Cielo Cycles (Chris King)
This bike is one of the rarest in my collection and there is a lot of history with that goes with this one. In 1979 Gary Fisher went down to Santa Barbara and visited Chris King in his workshop which was a tiny space behind a local bike shop. Chris King was already building a few road bikes along with his new headsets and when Gary Fisher showed off his “Balloon Tire Flyer” bike he was pretty excited about it. The bike was one of the first Joe Breeze bikes. Fisher also had a hand drawn schematic of the geometry from Joe Breeze and with that Chris King set out to make one of his own. On this same trip Fisher was introduced to some guys that had trouble with the Balloon Tire Flyer and were calling them “Mountain Bikes”. Fisher ran with that name and the rest is history.
Chris King said he made about 10 of these between about 1979 and 1981. Not sure which of the 10 this one is. Chris said he knows of where just a couple of these frames are but since they never made decals for the mountain bikes we’re hoping the rest of them are not lost and will show up sometime.
The frame is gas welded, the fork blades and crown were from Rodriguez cycles who were and still are specialists in tandems. This was the burly fork that Chris needed and he did the work of brazing it together and removing the tang’s to save a little weight.
Chris King had help from Ken Beach in making some of these frames and it was Ken Beach who in about 1989 went through and totally updated this bike. He gave it a bunch of extra braze-on’s, fender mounts and rack mounts. He even gave it a custom fillet brazed stem and new paint. He did a fantastic job with all the fender and rack mounts. At the same time the bike got Suntour Superbe Pro components but I went ahead and gave this a little more of a stock build. I went with Bullmoose bars too although someday I may give this a Cinelli 1A stem and motorcycle bars which are likely, what it would have had originally.