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Chris King Brings Back 6-Bolt Option

Mar 23, 2023 at 3:05
by Seb Stott  

In 2020, Chris King announced it would stop making 6-bolt hubs and wheels. The company wanted to streamline its line to focus on the Center Lock standard only, arguing that a 6-bolt rotor could fit a Center Lock hub using an adapter, but not the other way around. But now, due to popular demand and the return to normality post-pandemic, they're making 6-Bolt hubs and complete wheels again.

bigquotesLike most manufacturers, we were capacity-limited during the pandemic. We had to make a hard choice about our mountain hubs then, and since there were Center Lock to 6-bolt adapters available, we opted to produce only Center Lock hubs for a time. But there’s no demand quite like popular demand, so we’re really happy to be able to bring 6-bolt back. We know a lot of our riders have been waiting for this.Chris King General Manager, Kirby Bedsaul

They come in regular Boost spacing only (no SuperBoost or 20 mm options). They're available to order now, with rear hubs starting at $588.00, while front ones cost $322.00. There's a choice of any freehub standard; 28 or 32 holes, and steel or ceramic bearings.

Like all of CK's hubs, they're manufactured in-house at their Portland, OR factory, and offer 72 points of engagement.

Shipping is due to start in early April.

For more, go to chrisking.com


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  • 306 2
 I've gotten from "definitely not buying a chris king hub" to "probably not buying a chris king hub."
  • 11 2
 Does this mean we can come back from other manufacturers now
  • 38 1
 The funny things that depending on how much you ride, CK parts can actually be a sensible option over the long term due to the lifetime warranty, including bearings. I've had some of my CK parts for the better part of a decade with multiple bearing replacements (e.g. bottom brackets).
  • 29 22
 @pensamtb: Spend a few less dollars and you could enjoy the same warranty on some Onyx hubs and not have an angry hive of bees follow you every ride.

Not that I can afford either- $50 has got me some bad engagement formula hubs (front and rear) and with the remaining $850 I will easily afford bearings for the rest of my life. 6 years on 'em and no issues yet lol
  • 21 4
 @ryanandrewrogers: Riddent two sets of Onyx (Regular and Vesper). Excellent quality and finish, but just didn't like the 'squish' feel of the engagement. King's buzz is subtle enough compared to other options out there. If I had to chose between the two, Kings for me.
  • 15 10
 @bman33: -The mush is real. Feels horrible-
  • 12 0
 Makes me feel better about my Profile Elite hubs on order. Still ludicrously expensive, but nice knowing there is still something out there that's more expensive. Also excited to have the loudest hubs on the mountain. Ha ha
  • 9 2
 @ryanandrewrogers: isn’t the moral of the story that when you pull into the park everyone needs to hear how expensive your hubs are ? They then stand back in awe at how big your buzz was?
  • 15 3
 @Compositepro: Modern king hubs really aren't very loud at all. My old King hubs make a nice racket, but the newer ones are not loud.
  • 15 1
 @Seldomseen83: Just got my first Onyx hub a few weeks ago... the mush is real, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's a beautiful, heavy, expensive hub, but I really, really like the silence and the instant+mush engagement. Some people claim the mush is traction control, some people hate it. I don't really consider it a bug or a feature, yet - going to give it more time. I'm going to be hub shopping again soon.

