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Headset Chris King vs. Cane Creek(9 posts)

Headset Chris King vs. Cane Creekscipiones
Dec 5, 2003 10:23 AM
I am looking for a little guidance here. I have a Trek Madone on order and should be receiving it any day now. My question is this, the Madone comes with a Cane Creek S6 headset...should I upgrade to a Chris King during the initial build up of the bike? If so what Chris King headset should I get...their web page while very detailed does not give many clear cut answers.

Thanks for any help given!
re: Headset Chris King vs. Cane CreekMShaw
Dec 5, 2003 10:28 AM
Check with the LBS. I have a friend with a 5900 that has a proprietary HS bottom bearing/race. I don't know about the newer carbon frames.


Chris King only has one model per application ...innergel
Dec 5, 2003 11:21 AM
Unless I am mistaken, there is only one model. Once you find your size and application, then you just take what they have. Your only choice is color. They don't have S2, S6, S-Pro models like Cane Creek. As I'm sure you know, all the King stuff is very high quality and will last forever.

Road bike headsets don't take as much pounding as mtb headsets, so the part, IMO, is not as critical in a road application, at least from a pure functionality view. I have a Cane Creek S2 in my 2300 with 6000+ miles on it with no problems. So the S6 would probably be fine.

The question comes down to 1. will it fit your frame and 2. do you want to spend the extra cash on it now?
not for 2004laffeaux
Dec 5, 2003 2:17 PM
The 5900 had a proprietary headset up until this year. For 2004 it uses a standard 1 1/8" steerer.

King makes a standard and semi-integrated model in 1 1/8". I'm pretty sure the 5900 uses a standard headset. Check with your LBS to be sure.
Why upgrade?pedalAZ
Dec 5, 2003 3:04 PM
It would appear that weight is of no concern here. Other than weight reasons, why drop extra cash on the King when you've already paid for the decent Cane Creek?

The Cane Creek weighs 116 grams, the King 124 including starnut, cap and bolt, whereas (if you really want to upgrade) the Extralite weighs just 74 grams including top cap and bolt.
Why upgrade?scipiones
Dec 5, 2003 3:28 PM
I am not overly concerned with weight. However the extralight you mention does sound interesting...who makes that? The real reason I ask is that everything I read about the King headsets is that they are the best and although the Cane Creek is ok I hear that they need replaced within the 1st year. I would rather pay a little more up front if its worth it than the whole nut in a year.

Extralite & KingpedalAZ
Dec 6, 2003 8:02 AM
You didn't clarify that this was an upgrade tradeoff and that you didn't already have the Cane Creek. If you don't have to eat the Cane Creek price, but are simply choosing between the two, and if weight is of no concern, go for the legendary durability of the King.

The Extralite is made by . . . Extralite, in Italy. You can get Extralite in the US from, ordering from Giovanni, the proprietor. One nice bonus of Extralite's "The Head" headset is the babe on the top cap. She's worth the price of the whole headset. To give you an idea of how weight conscious Sergio Riva (Extalite) is, the top cap bolt is a titanium bolt that's been drilled out hollow down its length. You can also get an 8 gram steerer tube expander for this bolt to fasten into.
Why upgrade?dgangi
Dec 8, 2003 7:26 PM
If all you are looking for is a "good, reliable, lightweight" headset then the Cane Creeks are just fine. I know many people who use the Cane Creek headsets without incident. They enjoy a good reputation for both MTB and road bike uses. I have never heard of a Cane Creek headset failing prematurely. And from what I understand, Cane Creek has good customer service should anything go wrong.

If you want the "best" headset on the market, then the only choice is the Chris King. Nobody builds a better headset. Nobody. Kings are bulletproof and will outlast your bike.

But is a Chris King worth the premium (usually twice the price of others)? If you want the best...then yes. If you are a name-brand snob, then yes. If you just want "good and reliable"...then probably not.

If you are still considering the Cane Creek, then look at FSA. They have a solid reputation for good products at reasonable prices.

I use a Chris King headset on my MTB. It's 6 years old and still working fine. My road bike has an FSA. My new full-suspension MTB has an FSA as well.

Why upgrade?Ghisallo 1
Dec 10, 2003 10:21 PM
I gotta vote for the King as well. I currently have 4 bikes (read-obsessive) with King Headsets. A 1992 Mountain Goat Whiskeytown Racer, 1999 Yeti Road project, 2002 Santa Cruz Blur and a new Litespeed Ghisallo. Parts have came and gone...rims, hubs, bottom-brackets etc..but the headsets have never been a worry. They are pricy but you will never have to replace it. I do love the babe from the Extralite though.