Chris King ISO Hub
The ISO Hub on the "Floor"
"Booths" at the Outdoor Demo
Closeup of ISO Hub with Cutaway
Chris King ISO Rear Hub
What makes Chris King components so special?
We visited the Chris King booth at Interbike 2008 to find out more about the ISO Hub that we put on the Yeti 575 Buildout. Its reputation precedes it, and we have experienced the precision quality that remains consistent after years of hammering. So we set out to find out just what it was that made Chris King components so special.
Of course the guys at the booth told us it was about the design. We examined the cutout ISO Hub in more detail to explore its inner workings. What looked like a complex mechanism of teeth, gears and springs became surprisingly simple with the help of their designers.
Engaging the Teeth: The 72-tooth mechanism connected to the cassette axle is a serrated ring of very hard alloy teeth that inter-lock perfectly with a companion piece set to engage from the drive train. But this engagement from the drive side happens because the gear is pushed into the companion plate in a precise channel with angular grooves that not only mesh the rings together at the right point, but the spiraled grooves act like a tightening screw, locking the two pieces together with greater force. Also, the 3x teeth count not only enables quicker engagement than standard 24-teeth units, but also greater overall strength as more contact points occur between the two rings.
That Whirring Sound: As the drive force is released, a spring pushes the drive gear slightly away and the teeth flow over one another, giving rise to that familiar clicking sound. I asked the guys if there was a break-in period to be expected as I had noticed a little drag with my new setup which has been in play for about 3 weeks. Although the specs explain this online, you can expect the hub break-in to last about 60 hours of riding time.
Easy to Service: Aside from good fundamental design and choosing superior materials, the other advantage of the King components is their ease and accessibility for maintenance. Popping the seal off a headset cup to clean and grease the bearings is a very manageable task for the do-it-yourselfer. Similarly, one can disassemble and clean the ISO Hub without being a brain surgeon.