Latest news, product updates, technical how to's, bling builds and more from AVT Bike.

Archives for October, 2018

Upgrading Chris King hubs to black parts.

You might have noticed that Chris King Matte finish hubs (Matte Jet, Punch & Slate) come fitted with all black external facing parts like axle, end caps which complement the matte finish perfectly. Thankfully now though, the black parts are all available individually which allows any color Chris King hub to be upgraded to a custom looking black finish which looks great with colors like Turquoise, Mango or Black.

Here's a taste of what a pair of Turquoise BOOST hubs looks like before & after.



If you're looking to make this upgrade we've grouped together the individual parts required for the most common hub types (please note that the parts required are not available for every single Chris King hub) which you can check out here. We can also do the heavy lifting for you and have our AVTWorks tech team carry out the work for you (contact us for more info...).

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Plenty To Love About White Industries Hubs

including a discount code!

Here at AVT.Bike we sell a lot of Chris King components, and they are many people's go-to hubs for good reason! But did you know that there are also some great other alternatives if you're looking for a pair of high quality Made-In-USA hubs?

White Industries offers some excellent product that come in certain colors that are no longer available from Chris King like Pink, Purple and Gold. They also come in at a slightly lower price point for a pair of hubs without much of a compromise on quality, reliability or serviceability. 

The big difference when comparing White Industries & Chris King is that while Chris King manufacture all of their own bearings in house, White Industries spec a sealed cartridge bearing from Enduro on all of its hubs, headsets and BB's.

Photo: White Industries.

We're also big fans of the heavily laser etched White Industries logo that's featured on every hub and will be visible for many years to come. The other feature we love about White Industries hubs is the Titanium freehub body that comes as standard on all versions (Shimano, XD and Campy) which helps to keep the weight down, especially on a lightweight pair of climbing wheels

Here's a brief reminder on these 3 main hub types:

T11 is White Industries traditional road (ie caliper brake) hubset, they come in a QR version only and with either a Shimano or Campy Ti Freehub. 

CLD is White Industries latest centerlock disc hubset. These can be used for both MTB and disc road / gravel / cx and come in a range of axle widths for QR and Thru Axle. CLD+ is the BOOST version of this hubset.

XMR is White Industries 6-Bolt disc hubset. Again these can be used for both MTB and disc road / gravel / cx and come in a range of axle widths for QR and Thru Axle. XMR+ is the BOOST version of this hubset which only comes in Black / Silver.

All of the above hubs are available in the following colors: Silver, Black, Purple, Gold, Pink, Blue, Red.

You can also match the hub color to one of White's new headsets:

Photo: White Industries.

Photo: White Industries. Titanium Freehubs In Production.

Photo: White Industries. Hub shells patiently waiting for the next stage of life.

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Customer Builds: Green Vintage Fixie

One of our customers recently sent us photos from a project that he had just completed, and we wanted to share it with the rest of you!

He told us that he started out with a Gazelle Champion Mondial frame (made with Reynolds famous 531 tubing) from 1985.  He wanted to make the bike into something unique and special so he removed the cable guides and braze-ons that he wouldn’t need for the completed bike, and sanded it down for repainting.  After painting the bike what he calls “bridge tablecloth green”, he cut out a 24 carat gold leaf head badge and accents to complete the look.

Parts-wise, we helped him get one of the last Paul Components cranksets and one of their chainrings to go with it, as well as a Phil Wood bottom bracket and hubset.  The Paul Components chainring ties in with the bike’s theme nicely, and we’re happy to have been able to supply him with the pieces he needed to get his vision rolling.

Do you have a bike that you’d like to turn into something special?  We love helping riders build their dream bikes no matter what form those dreams take, so let us know what you’re looking to build.

It’s also really rewarding for us to see the final results, so don’t hesitate to send us photos of your bikes once they’re finished!

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Paul Flat Mount Klampers Are Here!

Now it doesn't matter what type of disc mount you have because there's a Paul Klamper for you!

The new Paul Component Engineering Flat Mount Klampers are here

Paul has been synonymous with the best you can buy in rim brakes for over 20 years, but until the introduction of the Klamper, riders who used disc brakes were left out it in the cold if they wanted a high-quality, US-Made brake for their bike. 

