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I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)(27 posts)

I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)Lazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 7:29 AM
Seems to me that enough people have been riding them for long enough that all the paranoia and speculation has been silenced for now. I have yet to read on any board or hear with any regularity, mass amounts of people who have experienced any major or consistent issues. Now some of you will chime in and say that they have heard of many issues, but there is no evidence other than an unscientific individualized experiential "study" by some wacko ultra-retro-grouch. Point being that an ill adjusted or maintained traditional headset can be just as damaging.
Am I being intentionally inflamatory? Yes, but I am legitimatley curious of why all the speculated doom and gloom has quietly gone away about the integrated headset. Personally I could care less about whether I ride an integrated or traditional hs as long as they work, but so many people spoke with such conviction and "authority" about this topic when all along I asked for some real proof other than speculation.
DO NOT POST A LINK TO THAT PATHETIC ARTICLE BY CHRIS KING EITHER. That is a sad sad attempt (and ridiculously biased) by them to try and change consumer's sentiments about a design that they were either too lazy or stupid to try and come to the table with before the other companies did. I still laugh at that article because it is so obvious that they spent so much time and effort drawing those diagrams and formulating theories about how poor a design the integrated hs was when they should have put that energy into building their own design and shopping it to frame manufacturers 2 years ago. Oh well.
re: I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)mackgoo
Jan 26, 2003 7:34 AM
Yeah; so.
re: I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)Elefantino
Jan 26, 2003 9:34 AM

(And his point is?)

Mike, the link to Chris King
The point isLazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 9:50 AM
that in the beginning of all of this debate, the detractors had a ton of speculative ammunition and would get on soap boxes preaching how it was a (solution to a non-problem or something like that). I am curious about where all the talk and critisms are now that the design seems to be working out just fine and the bicycle world didn't crumble.
the jury is STILL out...Akirasho
Jan 26, 2003 7:41 AM
... while the vast majority of new quality frames being made now sport some form of integrated headset... they still make up a small percentage of total units on the road and in service...

I'm not agin integrated... rather some compatibility issues and whether or not the first encarnations would indeed be plagued with teething problems (many of us have "firsts" of new products (cycling and non cycling)... that have collected a film of dust or hit the trash bin).

So too with other trends in bike build (CF stays, oversize bars, etc). People are creatures of habit... we like things they way they... are.

Be the bike. does Mr. Colnago:seyboro
Jan 26, 2003 8:34 AM
"...Ernesto has no interest in the integrated bearings currently in vogue, and has even placed advertisements in the Italian cycling press advising potential customers not to ask for an integrated system, since he will never offer one." (cyclesport, Feb. 2003, p.105).
And now, all WE have to do, is wait for another rant from Mr. Writer... does Mr. Colnago:motta
Jan 26, 2003 8:52 AM
He was no fan of aluminum either, but now we have the Dream. Integrated HS will be on Colnago's, just give it time.
What does Mr. Colnago have to do with any of thisLazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 8:56 AM
You speak as if he is the end all be all and that every other bike manufacturer answers to him. WHO CARES. Pinarello, Derosa are nicer IMO because they seem to pay more attention to quality control and they use the design. My LBS constantly shows me flaws in the Colnagos (be it mostly cosmetic) that they don't see in such big quantities in the Pinas or Derosa they sell.
Ernesto is simply too arrogant and probably too lazy to change the way he manufacturers frames. I respect him for that actually (the idea that he didn't jump on the band wagon) but I still defy him to give a practical reason for not producing the design. He always has been resistant to change btw so why do you think throwing his name out there gives you any validation?
Jan 26, 2003 9:06 AM
is still using 1" headtubes. Maybe one reason we don't see integrated designs is because he is still using 1" forks/headsets/headtubes.

Maybe you should wait & see if he goes 1 and 1/8. Then see if he uses traditional or integrated.
I forgot to mention the 1" thing.Lazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 9:15 AM
That proves my point about his resistance to change. He isn't avoiding using integrated hs because they are inherently flawed. Rather he is not using them because of his own arrogance and stubborness.
I forgot to mention the 1" thing.Fez
Jan 26, 2003 10:19 AM
Maybe it is because he doesn't want to bother with retooling/reconfiguring the plant - who knows? With carbon it may be a lot of work. With the other materials, maybe no big deal. Who cares? No one complains about Colnagos as being noodly or weak in that area anyway.

