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Chris King vs. Dura Ace Hubs(24 posts)

Chris King vs. Dura Ace Hubsriney
Apr 2, 2002 4:37 AM
Looking into building a new set of wheels and wondering if the King hubs are a worthy upgrade...?
re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace HubsMike Prince
Apr 2, 2002 5:32 AM
For the amount of money the upgrade costs, I'd stick with the Dura-Ace option. The weight savings is not significant and while the King hubs, like the headsets, are very nicely engineered they are pretty loud when freewheeling. If you like a "quiet" drivetrain this could be bothersome.

If the money's burning a hole in your pocket, you won't go wrong with the Kings and I suppose there is a certain "cool factor" as they are not the most common hubs around. However, from a performance standpoint you won't gain anything by upgrading.

re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace HubsChen2
Apr 2, 2002 6:57 AM
I just built a wheel set with King hubs and I agree with Mike, they're not necessarily worth the cost. In fact I don't think I would use them again, and they are noisy. I think hubs on my Mavic built wheels are better.
BZZZZZZZZZZZ......look I've got King hubs!grzy
Apr 2, 2002 9:52 AM
The noise will drive you and others crazy. Might be good motivation to keep pedaling. ;-)
God, ain't that the truthpmf1
Apr 2, 2002 10:52 AM
I can hear them a hundred yards away. Lots noisier than Campy that I also find annoying.
Exactly! Downright embarrassing. (nm)Chen2
Apr 2, 2002 11:36 AM
BZZZ..look at my King hubs that will outlast 5 bikes !!! ;o)IAmtnbikr
Apr 3, 2002 9:59 AM
strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. nmweiwentg
Apr 3, 2002 8:32 PM
What's all the fuss about?k
Apr 6, 2002 4:05 PM
I ask all the detractors. I've never used them for road wheels so I couldn't comment versus Dura-Ace (Ksyriums). In 3 seasons racing mountian bikes I have never had to replace my King Hubs. In 6 months, the XTR set before that found it's way in the garbage. Talk about a waste of time and money. There isn't a better engineered and service supported product. Besides the light weight, the rear hub catches much faster in shifting. If they were Campy compatible, I would strongly consider them .

Hey, speaking of 700lb, Marlins..that's Shimano's sport. BZZZZZZZ....during a race it scares the f%&k out of people downhill. Yeah, I'm talking mountain bikes here.

re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace Hubsbiknben
Apr 2, 2002 7:19 AM
I would say the bigest advantage to King products is durability. IMHO, King got his reputation in MT biking where durability is a big issue. On the road, durability is not as big a factor and components do not wear nearly as fast. Those DA hubs will last plenty long. Save the money or spend it elsewhere.

For the record, if you were talking about headsets, I might sing a different toon. A king headset is so solid and trouble free it probably warrants the extra expense.
re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace Hubsgtx
Apr 2, 2002 7:42 AM
I use a King on the front wheel of my mtb (XTR rear), and it's a frantastic design and great with a suspension fork. But I don't think they are really worth it for the road. I'd just go DA--light, classic looks, durable and a good value.
You guys are bumming me out :o(sodade
Apr 2, 2002 11:28 AM
I am the happy owner of new Chis Kings mated to OpenPro CDs. I happen to like my new wheels very much thank you. So they are only a little lighter than Dura Ace. So they are loud (it's personality). Can you adjust Dura Ace hubs with just two hex wrenches? Can you go to Shimano's site and watch videos on how to rebuild them? (can you find any useful info at all on Shimano's site?) Are the CKs more bombproof than DA? I dunno, but they sure seem it. I also like the instant engagement. Do they make my bike just a little more cool? Yes.
Frankly, it was the videos that sold me. That, to me, is high class. Just like the Campy vs. Shimano argument. Campy is high zoot. If their shifters fit my hands, I would have Record instead of DuraAce.
Fly that Chris King flag proudly!!!!Quack
Apr 2, 2002 12:28 PM
I commend you on your purchase of Chris King hubs. I went the Dura-Ace route for financial reasons and still feel a bit guilty for it. People will knock King's hubs for being noisy and not much lighter than DA and overpriced, but the bottom line is that King's hubs are superior in all categories important: weight, strength, engagement speed, and most of all, made in the USA.

I urge you to visit their website and read their Company informational link. They appear to be a group of cycling enthusiasts that are capable of manufacturing superior bicycling components while having a minimal impact on the environment. Do you think Shimano gives a rat's ass about using natural lighting for their factories or the most green friendly materials in their construction. Shimano is very lucky that 99.9% of bicycle owners(myself included) are too cheap to run components such as King's.

If even 2% of bicyclists insisted on using King's products on their bikes, we might possibly see an entire Chris King groupo in a couple years. Imagine a US handmade frame with a King groupo winning the Tour. Until then, I guess we'll keep riding our cookie cutter frames with our Shimano groupos wearing clothing manufactured overseas by illiterate children that can't even afford bikes.

