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    does anybody have any suggestions for a good strong threadless headset for tricking?
    It depends on the frame and fork you're using. But as I tried to make clear in one of your three other threads, a better headset isn't going to make a huge difference in the bike's performance, tricks or otherwise. Cane Creek, Ritchey, and FSA all produce good, inexpensive headsets (as well as more expensive ones). There are others, but most headsets made by those three will be just fine. If you're still concerned, get a headset designed for a MTB like the FSA Orbit XL series.

    [edit] The general rule for a headset is, if it is installed and maintained correctly, the brand really doesn't make much difference, if any at all. There certainly are exceptions, but not many. This goes for most of other parts too; expensive components in general are about weight, brand esteem, and style.
    • CommentAuthorbionnaki
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    one might suggest chris king because that's the knee-jerk reaction, but there's supposedly a design flaw with their headset that causes scoring of the steer tube.
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    Yeah, that happens when you put a king headset on a slack angled mtb with a long travel fork. Its a non-issue on road bikes because the steerer never flexes far enough to rub the bottom cup.
    For road and mtb people, yeah. Track people like those heavy caged/loose bearing jobbies.

    I've seen a ton of threadless steerers that have come off of King sets, mostly mtn bikes. I've seen heavy scoring on some and none on others. Almost every time the steerer is scored, it's aluminum and the scoring is almost imperceptible when you run your fingernail along the tube. I've never seen anything even close to a failure due to the issue, even when it has gone unchecked for years.

    Part of the problem is that the King parts are machined to very high tolerances, and thus very tight fitting, especially when there is chrome or something else making the steerer even wider than it should be, any flex in the fork and there will be scoring. If there is even a hint of ovalization of the steerer, there will be rub, and thus scoring. The fork I bought today (for $20) has ovalization in the stem clamp area, and I'm not entirely sure I will be able to slip the King cups and o-ring over the area without forcing the matter. We shall see.

    There's a series of photos on the internet here somewhere (I can't find it) where a guy claims that his steerer was destroyed by the King set, but there's really no proof, and the bike was dual suspension, designed for downhill. I've not seen a road bike with steerer scoring, and I would guess that I've seen twenty or so, steel, aluminum, and carbon, all with a year or more of King use. But shit, I guess you never know. I'm not worried about it.
    • CommentAuthorLegislator
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    FSA Pig, there are a couple versions, but they are all gnarly.
    Yeah, they are pretty strong, and really cheap. My only reservation on the Pig, especially when compared to the Orbit XL series, is that the Pig's bearings are unsealed and ridiculously easy to contaminate. They really do need constant attention. I mean, that's more of an issue with the intended mtb use, but still, the XL isn't that much more, and it's a lot tougher against water and crap. Since you're a new rider (and a young one), you're better off getting something you don't have to mess with every time it gets wet.

    [edit] I messed this up slightly, I forgot that they also make a sealed version. I don't have enough experience to say anything definitive about it, but a sealed Pig seems like a good plan. That said, they cost nearly as much an an Orbit XL, which is one I have a lot of experience with. So...
    ok so i have a new question at hand what are good sealed bearing headsets that will take a good amount of abuse
    • CommentAuthorbionnaki
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    what's the standard headset type for bmx these days, anyways?
    The FSA Orbit XL II would be my pick for a reasonably priced, good quality, high stress headset. Though I have never dealt with their customer service directly, I have heard good things for the most part.
    A lot more BMX bikes are using standard 1 1/8" and even integrated (which seems amazingly stupid) but I really don't know the spread.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    Almost every BMX company has been using Campagnolo -spec integrated for about 3 years. I haven't heard about any epic failures.

    Why is integrated stupid on a heat-treated 4130 CrMo frame? It will crack long before it ovalizes.
    That's true, but what benefit do they offer over a standard headset? My experience with them (to be clear: not on BMX bikes) has been that they are more difficult to seat properly, come loose more easily, and are quicker to wear than standard cup headsets. I don't mind my road frame using an integrated set, but it seems like a mtn or trick bike, whether it be BMX or track, would be better served by a standard set. But like I said, I don't deal with BMX bikes often, and the only track bike I can think of which was designed for tricks is the BMW Gangsta, which I've never seen in person, so I am really just applying my road and mtb experience to this. Do you think they're a good idea?
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    The integrated headset on my bmx has been completely maintenance and trouble free. I have heard the argument that a reinforced 4130 headtube is stronger than any cup therefore integrated bmx headsets are stronger than ordinary headsets. Personally, I dont know what the deal is.
    Well, strength is one thing, the lack of precision is another. But I'd love to see some hard data about integrated vs standard..
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2010 edited
    What lack of precision? They adjust the same as one with cups. The bearings sit on a 45 degree chamfer so even if there is slop in their sliding fit tightening it a touch is going to get rid of it. If the headset of a BMX is loosening up, the stem and compression bolt aren't tight enough and you would have other problems like the bars/wheel going out of alignment. I have never heard anyone bitch about integrated threadless on a BMX ever. A quick look on youtube will reveal people bomb-dropping shit that would shatter an old school BMX into a million pieces.

    FBM, Volume, SubRosa, and Quamen are all making fixed trick frames. There is also Milwaukee Bicycles. They all use integrated. They are all the kind of companies that would change something if it was bunk, and they are all companies that wouldn't release something if it didn't work. Some of them even use a fork with an integrated crown race.

    I think integrated is stupid on an aluminum frame for obvious reasons. A sliding fit for a hardened bearing in soft aluminum is a recipe for disaster. A press fit steel sleeve would solve that issue. At that point you are halfway to a bearing cup.

    I was skeptical of integrated when I first got it but the quickly went away as I assembled it. To adjust it I overtighten it slightly so the headset will not spin freely but will still spin. This seats everything. I will mention here that everything has a light coat of grease which may seem antithetical but helps everything to seat properly. Then I back off the compression bolt about 1/4 to 1/2 a turn, until it will do multiple smooth barspins. Then the stem is clamped down, and the compression bolt tightened about 1 turn.

    They are a little fussy to set up initially but compared to what it takes to set up a traditional caged-ball threaded headset, they are a breeze. Integrated is a win, and threadless is the single most important advancement in bicycles in 20 years.
    There's no question that threadless was a huge step forward. Anyway, point taken. Like I said, I see them on aluminum road bikes mostly.
    not to related but has anyone had any experience with the chris king grip nut? Im thinking of getting one... any other suggestions for a nice sealed bearing threaded headset?
    I have one, it's great. But so is my Dura Ace 7410, and my two unidentifiable Tange sets (which are caged bearing, but whatever). You can get the King or a DA for $50-$60 used. The only thing the DA has over the King is that the DA can be had in both ISO and JIS, whereas King only does ISO. There isn't much else to say about the differences between them. They're headsets. Ohhh wait, the King is like 5g-10g lighter, so there's that....
    Ok thanks. yeah Ive been searching for a used one... found one but it was gold, figure i might as well dish out a few extra bucks and get what i really want. The other reason Im leaning toward the king is my forks cut just a tad short

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