Since their introduction in 2015, Paul Klamper disc brake calipers have set the standard for quality, US designed and manufactured cable-actuated disc brakes, but until now they've only been available to fit post or I.S. mounts.  Given the increasing use of the flat mount standard, this has meant that more and more riders with gravel or road bikes, for whom the Klampers would be a perfect fit (not to mention a classy accent for their bike!), have either had to look for a frame and fork built around the I.S. or Post mount standards, or simply use a lower-quality brake.

But now the wait is over! Available in a short-pull (for Sram/Shimano drop-bar and other short pull levers) or Campagnolo-pull configuration, in the usual range of black and silver with either matching or orange accents, these easily adjustable, fully serviceable, and rebuild-able brakes don't just look amazing: they've got great power and modulation and are built to last!

We're really excited to be able to offer these, so let us know if you have any questions about which will work best on your bike!  You can get yours here, and as always, just let us know if you need any help figuring out which configuration will work best with your bike!

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Chris King Dropset™ 1,2 or 3? Which One Will Fit My Bike?

A few months back Chris King launched their long awaited DropSet 1, their first integrated headset and first headset with a ceramic bearing option. Like most people we were stoked about this new product, but it did have a relatively specific list of compatible frames from Santa Crus, IBIS, Alchemy plus a few others. 

So we knew it wouldn't be long before the rest of the DropSet range would be here, offering a MUCH MUCH greater selection of compatible frames and forks. That time is now, and the DropSet 2 and 3 are now available in all 9 standard colors, plus 2 brand new colors for 2019 (Matte Turquiose and Matte Mango).

The DropSet range now comprises 3 products.

DropSet™ 1: IS41/28.6 45/45 degree Upper Bearing, IS52/40 45/45 degree Lower Bearing (fits many Santa Cruz, Yeti, Alchemy, IBIS).

DropSet™ 2:
IS42/28.6 45/45 degree Upper Bearing, IS52/40 45/45 degree Lower Bearing (fits OPEN plus many Specialized, Trek, Cervelo and other major road and MTB brands).

DropSet™ 3:
IS41/28.6 45/45 degree Upper Bearing, IS52/40 36/45 degree Lower Bearing (fits forks with a 36/45 degree crown race).

How To Work Out Which Size You Need.

1. Consult Your Bike Manufacturers Headset Spec.

Most major bike / frame manufacturers will list the headset spec on the relevant product page on their website, so this is the best place to start and compare the bearing size (ie 42/52) and contact angle (ie 36/45) with each of the DropSet sizes.

2. Remove Your Headset Bearings And Check Their Size.

We were curious this week building up a new staff bike, an OPEN UP to see which of the new DropSets would fit so we just popped out the stock Cane Creek bearings to check the sizes printed on them. You can see in these 2 photo's they have sizes marked on which correlates to the DropSet 2.

Upper Bearing.

Lower Bearing.

3. Consult the Cane Creek Fit Finder. 

Cane Creek have put together this very useful Fit Finder app which lists over 17,000 different bike brands and models and their corresponding headset sizes. Just look up your bike, note the bearing size and compare to the DropSet sizes.

4. Contact Us And We Can Help You Find Out.

Shoot us an email, hit us up on Live Chat or phone and we'll be happy to help you figure out which size you need so you can get that integrated headset running sweetly for many years to come...

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    Custom parts kits are our specialty!

    Do you want to make a matching kit, but aren't sure how to do it? We're here to help!

    One of the things we enjoy most is helping our customers get the best parts kit for their bikes.  Sometimes that means something as simple as making sure they get the right headset or bottom bracket for their bike, but other times that means helping them match-up parts from various manufacturers to create a cohesive group that will give them a beautiful and functional build!  And remember also that just because these photos don't have wheels as part of them, we can also build complete wheels to fill-out your kit!

    Because White Industries offers their cranksets with a variety of extractor cap colors, you can match your cranks to the rest of your parts in a really low-key, but effective way! This kit includes the White Industries M30 crank with Chris King ISO B Front and ISO B Rear Hubs, and a Chris King Threadfit 30 bottom bracket in Matte Punch.

    Not everyone knows that Chris King makes beautiful headset spacers to match their other parts. This kit includes their ISO AB Front and ISO B Rear Hubs, Threadfit 30 Bottom Bracket, InSet 2 Headset, and Spacer Kit all in Matte Slate.
    This White Industries kit includes the M30 Crank, BSA Threaded Bottom Bracket, and Zero-Stack 44 / External Cup 44 Headset in blue.

