Chris King PF 30 installed in a Psychlo X RSL
Yes, as the title says, a Chris King PF30 built with the precision we have grown to know from the maker of the finest head sets and hubs know to man. Now, that is my opinion and mine alone, but I’d venture to say if you chatted with those that love high quality-US-made bicycle products you’d hear few grumbles if any. Like most, my first experience with Chris King products came in the form of their headsets. It was the candy that you read about in bicycle magazines before the internet was invented by Mr. Gore. It was a bicycle part of mythic proportion…press it in, forgetaboutit….simple as that. Sure, it costs some dough up front like all good quality things, but it would last, stay adjusted and they came in cool colors. Done deal. That headset, that first one Chris ever made, I’ve seen in person in the Portland facility…..kept under glass with a date stamp. Very “real” “stuff” to me. And so it goes…headsets lead to hubs, hubs lead to bottom brackets, and so on….not a single product being released without thorough testing and proven field feedback. The right way to develop products in my/our minds.
Now we find ourselves in a modern day era of cycling development; Cyclocross bikes are getting disc brakes, road bikes may follow, standards on bicycles for us handbuilt guys are some-what settling out. 44mm head tubes are the norm, tapered forks, and the Press Fit 30 BB’s….. Some items that have allowed us to push tube diameter and wall thickness to new levels that add real ride quality differences to our products, while maintaining our love of joining tubes to tubes via handcrafted tig welds.
As many have seen in the press the good folks at Chris King started showing a new bottom bracket right around Euro bike. The press was quick to pick up on it and for us we had been bursting at the seams since we had heard about this back in early August. Moots made a trip to Portland for a dealer event and it just wouldn’t be a trip to Portland without seeing our (and dropping off donuts) good friends at CK. So we dropped in and took the tour. An hour later as we are leaving the front doors, they whispered some thing about PF….our ears perked up and we said…yes please! So we stayed in touch and at Interbike they had delivered the unit you see above. Chris King quality through and through.
Now the one you see here is a prototype and may change from what we see in the final production unit. I can’t talk too much about the insides other than this….
Installation: Perfect tolerances… (just like their headsets)…the unit pressed in smooth as butter. I used a mix of waterproof grease and anti-seize between the bb shell and the cups (my personal prefered mixture)
Bearings: Chris King beauties….smooth.
Mileage: I’ve been riding it for almost 4 weeks….3 cross races, home washings and this last weekend a day of mud that was up there with the great MUD-POCALYPSE of 2011 followed by the dreaded power washer. Put away wet on Saturday night. Now, if this was a different make of PF BB on Sunday morning the crank would have been frozen (rusted bearings) in place. I am happy to report that when I made my way to the Moots Sprinter van on Sunday morning for another day of USGP Cyclocross battle, my crank spun freely without the slightest hint of resistance. An A+ performance in my book.
My next test for it was a race on Sunday morning that resulted in no creaks and extra power from the smooth bearings to take me to a podium finish on the day. Kidding on the bearing/power thing, but really it performed flawless and remains creak-free today…..(I had to ride at lunch just to make sure).
King will have the same BB with 24mm (King made) slip in adaptors as well. So if you haven’t bought into the 30mm spindle thing or you are running Shimano cranks, have no fear, solid bearings and cups are coming our way.
If you have been on the fence for one of our RSL’s that uses PF30, don’t be afraid of the bearings…we now have what looks to be a match made in heaven.
I’ll update as the season and power washings unfold.
Questions? Let me know!