Being willing to spend more money on components that are USA made means much more to this country than hanging some cheap-ass flag in a car window. This thread has inspired me. I think I'll crack out the VISA card and order up a set of hubs and a headset today. Thanks.
An Entire King Group! Ha!TJeanloz
Apr 2, 2002 12:43 PM
Chris King has only successfully designed two products, a headset and a hubset. The rear hub took 3 years longer than the front to bring to production. And the quality just isn't there. In my bike shop career, I had to warranty half a dozen King rear hubs, I don't recall ever sending back a DA hub. Most of the issues were with the freehub body. I think the King rear hub is an over-hyped, over-priced trinket that leans on the King reputation to sell itself.

The longest running joke in the industry has been the vaporware King Bottom Bracket, first promised around 1996, yet to appear. At their rate of progress, a full group would take a lifetime of development- and then you wouldn't be able to get one anyways.
Made in the USAlaffeaux
Apr 2, 2002 1:15 PM
I use King headsets and think they're great, and I think that King is a good company. However I'm not going to jump on the "made in the USA" is better band wagon. There are many American companies that don't give a crap about the environment, employee working conditions, product innovation, or consumers. Buying American means little to me. Buying from a company that treats consumers and the environment well, regardless of their location, means something to me.

Welcome to the global economy.
Made in the USATonyR
Apr 3, 2002 1:46 PM
I agree with you to point. The big American companies (Trek, for example) are not who I would show loyality to. Rather, we have some great builders of frames and components in this country who deserve your dollars, and as an American I want to see succeed. On nearly every occasion, I have found that they try to handle customers with respect and genuine care.
In terms of the environment you can bet that companies that build things in the US are more responsible than those any place else in the world. I've been to Taiwan and China, and they are nightmares in this regard. There is no thought given to air or water quality that I could see. I've also seen how frame are built in Italy, and would be considered sweatshop conditions in this country.
Lastly, have you ever had a warranty concern with foreign company? People bitch about the big guys over here, but try getting help from Giant or Pinarello, they are both a joke.
Sorry, but based on experience I'll buy American made stuff because by and large, companies here care about the consumer AND the environment, and I do want to see fellow American have jobs building products that I admire and use.


BTW, the Carnacs are going as soon as I can afford to replace them with a pair of Rocket7's. No more French stuff for me ever. I've had it with them.
Apr 2, 2002 1:29 PM
just buy the DA hubs and send the $200+ you save to charity to help those illiterate children that can't even afford bikes.
Yep (nm)Chen2
Apr 2, 2002 2:54 PM
Yep (nm)atpjunkie
Apr 2, 2002 5:06 PM
Hey and if you are a Salt water Fisherman coasting on a King Rear Hub is the closest thing to hooking a 700 lb Marlin (it was released unharmed). The hub sounds just like a Fishing Reel on a big run, or a Hive of angry bees. It's good people are at least thinking about the policies and politics of the companies they support, I commend you all. My only gripe w/ Shimano is how they squeeze out smaller botique mfgr's with shady OEM deals. (selling brakes at a loss to beat out competition and making it up in derailleur prices) It smells of Microsoft but that's another discussion. Hugi makes some fine hubs as well, quiet, affordable and user servicable.
Lotsa luck
Apr 4, 2002 6:19 PM
jesus.. how can someone be so dumb on just three paragraphs of an internet forum.
Apr 4, 2002 7:24 PM
And your comment was directed at who?
Great idea!Quack
Apr 8, 2002 7:26 AM
That's a great idea. Only one problem. By the time the $200 makes it there, it will be $20, and I'll still have a hubset the equivalent of a Camaro when I should have bought the Vette.

re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace HubsJaybo
Apr 3, 2002 11:49 AM
Well, I have King hubs on my mountain bike and Ultegra on my road bike. The King hubs are way cool: light, durable, and prestiges. However, that said, I like my Ultegra just as well as my Kings (if not better for road to avoid the noise of freewheeling). A couple times a year I regrease the Ultegra hubs in an hour or less, so they roll like new. The King's take a special tool to get deep into the hubs, but need less maintenance due to awesome seals. I don't know, I would go Dura Ace and save the dough along with having a quiet hub. I love to roll with no noise when I'm seeking road bike nirvana. You can't really lose with either.
re: Chris King vs. Dura Ace Hubspat1
Apr 5, 2002 9:13 AM
To each his own. After riding Dura Ace for many years, I took the plunge and had a new set of wheels built with CK hubs (mavic cxp33's). No regrets here. If you can handle the chunk of change, get them. They are some of the best machining and engineering that I have seen. Customer service is second to none (try getting any help from the big "S"). Regarding the buzzing, if the ring drive is properly lubed, the sound is not that bad. The instant engagement of the ring drive is well worth the sound. Two 5mm allens take care of all service and maintenance, with the exception of major pulling of the cartridge bearings (rarely needed). The initial quality problems when the hubs were first launched were due to an AL cassette shell that has now been replaced with stainless. Go to and see for yourself.

We can argue this point all day, but it's the same as the Porsche/VW debate. Both products are good, but you'll never regret buying the CK hubs.