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Old 05-13-08, 03:52 PM   #1
elf 232
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Why are Chris King parts so expensive?

Like 5 times the price of XTR? I just cant get it no matter how much i read up on them, yes they're "precision machined parts" and they're lightweight, and look cool, but why is it so popular?
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Old 05-13-08, 04:01 PM   #2
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Made in the U.S. by machinists earning a real living wage is part of it:

http://www.chrisking.com/asiamfg/index.html
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Old 05-13-08, 04:22 PM   #3
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The same reason people are gold plating their teeth with grills. *BLING BLING*
No other reason imo.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:54 PM   #4
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my Trek has a CK headset and I like it quite a bit. Granted it was on the bike when I bought it, so I didn't drop $200 for a NoThreadset.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:05 PM   #5
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The same reason people are gold plating their teeth with grills. *BLING BLING*
No other reason imo.
It'd be a mistake to think that people in the bike industry are making big money. Mountain biking is still a sport in its infancy, fueled by enthusiasts and people with a passion for the sport, and many smaller grassroots companies survive on thin margins.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:15 PM   #6
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It'd be a mistake to think that people in the bike industry are making big money. Mountain biking is still a sport in its infancy, fueled by enthusiasts and people with a passion for the sport, and many smaller grassroots companies survive on thin margins.
It is all relative. I agree no one is making money on the scale of a Nike, Body Armour etc, but some are making a good living. Many are making decent money and they work on/with stuff they LOVE. They would not trade that for the world.

I do disagree with the thought that MTB is in its infancy. I cannot see it getting that much larger to be honest. Sports like running, cycling, swimming, climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc are niche sports. They gain about as many people as they loose each year. I guess the one exception is that if cycling picks up do to gas prices. Even then I am not sure how many would pick up MTB as well.

I mean nothing negative by this, just that I do not see MTB any more popular in 5 years or 30.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:18 PM   #7
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Made in the U.S. by machinists earning a real living wage is part of it:

http://www.chrisking.com/asiamfg/index.html
Living wage is a relative term. There are many who work in factories over seas that are making much more than other native jobs.

And I do not think people are paying $200 for a headset or whatever in order to make a stand for American jobs and wages. It is about the bling. Bling that happens to be very very well made.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:22 PM   #8
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the headset costing $130 is reasonable as it will last your lifetime. the hubs costing $250 or $300 would be more reasonable than $500.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:29 PM   #9
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And I do not think people are paying $200 for a headset or whatever in order to make a stand for American jobs and wages. It is about the bling. Bling that happens to be very very well made.
I don't think so either; but the OP's first question was about why they cost so much and I think country of manufacture is one of the major contributing factors.

I personally will probably never own a King headset; but I can still appreciate their corporate philosophy from afar.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:31 PM   #10
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Sorry, I misread your tone. That is my fault. You just answered a question.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:35 PM   #11
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their wheelsets aren't too bad pricwise, $600 or $700 for that quality is a good deal. the hubs alon are a bad deal though. i'd have a pair of their wheels if i could afford them. the headset too.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:53 PM   #12
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I have one on a bike I bought. It works no better nor worse than any other modern aheadset that I've owned. Nor is it any lighter than $20 ones. That's what gets me. Usually $$$ gets you something, but in this case I've so far yet to see it. A Cane Creek is a damn nice headset. Then again, to me, headsets are like fan belts. I wouldn't go out of my way for a name brand one. They're all the same. Spend an extra $100 on a wheelset where you'll tell the difference.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:59 PM   #13
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It'd be a mistake to think that people in the bike industry are making big money. Mountain biking is still a sport in its infancy, fueled by enthusiasts and people with a passion for the sport, and many smaller grassroots companies survive on thin margins.
I have a funny feeling that two machined aluminum cups and a pair of bearings can be made for cheaper than ~$140 min.
Cost of aluminum-Nill
Cost of bearings-Nill
Cost of machining-Miniscule
CK headset-literally priceless

I agree with the guy above Cane Creek all the way. All the bling and technology you need in a headset and at a fraction of the price.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:01 PM   #14
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I actually like my FSA Pig DH Pro headset more than I liked my Kings.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:03 PM   #15
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Just a thought, maybe the King stuff isn't expensive... maybe it is just that you are poor or cheap?
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Old 05-13-08, 08:12 PM   #16
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Just a thought, maybe the King stuff isn't expensive... maybe it is just that you are poor or cheap?
$250 for a 2 headset cups? sorry life is bigger than 17.5" of Al7000, stop trying to cause trouble.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:15 PM   #17
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Lacrosse is for p*ssies.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:15 PM   #18
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I actually like my FSA Pig DH Pro headset more than I liked my Kings.
Thats really all my point is, you can only squeeze so much functionality into a part like a headset, and the functionality of a CK is no different from any FSA or other machined Al headset.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:19 PM   #19
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Lacrosse is for p*ssies.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:21 PM   #20
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Lacrosse is for p*ssies.


"Football" is a man's sport.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:23 PM   #21
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Thats really all my point is, you can only squeeze so much functionality into a part like a headset, and the functionality of a CK is no different from any FSA or other machined Al headset.
Not to mention that the lack of a compression ring in a King Headset isn't the best of options if you have a long travel fork on your bike.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:24 PM   #22
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Not really. They appear to be enjoying it too much.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:27 PM   #23
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I have a funny feeling that two machined aluminum cups and a pair of bearings can be made for cheaper than ~$140 min.
Cost of aluminum-Nill
Cost of bearings-Nill
Cost of machining-Miniscule
CK headset-literally priceless

I agree with the guy above Cane Creek all the way. All the bling and technology you need in a headset and at a fraction of the price.
I'm not trying to promote CK products, nor do I use them myself. I think that there are cheaper, better, alternatives. That said, the above is simply ridiculous, not to mention narrow minded. Go back and read post #2.

There is no doubt in my mind that no one is making big money from headsets. King's are manufactured in the USA, meaning a higher overhead for labor and administration. It's absolutely reasonable to say that King's price is inproportionate to the performance and functionality offered. However, it is ludicrous to suggest that they are somehow making lots of money and somehow gouging the customer based on their reputation.

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Old 05-13-08, 08:30 PM   #24
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Not really. They appear to be enjoying it too much.
Yes, the source caption stated that this was a half hour before the game started.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:35 PM   #25
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I'm not trying to promote CK products, nor do I use them myself. I think that there are cheaper, better, alternatives. That said, the above is simply ridiculous, not to mention narrow minded. Go back and read post #2.
If it was within in my means i would have a CK headset but they charge that much because they can, not because that is the cost of production. Same deal with anything else, they charge whatever the supply-demand will support. The demand for their parts is very high currently, so whether or not anyone thinks that some CK executive is rolling in big bucks dishonestly, its just good business for them.

And i agree completely with the majority of posts, hardly anyone is rolling in big bucks in the biking industry, its a passion. But eventually the biking community will grow (certainly road biking, and we MTBers always draft in the roadies sooner or later). I believe the main thing is to get the youth involved. The only way to get the youth involved is to make good MTB's affordable. So in a sense i really hope that CK does put back into the biking community more than Bling-ish parts.

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