Regardless of where you stand on engagement as a benefit, drawback or just marketing, the silence really is golden. These hubs replaced 4 year old formula OEMs that where really past due to be replaced, into the ticking time bomb phase of component life, but they were also stupid loud. When I'd pedal around the neighborhood with my kids, had to keep pedaling slowly so I could talk to them loud... Onyx silence is night and day.
  • 4 2
 @Explodo: yeah but you wait for the triggered to show up who are in the omg did he just slate loud hubs camp balanced only by the onyx silent hub camp
  • 4 2
 @Explodo: oh and I haven’t had a king hub since my yeti which was back when I actually could ride a bike and had the kudos to comment that was in the 90s as a frame of reference
  • 8 8
 @Glenngineer: My favorite onyx feature is the little amount of drag, enjoy your hub I have thousands of miles on classic and vesper. hardest thing is going to another hub and thinking wow these are trash compared to onyx. lol
  • 7 11
flag Explodo (Mar 23, 2023 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 @y9pema: I've not tried an Onyx, but my I9 hubs have TONS more drag than my CK hubs.
  • 3 1
 @ryanandrewrogers: I'm concerned about your front hubs engaging... but you get waht you pay for I guess.
  • 3 2
 @Explodo: yep. I have i9 torches and they feel more draggy then ck, hope, dt Swiss, nukeproof (novatec) basically any other hubs I've tried
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: I’ve tried I9 and Onyx, (not with ceramic bearings, to be clear, just basic vespers) and I’d say the drag is the same. The bearings probably make a difference but honestly they were just expensive. My formulas that came on my bike are just as fast if not faster (drag-wise), just with bad engagement. Personally, the Onyxs feel faster, but that is probably just the silence talking.
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer: You must not have the Formulas I have cause mine are about as quiet as traditional hubs get. It is probably the ridiculously bad engagement on mine. A little grease in the pawls goes a long way too.
  • 1 0
 @maestroman21: What can I say I'm trying to keep things moving the right direction lol
  • 2 0
 @pensamtb: FWIW, my house has 2 pr of King hubs. The 1st I started riding in Austin TX in 2001, the 2nd came to me 2nd hand in 2010. They both have steel driveshells. I replaced a preload ring on one of them. I stopped counting trail miles (from GPS tracks) on the older set at 50k miles. They're both still in service, one pair on my wife's MTB and one on my Nimble9. I'd have them on my current FS bike but they're too old to Boost. I keep thinking about saving a bit to replace the I9 Torch on my FS with King but just haven't gotten there yet ... unsure about what the next hub-spec will be when I need to replace my FS bike in a couple years.
  • 1 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: freehub grease is actually pretty cheap...
  • 1 2
 @SEA5ONS: Indeed. As are cheap hubs. And sealed bearings. Bonus if you buy shitty enough hubs you won't need an O-Chain cause I only engage the damn things every 30 degrees or so.

Dunno if I'll ever be convinced to spend nearly a grand on a pair of hubs.
  • 110 4
 "Stop trying to make centerlock happen... It's not going to happen."
  • 54 2
 Centerlock is so fetch
  • 22 0
 @initforthedonuts: Damnit Gretchen!
  • 40 17
 Weird. I love centerlock. It seems easier.
  • 15 4
 @rrolly: same. I’m luck/fortunate/privileged enough to fly with my bike a couple of times a year. I pop off the rotors to maker sure the don’t get bent/handled/contaminated during transit. CL makes that so much easier.
  • 9 4
 @rrolly: Add my vote. I haven't had any problems with the newer ones, and it makes changing rotors much faster without having to worry about using a drill.
  • 8 0
 @bigkat273: YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!
  • 4 1
 And On the Third Day god made the 6 bolt rotor
  • 14 9
 @pmhobson: @pmhobson: when they inevitably come loose trail side though.... its not common to carry a cassette tool.
  • 13 2
 @maestroman21: In the history of centerlock rotors, I'm sure it has happened. But like, it hasn't happened to me in eight years or anyone else in my riding circle. It's just not something I'm going to loose sleep over.
  • 6 1
 @pmhobson: +1. Most people also don't bring a cassette tool, or bb tool, and I've never seen those work loose.
  • 6 0
 @maestroman21: I had one come loose on a 1000 ft descent and it was trash when I got to the bottom.
  • 4 1
 @topfuel564: my buddy just had his front centerlock rotor come loose on a long descent as well, and had no way to tighten it until we were down . It does happen with six bolt rotors also, but most people carry allen keys.
  • 7 3
 @maestroman21: Inevitably? Until I read this I've never heard of it happening ever. If it's installed properly and if it's not defective, you won't have a problem.
  • 7 2
 @topfuel564: I've seen a guy snap a rear stay. No one brings repair tools for that on a ride, and I bet snapping rear stays is infinitely more common than CL rotors coming loose.
  • 96 2
 Pick a rotor interface and be a dick about it.
  • 73 3
 6 bolt forever
  • 15 2
 Weight weenie latex crowd: "3 bolt forever!"
  • 7 0
 @Mac1987: latex, huh? Kinky.
  • 70 5
 Good thing their cnc machines don’t have covid anymore and can machine 6 bolt again.
  • 31 1
 My wife bought me a pair of CK hubs as a wedding present. 12 years in and both are still going (hubs and marriage).

