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Headsets: do they make a huge difference?(7 posts)

Headsets: do they make a huge difference?Nigel
Oct 5, 2001 6:04 PM

I'm back, and glad to be here again.

My Shimano 105 headset on my small Giant TCR2 has been coming out of adjustment in recent weeks; sometimes too tight (stiff) and sometimes too loose (clunking over bumps). I've heard that smaller frames--with proportionally smaller head tubes and steerer tubes--tend to rattle headsets loose more often than do, especially with city traffic's quick stops and starts (braking quickly at speed).

Anyone heard anything more about this or experience this? I've been considering the purchase of a Chris King headset (about $100), hoping that this would keep itself in alignment longer and better. Has anyone had troubles like I've had and fixed them by installing a top-end headset?

Thanks a lot!

Go with the King, no second thoughtsCima
Oct 5, 2001 6:25 PM
You did not say if you have a threaded headset or not, but either way you cannot go wrong with the King. If you have a threaded headset, get the Grip Nut King head set. It is a very unique design that keeps the locknut and the upper bearing cup looked in place. I have this on my new bike, and I find it much better than my Campy Record headset on my second bike. Also, the sealed bearings on the King headset mean very little maintenance is required!!

Good luck

I think soNessism
Oct 5, 2001 6:34 PM
Unless your head tube is faced properly, you will have tightening/loosening problems galore.

That said, I've had a fair amount of trouble with cheap headsets. The most common problem I've had is dented races causing a detent to form in one spot - using new old stock XTR loose ball headsets on my road bike. Over tightening can cause this problem but many headsets will dent even if they are not over tightened - ie. Shimano stuff like mine.

I have no doubt that some/many owners never have problems but they may not be very sensitive to detent problems also.

My other bikes have King headsets and have no problems after many many miles. King's are expensive, but worth it in my opinion.
Chicks dig Chris King headsets (nm)tirider
Oct 5, 2001 8:41 PM
... (nm)
Oct 6, 2001 1:17 AM
You need to spend a least $125 on a headset to gain the much sought after approval of your typical snobbish roadie.
Without a doubt, get the KingDave Hickey
Oct 6, 2001 4:01 AM
I installed one about two months ago. No problems. Silky smooth bearings. Best $100 dollars spent. If you get a King, you will never say " I wish I bought ......".
Oct 6, 2001 4:07 PM
I've got CK HS's on a couple of bikes and I've also had other brands on a couple of bikes. IMHO, not a "huge" difference. Get whatever you want and don't worry about it.