Chris King Cielo Mountain Bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chris King Cielo Mountain Bike

    sorry i have been away from the forum so long guys. lifes been busy. i finally (semi) finished another bike and thought it was time to share. there is a long story to go with it but it's historically significant. i contacted Chris King, Joe Breeze, Ken Beach, and Rodriguez tandems trying to bring this story together.

    This is a 1979/80 Chris King Cielo. CK made 4 mountain frames and 8 road frames. it seems this is the only of the mountain frames around since he never made decals. they are out there somewhere...lost. the fork was made by Rodriguez tandems.

    so, as the story goes Gary Fisher went to Santa Barbara with a Breezer mountain bike in tow and a hand drawn schematic of a "Balloon Tire Flyer" which was the early name they came up with for mountain bikes. Chris King liked the idea and with all the trails in Santa Barbara decided he wanted to build one. at the time CK was had his workshop in an old roller rink with a few frame builders so he had the resources. at that point he was already a few years into his headset production. on that same trip CK took Fisher to a hippy type commune where he met some guys that couldn't wrap their brains around Balloon Tire Flyer and instead simply called them Mountain Bikes. thats where i hear the name originated although i've heard other storys on that too.

    the guy i picked this up from was the original owner and he also told me all these same stories. Chris King really wanted his 1948 Chevy flatbed and a trade was worked out. this is the actual <a href="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/7.jpg">truck.</a> this truck sat on the side of CK's workshop up until he moved away from Santa Barbara im told.

    about a decade later the owner wanted to spruce it up a bit and started by seeing Ken Beach of Gecko Cycles who was also in Santa Barbara. KB added most all the braze-on's and did a stellar job of doing custom braze-ons for the fenders and racks. good work KB! after that KB went on to make a custom <a href="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/4.jpg">fillet brazed stem</a> which i removed and will probably put on my Mantis. then the bike got outfitted with slightly more modern components all the way around. i wanted a more period correct bike so i set out to do that. not totally done but good enough for now.

    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0695.jpg">
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    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0700.jpg">
    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0701.jpg">
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    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0705.jpg">
    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0706.jpg">
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    <img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v245/vdubbusrider/Cielo/100_0710.jpg">

  2. #2
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    So cool!

  3. #3
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    What a cool bike thanks for sharing

  4. #4
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    All I can say is WOW and good to hear from you.
    Stuart

    wanted: TA Chainrings, FUNK Big Fork, Bullseye Cranks 176mm,

  5. #5
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    finally.

    Nice work on the rebuild. The guy that claims coining "Mountain Bike" is James McLean who now works for Joe Breeze.

    (Didnt know Donuts would fit over Oakley 3's. )

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    finally.



    (Didnt know Donuts would fit over Oakley 3's. )
    they were already on the grips when i got them so i just left them there. reminds me of being a kid again ya know.

  7. #7
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    Sweet Nice score Sky! What kind of rims are those?
    "I think it is heavy and often stupid and doesn't work as well as Shimano, but I keep using it. -- NG

  8. #8
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    Very, very nice! Perhaps the best in your vast collection?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb11
    Sweet Nice score Sky! What kind of rims are those?
    they are RM-25's. good strong double wall rims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury
    Very, very nice! Perhaps the best in your vast collection?
    i wouldn't say best since i have bikes that are much nicer but as far as rarity goes it's right up there with the 1982 Motocruiser/Yeti.

  11. #11
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    Awesome Sky.

    You've had some stellar pick ups over the years, but this one is way up there.
    -eric-

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    i wouldn't say best since i have bikes that are much nicer but as far as rarity goes it's right up there with the 1982 Motocruiser/Yeti.

    Nice job working the SoCal area with those two. Interesting that you found both of those in the same town. (I think)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    Nice job working the SoCal area with those two. Interesting that you found both of those in the same town. (I think)
    yeup.

  14. #14
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    Barstow.
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  15. #15
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    yes, awsome :thumbs: fantastic find.

    ciao
    flo

  16. #16
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    Is that TIG'd or brazed? I ask cause the headtube shot shows pretty lumpy joinery. Not that I would criticize it in the slightest, just wondering, particularly cause other areas look pretty smooth. Nice bike BTW, and a cool story, I love that truck too!
    Cannondale Lefty and HeadShock servicing, wheel building, etc...


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  17. #17
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    Chris King gas welded the frames with steel rod !

