Chris King R45 road hubs are some of the most highly sought after components in the bicycle industry being both engineering masterpieces and examples of meticulous craftsmanship. Those who have taken them apart and seen how they work often compare the precision and detail to that of the inner workings of a watch. Yet they’re light, strong and easy to service. We saw the new Chris King R45 at Eurobike 2010 and we have been deeply impressed by the hub design and quality of finish ever since. Now available in 11 speed ready freehubs for Campagnolo and Shimano / SRAM groupsets (and a spacer for 10 speed groupsets) in road and 6 bolt disc format.
Strada says – we love Chris King R45 hubs. With an industry leading 5 year warranty on the internal, 10 year warranty on the flanges and deep rich anodisation, Chris King R45 hubs are a very popular choice for Strada riders. The 72 engagement teeth bite quickly for a snappy response. The ringdrive system is clever and reliable. They can be field serviced with 2x 5mm allen keys. The pre-load adjuster is simple to use. The bearings are smooth and reliable. Once a pair of rims have expired the R45 can be used again and again on fresh rims so consider them an investment. Weight: rear 215 grams front 102 grams. Note – it is difficult / expensive to swap freehubs from Campagnolo to Shimano. The Campagnolo lockring supplied is specific to the cassette (11T or 12T).
Design – the engineering team began every design meeting for the Chris King R45 with two words – Light & Fast. Every element of each hub was reconsidered and much of the design is all-new including new dimensions and new materials. The Chris King R45 hubset is 20% lighter than the Classic hubset at 102g front and 215g rear. They started by making both front and rear hubshells smaller and sleeker and then adding all-new 17mm axles. That’s 17mm from dropout to dropout resisiting deflection during cornering or when the power is full on. They designed a new driveshell to fit the new rear hub design, removing as much weight as possible from the shell and its inner components. But the highlight of the new rear hub is the 45-tooth stainless steel RingDrive. The RingDrive is light but also because with a lower tooth count than our standard RingDrive it is remarkably quiet. Something very important they did carry over, however, is the soul of a Chris King hub. Same user serviceability and same 5-year warranty. Contact Strada to order your new hand built Chris King wheelset.
Bearings – the Chris King R45 hub has it’s own all-new stainless steel sealed bearings. As with every King bearing, these bearings are made in-house in Portland, Oregon and individually hand-checked for precision and smoothness. The Chris King proprietary bearing design allows us to place more rolling elements per bearing meaning greater durability and precision. Chris King R45 bearings also feature lightweight, low-friction seals for fast rolling and can be easily serviced at regular intervals using only a single 2.5mm hex wrench and penknife.
Ceramic Bearings – Chris King make their own ceramic bearings and build them to the same exacting standards as their classic, time-tested stainless steel ball model. Pairing the corrosion resistance of ceramic balls with our proven sealing system allows for greater flexibility with greasing options. Chris King build their ceramic bearing R45 hubs with a very small amount of silicone-based lube for a system with very low drag.
Drillings – in response to demand for handbuilt, low-spoke count wheels, Chris King offer the R45 in a wider array of drillings than the Classic hubs. The R45 is also designed to be compatible with radial lacing patterns. Chris King R45 Road Racing hubs are available in ten colours: polished, black, pewter, blue, red, green, yellow, mango and pink and the following drill patterns: front 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, rear: 20, 24, 28, 32.
RingDrive™ Engagement Mechanism – the RingDrive uses 72 engagement teeth on each drive ring. This means that the hub engages over 3 times quicker than the standard 24 tooth pawl-type freehub. This unique design offers instant and positive engagement that is capable of handling a torque load of over 800ft/lbs, or over three times more than most other high end hubs. Rather than a standard pawl-type freehub design (where the spring-loaded pawls engage with teeth when you pedal forward, but are pushed inside when you don’t), Chris King use a pair of toothed rings that engage around the full circumference of the hub. They slide over one another when you’re not pedaling forward, but a spring ensures they engage when you put the power in. And rather than the standard 24 teeth, you get 45 stainless steel engagement teeth here. That’s fewer than the mountain bike version which has 72, but it still means that they catch that much faster than usual. With 45 teeth, there’s just 8° of rotation before engagement, so you never get much of a delay between starting to move the pedals and applying the pressure to the rear wheel. Other unique features include the ultra stiff 19.5mm constant diameter axle (through the bearings to the dropouts), time tested and proven bearings and a 5 year warranty.
About Chris King – Chris King is one of the most renowned makers of cycle headsets, hubs, bottom brackets, wheels and tools. Chris King is a name that is associated with exceptional quality and precision. Since the early 1980’s Chris King’s products have upheld their reputation of making products that can withstand the harsh punishment of off-road riding.