chris king precision components
As Portland’s largest bicycle company, Chris King Precision Components is in a unique position to be an industry leader. With the success of their mini-summit of bike builders and industry movers and shakers that wrapped up with a big open house event Saturday, the 42-year-old company seems to be embracing that role.
The halls of the Chris King factory were jam-packed for the “Open House” show on Saturday. Among massive industrial machines and assembly rooms that put together some of the most respected and sought after bicycle components in the world, hundreds of bicycle lovers got an close-up look at a very special selection of bicycles and the builders who create them.
For the man behind the brand, Chris King, the gathering must have felt bittersweet. A framebuilder himself, King decided to cease production of his Cielo brand just over one year ago so his company could focus more closely on its core business: designing, making, and selling bottom brackets, headsets, and hubs. King, who still spends about three days a week in the shop, is obsessive about quality and his company makes nearly every piece of their products themselves (yes, even the bearings). Manufacturing products in the United States is hard enough without having to constantly react to the whims of product managers and marketers who seem to push a new wheel size, head-tube size or axle configuration every season.
Portland’s largest bike industry company plans to throw open its factory doors next week.
If you were waiting to order a Cielo, it’s too late.
Portland-based Chris King Precision Components (CKPC) announced yesterday that they’ve ceased production of all Cielo frames, forks and stems effective immediately.
In a statement, the company said, “After reevaluating marketing and sales goals for the coming years, Cielo unfortunately did not fit into our plans. We are quite proud of the product that the brand has produced over the years, but will be focusing our attention and resources on our core product families (headsets, bottom brackets, and hubs).”
Cielo was started by Chris King in Santa Barbara California 1978. By the mid 1980s King’s headsets had become so popular that he stopped making bikes to keep up with the demands of his fast-growing company. As his headset (and later hubset and bottom bracket) business grew he added staff and moved his business from Santa Barbara to Redding (CA) and then ultimately to Portland in 2003. Once settled into a large manufacturing facility in the northwest industrial district and with a healthy business (the company now employs over 130 people), King rekindled the Cielo brand in 2008.
(Photo: Chris King Precision Components)
Portland’s burgeoning bicycling relationship with Japan will now include a few great meals.
Chris King Precision Components, a manufacturer of headsets, hubs, bicycles, and other parts based in the northwest industrial district, has announced that their annual Gourmet Century event will venture to Japan for the first time ever.
The event, which started in 1999 in Santa Ynez, California, has expanded to five cities in 2015. The company announced yesterday that Aichi, Japan (June 6th) and Asheville, North Carolina (August 22nd) are the two new locations.
As we shared after taking part in the 2013 edition, the Gourmet Century is part bike ride, part traveling feast. Participants pedal a “pleasantly challenging” route that works up an appetite. Then they’re treated to fine snacks and meals of fresh, gourmet food dreamed up by professional chefs specifically to satisfy a bicycling appetite.[Read more…]
Chris King Precision Components has hired well-known Portland chef Chris DiMinno. DiMinno has spent the past five years as head chef at Clyde Common, a popular restaurant on SW Stark adjacent to the Ace Hotel. The move by King has made headlines in the local food scene and it cements the company’s already strong connection between bikes and food.
As we shared earlier this month, Chris King (the man and the company) is well known in the bicycle industry for a commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Those principals have been pillars of the company for over thirty years and have established it as one of the strongest brands in the cycling world. What is lesser known is King’s love of gourmet food (as chronicled by The Oregonian). From the company’s long-running annual event, the “Gourmet Century” and their “Cielo Salon,” to their on-site cafe which serves two, made-from-scratch meals a day for its 120 employees; King has now taken his love of food to a new level.[Read more…]
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
It’s sort of strange that Portland’s largest bicycle manufacturer isn’t known for making bicycles. But that’s the case with Chris King Precision Components, a company with 120+ employees that operates a 70,000 square foot factory in Portland’s northwest industrial district. [Read more…]
Big staffing move from Portland largest bicycle company:
Chris King Precision Components is pleased to announce that effective October 7th, 2013 Kris “Kirby” Bedsaul will be starting as General Manager for Chris King Precision Components and Cielo Bicycles.
Kirby has a long relationship with Chris King Precision Components having managed sales in the early 2000s and more recently acting as a regional sales rep. on the east coast. In 2003 family commitments took him across the country to Asheville, NC were he built and co-owned 5 finance business’ while continuing his work in bicycle advocacy. Kirby was a founding member of the Asheville cyclocross series.