The long awaited Chris King R45 hubs are hitting the door at the Pro Cycle Works studio. Prior to handling this hub set, I wondered how could they improve a hub design already above and beyond their competitors?
Since the original Chris King hub-set, the benchmark has been set high. King hubs have always had a much more responsive free hub body mechanism than the competition. This is especially noticeable when you are riding and about to attack a hill, or when doing a low speed technical maneuver where modulation of power is critical. Immediately, you notice the superior engagement of power delivery of King hubs.
Standard King hubs use a 72-tooth drive ring. This design has over 3 times the number of engagement points of a standard free hub body that uses 24 points of engagement!
This revised, road specific hub set weighs about 100 grams less then the standard road version. The front hub weighs 102 grams and the rear weighs in at 215 grams. Various hole configurations available to suit and even low spoke count options, which are ideal for building custom carbon wheels.
Window cut outs on the rear hub, none drive side flange, knocked the weight down further and provide an interesting aesthetic detail. Weight was dropped off of the R45 set by using a titanium ring drive with 45 points of engagement vs. the standard 72. This is still much more response then the 24-point engagement.
Because of the reduced number of engagements, the hub dramatically quiets down. The “angry Bee sound” that has long been synonymous with King hubs is now gone with the past. Lower drag seals that reduce friction while protecting the bearings are now also being used. This minor update may sound ridiculous to some, but others take it very seriously in the world of watts competition. I can’t wait to get the first ride on them!