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Plastic Headset(7 posts)

Plastic HeadsetTiger Lilly
Jan 3, 2004 10:24 AM
Does anyone have any info on this gem? It's a plastic headset I took off a 70's vintage bike I bought used from a friend in the early 80's. I'm guessing it was made for track use, but it was ridden on the road. The plastic lower race has a dent for every ball bearing, though the upper is in much better shape. The only writing on it is stamped in the metal toothed lock washer. It says "LIGHTRACE".

I'm sitting at home with my arm in a cast for the 9th week and getting restless and bored. I was putzing around in the garage longing to ride and dug this baby out of the spare parts box. I've occasionally wondered how old it really is. I wish the pictures were a little crisper, but that's the best I can do one-handed.

Lock WasherTiger Lilly
Jan 3, 2004 10:26 AM
This is the only metal part other than the ball bearings themselves.
Lower raceTiger Lilly
Jan 3, 2004 10:27 AM
Why we don't see more plastic headsets. ;^)
No answer,looks like old PVC sewer pipe -nm-tmotz
Jan 3, 2004 10:27 AM
... I'd email or contact Sheldon Brown...Akirasho
Jan 3, 2004 10:33 AM
... perhaps it was a lightweight alternative before the advent of reliable aluminium headsets... amazing.

Sorry about your injury.

Be the bike.
Aren't the cups totally dented?Kerry Irons
Jan 3, 2004 1:57 PM
There have been plastic head sets on the market. Stronglight made some really light units, but they were smart enough to put steel bearing races in them. I can't imagine what plastic could take the point contact pressure of bearings without instant "index steering" due to the bearings denting the cups and races. Your picture suggests that has happened with this unit. With all due respect, it looks like a POS.
Without a doubt...Tiger Lilly
Jan 3, 2004 2:28 PM
it's a POS. I kept it out of curiosity. That, and my tendency to save all manner of junk. I suspect it was made for a track bike, given the lack of steel race inserts. It might have lived a little longer on a smooth track. Even so, without metal races, it goes into the category of "stupid-light".

Kathy :^)