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Boutique Chris King hubs

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Boutique Chris King hubs

Old 03-01-21, 08:08 AM
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Boutique Chris King hubs

I bought a used mountain bike several years ago. Got lots of compliments on my hubs. Apparently, the hubs are worth more than what I paid for the bike. I didn't know one hub from another so I would say thanks and moved on. Then suddenly, my fancy Chris King rear hub started slipping. A buddy that works on bikes didn't have the $300 tool to work on this fancy hub so I gave it to another buddy who cleaned and lubed the hub. It still slipped so I gave it to my mechanic who can't figure it out. He is waiting to hear back from Chris King. I switched out to a set of Bontrager wheels that I got with the bike. I went riding, the bontrager hubs worked and well that is really all I think I need in a set of hubs. Everyone is telling me I should spend more money to get these great boutique hubs fixed. I couldn't care less about a few ounces of weight. I just wanna ride.

Question: Why do I need these fancy boutique hubs?
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Old 03-01-21, 04:23 PM
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Chris King hubs like other higher end hubs have higher engagement. entry level hubs will have three pawls with a certain amount of degrees of engagement which is mostly ok but if you are climbing and hit something technical being able to ratchet back a bit is nice. Chris King Industry 9 Hope and DT Swiss etc have much better engagement to be able to get instant delivery to the hub. it sucks its slipping but I would rather have those than a bontrager hub. you can tell the difference when you take the cranks and back pedal a bit listen for the ratchet sound. on nicer hubs that sound is sooner than on cheaper hubs.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:00 PM
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Old 03-02-21, 09:00 AM
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Chris King Hubs are nice, but way overpriced for what they are.

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Old 03-02-21, 11:19 PM
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Your CK hubs were most likely never serviced by either the previous owner and now you. This is why they failed. Hubs are the most important part of your wheelset. For mountain biking, a higher end hub with many points of engagement will make a significant difference on whether you clean a technical section or have to dismount or, worse, fall. The quicker the rear hub engages, the better. This will become more evident and valuable as your MTB skills improve. Think of the rear hub as a precision instrument. This is one of the main reasons why people pay big bucks for better hubs for mountain biking. CK hubs are fully serviceable (with the needed tools) and should last you a lifetime. Many low-end hubs are just disposable when they break, so not environmentally friendly or sustainable. I am personally happy to pay more for things that are fully serviceable, sustainable and come from a company that employs American labor.

So yeah, you were lucky getting a bike that came with those hubs. Many sellers swap nice hubs for cheaper ones and keep the CK hubs for future projects. So you owe it to yourself to service them properly and to reap the benefits they can provide. I would highly recommend writing Chris King to get a service number and mailing just the hubs directly to them. They will look at them, quote you how much to fix them and, if you approve, they will return them back to you within a couple of weeks ready to go and with some warranty on the repair. Then your local bike mechanic can do basic yearly maintenance —cleaning and lubrication which doesn’t require special tools.

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Old 03-10-21, 10:54 PM
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I doubt Chris King hubs are lighter than your other hub option, but the bearings are superb and normally the free-hub works extremely well. Fit and finish are first-rate. I've had these on my (all) road bike since 2014 and they have been problem-free with annual maintenance. On the website you will find instructions on how to disassemble the hub and flush it with WD40 to clean it. There is a good chance you won't even need to use the $140 tool. They are a high-quality American company (based in Portland OR) that stands behind their products. They have treated me very well. They are expensive, but you get what you pay for.
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