    I can't remember who I did the work for or when. I moved out of the shop in 91. Could you help me out there Sky? The paint looks in great shape. It is Imron Jade Green Metallic if I recall. It could also be Forest Green Metallic. They were my colors of choice in that era.

    You got a MotoCruiser too? Would like to see pictures of that bike! That is the company who made the bikes before Parker got a bunch of tubing and the jig from. He later renamed it Yeti. I think there were 6 sets of tubing that he got. They were VERY badly rusted inside to the point you could hardly put your finger in the tubes. They were built up with my help and went to the show in Long Beach and were sold. I wouldn't trust them at all. Does yours have the Motocruiser head badge?
    Last edited by geckocycles; 12-10-2007 at 08:35 AM.

  18. #18
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    just.... wow!
    thanks for sharing, very nice!


  19. #19
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    I believe that Jay Carney has one still too. It was his "world tour" bike". He is in Mulumbimby Australia now. The bike had Moots Mounts on it. I'm not sure if we ever took them off and put braze-ons on or not. Outside of W/B mounts on the stem, that was my standard braze-on package that I put on my Survival and Slickrock bikes. It had a rear Blackburn rack on the front.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckocycles

    I can't remember who I did the work for or when. I moved out of the shop in 91. Could you help me out there Sky?
    Mark Sonders is the guy that you did the work for. he's a carpenter if you recall.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckocycles
    I

    You got a MotoCruiser too? Would like to see pictures of that bike!
    yeah, this Cielo and Motocruiser have the best stories to go with them. here ya go: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...ht=motocruiser

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckocycles
    Chris King gas welded the frames with steel rod !
    Damn!!!
    Cannondale Lefty and HeadShock servicing, wheel building, etc...


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    Mark Sonders is the guy that you did the work for. he's a carpenter if you recall.
    Yes I remember Mark. Last I heard he moved to Colorado Springs and has a general contracting business there. I didn't remember him being the guy who Chris got the truck from or even had the bike I did the work on. Guess the memory is slipping a bit. I did use that truck in a move and to pick up a couple of mills in LA though.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckocycles
    Yes I remember Mark. Last I heard he moved to Colorado Springs and has a general contracting business there. I didn't remember him being the guy who Chris got the truck from or even had the bike I did the work on. Guess the memory is slipping a bit. I did use that truck in a move and to pick up a couple of mills in LA though.
    hey KB, were you in the roller rink too??

  25. #25
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    finally full pics!

    very cool
    looking for 20-21" P team

  26. #26

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    That's a great story and certainly a great find.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    hey KB, were you in the roller rink too??
    No. It was Greg Diamond and Mike Celmens as I recall.

  28. #28
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    huh, was gonna say I like the green stem on it (probably because of the paint match)

    but

    nope

    I like it this way too. Provenance makes all the difference in the world . . . me thinks.


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOrange
    huh, was gonna say I like the green stem on it (probably because of the paint match)

    but

    nope

    I like it this way too. Provenance makes all the difference in the world . . . me thinks.

    yeah the Gecko stem was nice. too nice for the crude frame i think though. that and it would be the perfect stem for my Mantis Valkyrie!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    yeah the Gecko stem was nice. too nice for the crude frame i think though. that and it would be the perfect stem for my Mantis Valkyrie!
    I agree too. Although the Mantis stem would be a better choice but also much heavier. The Cielo may have had a road stem and a riser bar. That was a popular combo at the time too. My stems in the time frame came with a straight bar either painted Cro Mo (.035 custom or .049 production) or Raw aluminum( schd. 40). It took a great deal of effort to take the bend out. LOL Just had to through that in. It was a call I had one time asking how I got the bend out.

    I was influenced by RC the most of anyone. As you can tell by my designs. He is truly the man! He is a great person, kind, caring and all so intelligent. I wish I wish I had half of the skills he did. I get too much credit for my brazing skills. I was taught by RC and practice practice. RC had the best brazing skill in the industry.... I know, I have painted many hundreds of bikes including many Richey's and Fisher's. Never a drop of bondo on a Mantis, or mine either but I had to work at it. RC's just flowed.

  31. #31
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    I just posted new studio photos of this bike with a write up about it on my site

    http://www.velocult.com/index.php/bl...is_king_cielo/

  32. #32
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    You were out here and didn't look me up? I'm closer to Boulder than Mark. Speaking of Mark I got to go get my compressor, tube bender and spray booth back from him. LOL. Sorry to have missed you. Mark is very skilled in brazing as well and is better than myself even in my hay-day.

