When it comes to precision components, and all things relating to bearings, Chris King have an almost unmatched reputation and it’s easy to see why.

They’ve been making bike parts in Portland since 1976 and are at the point now where, if you’re building a custom bike and want only the best components, chances are you’ll go looking for a Chris King headset, hubs or bottom bracket – or even all three.

The R45 is their top-of-the-range road (and cyclo-cross) hubset, and one of the best things about it are the options available. First off, you can get the hubs in any one of 11 different colours, from classic black or silver all the way to the rather less understated gold ones we have here. If you want your hubs to match your frame, or saddle, or just to add a splash of colour to an otherwise matte black, Chris King definitely have your back when it comes to colour choice.

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 hub

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 hub

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 hub

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 hub

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 wheel hub

RCUK100 - Chris King R45 wheel hub

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With multiple options on spoke count, bearing choice and a huge variety of colours, Chris King have covered pretty much all the bases

Next up is hole count. Spoke count varies widely from wheel to wheel, with classic alloy box rims – the sort of thing you’d see ridden in Paris Roubaix 20 years ago – having a lot of spokes to provide as much strength as possible, right down to some of the carbon wheels you see around with comparatively hardly any spokes at all. Knowing everyone has their own preferences on this, Chris King offer between 16-32 spokes on the front hub and 20-32 on the rear, which should satisfy all but the most esoteric of wheel builders.

The final choice is bearings. Here you have the standard two options of ceramic or steel. Essentially, the differences between the two come down to friction in that ceramic bearings are lower friction than their steel counterparts. The other obvious point is, because ceramic bearings are better, they’ll cost you more, but if you want the best you have to pay for it.

And when it comes to the very best hubs in the cycling world, there are few who’d argue against Chris King as market leaders.