bolt isn't dead
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: 1996 Hope Big’n have 5bolt. Still running them on the tandem.
  • 1 0
 @NZRalphy: Yes I remember!! Good old Hope. My first disc brakes.
  • 3 0
 The Roval's cost $1200(saving of $1300) for an additional 100 grams. I'll take the Rovals.
  • 2 0
 I'm curious about what multitool or EDC includes a bottom bracket tool to tighten a centerlock rotor out on the trail. Asking for a friend...
  • 4 0
 You can use a stick and a rock to tighten the lock ring if you don’t have a screwdriver and a hammmer.
  • 3 0
 @kingbike2: We must be related.
  • 1 1
 Imagine those rims with good lightweight hubs like DT240S, and you've got some serious wheels.
I've had two sets of Chris King hubs, and whilst beautifully engineered, they were heavy, required ££tools to service, the preload annoyingly came loose, and they're no more reliable than DT Swiss. Oh, and the DT Swiss are way cheaper too.
Hopefully you can buy the rims on their own, as they must be light if the wheels as a whole are lightweight despite heavier hubs tup
  • 1 0
 12 years ago a person living in America could buy a nice carbon fiber wheel set for $1200.00. The only problem I have my paycheck is not twice as much as it was 12 years ago. Inflation is a bitch !
  • 13 12
 What you describe is downcycling, not recycling. Also, please give the wheels to Paul Aston to see if we can trust them to not break
  • 25 2
 If you want to get technical, downcycling is a form of recycling. I tried to make it as clear as possible in the review that these won’t end up getting turned into rims again.
  • 9 6
 if you dont want centerlock just run the adapter
  • 4 4
 You seriously think that is a reasonable justification on a $2.5k set of wheels? That not only do we immediately have to go out and buy an adapter, but we also add another piece that has to occasionally be checked?

Adapters aren’t guaranteed to stay in place, even with locktite.
  • 3 0
 @nickfranko: some adapters may differ, but the ones I've used only have 1 lockring on them, just like CL rotors do. You go from 6 bolts to deal with to one that takes a fraction of the time to deal with.
  • 3 1
 @RadBartTaylor: while faster an easier tot work with, if ONE centrelock ring fails, the disk is loose. If ONE bolt fails, there are still 5 others to keep it tight.
  • 3 0
 @manybrouce: CL lock ring only hold rotors to hub the splines counteract braking force, bolts have to counteract braking force also. I've been using CL for years, never had one come off. If it's good enough for F1 wheels it's good enough for me.
  • 3 0
 Could have mentioned which spokes are used.
  • 2 0
 Look at the spokes heads. If I am not wrong there is "P", which stands for Pillar
  • 3 0
 @lightone: I guess I didn't "enhanced" enough.
  • 1 0
 From the picture's caption "The rims have an 39mm internal width and a depth of 23.5mm."
Will that 39mm rim fit my Maxxis WT tire better than my 23mm rim?
  • 6 0
 That was a typo - the inner width is 29mm.
  • 1 0
 Yes. 23 is too small for 2.5 WT tire. You should be using 2.3's, max 2.4.
  • 1 0
 Lost my interest with 28hole 2cross. Every King I've ever owned failed eventually at the spoke holes. And that was always 3x.
  • 2 1
 Also always had to switch to the Stainless Freehub due to the fact that I'm over 145lbs. Those driver splines always got wrecked after about a year.
  • 3 0
 I used to have that problem with King, DT, Bontrager (which may have just been rebadged DT, can’t remember), several others. It was a HG driveshell thing, if made out of alloy. Ti or stainless HG, non-issue. Microspline, non-issue. XD, non-issue.

But yeah, if you’re still running 11 speed shimano, the lack of a stainless option would be a bummer.
  • 2 0
 I9, Chris King, & WAO are all fantastic products made in North America. Can’t go wrong with any of them!
  • 1 0
 Rebuilding the wheel for free is part of the lifetime warranty, I’m guessing that other lifetime warranties just send you a rim and you have to pay to get the wheel built.
  • 1 0
 Negative on Reserves. Nothing special about CK warranty.
  • 1 2
 "The hub engagement was quick and extremely solid, and the trademark 'angry bees' noise when freewheeling was actually less pronounced than I'd expected." BOOOOOOO! Show me the noise!

What is the noisiest hub you can get I wonder?
  • 6 0
 Profile Elite. I think?
  • 4 0
 dt swiss with the 54t upgrade is pretty loud, but yeh Profile elite will alert dogs in the next state..
  • 2 0
 @jsnfschr: Primo remix V3. Actually been designed to be ridiculously noisy and it is.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: For sure, but it's a bmx hub, not a mtb hub. Profile makes a mtb 12 speed, boost hub.
  • 1 0
 Centerlock is so annoying, ive had multiple randomly come loose and you cant tighten it on the trail. Never had any 6 bolt rotors all loosen and fail....
  • 2 0
 So they are the same as Revel rims but with Chris King hubs? Sweet.
  • 2 0
 Why have Chris King stopped producing 6 bolt hubs?
  • 2 0
 ONE HUGE CRINGE FOR MISSING THE MARK ON BRAKE MOUNTS
  • 1 0
 Are they still a Certified B Corporation?! Always impressed me that CK were able to achieve that.
  • 2 0
 please make a 26" version for my dirt jumper!
  • 4 0
 ...and bring back the single speed hub for the same reason!
  • 1 0
 Cute hoops and hubs but I just picked-up a set of NOBLs with Hydras for over a grand less.
  • 3 0
 centerlock my ass, sorry
  • 1 0
 I’d like to see how bioplastics from hemp plants stack up. Frames, rims & bars plus oils the uses seem endless
  • 1 0
 Clicked the article, scrolled to see the price, smirked knowing my WAO are as good for half the price, left
  • 6 5
 I like the sound of CK ratchet. Bzzzzzzz. Louder the better.
  • 9 4
 I am glad we live in a society where you can be so wrong but still exist.
  • 2 1
 Ignoring the price, these are very cool...
  • 5 4
 Shame CK don't want 6 bolt anymore. Prefer Hadley anyways but still
  • 5 4
 that's a lot of money for fake carbon wheels
  • 1 0
 That, or a new bike. Take your pick.
  • 1 0
 Thermoplastic matrix! Very cool!
  • 1 0
 I think I need to ask my Dr. wife for an advance on my allowance.
  • 1 0
 FusionFiber...I can feel my 5 spoke Tuff Wheels getting closer
  • 1 0
 Awesome! more CS stuff I will never be able to afford...
  • 1 0
 Is this the return of the Z rims I had back in the '80's?
  • 1 0
 So that special tool you only need once oř twice a year Is 230USD
  • 1 0
 Is the weight measured or claimed?
  • 1 0
 Like but cannot afford
  • 1 3
 Pros: "On the lighter side for this category". ALL the wheels in this category are heavy AF. The price is unacceptable for these boat anchors. Might as well run aluminum
  • 2 1
 overpriced
  • 4 0
 it is fuckin' overpriced, and not even on very light... for me, dt swiss hubs are the best thing you can get on the market,... chris king hubs aren' t very light, or better... the are just more expensive... and i don' t think, that it is better to buy chris king stuff in europe instead of dt swiss stuff..
  • 1 0
 @chrizzler82:
Completely agree.
DT Swiss are on most of my bikes, and now Shimano Scylence too. Love the silent freewheel and instant pickup!
  • 3 3
 FCK CenterCOCK
  • 8 11
 Centerlock. Hahaha.
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