Would I buy for myself? Probably not...dt350s are solid enough.
  • 18 0
 So what you’re really saying is that Chris King hubs are good for your marriage.

That’s what I got out of it anyway.
  • 14 0
 Damn.. does your wife have a sister?
  • 2 0
 Turn one into a salt/pepper shaker and the other into a Tylenol bottle.
  • 33 3
 I went from King to Onyx.
  • 28 29
 You will be back
  • 24 8
 @Frank191: nope probably not, few thousand miles on each set of Onyx I have. Should have gave up on the CK hype years ago.
  • 36 6
 @sunringlerider: Kings aren't 'hype'. Their stuff is proven top quality and reliable as hell for decades. It's not even an opinion. Onyx are great if you like that engegemnt. That said, if you like Onyx..great. If you like King...great. Both are excellent options
  • 7 12
flag tgr9 FL (Mar 23, 2023 at 7:18) (Below Threshold)
 that's a downgrade
  • 12 3
 @bman33: Every King rear hub I've owned or seen on the trail, which is around twenty different units, has either slight play or chain droop when backpedaling. Three of those rear hubs were mine and I never was able to adjust those problems out. It wasn't for lack of trying.
  • 1 2
 @Insectoid: Not saying it didn't happen, but I haven't seen the same in my 25+ years of riding with a few CK sets or with buddies. I have seen a few times when folks don't snug up the play after a rebuild. Few adjusments and all good.
  • 12 0
 @bman33: Bought mine with that exact thought and that it will even out in cost over the years. However maintaining these hubs is just annoying in every way compared to a simple Hope for example. Either get a tool that's about the cost of a decent set of hubs or pay good money each year for a service if you ride a lot in all conditions. Doing it yourself without the tool leads to failure of engagement after some time. I am not paying top dollar for a hub that requires more effort AND money to maintain than an equally performing hub that costs half of it. So the word 'hype' isn't off at all imo. There are cheaper, lighter, equally performing hubs out there that are also easier and cheaper to maintain, so apart from the sound and bling, where's the value in these hubs?