    One thing you can add is that CK's bikes were all torch welded with steel rod. Pretty unique.

    I know Jay Carney has one and he now lives in Mulumbimby, Austrailia. You may remember him, Rasta Jay of A.S. Bike Shop on UCSB campus. CK built him a world tour MTB and last I heard he still has it.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.geckocycles.com[/SIGPIC]

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  33. #33
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    Hey sky, it was nice meeting you at the swap meet. Great bike and story, the uneducated wouldn't give it a second look.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckocycles

    One thing you can add is that CK's bikes were all torch welded with steel rod. Pretty unique.
    hey Ken, can you tell me why he used it and why other don't use it? is it harder to work with? weaker? thanks.

  35. #35
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    Veloculture that bike is "tight" as the young people would say. I really do like to see true rare bikes on this forum. So do you know how the Rodriguez fork from Seattle got on the bike?

    At the same time it's just annoys the crap out of me as the framebuilding scene was d-e-a-d when I got to SB in 2000. The only people building was the guy and his son doing Cortana (sp?) up in the hills and they didn't need any help. So I just ended up working part-time for Dave at FasTrack. I've never lived anywhere with as many really cool custom bikes just being ridden around as Santa Barbara.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Veloculture that bike is "tight" as the young people would say. I really do like to see true rare bikes on this forum. So do you know how the Rodriguez fork from Seattle got on the bike?

    At the same time it's just annoys the crap out of me as the framebuilding scene was d-e-a-d when I got to SB in 2000. The only people building was the guy and his son doing Cortana (sp?) up in the hills and they didn't need any help. So I just ended up working part-time for Dave at FasTrack. I've never lived anywhere with as many really cool custom bikes just being ridden around as Santa Barbara.

    The Rodriguez tandem fork was the strongest for of the time im assuming. it's built like a tank and had the braze-on's fitted lower to accommodate the 26" wheel . it was the original fork to this frame too.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    hey Ken, can you tell me why he used it and why other don't use it? is it harder to work with? weaker? thanks.
    As he explained it to my once that it is stronger than brazed but also has teh same annealing properties of a brazed bike. TIG welding had a small heat effected zone and would crack at the welds. By torch welding you get a bit lower temp weld than TIG and you get the annealing properties still by using a torch.

    Case in point, Jay and I both stuffed our bikes in the same hole one morning going figgin as we did quite often. Both of us stuck our front wheel in the hole and we were going so slow that the rear came up but not enough to endo. His brand new CK world tour bike was bent bad, TT and DT and my new Sherpa had a little ripple under the TT. Neither bike broke, just bent and at less than a walking pace. His CK was .035" tubing and my Sherpa had the OR tube kit so it was a bit beefier. A TIG bike would probably have cracked at the weld.

    From then on I said that if we can bend these high dollar bikes at a walking pace then I will not offer a warranty, just do the best I can. I have never got a bike back for repair except one Genesis that a CS tube failed in the middle of it. Weird. I had repaired a few others that one was damaged by UPS and the other was stuffed into a huge boulder at high speed coming down Tunnel Trail and another where Sally Bull fell into an open manhole in the road at night , She was really messed up and sued the city. All of those bikes bent but didn't break and were able to ride home. That is why I love brazed bikes so much, they may bend in a crash but you will make it back from the back country with bike in one piece.
    Last edited by geckocycles; 11-04-2009 at 03:37 PM.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veloculture
    The Rodriguez tandem fork was the strongest for of the time im assuming. it's built like a tank and had the braze-on's fitted lower to accommodate the 26" wheel . it was the original fork to this frame too.
    Interesting I don't think the fork crowns had that cast symbol until the mid-80s. I know a few guys that worked for R&E in the frame shop in the late-70s so I'll see if I can find out for sure. I do know those forks and they really are BEEFY, of course that's a good thing on a tandem.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Interesting I don't think the fork crowns had that cast symbol until the mid-80s. I know a few guys that worked for R&E in the frame shop in the late-70s so I'll see if I can find out for sure. I do know those forks and they really are BEEFY, of course that's a good thing on a tandem.

    when researching this bike the Rodriguez tandem guys did date the fork to 1980 so im pretty certain on that. actually i think i remember them saying they started that fork crown in the mid 70's and continued with it for 15 or 20 years.

  40. #40
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    It is nice to see we still have some folks willing to post here with this kind of knowledge and information. Every time I think I know it all you guys prove me wrong. Thank you all for sharing.
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