The Hunt Cycling is a full service bike-shop, independent journal and collective consisting of three cycling enthusiasts based in Halle Saale. We try to explore, document and share our experiences in the field of cycling and beyond. Besides drinking shandy, lots of riding and intellectual discusses about bike parts and stuff, we enjoy riding with friends and running our showroom and bike-shop located in the center of Halle.
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Preferring steel over other materials when it comes to cycling is, in todays world of endless options, nothing special. Yet there are still bicycles and frames on the market that are standing out of the crowd. Chris King as many probably know is known for its incredible long-lasting headsets and hubs but has also a long history in frame building which was his first passion. He started out building frames for cyclists and racers in 1978.
By the mid 1980s his headsets had become so popular that he stopped making frames under this brand. After many years of successful building the Chris King Brand around his famous headsets, hubs and bottom brackets he re-launched the Cielo brand in 2008 named after a mountain road “Camino Cielo” in Santa Barbara in California. Cielo established itself with a classic line of mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes and road bikes made in small batches up to 300 frames per year.
Cielo frames are known for its classic lines, outstanding workmanship and tradition with an eye on details. From 2015 the brand was so popular that they could not keep up with the demand and hired two famous frame builder Curtis Inglis from Retrotec and Jeremy Sycip from Sycip Designs to help with the production.
Sadly Chris King ceased the production of Cielo frames in 2017 to concentrate even more on his core business. This means there is probably no more chance to get your hands on a brand new Cielo frame be it a mountain, cyclocross or road bike what makes owning a Cielo frame even more special. Buying such a superb bike from the after-market is not without having concerns regarding the fit, the ride quality and the condition.
To say the truth: this bike is superior in any form. You can measure angles, tube lengths and looking at numbers to get an idea of how a bike will perform. It will not tell you how your ride is going to be. But i can tell you how the ride felt. The Cielo Sportif “flows”, it’s riding is comparable to riding on rails. It responds in a way that you might think steel is the only material you need for a bike. The handling feels direct and supportive, cornering is a never ending joy and pedaling along tarmac or gravel leaves you with a feeling that you might never want to stop riding this bike. It “flows”.
Classic was the way to go while thinking of components and parts. An NOS Campagnolo Chorus 10sp groupset found it’s way on the Cielo Sportif as well as classic US components such as White Industries hubs and Paul Components center pull brakes to compliment the simple and clean look of the frame. Ritchey classic parts completed the cockpit and the seat post. The build really stands out because of the in-house manufactured color matching Cielo fork and stem.
Another detail which matches the frames classic lines perfectly is the custom cable housing made of brass tubes. It not only serves as a cable protection but also supports the cables which leads to a very responsive braking experience. We used a Surly hanger cable hanger for the rear brake and a Paul Components cable hanger for the front brake. We added a final classic touch using stainless steel King Cage waterbottle cages. Voilá. Nothing else to add.
If you like what you see check out more bicycles and articles on our website and follow The Hunt Cycling on Instagram.