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King headsets worth the $$?(15 posts)

King headsets worth the $$?bigdave
Jun 13, 2002 6:21 PM
I'm looking at getting a new 1" threadless headset... actually converting from threaded.

Are the King headsets really worth the extra, say, $40-60 over other headsets like Campy Chorus, Cane Creek?



PS -- This is NOT a troll! :-)
re: yupAkirasho
Jun 13, 2002 6:50 PM
... quite simply, you install it and forget it...

Just finished installing a Reynolds Ouzo Comp onto an Airborne Manhattan Project with a CK 1 1/8" headset... butta.

There's also a bit of cross compatibility across the CK 1" and 1 1/8" as well as threaded and threadless lines.

True, you can get long lasting headsets cheaper... but they're not Chris Kings... my opinion.
Looks spiffybigdave
Jun 13, 2002 7:44 PM
Nice frame welds, too. :-)

re: King headsets worth the $$?Juanmoretime
Jun 14, 2002 1:31 AM
I've been ridiing the same King headset for over 8 years. It probably has 30,000 miles on it and the bearings feel like new. Still turn very smooth and no indexing.The best part, it just looks good and I have never had to do any type of maintenance to it. Smooth as can be. Worth it? YES!
Jun 14, 2002 5:21 AM
Most of the reviews I've seen on the headsets are from people that have had them 6 months, a year. Not much data behind their "love" of the headset.

But 8 years! :-) The non-indexing factor after that amount of time is what is cool. My

Ok, I'm gonna pony up the scratch.


same hereJekyll
Jun 14, 2002 8:43 AM
not 8 years or 30k but around 3 years and probably 12000 on the bike with the oldest King HS. Its the one part on your bike you can install and forget. I've never had one fail (I have 3 of them). Probably the most agreed on component on a bike - price is a little steep but you get what you pay for.
Jun 14, 2002 10:07 AM
You might get the same life out of another headset, but there is so much evidence that a King will provide years and years of service with no problems that the extra $ is worth it to me--especially if you ride in dirty conditions.
From a King owner - maybeKerry
Jun 14, 2002 5:28 PM
Bike shop talked me into the King when building the bike. I don't resent them for it, as it is a very good unit - there's nothing wrong with King headsets! In fact they are probably the best made out there. However, you get the same durability from Stronglight at less than half the price. My last Stonglight had 55K miles on it when I sold the bike, and it's still in use. I've had them on tandems, and my wife's bike has one with about 70K miles - no problems. I have a King now and it's great, but I don't think it's worth 2X the price of Stronglight.
It's like asking a woman....tirider
Jun 14, 2002 8:45 PM
... is it worth spending the money on a diamond engagement ring.
It's like asking a woman....Trek Racer X
Jun 18, 2002 4:51 PM
Pretty much. The Chris King headset, is another peice of jewelry tacked onto the bike. Plus, that Chris King headset, probably might last longer than your frame, that you mount it on!

I use King headsets on both my mountain bike, and road bike. And I'm happy with both.
For the money issue, well....what can I say, there are guys in forum that'll spend $4,000.00 on a Merlin Ti frame. In comparaison, 100 buck on a headset, is not much compared to a 3 or 4 grand frame.

Trek Racer X
Not maintanance freeNessism
Jun 16, 2002 2:26 PM
King headsets are great. Very durable and smooth. They do require maintanance though. About every two years or so they should be regreased by carefully removing the seals, flushing out the old grease, and regreasing. More difficult than loose ball headsets but not all that difficult really.

Check out the King web site for more specific details.

These answers beg the question.Sintesi
Jun 18, 2002 8:57 AM
Do the other headsets work less well? I have two relativley cheap headsets (Cane Creek and Ritchey Logic) on my bikes, have logged thousands and thousands of miles and have never once had to replace. The Cane Creek was a little irritating adjusting at first but now three years going no problem.

This is my personal experience and I don't work in a bike shop, but headsets don't have to be expensive for many years of excellent service. I imagine if you spend $60 on a quality headset and install it right you can pretty much forget about it as much as a CK.

These answers beg the question.wbates
Jun 18, 2002 11:13 AM
My personal experience is that Kings are the best you can get. I've got them in all my bikes and haven't had a problem. think of it as insurance. One $100 purchase or possibly 2, or 3, $50 purchases. Even if you only buy 2 cheap ones, you still have the pain in the ass factor of replacing it.
Well maybe. I'll ask around but...Sintesi
Jun 18, 2002 12:58 PM
I haven't heard of worn out headsets very much. Actually never.
I'm with you, but I stopped arguing about it a long time ago,TJeanloz
Jun 18, 2002 1:39 PM
I don't know anybody who has worn out a headset without putting it through serious abuse. I can understand not getting a totally chintzy Miche or some such thing, but a Campy Record costs 1/2 of what a King does.

I don't see the point, except that a bunch of mountain-bike attitudes came onto the road scene and started claiming that headsets needed to be super-durable...