Chris King Precision Components Open House October 2023
We are pumped to announce that Outside Van will be attending the Chris King Open House on October 21st, 2023!
Chris King Precision Components is a legendary bicycle component manufacturer located in Portland, Oregon, known for the iconic “buzz” their flagship Hubs make. Chances are if you have ever been to a professional mountain biking event you have heard the buzz firsthand.
Outside Van had the opportunity to tour the Chris King Precision Components headquarters last week guided by Chris King’s very own Greg Hudson and Jay Sycip. The amount of history, bikes, components, and old/repurposed machinery was incredible. Unassuming from the outside, the Chris King manufacturing facility is located in an old Folgers coffee factory in Portland’s North West industrial district. As you meander through the hallways and open spaces of the factory the sheer magnitude of Chris King’s history is immediately apparent.
Chris King started tinkering in his garage in Santa Barbara in 1975, setting out to make quality, precision-focused bike components, starting out with his now iconic headset. As you enter the factory, the very first machine that Chris King bought, an off yellow and pitted Hestika Lathe, on an $1,800 loan in 1976 is front and center, reminding you of the humble beginnings of this iconic manufacturer. The lathe is a reminder of Chris King’s dedication to utilizing tried-and-true antique machinery to produce his iconic components. The factory is absolutely packed with machines dating as far back as World War II, and walking the manufacturing floor is like jumping back in time to the golden age of American manufacturing. Sure, there are modern tools being utilized, and some of the antique machinery has been retrofitted with modern technological gadgetry, but the core of the operation is rooted in the past.
One modern aspect that is core to Chris King’s philosophy is an unwavering dedication to sustainable and eco-conscious manufacturing processes. For instance, all the machinery oil and lubricants used and discarded is pumped into a central system that cleans and then recycles the oil back into the production process, eliminating waste and creating a closed-loop system that maximizes all resources. Also, any scrap metal is gathered, compressed, and then taken to a recycling facility just 2 blocks away from the headquarters, so the carbon-footprint of the operation is as small as possible.
Outside Van recognizes and shares many values with Chris King, which is why we are excited to partner with them to showcase our craftmanship to the open house! We will have one of our latest and greatest 144 builds on display at the event. Additionally, we are partnering with Pivot and Chris King to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between vans and bikes!
If you have any interest in adventure vans, bicycles, or anything related to the outdoors, make sure to attend this event! There will be many stellar sponsors and vendors that you won’t want to miss!
Location: Chris King Precision Components 2801 NW Nela Street Portland OR 97210
Date: October 21st, 2023
Admission: Free to the public