Colnagos as you know are sold pretty much as a frameset, including fork, stem and seatpost. Since I've never come across someone who has ditched the Colnago fork for a Look or a Reynolds, its kind of a moot point.
Oh, the jury is IN.motta
Jan 26, 2003 8:58 AM
And the retro's lost, thank god. The integrated HS in all of it's forms is here to stay. Just like V-brakes, splined BB's, direct connect stems, carbon stays, disc brakes, STI/Ergo shifting, oversized bars (now in the MTB world as well) and the myriad of other innovations that make bikes great.
re: I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)Fez
Jan 26, 2003 7:42 AM
If Litespeed only offered the Vortex with a traditional headset, would you be telling the opposite story?
re: I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)Lazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 8:43 AM
Actually, no. I generally do not criticize any design or bicycle that I do not have any experience with. I like when companies try new things and try to be innovative. I agree that I don't want to be a guinea pig, but before I bought my Vortex I did my research on how they do their integrated hs. Litespeed changed the Vortex again this year which doesns't affect my opinion of my particular model. In fact, I am not a big fan of bladed downtubes or the big yellow decals of the 2003 but I am sure the new Vortex kicks ass.
All things being equal, the integrated hs is easier to maintain/service and looks nicer (although that is more subjective, but it does look cool). If they both work, then I persoanlly don't care which one I have and would probably choose the integrated 90% of the time depending upon if I like the frame.
I was legitimately asking for proof of everyone's speculation and all the "experts" chimed in on how and why it was a mistake with nothing but assumptions. I guess all the 2003 frames that continued the design did a lot to silence the critics. I admit their is a difference between the integrated and semi integrated design (the latter has the pressed in cups where the bearings sit and not directly against the frame, but no quality frame maker used the truly integrated design.
Only time will tellFez
Jan 26, 2003 9:02 AM
But some things to think about:

1. If there was an inherent problem with integrated, frame manufacturers would have seen it from the past 2 racing seasons.

2. Just because an integrated headset does well in racing conditions (hard use, but skilled mechanics wrenching), doesn't mean it will do well with consumers (anything goes).

3. Interestingly, frame manufacturers may have put themselves in precarious position, having to replace frames for headset/headtube problems whereas that exposure hardly existed before. Perhaps they will make good on any problems at huge cost (frame and headset replacement) or maybe they will disclaim warranty and say it is normal wear and tear.