    Sometimes black is best! This kit includes White Industries' M30 Crank, BSA Threaded Bottom Bracket, and Zero Stack 44 / External Cup 44 Headset all in black.

    Click Here To Read More.

    Some of Our Favorites from the Chris King Open House

    As expected, Chris King's Open House brought with it many beautiful bikes.  We've collected some photos of a few of our favorites below. 

    The first of the bikes is one that you may have seen in our Instagram feed before the Last week: Rob English's custom gravel bike.  This bike is, like so many of Rob's bikes, beautiful and extremely unified in its appearance. 

    Rob uses Chris King's new Matte Mango R45 hubs and InSet as the major accent colors, which he echoes in the headbadge and tiny flecks in the paint.

    While these are purely aesthetic points, they seem hard to leave out when they are also examples of the unified approach Rob English seems to take with his bikes: the integrated seatmast that makes room for an extra bidon, and the short 150mm cranks that allow for a lower bottom bracket.  This bike seems like a perfect match for the Chris King components that it uses because while those components are colorful and beautiful, they're also some of the most durable and functional available.  This bike blends form and function really nicely, making it appropriate that it come first.

    The next bike that really stood out was this Mosaic GT1 uses Chris King's Matte Mango R45 hubs, InSet, and ThreadFit 24 Bottom Bracket to accent the amazing fade paintjob, and it also pulls in a seatclamp that matches the color of the Chris King parts pretty well.  It's worth noting that if you want to do this on your bike, we're happy to help!  We've found good matches for most of the colors that Chris King, White Industries, and Phil Wood offer, so just let us know if that's what you're after! 

    When fenders are painted to match the bike they really take on a whole new feel: this bike looks like a bit of springtime for a dark, rainy ride, and the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes would make it even
    more perfectly suited to that situation!

    The next bike that caught our attention is this Steel Refugio from Stinner.  First off, the paintjob is amazing: I mean, who doesn't love outer space all over their bike?  This thing looks like half of it's a sun, and half is the expanse of space, and if that isn't good enough, then I don't know what is!  The Matte Mango parts perfectly set-off this paint job.

    ...But there's actually a lot more to it than that: this bike makes great use of the flexibility of Shimano's Di2 systems, and has quite a bit of tech tucked-into it!  The combination of Di2 dropbar levers, with the XTR Di2 rear derailleur allow it to have a wide range 1x drivetrain with Shimano's super-comfortable hydraulic Di2 levers.  In an interesting turn, the bike manages to mix things up a bit more by using a Sram crankset with a Quark power meter!  Who says there's no flexibility with modern drivetrains?  This bike shows that while there might not be as much as back in the friction-shifting days, there's still quite a bit of room to get creative with your build!

    Continuing the trend of unique drivetrains, this Klatch Pinion CTX from Co-Motion Cycles, which uses, as you might have guessed, the Pinion Gearbox.  We haven't gotten to actually ride this system, but from inspecting an open version, it's definitely a work of engineered art, and could be a great option for riders who really don't want to deal with an external gear system (or who just don't like to lube their chain, in this case).

    The Pinion Gearbox keeps this bike looking pretty simple, and the integrated seatmast and Chris King InSet 2 help maintain that look by keeping the accents fairly low-key.  One other interesting note about this bike is the shifter setup: the German company Tout Terrain, which has tended to specialize in very specialized touring parts and bikes, made these special drop-bar shift levers for the Pinion Gearbox.

    There weren't that many mountain bikes at the Open House, but this one from Sklar really caught out attention.  It's just so low-key, with its semi-clear finish, and has the feel of a classic klunker in the best sense.  We really like how well the Paul Klamper brakes match the Chris King Matte Mango parts!  The White Industries M30 Crankset mimics the shadowy look, and those Enve M630 wheels are going to make that one snappy klunker!

    In looking at the bikes we've talked about to this point, you'll notice that they all feature the Matte Mango color, so what about bikes with the new Matte Turquoise?  Since we've received these new colors at AVT, we've actually been really impressed by what a cool color it is, so we wanted to finish with a couple of bikes that use that color!

    Right down the street from us, Mike Desalvo builds some pretty sweet bikes, and this one is no exception: the simple lines are bounded by the Matte Turquoise R45 hubs, T47 bottom bracket, and InSet which together make for a bike that looks fast, but doesn't shout it out the way some of the other bikes do.  This bike looks like it would be very at home on the mix of pavement and dirt forest roads around us here in Ashland, Oregon!  We plan on bringing you more photos of this bike in the future too!


