There is a long but historically significant story attached to this bike. I contacted original owner, Chris King, Joe Breeze, Ken Beach, and Rodriguez tandems trying to bring the history of this bike 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. Maybe one day they’ll show up somewhere. The fork was made by Rodriguez tandems.
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 he came up with for these rigs. Chris King liked the idea and with all the trails in Santa Barbara decided he wanted to build some. At the time CK was in 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. That’s where I hear the name originated although I’ve heard other story’s 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. The truck sat on the side of CK’s workshop up until he moved away from Santa Barbara. This same truck was also in some of the Chris King sales catalogs.