Also my 'apple green' ISO front hub has a crazy faulty anodizing, which is magnitudes above anything that's acceptable. I know about the subtleties anodizing high-strength aluminium alloys, especially that color, but I got all kind of parts from about 10 companies all in that color on my bikes and even though they are of different age and manufacturer are MUCH more similar in color than my 2 ISO hubs. CK didn't bother replacing it.
Got a set of Pro 4 on my Enduro bike, one bearing change was needed in 7 years of riding, cost me about 30€ for automotive grade bearings and was done in no more than an hour for the whole set...
  • 14 6
 Just use shimano hubs. Completely user serviceable. Cup and cone can be serviced and set up in minutes. Hubs are as strong as anything out there and they’re probably 1/3 the cost of a King hub. I run them on all the wheels I build and only ever broken one or two over the 30+years I’ve been mtbing. Not only that but the sheer number of shimano hubs I’ve seen commuted into the ground only to get a fresh set of balls and some grease before being abused into the ground again is staggering.
  • 3 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: until the issues with the white plastic part in the 12 speed hubs I would agree. I love my xtr hubs....but they need a little work every 500 miles to keep the creak away
  • 5 0
 @bman33: CK is just a shell of it's former self now tho, so your experience would be vastly different from newer adopters
  • 1 0
 @stephenzkie: Maybe so. My newest set that is approx 15 years old. Been on several trail bikes, a DH bike and now a DJ bike and bomb proof. All my headsets are CK though..
  • 3 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Warrantied a series of Microspline Shimano XT hubs (for horrendous grinding noises) before giving up on them. The old ones were indeed pretty bulletproof but the Microspline generation were sadly stillborn.
  • 3 0
 Nas went from Seiko to Rolex
  • 1 0
 @bman33: The three hubs I owned I all bought long ago- 1999, 2002 and 2003. As far as I can tell, King hubs have always had this wobble issue.
  • 2 3
 Onyx was a shelved CK design... thats what I heard anyways.
  • 24 1
 I kinda respect them for saying this is silly making so many different variants becuase the bike industry can't settle on standards;
6-bolt / centrelock,
3 freehub standards,
15 or 20mm front axles,
Boost or superboost, if you ignore anyone still on non-boost,
J-bend or straight pull,
28 hole or 32 hole,
Colour optiions too
It must be frustraiting to be a hub manufacturer but having said that a high end product like Chris King should be able to offer it all at thier prices, just a shame the industry can't settle on standards forcing them to do it, ultimately making them more expensive.
  • 6 0
 There’s actually many more freehub standards if you step out of the mtb world. You have HG in 8/9/10 or road 11 or mtb 11(which is essentially 8/9/0 road but there is a separate classification) also Campy has its on standard (2 maybe 3 by now with 13sp) plus the original HG was different and used the small ring as the lock ring but that ended with 7sp. You also have thread on, but that’s pretty much entry level stuff and then there are separate standard for dedicated single speed.
  • 8 0
 I think if you look at sales data there would be one clear winner on most of those points - boost, 6 bolt, j-bend, 32h. Frehubs, and front axel size are typically easy to change on hubs
  • 3 1
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: The "original HG" that you're referring to was IG (Interactive Glide). HG replaced IG. And thread-on is by definition not a freehub--that's a freewheel (or a track sprocket and lockring). Suntour also briefly sold their own freehub design which had the same "last sprocket is the lockring" concept as IG. What a fun area of mostly useless knowledge!
  • 2 0
 @jj12jj: pretty accurate which makes it even more silly that they still have to make all the different varients just for the minority that are outside this most common option, having said that i do like the look of a straight pull spoke and hub and i understand the 28h option for lighter wheel builds, the rest could and should be properly standardised to 1 option though.
  • 4 0
 @maglor: everyone likes the look of straight pull hubs but they are objectively worse and typically cost more!
  • 16 4
 Literally just had a rear wheel built with a centerlock hub. I have had a centerlock rotor come loose on a ride, never a 6 bolt. The shop actually had a leftover 6 bolt CK from hub, so I now have a CL rear CK and a 6 bolt CK front. Ugh
  • 18 2
 its called “we tighten our rotors on our bikes”
  • 15 3
 Lol you rebuilt the entire wheel instead of just adding some threadlocker and tightening the lockring
  • 10 3
 NEVER had a CL come loose. I’m agnostic about rotor mounting, but if the rotor came loose, it was never tight.
  • 17 1
 My ck hub is still running, 20 years on!
  • 37 1
 my shimano hub is too...