4. Regardless, I would like to have the "internal" kind where there is no bearing contact with the headtube.
Once againLazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 9:12 AM
Pure speculation. I agree that I would only buy a integrated HS with the cups to protect the inside of the frame. That is how most of the better frames are made.
If the pros are racing these things without incident, then consumers like us shouldn't have any issues. It is no different in adjusting an integrated headset than any other threadless hs. No different. So where is the problem?
Thick metal pressed in cups to protect the frame and your typical threadless adjustment. Where is the problem???????????????? You cannot find one.
re: I was right once again. (Paranoia over integrated headsets)bugleboy
Jan 26, 2003 1:39 PM
The vortex is made or 6.4 titianium which is much harder than 3.2. one reason for maybe not having an interated system is because it might be too expensive to machine the head tube. It has been just recently that they have been able to draw 6.4 ti as a tube instead of welding a sheet into a tube.
But they have changed since conceived.bugleboy
Jan 26, 2003 8:53 AM
When integrated headsets first came out the bearings lay naked into the head tube. That did have adverse affects if not properly adjusted. How couldn't it with the bearings directly in contact with the inside of the headtube, especially if the headtube wasn't well machined. Now a lot of the Integrated headsets have cups that fit into the headset. Most company's will include headsets that has the cups. Example Cannondale and Specialized(even on the Sworks). They whole thing originally was to eliminate the cups to eliminate the weight. That theory is out the window now isn't it? By the way Chris Kind does make an integrated headset(with cups). So your right... kind of, but only after they have gone through an evolutionary process. I guess if we all were to wait long enough something that we stated might become the truth. You might be the next Nostrdamis(sp?)
But they have changed since conceived.motta
Jan 26, 2003 9:03 AM
That is not true. There has never been an integrated design that had the bearing races machined into the headtube.
Jan 26, 2003 1:25 PM
Schwinn's ICBM (in the mountain bike realm, before the nosedive/bankruptcy) did machine the headtube as the bearing race (foolishly). If you ruin this, you get to upgrade your frame with something more sensible, like a zero-stack headset design.
But they have changed since conceived.Lazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 9:06 AM
I agree and stated in above post that I would only have gotten a frame with the "cups" which protect the frame. People still talked about this design as flawed when in reality, it is no different (essentially) than a traditional headset except that the integrated is more easily installed and maintained.
Kings Perido is a waste and their half ass attempt to say "look we are keeping up too". They seemingly created it so it cannot be used on any frame (essentially). It is not compatible with anything. Why? Because they probably thought that if they show they are giving into the integrated craze, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot as it would take away from their core business. In reality, it was their complacency that shot them in the foot. They were late to the table and got squeezed out. I would love to use a King integrate hs on my Vortex if they made one that is compatible.
But they have changed since conceived.Rob Sal
Jan 26, 2003 10:05 AM
Mr Lazytroll, you have just pointed out the main problem with the 'integrated craze'- you want to use a King set but it's not compatible, I presume you will have to try and make do with whatever IS compatible. Not a problem you would have had with the traditional set up.
But the reality is that most high end bikesLazywriter
Jan 26, 2003 12:05 PM
have integrated headsets. Therefore it is no skin off my ass if I have to use Campy or CC, they both work just as good as my 3 other bikes with traditional hs. I think it is more important that King gets off their assess and adapts to the realities of the market rather than hope and try to "convince" people that the new design is bad like they tried to do in their pathetic article.
There is only a handful of holdouts and that is fine and good, but I still want proof from the detractors that there is something inherently wrong with the design. You guys talk about future problems with finding parts, but the reality is that if most bikes keep coming out with the integrated hs, it will be the traditional hs that will be harder to find. Look at quill stems, the selection is diminishing. Same thing will happen.
why so worked up over a freakin headset?DougSloan
Jan 27, 2003 7:47 AM
Even in my pathological bike obsession days, the headset, in any iteration of it, is about a 1 on a scale of 100 of concerns. Seems to me you are more bent on proving you are "right" versus anything that really matters for bikes. Either way, integrated or not, works perfectly fine.

I doubt Ernesto will lose a single sale over this. Anyone considering a Colnago is not going to even think about the headset issue. It's almost laughable. Tire color is probably more important.

why so worked up over a freakin headset?Rob Sal
Jan 27, 2003 12:11 PM
Personally I think Lazytroll should get out and ride his bike more.

For me a headset is something I put on and forget about for the rest of the life of the frame. One Campag one I have has been running flawlessly, without any maintainence, for 12-13 years in all weathers.

Lazytroll has presumably owned an integrated headset for a couple of years without trouble and so thought it means 'he was right'!
No Doug,Lazywriter
Jan 27, 2003 9:07 PM
I am not hell bent on proving I am right because I need validation, I was curioius of where all the "experts" gone whoe spoke out about how it was the "beginning of the end" of the cycling industry. You don't remember the diatribes that went on?
As far as Colnago, they are fine bikes but innovation and experimentation is a good thing as is his purist stance. But he will eventually crack.
maybe exaggerating a little?DougSloan
Jan 28, 2003 7:40 AM
I think you are exaggerating the extent of how much anyone cares about this; I doubt anyone said anything about this being the "beginning of the end" of the cycling industry. Heck, they probably said that when derailleurs were invented, thus the "beginning of the end" occured long ago.

No doubt industry standards and pressure can eventually force nearly everyone to do something else. If they stop making non-integrated headsets, then I suppose Ernesto will have to cave. That's darn near a truism, isn't it?

I think many times these things are driven by economics as much as useful advantage, sort of like sloping top tubes. That could well be the case here.