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integrated headset or not(18 posts)

integrated headset or notsingletrack
Sep 24, 2002 1:24 PM
I'm going to be buying a new bike this fall to replace
my 96 Lemond. I've ridden several different bikes and narrowed it down to the Trek 5200, Spec. Allez Pro, and
a Litespeed Siena all of which are 2003. I'm leaning towards
the Allez or the Seina because of the compact frame, being
a long time mtn. biker might explain way. The only reason
I'm still considering the 5200 is the traditional headset, the Allez and the Seina both have integrated which scares
me. Is this thing a fad, should I be be worried about frame
wear around the head tube or will it constantly give me problems.
I think the idea sucks!MrCelloBoy
Sep 24, 2002 1:35 PM
It's helpful to the bicycle companies, not the end user.
Standart design headsets have more advantages than disadvantages IMO.
Rivendell's founder, Grant Peterson, will rant for days on the stupidity of the integrated design.
re: integrated headset or notjimPz
Sep 24, 2002 1:42 PM
I'd base my decision on the bike as a whole, I don't think the headset type is much of an issue at all, especially on a road bike. On moderate to high end road bike, the intergrated head sets seem to mostly be either CaneCreek or Campy, both good company's. I've has a Pinarello Prince with an intergrated headset for almost a yesr (6k miles) and haven't had a bit of trouble.
I know there's been a lot of 'whta ifs' written up, but these headsets have been around for a couple of years now & with Specialized & Litespeed being behind these frames, I wouldn't have any worries.

I'm still wondering what was wrong with 1" standard headsetsretro
Sep 24, 2002 2:07 PM
I haven't heard of any particular problems with integrated...but I have half a dozen bikes with the old threaded, 1-inch headsets with quill stems, and I haven't had any problems with them, either. One of them is more than 20 years old, and one has been on a mountain bike ridden hard by a 225-pound guy for six years. But I'm still not quite sold on clipless pedals, either...
From Chris King ...Elefantino
Sep 24, 2002 2:12 PM

From Chris King ...Jon Billheimer
Sep 24, 2002 3:09 PM
This is a great piece of information. Thanks.
re: integrated headset or notdesmo
Sep 24, 2002 3:15 PM
this is in no way meant to condem a whole product line, but my local Litespeed dealer just sent his personal Siena back because of an "ovalized" intergrated headset race. probably an isolated occurance but thought it worth passing on.
re: integrated headset or notIan
Sep 24, 2002 3:25 PM
I probably wouldn't base my decision on the headset, most likely, it will never be an issue.

More importantly, those three bike are all going to ride very differently, which one do you like the ride of better?

much ado about nothingsupercorsa
Sep 24, 2002 4:38 PM

integrated headsets are fine, and actually preferable in some instances. if you've got an oversized tubeset aluminum frame the larger headtube the integrated design allows gives you a tremendous increase in weld area, hence a much stronger frame. as far as chris king goes, he's far from neutral on the subject, my thinking is he got caught with his pants down when integrated started to take off, and is now talking smack to cut his losses. don't mistake me, i love king's stuff, a couple of my bikes ride on king hubs, several of 'em have c-k headsets, and yes, they are indeed the best available. as a matter of fact, when i first received my cinelli starlight (columbus 1.125" integrated) i promptly contacted king about their offering bearings for it. got right back to me about what a bad idea it was, etc, etc, etc... then 6 months later c-k starts touting their own version of an integrated headset, go figure. as far as performance goes, no issues whatsoever. i've got both the afore-mentioned startlight and a hardtail (zaskar team) with integrated, and they're both holding up just fine. the starlight cups are replacable, the zaskar cups are machined into the headtube, but it's pretty much a non issue in my book. it's not like the bearings are working directly on the aluminum surface, replacable or not. they are cartridge bearings fer christ's sake, thus no different than a aluminum chris king cup with a cartridge bearing pressed into that.

get whichever bike trips yer trigger the most in an overall sense, and who cares what kind of headset it's wearing. all the major players these days make great stuff, so buy your new machine based on which one fits you better and is more fun to ride.

enjoy, eric
Well said.JS
Sep 24, 2002 5:14 PM
I ride bikes with both also and it's been a non-issue. I've even conducted a poll on a MTB website regarding problems because they have been used in that realm longer and if a problem was going to show it would manifest itself quicker on a MTB. The result of the poll.... not one person had a problem or even heard of a problem with integrated headsets, go figure.
Sep 25, 2002 4:30 AM
I'm amused about all the brouhaha surrounding rising stems and spacers when an integrated headset adds even MORE need for adding height to the bars... I remember my old quill stem bike had a "mountain of chrome" sitting on the head tube with the bar as low as it would go- and it still had plenty of height.

People will need to rethink the aesthetics even more...
THANKS GUYSsingletrack
Sep 25, 2002 3:45 AM
This has made me feel a little better about my decision,
going with the allez pro. I still don't like the idea though, why change a good thing.
Sep 25, 2002 4:21 AM
why not!!!singletrack
Sep 25, 2002 4:43 AM
The bike felt the best to me out of many that I tested.
The frame is real stiff which I happened to love, most of my rides are between 25 and 50 miles so I'm not worried about it beating me up to bad. I also like the Siena alot,
the Allez just fit me a little better and I'm getting a
killer deal on it too.
Sep 25, 2002 4:55 AM
"why change a good thing"
to generate more income.
Define integrated headset.Spoke Wrench
Sep 25, 2002 5:03 AM
There are two quite different products that people commonly call integrated headsets.

A true integrated headset has stops machined into the headtube for cartridge bearings to rest against.

Many people refer to a zero stack headset or hidden headset as integrated. They're not. The ONLY difference between these products and conventional headsets is that the cups which hold the bearings seat concealed inside of an oversized headtube insted of above and below on the outside.

As one of the other posters suggested, the biggest advantage to manufacturers may be that is allows the use of a larger diameter headtube. This makes it quite a bit easier to miter a mongo-sized round downtube to fit.
did you read the chris king thing?(nm)merckx56
Sep 25, 2002 6:12 AM
sure sounds as though he did..clintb
Sep 25, 2002 8:31 AM
Spoke is spot on in the description. A true integrated uses no replaceable cups. Any problems there and you have a trashed frame. Internal headsets are just that. They have normal cups that can be replaced.

I will say that a normal old quill type headset that's well adjusted seems to never go out. I have a stronglight X-14 on my 93 Cannondale and aside from chekikng the grease, it never goes out of adjustment. I can't say that about a treadless however.