It Rolls Good Like Angry Bee Sound - OPEN x Chris King WI.DE Ltd.
“Bike Envy” can be a serious condition for many cycling enthusiasts; the almost uncontrollable (and often incurable) reaction one experiences when a *really* cool, unique and yes, often expensive bike crosses your radar. The figurative wheels start turning, and you soon find yourself creating the mental list of sellable items in the basement/garage. You can almost see the internal calculations going on in the heads of the observers, “How quick can I sell bike x, and what will I ride before new bike y shows up…” or “How much trouble will I get in if I buy….”. But spend enough time in and around the bicycle industry and the phenomenon tends to dissipate, or at least become so familiar as to just become part of the daily drill. Here at the shop, we see a regular stream of bikes come through that are enough to make any enthusiast experience a serious case of “I want that bike, and I want it now!”, but we’re professionals and largely ready to fend off the emotional upheaval when these fabulous rigs enter the picture. Every now and then however, something comes through that’s special enough to reboot the internal systems and scramble whatever sort of contentment or determination we’ve made that we don’t “need that bike”. The OPEN x Chris King Ltd WI.DE is one such example.OPEN co-founder Andy Kessler has been in the bike industry since 1989, and wanted to do something special that harkened back to that era, and also celebrated the funky coolness that OPEN brings to the bike world. Chris King Components has been along for that entire ride as well, so the collaboration was a natural for this LTD bike. The late 80’s were full of innovations and experimentation that largely brought wild colors into the bike world, and towards the end of the decade we saw the first purple anodized parts from Chris King. So it was decided that this special OPEN WI.DE would be wrapped in late-80’s Porsche Purple, feature period-correct purple anodization on the CK headset, hubs and BB, and be capped off with contrasting purple “Angry Bees” accenting the frame. The famous catch phrase “It Rolls Good With Angry Bee Sound” was added to the drive side chainstay, capping off the theme. More on the history of this classic phrase in a bit…We’ve seen plenty of limited edition products over the years that tend to stretch the term, but when either OPEN or Chris King say they’re releasing an LTD version of one of their creations, we take it seriously. This striking WI.DE frameset is indeed limited to nineteen units world wide, a generous increase from the original fifteen that were planned. Demand was of course swift and heavy and Andy Kessler authorized an additional four frames once the requests flooded in. We were fortunate enough to receive two of the nineteen here at the shop, both spoken for very quickly. The lucky customer’s bike featured here is kitted out with a SRAM AXS drivetrain, set up with what’s become known as “Mullet” gearing; a 1x Force crankset with a 42T ring is mated with an XX-1 Eagle AXS rear derailleur and cassette to provide almost-MTB low range gearing, while maintaining a top end ratio close to a road setup. It’s a great configuration that we’ll dive deeper into very soon. The bike also features Chris King GRD23 carbon rims laced to the 3D-Violet anodized CK hubs. An Enve SES AR Compact Integrated Road Bar, Enve carbon seat post and 3T Adapto Pro stem make up the cockpit, and 40mm Schwalbe G-One RS tires wrap the wheels. As for the Angry Bees…Years ago when Chris King hub warranty registration was done by filling out and sending in a postcard, their customer Akiyoshi Takamura coined an infamous quote in the comment field of his card; "It rolls good with angry bee sound". Thus began the Chris King “Angry Bees”, influencing design elements, catch phrases and a general impression of CK components that’s thrived for years now. This very special and truly limited Beutiful Bicycle will undoubtedly "Roll Good" for many years, turn lots of heads, and remind it’s viewers that the bicycle world is still fun, funky and full of life (and Angry Bees) after all these years. Check out our wide selection of WI.DE’s, as well as the rest of the OPEN lineup here at the shop, or online. Reach out any time and we’ll help get you set up!