Chris King Adds Carbon Mountain Bike Wheel Options, XD Driver Upgrade Option

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In April, Chris King announced their XD Driver Body freehub option, giving SRAM 11-speed users a way to add their existing King hubs/wheels to their 1×11 bike.

Now, they’re making that available as an upgrade option on prebuilt wheels, and they’ve got a new hoop to show them off. Technically, it’s an upgraded wheelset, but there’s a lot new about it. Their Carbon Race Trail wheelset is now built up with ENVE’s new M60 forty rims and come standard with ceramic bearings. And they’re promising to ship them within 14 days of ordering.

Need something more aggressive? Look for new Chris King Carbon Race All Mountain wheels built with the ENVE M70 thirty rims, coming soon.

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Retail on the Carbon Race Trail is $2,850 with standard freehub body. Add $40 for XD driver body. Weights are 1560g for the 27.5″ wheelset and 1600g for 29er.

ChrisKing.com

Comments

17 thoughts on “Chris King Adds Carbon Mountain Bike Wheel Options, XD Driver Upgrade Option

  1. Yeah, only 2850$? 😉

    More seriously, how does carbon make wheels better? Lighter, stiffer, more solid? With such a difference in price compared to alloy rims one would expect a significant upgrade in performance. I never got a chance to try a carbon wheelset, I would be curious to get opinions from others.

  2. Is carbon worth the $$$’s…..hmmm, hard question, but with ENVE rims a difference is felt and a significant one at that. Since you can tension them to a much higher level, they have some real benefits you notice right away and a stiffness that feels very unique.

  3. @Alex- In my experience (owner of one Classic rear hub, one Single Speed rear hub, one ISO Disc rear hub), every King rear hub either wobbles from low preload on the bearing, or suffers from chain sag when backpedaling from too high tension on the bearing. This was true on all the hubs I owned, and is also true on every King rear hub I ever encountered on the trail- whenever I see one on a bike, I walk up and rattle back it and forth. The Ring Drive is an inherently high friction design. Other hubs with high engagement don’t suffer this problem.

  4. I’m with Tim here. Not sure what the draw to Chris King hubs are? They are more difficult to service then other hubs in the same class, they have high drag compared to others and cost the same if not more then other top end offerings. That being said- you can get them in cool colors like brown and mango!

  5. If you set up a King correctly it will stay in adjustment for years. The new locking ring design is very easy to use and is foolproof. Hating on something that you do not know how to adjust is dumb

  6. I couldn’t agree more with Tim. I’ve owned 3 King wheelsets and had the very same problems, not impressed and annoyed as hell. Overrated quality. I’ve advised friends to look elsewhere for hubs. Joel, don’t assume we don’t know what the hell we are doing,.

  7. @Joel- two of my King rear hubs had the Allen lockring system, and it had the same problems as the “standard” (i.e., upcharged King proprietary) collar. I know what I am doing when it comes to adjusting hubs (and brakes, headsets, bottom brackets, and so on). That’s how strong King propaganda is: if an experienced mechanic can’t get their stuff to work, it must be because of the mechanic, and not the product. I was was snorting their lines for a long time, too, then went back to a $100 rear hub, whereupon problems instantly ceased. Rumor has it, if tighten the QR way, way down on a King rear hub, it stops rattling.
    Joel- do you have a King rear hub? Can you testify it does not rattle?

  8. And I am not a King hater- their headsets and front hubs are good in my experience. Can’t say about bottom brackets. Stuff should work well with a minimum of fiddling.

  9. I dunno, I have multiple King wheelsets right now. I’m not experiencing any of the loose hub or high drag issues. Guess I’m just lucky.

  10. So, what’s the difference between that wheelset purchased from Enve, and that wheelset purchased from King? Are ceramic bearings and the point of sale the only difference?

  11. At the risk of beating a dead horse: the locking collar uses a quite small bolt located in a weird position, so that only a ball-headed wrench will work, making it weird to reach, especially with the rotor mounted, to get the exact bearing tension. Then it comes out of adjustment, anyway. That is not foolproof. When I was using their hubs, that bolt was even in an English (non-metric) size which they fortunately ditched.

  12. “Are carbon rims worth the extra $$?” Hmm . . . Well, the rims aren’t any lighter, they’re only marginally stiffer, they’re just as easy to kill as aluminum, and they’re hard to source for a rebuild. But at least they cost a lot more money.

    In road racing, carbon tubulars make sense for aerodynamics and weight, but as soon as you go to clinchers, the weight advantage vanishes and aero means el zippo when the rim is drafting off of a 2.3″ tire. So unless these rim makers can make something that weighs the same and costs the same as alloy, and then offer some sort of performance advantage (substantially greater width, stiffness, etc) they’re just not worth it if you have to pay for them.

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