“This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.”
Whitman, Walt. “A Clear Midnight.” 1881. Poets.org, www.poets.org/poem/clear-midnight. Accessed November 15, 2022
When the amazing folks at Chris King reached out to us and said “We are doing our in-person builder show again and we want you to be there”, we were beyond thrilled. The Chris King builder shows always attracts a large attendance with numbers easily exceeding 1000 visitors while the show is open to the public. It is a great show to be invited too and it is just one of the many reasons we love Chris King Precision Components.
The show was scheduled for October 15, 2022 and we had approximately eight weeks from the notification date to come up with a design/ build spec, construct and paint the frame, then get the bike built all in time for the photo shoot that happens one week before the show itself. Luckily for us, we work with some amazing partners and we had a plan!
Prior to the announcement of the show, we had been working on an update to our Storm King platform. A few subtle geometry tweaks that would make it more capable for larger volume tires and improve the overall handling of the bike. As such, this seemed like a natural fit for the show bike. From a parts perspective, we knew we wanted to run the Enve G-Series Dropper post as it is an inverted design which easily allows the use of saddle bags versus traditional dropper posts. For the drivetrain, Shimano GRX has always been super reliable and the aesthetic would pair nicely with paint scheme we went with. As it was the Chris King show, King components adorned the bike where ever possible. Now that we had a design and a build kit ready to go, we still needed to build and paint the frame.
We were able to squeeze the frame design into our build queue and get it built with about 4 weeks to spare for paint. Our weld team did an amazing job of pulling it together within a very short time window. At the time of the build, we still did not know what the King color was going to be which left our paint scheme undetermined. We mocked up a few ideas around more generalized themes, but nothing felt right as we did not have a true direction of where to go with this. Luckily, right around the time the frame was being finished, we got a note from King: The color would be “Midnight”. Of course, there were no pictures attached, but at least it gave us a general idea of a possible direction.
Just as the frame was arriving to the paint shop we got a color sample. It was not what we had originally expected as the color was different from what we had imagined. Our best bet was to pick a color we thought was pretty close and use that as a baseline. We ended up going with Cerakote Kel-Tec H-127 as our color choice for the base of the project. From there, things were out of our hands.
When we work with Titanium Finishing, we always provide a detailed schematic of what the paint scheme will look like. Everything is laid out in full detail so there are no questions as to what the end result should look like. In this particular scenario, there was no detailed schematic. There was no color design. There was only “I got this” from the amazing folks at Titanium Finishing.
What showed up at our door blew away our preconceived notions of what this would be. Using the word “Midnight”, the theme became the night sky and the galaxies and nebulas that inhabit it, rather than applying it as the color “midnight”. It gave the bike an otherworldly personality that indicated it was not from around here. This paint scheme came from the night sky and shone brightly down on the frame and fork. It’s subtle yet striking in person. It’s not overtly loud, yet it commands your attention. The fact that it was all done as a freehand piece of artwork makes it even more incredible. It is a testament to the artist who created it and his vision for what the end product would look like.
Once we received the frame and fork, our mechanic had a mad scramble to get it put together and delivered too King for their own photoshoot prior to the show. Luckily, she is one of the best in the business so the finish line was within site for this project. When the show finally came together, the day was perfect with beautiful weather, enthusiastic crowds, and non-stop talking for 5 hours straight. It wasn’t a marathon, it was a sprint to the finish and everyone who was there crossed the line together.
- Build Spec:
- Frame: Storm King with custom Cerakote finish (“Midnight” theme)
- Fork: Enve Adventure Fork with custom Cerakote finish
- Headset/ BB: Chris King Inset 7 Headset/ Headset Spacer/ T47 24X BB: Midnight Color
- Cockpit: Zipp Service Course SL Stem/ Zipp Service Course XPLR Bar/ Enve G-Series Dropper Post/ Sage Beccus Saddle
- Drivetrain: Shimano GRX 2X Mechanical Drivetrain
- Wheelset: Chris King GRD23 Wheels with Chris King R45D Hubs: Midnight, IRC DoubleCross 700×42 Tires