Chris King Open House & Custom Bike Builder Show 2018

Fancy bikes all around this weekend. Chris King put on an exhibition from 18 of the most prestigious bicycle builders in the US. Where you could ogle new creations and talk to the builders.

This also coincided with the launch of a couple of new finishes for Chris King – Matte Mango and Matte Turquoise. The builder bikes used these products in their Chris King  manufacturers bicycle hubs, headsets and bottom brackets.


Steamboat Springs, CO
Routt RSL : $14,375
Titanium frame and in house carbon fork
King Inset 7 and Threatfit 24.
Enve G23’s, WTB 37c Riddler tyres
Shimano DuraAce electronic group

Admittedly, since I own a Moots bike I am biased. This RSL looks like a good time, fast and versatile. We know that titanium lasts and Moot’s beadblast finish is pretty darn durable. Did you know that you can send your Moots back to the factory and they can refinish and update things as needed? – pretty cool.


GR2 : $13,200
In house carbon frame and fork
Bend Oregon
King Inset 8, T47 Bottom Bracket
Enve 4.5 AR with Hutchinson tyres
Shimano Duraace

From Bend Oregon, I like the handmade aspect of the custom carbon layup which is specifically designed for each rider, their weight, thier desired characteristics of a frame. I also like the fast and versatile philosophy that Ben (Argonaught’s owner) believes in, they make fast machines capable of skinnies of 38c tyres. This GR2 is 16lbs and probably shreds like a knife. Ben, please send me one 🙂


Portland Oregon
Titanium frame, fox fork
Flow Motion: $9965
King Inset 7 and Threadfit 24
Enve m630 27.5, Maxis Minion
Shimano XT Drivetrain

If you read the exhibition sign next to the bike you might puke with the over zealous cliched use of “shred”,  “loam” and “send it”. I hope the builder was so excited from riding it that they could not resist passionately spewing out a mouth-full . Having said that the bike’s geometry looks fun and responsive for a hard tail, with some good tyre clearance. Given the titanium and lightweight build I expect it to be fast and playful on the trail. I like the attention to detail on this bike, the matching colors even in the graphics. I think the head badge is a really nice design also this care carries into the rest of the bike.  …. shred…loam, send it, braaap… whatever.

DeSalvo Cycles

Ashland, Oregon
Titanium frame, carbon fork
Builder Special: $7500
King Inset 7, T4724x
HED Belgium + Disc, Donelly 40c MSO
Shimano Ultegra Mechanical

Gloss black paint with beautiful color logos, this bike oozes class. Carefully selected tube sizes to create pleasing geometry aesthetics. The exposed titanium of the rear triangle and blue touches finish the rear of the bike off. It’s not trying too hard, it’s honest and superb. Simple and understated and I really like it. This bike lives up to the challenge. If DeSalvo had to own one bike, I think this would be it.



Eugene, Oregon
One Off Custom : $13,100
Steel frame, Carbon Fork
King Inset 8, Threadfit 30
Enve G23 Compass Bon Jon Pass
Sram E-Tap and Rotor Cranks

Each of Rob English’s bikes are one offs, he designs each per the consumers need. English designs are unique and the famous pencil thin seat stays serve as an icon to his bikes. This particular build is for multi-surface riding, thus has clearance for 35c tyres, but maintains road geometry with a curved seat tube to keep short chainstays. The integrated seat mast allows for a third bottle mount on the back for longer adventures.

Stinner Frameworks

Goleta, CA
Steel Refugio : $11.145
Steel frame, Carbon fork
King Inset 7, Threadfit 24
Enve G23, WTB Riddler 45
Quark, XTR Electronic

The paint. The paint..the paint… blew me away on this bike, the quality of fading between the colours and the attention to detail with sparkly star scape built in. This bike has an amazing paint job and the design of the paint works fantastic with the components, hubs and headset, fading in the right places. A really nice polished look.



