I am a fan of Chris King hubs because they look nice, but also because they will outlast set after set of rims and spokes, and countless re-lacings. Their durability is a true testament to why they are not just an expensive piece of jewelry to hang off your bike, but an investment that you can move to each new project.
A good friend and teammate of mine (let’s just call him “Dirty Randy”) has had a set of red Chris King Classic road hubs in his possession since way before I first met him 8 years ago. Currently, he is prepping parts for a new bike build for next ‘cross season, starting with the wheels.
He asked me to cut out the hubs from a beat up set of Deep V’s, and to re-lace them to his gently-used set of Velocity Major Toms. While I am keen on reusing great hubs, used rims are a huge uncertainty, but he was insistent because the rims had a matte finish. I wasn’t going to argue against fashion, so I agreed to do my best to tension up the wheels.
While I am keeping the full details of the build under wraps, it did call for some shiny bits worth discussing. I don’t normally build with alloy nipples because their durability is inferior to brass, but under special request, I made it happen. For this wheelset, 14mm tall, Sapim red alloy nipples were paired with Sapim Race 2.0-1.8-2.0mm butted spokes. To prevent corrosion and loosening of the nipples, I coated them in Wheelsmith spoke prep. Spoke prep allows for continued trueings of the wheels (not that they’ll need it!) without any corrosion issues between the two dissimilar metals.
The wheels came out so well, and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. Randy was lucky the rims were straight, and that they tensioned up perfectly. A little re-branding of the rims really helped out with the overall aesthetic, too.
Keep your eyes peeled for pictures of the rest of the bike in coming months. Until then… #crossiscoming2k17