Mountainbiking is one aspect of cycling that appears to evolve at an accelerated pace. Each season seems to bring a new ‘standard’: whether it’s handlebar width or gear ratio, wheel diameter or tread pattern — it seems the genre has no inhibition when it comes to experimentation and assimilation. Thank goodness for Chris King, then, who, as one of the sports godfathers, can still produce a highly evolved bike that embraces the latest technology, yet still hearkens back to the magical Californian days when bicycles were seriously, and joyfully, ridden off-road for the first time.
Leave it to Chris King to incorporate the 29″ wheel (a relatively recent development on the MTB timeline), SRAM’s XO drivetrain and Avid‘s Elixir hydraulic disc brake system into a steel frame and make it look at once like a scene from 2012 and 1992. The head badge depicts the Camino Cielo mountain ridge and hearkens back to even earlier, heady days of Chris’s youth, when klunking down fire roads on cruiser bikes with melting coaster brakes was a mere twinkle in the eye of Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly and others.
Fast forward 30 years or so and Blue Lug, Shibuya’s legendary bike shop, assembles Cielo‘s latest mountain bike frames with a pair of Fox F29 forks, a seat post by Kent Eriksen, Stan’s NOTUBES ZTR rims and, naturally, Chris King hubs, headset and bottom bracket. For me, it’s the perfect mix of old and new school MTB form and function. There’s even the right amount of color-matched anodizing.
See the entire spec sheet and more of Blue Lug’s quirky and stylish builds on their Flickr.