Build an ultra-fast race wheel around the super-light and incomparably smooth Chris King R45 Road Hub. These racing-specific hubs offer a 20-percent reduction in weight over the already light Classic Hubs and come in a variety of spoke drillings to accommodate your wildest wheel-building dreams.Precision-machined stainless steel bearings provide a smooth, fast rideAluminum hub shell is built to lastAnodized finish looks great and wears well
Strengths: The sheer quality of the engineering straight from the US of A means the hubs are creamy goodness matched with lightning quick speed.
Weaknesses: Chris King don't make enough of the manufacturing quality and tolerances employed in building these products.
I decided a year ago to upgrade my wheels from Mavic SLR WTS as they were simply not sturdy enough for a large (230lb) rider. Spoke to my wheel builder in the UK about various options and decided on some Enve 3.4 rims matched to the Chris King R45 hubs with Ceramic bearings and Sapim CX ray spokes. Having used them since the spring and covered about 3000 miles so far they are simply sublime. They have got better and better as the miles have increased.
The wheels spin so fast on the flat and certainly save me some effort on the rides. Along with the extensive warranty these are a must have.
I wish that Chris King made a lot more of the fact these are made in America, even though I am from the UK, as I am sure people want to support local businesses against the Far Eastern manufactured products if the quality and reliability is there.
All in all I cannot praise these hubs and Chris King enough for their products.
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2014
Strengths: Purty...as a shiny ornament
Weaknesses: Not for actual wheel building or use in a real-world cycling application.
Rear hub flew apart like a tissue-paper shack in a hurricane...on the very first ride. Unless you are a 135lb pro that gets everything for free, stay far away from pseudo-boutique crapola like these hubs. "Regular" folks will do much, much better just sticking to Shimano Ultegra hubs...and will have lots of bux leftover for copious amounts of post-ride beer. .
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2013
Strengths: Nice performance, quiet rear hub with nice hum when spinning (unlike Mavic's loud clicking)
Weaknesses: PEWTER COLOR IS REALLY LAVENDER IN SUNLIGHT
I ordered the R45's on a set of custom built wheels. In looking at the rainbow of colors available on the Chris King website, I went with "pewter" since it appeared to be a cool dark grey. When I got the wheels outside in the sunlight, I realized that they had turned from grey to what I would describe as... somewhere between purple and pink mixed with grey.
I called CK to see if maybe mine were just a bad set since they did not appear as pictured on their website and was told that the anodized finish has that effect in light, causing them to shimmer in tones of red and purple. They explained it as though it was a cool feature and that there was nothing they could do.. I told him to change the website pics to be more accurate.
Now I have a black bike with red/white accents...and purple hubs. I'll be buying a can of spray paint the next time I walk by a hardware store - it is that annoying.
Weaknesses: An expensive luxury, and not necessarily the lightest hub out there. Aluminium alloy cassette body a little soft and prone to scoring, but you're not going to see that on the road.
3,000 miles so far, and they've performed flawlessly. The front hub does what a front hub should do, but the rear is where the magic is. Engagement is very quick, which isn't normally noticeable on the flats, but phenomenal on hills and in rolling terrain. Laced to Stan's Alpha 340 rims with Sapim CX-Ray spokes for a stiff, light wheel (24/28 F/R), total weight around 1,300gms for the set. In fact, the Chris King R45/340/CX-Ray rear with an Ultegra casette weighs less the front stock Bontrager SSR alloy clincher on my Madone, taking a full 600gms of the weight of the bike for around $1k.
Best part about these hubs, though, is the freewheel noise... That angry bee noise isn't as obtrusive as the competition (especially the DT-240s), but makes a very satisfying noise as you fly down hill. Enough to encourage you to climb just to hear that noise on the way back down!
Strengths: Solid and well-built, Made in America, Angry bee sound.
I had these wheels built by my LBS. I chose the Chris King R45 road hubs after having good results from their cross hubs. I matched them to HED Belgium C2 rims with DT Swiss spokes. These wheels replaced my Mavic SL Premiums after I cracked my rear rim with a big pothole. These wheels are heavier than the Mavics, which I expected, and have 32 spokes. The weight and the spoke count are virtually unnoticeable. These wheels are smooth and spin up easily. I have the option of running lower tire pressure with the HED rims which makes them better on broken pavement. The hubs are well-made and have the Chris King bee sound I have come to love. If you want "Made in America" quality then go with Chris King and match them to the rim of your choice. I also use Chris King cross hubs on my cross bike matched with Mavic Open Pro rims. I love them as well.
I posted this in the wrenching forum too, but thought it might get more reads here.
I built a wheel using a 2012 Chris King R45 Shimano/Sram 10-speed rear hub, and now I'm thinking of going to 11-speed. There is a $250 upgrade kit available that comes with a new axle, bearings, and freehub shell. ... Read More »
I built a wheel using a 2012 Chris King R45 Shimano/Sram 10-speed rear hub, and now I'm thinking of going to 11-speed. There is a $250 upgrade kit available that comes with a new axle, bearings, and freehub shell. I can also get just a freehub shell with bearings (already pressed into it) for about ... Read More »
$600 for a R45 chris king/open pro wheelset. Is that a good deal? Also, is texascyclesport a legit site/has good reviews?
Are 11-spd R45 hub compatible with 10 speed drivetrain? I don't see myself going to 11 speed in the near future.
Thanks!Read More »
As many of you may know - Chris King is now building their own wheels. You can get the R45 hub laced to different rims and different ride-specific spokes - [url]https://chrisking.com/wheels[/url]
A shop I work for we purchased a set of 28 front and rear HED Belgium + rims. We were very happy ... Read More »