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Headsets 101(2 posts)

Headsets 101_sprocket_
Oct 4, 2002 4:57 AM
What is the typical lifespan of a headset? In just over 2 years of riding, I've now gone through 3 of them, and I don't think that's normal. The same thing happens every time. Without making any adjustments to the headset, the steering starts feeling stiff and binding. I take it to the shop and they tell me the headset is corroded, etc. and needs replacing. Any theories or suggestions? Is there some maintenance that I should be doing that I'm not? I don't do a lot of riding in the rain, but I do sweat a lot (that's my only theory).

Details: 2 threadless headsets on a Giant TCR2 (one stock and one Campy) and now 1 headset on a Schwinn Fastback (Cane Creek integrated). Also, what should I replace the Cane Creek integrated with if they tell me it needs replacing?

Thanks!
re: Headsets 101gtx
Oct 4, 2002 7:08 AM
I got about 50,000 miles out of a DA headset, and I expect as much or more from my King on mt mtb (though I doubt I'll put as many miles on the mtb). I don't sweat much, though I do ride in a lot of rain/mud. You might want to wipe the bike down after rides if you're dropping a lot of sweat on it. Headsets will wear out faster if poorly adjusted, if poorly installed, or if the frame needs facing. New bikes often come with pretty cheap no-name headsets that won't last too long, and I personally have had bad luck with Campy headsets (though that was back in the 80s). For conventional headsets (threaded) I think the Shimano headsets are great for the money, otherwise I like King. I don't know what to tell you about the integrated hs--I think they're a bad idea.