Portland, Oregon
Rugged Road : $16,775
Titanium frame, Carbon fork
King Tapered No Threadset, Pressfit 30
Envee G23, Maxis Rambler 40c
Easton Crank, SRAM Force 1 groupo

To be honest, for the most part I don’t find Vanilla’s / Speedvagens most recent work to be that attractive. This model changes things, the paint scheme is contemporary and well done. The colours work, the graphics look contemporary but not too showy. Small things stand out in this design, the use of external headset cups in contracting colour is a nice touch. many exhibitors chose to use an inset headset, but i really like the style Speedvagen chose here. The colour scheme has a nice balance and I like the way the space in the seatpost topper (integrated mast) forms part of the aesthetic design. A rarity here, this bike is titanium, not normally found on Speedvagen’s.


Scottsdale , AZ
Gas Mask Razzle Dazzle : $11,500
Alumium frame Lauf carbon fork
King Tapered No threadset, PF30
Enve AR Disc, Panaracer Gravel Kings
3T Cranks, SRAM Force Groupo

Visually arresting – instantly eyes go to the fork and the elaborate paint. This Spooky is unique for sure. They could have played it more conservative, but why? Over a few days this bike grew on me. Now I would really like to try and have a ride on the Lauff Gritt suspension fork, the builders say it is amazing, firm where it needs to be and hit absorbing for the rough stuff. This bike is dripping with esoteric details on a hand fabricated aluminium frame. Gear from enve, 3t, wolfstooth and ceramic speed making it a tach dream.


Pegoretti – A tribute

Aluminium Love 3


Caletti Cycles

Santacruz, CA
Titanium Show Bike : $9,700
King Inset 8 and Threadfit 30 bottom bracket
Enve 3.4 Disc with Hutchinson Sector
Eason Cranks with Shimano DuraAce drivetrain

A classy ti bike, John Caletti pulled together the details. Blue touches and a titanium seat binder make this bike pretty. Face plates, bolts, logos and small details make this bike shine. Combine this with classy geometry and care for tube proportions and it looks really put together.


Co-motion Cycles

Eugen, Oregon
Klatch Pinion CTC – $8,890
King Inset 2 and Pinion Bottom bracket
Enve G23 with Panaracer Graval Kings
Pinion drivetrain.

I like the innovative approach to this bike, using a pinion drive system and gates belt is a nice and different approach to a maintenance free drivetrain.  I also really appreciated the directly complementary colour scheme of the deep blue to the mango orange. The modified TRP shifters for the pinion shift system are a nice touch.


Mosaic Cycles

Boulder, CO
GT 1 : $14,500
Titanium frame and carbon fork
King Inset 8 headset, Threadfit 24 bottom bracket
Enve G23 with WTB Riddler 37
Shimano DuraAce electronic drivetrain



Bozeman, MT
Singlespeed MTB: $7,700
Steel frame and fork
King Tapered No threadset, T47 Bottom bracket
Enve 630 29″ with Maxis Rekon
White Industries drievtrain, Paul Components

Apart from the impressive style of this bicycle a few things really impressed me. Firstly the finish, almost a raw, yet blackened steel, creates a unique look and shows you the craft. The finish to be maintained by wax. The handlebars are custom made and of unique style. Careful attention to detail with the logo execution on the handlebars and frame, along with matching of hubs , headset and paul component brakes make this singlespeed cool AF.



2 thoughts on “Chris King Open House & Custom Bike Builder Show 2018

Add yours

  1. That shock fork on the spooky is extremely bouncy. We’ve got a doctor in our club who rides a mountain bike with one. It’s almost comical watching him cruise down the road.

    1. Lauf have a few different versions for different applications, the one on the spooky is a “grit” designed for gravel riding not mtb. I have not ridden it but I have had first hand comments from cyclists about it being very good. I am kinda considering one for my gravel setup, but obviously I would ride it first.

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