whats the point?
  • 37 3
 You mean on those 26" quick release wheels you haven't used for the last 15 years?
  • 4 0
 @bikegrinch: Good stuff lasts?
  • 19 0
 @chrsei: The hub is a 20mm, 6 bolt disc. The bike it's on is a 26 hardtail that sees regular usage, particularly in the wintertime as transportation. Just sharing a story. I see it's a bit crotchety in here.
  • 2 1
 @bikegrinch: mine as well until the Mavic 819 rim melted away from stans. Now it just sits forlorn while my onyx vesper works wonderfully and silently. The Xtr was nice and quiet though and lasted practically forever.
  • 2 0
 @sxotty: So put a new rim on there and pick a better sealant?
  • 2 1
 @barp: probably less costly to just buy a new wheel with a new shimano hub than to pay a shop to lace up your old hub. If you can lace wheels yourself and don't mind/enjoy doing it yourself, then yes
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: As a builder of wheels, I will happily dispose of any unwanted usable hubs Smile
  • 7 0
 Now please bring back the roller bearing between the cassette body and axle, that was the foundation of the legendary durability. Went away around the same time as the 6 bolt rotor interface. The split collet floating bearing crap CK uses now is....crap.
  • 3 0
 Yeah that was my question, that needle bearing in the free hub. I guess time will tell. I don't mind the price for a US made hub (including bearings!) that will get used for double digit years, but between the center lock (now resolved) and design change I haven't bitten the bullet on my recent wheel builds.
  • 10 0
 Anyone else still have their Salt and Pepper Shakers ? I still use mine !
  • 1 0
 I have a nice green set that stays on my table.
  • 1 0
 I've got a matching pair of S&P's and C&C's in "Burnt Green" (that's what Chris called em)! (Chili & Cheese shakers that is, outa rear hubs) Thanks Chris!
  • 1 0
 Sure do! black and silver to keep it classy!
  • 4 0
 I have a used both on many wheelsets over the years. The option between the two is the last option I care about when selecting a rotor connection. That being said, if all else is equal like price and quality, I would pick the CL. Mainly because it's easier to change a rotor at home (I've never changed a rotor in the field). Neither has come loose for me.
  • 5 1
 "Like most manufacturers, we were capacity-limited during the pandemic. With my gravel racing- and randonneuring-approved first and last name, I made sure that I made my mark when I got this job to stop manufacturing a hub that met the standard of nearly 90% of all bikes and wheels out there. That's why Chris hired me."—Chris King General Manager, Kirby Bedsaul
  • 16 12
 Breaking news: Chris King makes hubs with new ring drive technology that is vastly superior to other hubs and lasts forever…oh wait…that happened a long time ago and nobody has surpassed them
  • 40 7
 DT Swiss Star ratchets 4life!
  • 4 2
 As someone with two bikes using CK hubs- one a SS built in 2016 and the other with ISO-B hubs built in 2018- I completely agree. They seem to just get better with time.

DT350s with 36t ratchet are my top choice ‘on a budget’ … but when you think about the life of the hub (cost per mile) I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris King is the best value out there. You just need to keep them for a decade Smile

