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  1. #1
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    Headsets: Viable alternative to King?

    This is a discussion on the Turner forum right now and I wanted to get outside thoughts about what headsets are viable alternatives to King.

    Link to the Turner thread

    We have:
    Hope
    FSA
    Interloc
    Race Face
    Cane Creek

    Now I don't want this to become a thread about "My $30 headset is as good as your King". Just something informational to generate alternatives for those willing to pay a little more, but perhaps looking to pay less that King.

  2. #2
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    My choice

    As I just posted in the thread on the Turner forum is the FSA Pig DH pro. It has sealed cartridge bearings, and is meant to take a beating. From my experience, it is just one of theose parts you install and don't have to worry much about.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Just something informational to generate alternatives for those willing to pay a little more, but perhaps looking to pay less that King.
    A used King headset? They last forever.
    Long Live Long Rides

  4. #4
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    Stronglight, Older Ritchey WCS.

    Anything using non cartridge bearings and preferably needle bearings.

    Edit: Woops, meant to tack this to the topic thread.
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  5. #5
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    What about those Woodman headsets that use the needle bearings on the bottom and the cartridge up top, or something.

  6. #6
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    Not Familiar With Them

    Could be good.

    I was just throwing some other options out there. I have a preference toward loose ball or needle bearing headsets. I like the feel better (same with hubs, and BB's to some extent). I realize they can be more maintance intensive and most people like to not have think about lubing and adjusting parts.
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  7. #7
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    Hi.


    Check out Stoneedge Racing: www.stoneedgeracing.com



    Price on the headset in Europe is 120 Euro. The also makes a titanium version of their XC-set, and a stronger DH-headset.

    Nicolai makes a nice headset too. The Nicolai Fett Set costs 100 Euro:




    http://www.nicolai.net/

  8. #8
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    I don't speak or read French

    [QUOTE=C. Alshus]Hi.


    Check out Stoneedge Racing: www.stoneedgeracing.com

    Bummer, cus the site looks nice. I wonder why the products themselves have Enlish words on them (e.g. "sealed bearings" inscribed on the headset), but the web site doesn't offer and English version of the content.
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up for Deus

    I have had a King go bad on me. It was slightly used when I got it. King was willing to look at it, but an over the phone estimate put it at close to $50 or more to fix. Eeeks

    My Race Face Deus was the only part of my bike with bearings that wasn't trashed after the Trans Rockies (fire hose bike washes). I needed a new BB and had to get my hubs rebuilt.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    but the web site doesn't offer and English version of the content.
    Not me either, but if you open the frintpage one more time, you can choose language.
    Press on the "Entrez"-button for frensh page, or the "Enter"-button for english.


    Or just click on -> http://www.stoneedgeracing.com/pages_uk/home.htm

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Now I don't want this to become a thread about "My $30 headset is as good as your King". Just something informational to generate alternatives for those willing to pay a little more, but perhaps looking to pay less that King.
    I faced this same dilemna a few weeks ago. That's when I noticed the huge number of Chris King headsets on Ebay and prompty purchased a new headset for $95 US.

    That's the same price as a Raceface headset at my LBS !

    Ken.

  12. #12
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    Incidentally, I use King, myself. Purchased way before the price hike.

  13. #13
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    For parts, My LBS sucks ass.

    Ok, $80 for a front derailleur... LX!
    $180 for a CK headset? Screw that, hit Danscomp for that.

  14. #14
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    I am very easy on headsets (had one go bad in 23 years of riding) so I can use almost anything. I do not swap out headsets on complete bikes. Just use whatever it comes with.

    I do have a couple of CKs but my future bikes will most likely have Cane Creek Solos.
    I have had a few issues with CKs "knocking" because of the lack of compression rings.
    The IRD looks good, too, though I do not know if it uses a compression ring or not.
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  15. #15
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    I think a few years ago King headsets were superior to anything else on the market, but since then a lot of other companies have caught on, and many of them for a lot lower price. I have a King in one bike, and two bikes with FSA Orbits (with sealed bearings). They all work equally well making it hard to spend twice the price for a King.

  16. #16
    JMH
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    FSA or others with ACB

    Have had excellent experiences with FSA Orbit Xtreme Pro. Have two with 4+ years so far and no problems. The Angular Contact Bearings are much more durable IME than cartridge bearings for headset applications.

    Also Orbit MX is a cheaper alternative that also seems to hold up.

    Like Shiggy I also had a King HS creak, but primarily just lost interest in paying so much, and then paying King for repairs instead of getting warranty service. They make great headsets, but you have to decide you care enough to buy one. Nothing else on my bike lasts 10 years (including the 2 Kings I have owned in the past), so that isn't really important to me when buying.

    JMH

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    ...The Angular Contact Bearings are much more durable IME than cartridge bearings for headset applications...
    CK uses angular contact cartridge bearings, as do most other cartridge bearing headsets.
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  18. #18
    JMH
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    Yes

    Ja, you are right, I didn't write that too clearly. I meant to suggest that any ACB is probably desireable over a regular cartridge bearing, which some companies do still use for headsets.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    CK uses angular contact cartridge bearings, as do most other cartridge bearing headsets.

  19. #19
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    FSA Pig DH and Orbit are great cheaper headsets. Almost as good as a King, which means plenty good for most riders. But I destroyed a Pig DH at Whistler a few years back, and only run Kings now, problem-free.

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