chris king precision components

Builders and fans converge at Chris King factory for ‘Open House’ show

Avatar by on October 15th, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Chris King welcomed visitors to his factory on Saturday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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.
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Component maker Chris King will open its doors for builders and fans next week

Avatar by on October 2nd, 2018 at 11:02 am

King employees 75 people at their factory and headquarters in northwest industrial.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s largest bike industry company plans to throw open its factory doors next week.
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Portland-based Chris King ceases production of Cielo frames

Avatar by on August 16th, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Chris King Cielo Cycles factory  -48

An employee puts finishing touches on a Cielo frame at the factory in 2013.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.
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Industry Ticker: Cielo (by Chris King) brings in notable builders to help meet demand

Avatar by on July 17th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

inglisandsycip

Well-respected bicycle makers Jeremy Sycip (left) and Curtis Inglis (right) are lending at hand to help meet demand at Portland-based Cielo.
(Photo: Chris King Precision Components)

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Chris King’s ‘Gourmet Century’ will serve fans in Japan this summer

Avatar by on February 4th, 2015 at 11:26 am

Chris King Gourmet Century-23

The event stopped at Chris King’s rural residence in 2013.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

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 hires former head chef of Clyde Common

Avatar by on November 12th, 2013 at 10:24 am

Chris King Gourmet Century-25

Chris DiMinno, shown here at the 2013
Chris King Gourmet Century.
(Photo by J. M

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…]

The making of a Cielo; a bike that’s purely Portland

Avatar by on November 1st, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Chris King Cielo Cycles factory  -5

King Cycle Group employee Danny Hayford secures a dropout inside a CNC machine; one of several processes the parts go through before they end up on a Cielo frame.
(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…]

Kris Bedsaul named new Chris King/Cielo Bicycles GM

Avatar by on October 1st, 2013 at 11:48 am

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.
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Local industry news roundup: King, Zen, Rapha, Dalton, Murphy and Kinn

Avatar by on September 24th, 2013 at 11:00 am

Greg Hudson is featured in a promo shot for
Chris King’s new wheelset offerings.

With the big bicycle industry trade show (Interbike) just wrapping up, and with lots of local bike industry news piling up on my desk in the past few weeks, I figured it was time for another roundup…

Chris King Precision Components now offers complete wheelsets
Northwest Portland-based component manufacturer Chris King made a big announcement before Interbike: They now have a full-fledged wheel building program. The new line of wheels is built in-house and they offer models for road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes (ranging from $1,000 to $3,300 a set). They come with Chris King hubs (obviously) and are built up with an “intentionally selected” and “pedigreed list” of parts from respected industry brands. King’s wheel program is being overseen by Greg Hudson, formerly of Corsa Concepts. Get pricing info and learn more at ChrisKing.com.[Read more…]

U.S. Sec of Commerce will visit United Bicycle Institute in North Portland

Avatar by on September 4th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Secretary of Commerce (and triathlete)
Penny Pritzker.
(Photo: US Dept. of Commerce)

In the latest nod to Portland’s reputation as an epicenter of the bicycle industry, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will visit United Bicycle Institute (UBI) in North Portland on Friday.

The Department of Commerce announced the event as part of Sec. Pritzker’s nationwide “listening tour.” “In these discussions,” reads a media statement, “Secretary Pritzker will hear about their priorities, concerns and ideas on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create American jobs.”

UBI has been chosen as a tour stop because, the Dept. of Commerce says, it’s, “the bicycle industry’s leading technical school.” The North Portland campus (they also have a campus in Ashland) offers courses in bicycle repair, frame building and professional mechanic certification. While at UBI, Pritzker will meet with staff and hold a roundtable discussion with representatives from the local bicycle industry.[Read more…]