I’m glad to see the 6-bolt return. This is the way.
  • 6 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: this is the way
  • 8 3
 News flash-Chris King makes loud hubs that require expensive proprietary tools for mandatory servicing. And aren’t any more reliable than star ratchet DTs.
  • 7 2
 even after making good money i cant justify spending on ck hubs...insanely priced
  • 3 0
 FFS! I just built a new wheelset with C.L. CK hubs (and WR1 Unions) and they announce this! Fine.... I'll just buy a set of the blue CKs 6-bolt and replace my troublesome i9 Hydras..
  • 2 1
 What issues are you having with your Hydras? Drag aside, I’ve been happy with my set
  • 4 1
 @TurboDonuts: bearings keep going out every few months (we've had a couple completely grenade on us), and my rear hub has noticeable flex at the drive ring that seems to load up and then just pops with a loud noise (several times during a ride). We have a couple wheel sets with these Hydras and both sets have these same issues. They are decent hubs, but not worth the price IMO. We ride around 3k to 3.5k miles a year on these things. Never experienced these issues on any other hubs.
  • 2 1
 @liv2mountainbike2: Understood. Yeah, they’re relatively simple, mid-grade components that demand a bit of a premium being US-based. Thanks for sharing!
  • 5 2
 Nice to see that they brought back the six bolt at a bargain price. Over prices bike jewelry. Oh wait sorry CK fan boys, mY hUb LaSt 2fivE yEaRs.
  • 2 1
 Funny they said the industry was shifting all to CL and that its time for all to join the times, here they are now blaming pandemic material BS supply and cost. They've been hanging out with the drop bar crowd too much. Still as much as we bash them... King is king.
  • 1 0
 Having put a bit of time and energy into sourcing a set of 6 bolt CK hubs after hearing they are discontinued, It's a surprise to hear about this U-turn. I used to think engineering driven companies tend to make better products, but this proves there are downsides if you have no clue what your customers want. This must have done long term damage to their bottom line.
  • 4 0
 What are CK hubs better than Hope ones with?
  • 5 3
 Hope Hubs are the best of the cheap.
  • 3 2
 @welford2829: dt swiss>hopes tho
  • 10 0
 @stephenzkie: i’ve seen more complaints from DTs then from Hopes. Hopes are like the workhorses in the hub realm - they work, they are tough, you can get them in any size, you can change their size, you can get them in different colors, they’re cheaper then CK, I9, and others.
  • 3 1
 I'd rather stay with my Spank Hex hubs. Or my I9 1/1 hubs. Both sound great and came at a fraction of the cost of these paperweights.
  • 4 0
 Power to the people
  • 2 1
 I thought they were all 6both after 1999? I'm going to check my bike when i get home haha
I do have an old skool hope big un somewhere thats 5bolt!
  • 7 6
 between the lines reads "we are not selling as many CL hubs as expected, we know CL is fugly and we need the 6h customers back".
  • 3 0
 Oof, right after I just got a new set of CL built up.
  • 1 0
  • 3 0
 price went up and weight went up? must be a new thing.
  • 5 1
 sram started this trend a few days ago lol
  • 4 2
 Center lock makes more sense to me than 6 bolt. A lot easier and problem free if you torque it properly
  • 3 0
 Same Jungle Juice was drank when they also killed their SS hubs.
  • 2 0
 Meh. But at least 6 bolt fanbois aren’t left out now. Kings best product was their press in headset……
  • 1 0
 The price isn't all that crazy considering the new DT Swiss 350 rear hub is only 100$ less than a King. But I would still go for a Hope, just so reliable.
  • 3 0
 Who'd a think it.
  • 9 10
 Too little too late. The only was we could possibly we could consider this outrage resolved would be a public apology followed with an announcement that they’ll never make another centrelock hub.
  • 3 2
 Later they must apologize again to the centerlock users and announce they would never produce a 6 bolt hub, then they would apologize and announce over and over again hahaha
  • 2 5
 @ZhuangYanbing: these people don’t exist.
  • 2 0
 Only 5 degrees engagement? How am I supposed to pedal uphill?
  • 1 0
 Where is DUB BB from CK?

To be honest Headset and BB from CK last entire frame life and totally worth it!
  • 4 0
 Threadfit 30 with the dub fit kit
  • 1 0
 @norcal101: is a patent thing?
  • 5 3
 Bye Chris. i9 is my new friend now.
  • 7 2
 And frequent bearing replacement of shoddy enduro bearings will be your new friend soon
  • 3 2
 Meh-draggy, axles break and stock bearings don’t hold up. But wait……i9 ALSO has unreliable stems that’ll match your hubs.
  • 1 1
 I had hydras on my last bike and 101s on my new bike and the 101s are better. hydras were brittle
  • 2 1
 @wyorider: hahahah savage "but wait theres more"
  • 4 1
 Can you say HADLEY …
  • 1 0
 I personally like 6 bolt and I don’t ride hard to notice anything anyways lol
  • 1 2
 This is fantastic! I've just gone from actively looking for another option to right back to my CK safety zone! 6-bolt matte mango, here I come!
  • 1 2
 Doh! They don't have matte mango anymore! I was flat going to order a set and now I have to pester them to see if matte mango is coming back.
  • 1 0
 now just give us the 135/20 for retro junkies and you will make a killing
  • 2 0
 Profile Elite MTB
  • 2 0
 @slmuller: OHHH DAMN SON, you know what, I didn't even think about that. I'm restoring an orange patriot and 100% those would do it justice.
  • 2 1
 Too late. F*ck you, CK. I've gone Onyx,
  • 1 0
 They fell for all the memes...
  • 2 2
 Chris King makes the cheapest hubs around-if you are planting to use the hub over 20 years.
  • 3 2
 The cheap Centerlock Lockrings are the worst thing ever invented.
  • 1 1
 Yes! Six bolt rules. Love live six bolt!
  • 1 0
 Phil Wood. The best!
  • 2 2
  • 1 2
 Trying to fuck ur customers backfired
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