    One last bike that we just couldn't leave out is this Speedvagen Rugged Road, also decked-out in Chris King Matte Turquoise parts, Enve wheels, and a paint job that fits Speedvagen's racing pedigree perfectly.

    With the refinements we've come to expect from Speedvagen like the integrated seatmast with Enve internals, stainless steel clamping surface, and an incredibly clean look, heavily shaped tubing, and aggressive position, this bike might just make any ride into a race!

    If you've got any questions about the parts in these builds, feel free to get in touch!  Want to build a bike with the parts kit and wheels on one of these?  We've got you covered!  These are just some of our favorites, but there are plenty of others too, so check out the sources below for more photos if you like what you see here!

    Photos courtesy of The Radavist (photos 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, and 10), (photos 3, 4, 7, 8, and 11).

    Click Here To Read More.

    Alloy Wheels Are Better Than Ever!

    Alloy rims are still a great option for your road bike, and here are some of our favorites!

    With all of the focus on carbon rims these days, it would be natural to think that there was no place for alloy ones anymore; but in our opinion, that couldn't be further from the truth!  While carbon rims do offer some real benefits, they're expensive, and not necessarily the best choice (at least for bikes with rim brakes) for wet-weather riding because of generally poor braking in the wet.  And let's face it, not everyone has the money to drop on a new carbon wheelset–especially on a backup or winter wheelset.  Because of this we wanted to highlight a few alloy rims that we feel are not just OK second-choices, but that actually provide great performance and features that make them desirable options regardless of price.  Note that this post focuses on alloy road rims; in the future we'll talk about some of our favorite mountain rims.

    Alloy rim technology and profiles have come a long way from the ones we rode 20 years ago, bringing stronger, lighter alloys to wide, tubeless-compatible rim profiles.  And if you just don't want to go disc, or are looking for a nice wheelset to put on an older rim-brake bike, some of the best of these use a ceramic coating to deliver low-weight braking on par with discs that isn't affected by wet weather!  These rims make a great alternative to carbon for off-season rides, or just a lower-cost option for any time of year, but as noted above: don't let the lower price fool you, because these are great rims, and we ride and recommend them daily.    

    With that bit of introduction, here are a few of our favorites:

    HED Belgium Plus

    The HED Belgium rim was arguably the first high-performance rim that used a wider profile to spread the tire out to match the rim with more closely for greater aerodynamics and traction, and higher air-volume for a smoother ride.  Steve Hed had a very long history researching and making aerodynamic parts (we've all probably seen the famous HED tri-spoke wheel that has been a fixture of time trials and track racing), and this rim brings that no-how to a rim that is light, durable, and versatile, making it great for everyday use.  The Plus version of this rim (which is the one we offer with our wheelsets) adds 2mm to the overall width of the rim, which works better with the 25mm and up tire sizes that many of us ride these days.  And yes, the Belgium Plus is tubeless compatible, so you'll get a super-supple ride from your tires, and won't have to worry about every little sticker giving you a flat! 

    This rim is available with a machined brake track for rim brakes or without for discs.  This our go-to rim, and in our opinion, both of the complete options below are some of the best values in road wheels at the moment!

    • External width: 25mm
    • Depth: 24mm
    • Seam: Welded
    • Brake track: Machined (on rim brake model)
    • Tubeless Ready
    • Weight: 465 grams

    Complete Wheels built around Chris King R45 hubs are available here.

    Complete Wheels built around White Industries T11 hubs are available here.

    Astral Solstice

    If you're looking for a super-light, made-in-USA alloy rim, then this one just might be for you! 

    Astral has been keeping a low-profile, and their graphics are similarly low-key, but behind all of that is a high-quality alloy rim that won't make you pay any weight penalties.  Astral is one of the few companies that actually makes their rims entirely in the USA, and to our knowledge, is the only one making a welded rim in the USA, so this is a pretty special product.  Truth be told, the only beef we can find with Astral's rims is that the graphics are a bit ho-hum, but especially for a winter wheelset, your rims are likely to get dirty anyway so that really doesn't matter much.  Like the HED option above, the Solstice is tubeless ready so you can have the best ride quality and puncture protection, but it has a slightly narrower profile, which is probably part of how it shaves-off some weight.  The rim brake version of the wheelset below comes in at a mere 1370 grams, and the disc version only ups the weight to 1440 grams, so this is a great option for riders who either just want to keep the weight down without the cost of carbon, or who want a lightweight winter wheelset!

    • External width: 23.5mm
    • Depth: 22mm
    • Seam: Welded
    • Brake track: Machined (on rim brake model)
    • Tubeless Ready
    • Weight: 425 grams

    Complete wheels built with White Industries T11 hubs and Astral Solstice rims are available here.

    Mavic Open Pro UST

    It's hard to discuss alloy rims without at least thinking of the Mavic Open Pro. This rim was, and to some still is, the standard workhorse rim for road bikes: great Maxtal alloy, a welded seam, tough double eyelets, nice machined brake track, and great overall quality have made this rim a keeper! Over the years though–especially as Mavic pushed the cycling world more and more toward wheel systems starting with the Helium wheelset–the venerable Open Pro's glory has faded a bit.

    Well, that's finally changed with the new Open Pro UST and Open Pro UST Disc: these rims are wider, fully UST compliant, while maintaining a reasonable weight. They've also added some crazy shaping to the rim profile, with a look more reminiscent of Mavic's high-end Ksyrium wheel systems, which probably increases the strength while keeping the weight down because it focuses material at the spoke holes, but it definitely looks rad!

    These are rims that we haven't offered in the past (we will be adding them to our AVT Works Custom Wheels soon)–partly because we just like the other options that have so much.  It's hard not to have a certain attachment to Mavic's rims though: most of us have ridden, and have enjoyed riding them because they tend to be very durable for their weight, whether that's because Mavic's Maxtal alloy really is as good as they say it is, or because they're just well made and well designed.  Another place where Mavic excels is their tubeless support: they're one of the few manufacturers to use the UST standard.  While savvy and cynical readers might point out that Mavic was one of the founders of the standard, that doesn't change the fact that it's one that seems to work quite well.  Our experience of using rims that are UST compliant is that they are very reliable and easy to set-up tubeless, so that's a plus in our book!

    • Internal width: 19mm
    • Depth: 25mm (at spoke holes)
    • Seam: Welded
    • Brake track: Machined (on rim brake model)
    • Tubeless Ready (UST compliant)
    • Weight: 430 grams


    While the rims to this point will give you a lightweight, high-performance wheelset, for the very best braking performance with rim brakes, a ceramic coating offers significant advantages, which brings us to....


    Boyd Altamont Ceramic Alloy

    This is where the really special stuff starts happening: the Boyd Altamont Ceramic alloy rims might look like carbon from a distance, but that stealthy coating is actual ceramic!  This coating covers the entire rim–including the brake track–which protects the rim because the coating is more durable than paint, but more importantly, it improves the braking in both wet and dry conditions when using rim brakes

    As far as we're concerned, Ceramic coated rims are where it's at for rim brakes.  They make it possible to have the light-weight of a rim brake bike, but with the stopping capabilities (and uniformity across weather conditions) that discs usually give.  It's really a win-win, so we're really excited about them!

    The Altamont's 30mm deep rim profile is decidedly more aero than the other models in this post, but it's still squarely in the all-around category, making it a great choice for just about any type of riding.  If you ride rim brakes, and want an alloy rim–whether it's as a winter backup for a carbon one, or as a high-performance year-round one–we can't recommend this rim highly enough!  The combination of medium depth, wide width, and the durability and braking performance make it a really impressive option, so if you're thinking it might fit the bill for you, our bet is that it will!

    • External width: 24mm
    • Depth: 30mm
    • Seam: Welded
    • Brake track: Ceramic Coated
    • Tubeless Ready
    • Weight: 485 grams

    Boyd Altamont Ceramic Alloy rims are available here.

    Complete wheelsets built with White Industries T11 hubs and Boyd Altamont Ceramic Alloy rims are available here.

    Complete wheelsets built with Chris King R45 hubs and Boyd Altamont Ceramic Alloy rims are available here.

    As a special promo through the end of November, we're offering half-off one of our Donnelly road and gravel tire bundles when you spend over $500!  Just use promo code "Tire_Promo" at checkout!

    Hopefully this has been helpful, but if you're not sure which rim will be best for your next wheelset, just get in touch!  We're always stoked to get riders on the best parts for their riding-styles, bikes, and budgets!


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