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  1. #1
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    RDO 2 Different Headtubes

    This probably has been covered before but we took my wife's new rdo frame to have the Chris King type 2 headset at the shop that ordered the frame for us and it did not fit. We posted up here and got mixed responses about CK compatibility and now I know why.

    There are 2012 rdo's are available with 2 different headtubes, one mold, older I believe, takes the Cane Creek - smaller dia, shallow beveled indentation. The other headtube is compatible with the King headset - larger dia, deeper inset with straight walls. Good grief. I am hopeful that Niner will swap this out for other frame.

    The end of year prices are great as is the RDO. Just be aware of the 2012 headtude differences if you want to use a King headset. I am probably the only one on this forum who didn't know but I thought I would pass it along as an fyi. No concerns with the 13's.

  2. #2
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    Yup. I thought the frames included headsets. Then mine showed up with no headset. It's the older 2012 that uses the Cane Creek Zero Stack. Lucky for me my LBS had the right ZS-3 in stock.

  3. #3
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    Part of the problem is dealers referring to Niner's bikes as being a "year" model. They don't make them by year, they make versions and update them when they feel necessary. This is moot for the OP, but if you're going to buy a Niner bike, best to find out what "version" rather than "year" then look up the specs in Niner's encyclopedia.

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    Part of the problem is not knowing what version you are getting until the box shows up and you take a look inside. Even when ordered thru a reputable dealer.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpoolguy View Post
    Part of the problem is not knowing what version you are getting until the box shows up and you take a look inside. Even when ordered thru a reputable dealer.
    Hah. There's that too. I must have asked 5 times what version I was getting, ne'er to get a straight answer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpoolguy View Post
    Yup. I thought the frames included headsets. Then mine showed up with no headset. It's the older 2012 that uses the Cane Creek Zero Stack. Lucky for me my LBS had the right ZS-3 in stock.
    Interesting! My frame included the headset.
    -boom

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    Interesting! My frame included the headset.
    That's because yours is the late 2012 and mine is the earlier and much better looking early 2012 version.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by azpoolguy View Post
    That's because yours is the late 2012 and mine is the earlier and much better looking early 2012 version.
    Good one!!
    -boom

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    Quote Originally Posted by azpoolguy View Post
    Yup. I thought the frames included headsets. Then mine showed up with no headset. It's the older 2012 that uses the Cane Creek Zero Stack. Lucky for me my LBS had the right ZS-3 in stock.
    The bike did come with a Cane Creek Headset and we were surprised. We should have realized from the mixed responses that something was up. If Niner has a 2012 blk/white j9 rdo with the other (44mm?) headtube we'll swap.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scvkurt03 View Post
    Hah. There's that too. I must have asked 5 times what version I was getting, ne'er to get a straight answer.

    We asked the LBS if the king headset would work and they said yes so the assumption would be that they specified the correct version when ordering from Niner - though we didn't realize that at the time. The bike industry is always interesting.

  11. #11
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    I was one of the people who said, "Sure go for it - can't see why it wouldn't fit." My apologies. The headset fits in my frame (which I now know is a first generation RDO thanks to your post.) Had no idea they'd changed the headtube.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    I was one of the people who said, "Sure go for it - can't see why it wouldn't fit." My apologies. The headset fits in my frame (which I now know is a first generation RDO thanks to your post.) Had no idea they'd changed the headtube.
    Well, you were correct - works perfect if you have the right version! I left a msg with Niner and judging by what they have done to correct other issues, I'm not worried. I don't see why they wouldn't swap it if they have the other version available.

    If not - the rdo is fun to ride with or without a king headset!

  13. #13
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    Just found out that Niner is sending the version that accepts the CK headset. Thanks Niner.

    BTW- The 2012 rdo's are on sale for $1599 - this is a great price, even lower than a month ago. Damn. We demoed many 29r frames and the Jet 9 RDO was tops, at this price its unbeatable. I am eyeballing the charge card...don't do it, don't do it.

  14. #14
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    Where are RDO frames going for $1599? on CC, still at >$2k and the regular Jet 9 is about $1599. Please let me know. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTN DEW View Post
    Where are RDO frames going for $1599? on CC, still at >$2k and the regular Jet 9 is about $1599. Please let me know. Thanks!
    I don't know about 1599 but bikebling has em for 1649.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTN DEW View Post
    Where are RDO frames going for $1599? on CC, still at >$2k and the regular Jet 9 is about $1599. Please let me know. Thanks!
    I got the email from Outside Outfitters.

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    Thanks for the feedback...I will check out both OO and BB!
    dew

  18. #18
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    I got mine a week ago from Competitive Cyclist and it included both the headset and YAWYD top cap

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by danvar View Post
    I got mine a week ago from Competitive Cyclist and it included both the headset and YAWYD top cap
    Pfft. That's CC for ya. So awesome.

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    Niner returned my call and they will bring up this topic in the next meeting to make sure dealers and the consumers are better informed about the headtube version change from the King to Cane Creek. Looks like King does not trust mfg's to get the tolerances correct and will offer zero stack only. Niner has gone all integrated. I like King but with a bike that rides this good it won't be a deal breaker.

    Thanks to all for decreasing the confusion for new Ninerds.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scvkurt03 View Post
    Pfft. That's CC for ya. So awesome.
    Best Customer Service I have ever come across with

  22. #22
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    Looks like I am playing the headset lottery. New Jet 9 RDO is on the UPS truck and naturally I was so excited by the close out prices I didn't research every last detail. I'm hoping for V1.1 with the Cane Creek to match the Air9 already in the stable.

  23. #23
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    Rdo version control

    My new frame just showed up (ordered from Wrench Science last week - they had the best price until OO and CC showed up this week). I ordered a nice red king headset to add some flair and whaddya know - shows up w niner/cane creek headset. Well, at least i can save 150$ on my build. //hemorrhaging money...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmares View Post
    My new frame just showed up (ordered from Wrench Science last week - they had the best price until OO and CC showed up this week). I ordered a nice red king headset to add some flair and whaddya know - shows up w niner/cane creek headset. Well, at least i can save 150$ on my build. //hemorrhaging money...
    Ah, more money to upgrade elsewhere - the latest prices are incredible for a carbon bike that rides this good.

    Enjoy the build!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    Ah, more money to upgrade elsewhere - the latest prices are incredible for a carbon bike that rides this good.

    Enjoy the build!
    Thanks! This is my first build completely on my own. I have always shopped/bought local, but I moved and dont have a good shop, and my old shop just couldnt help (high end roadie/track store.)

    At first i felt kind of bad getting everything on sale from ebay and online stores... Then it all arrived, and Im getting a badass super trick machine for waaaay under msrp. And Im building it up, so i had an excuse to buy cool tools to complete the shop.

    Pics will be forthcoming in the next week. Building on the 26th.

  26. #26
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    I've got a closeout Jet 9 RDO on order from Outside Outfitters. I guess with what people are seeing I would be well advised to wait to see what version frame I get and if it comes with a headset or not.

    Funny how Niner flip flops on the headset standards. RIP 9 aluminum went from Integrated to Internal(ZS) headset for the latest models and JET 9 RDO went from Internal(ZS) to Integrated for the latest models.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RDO 2 Different Headtubes-screen-shot-2012-12-22-5.53.30-pm.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    Niner returned my call and they will bring up this topic in the next meeting to make sure dealers and the consumers are better informed about the headtube version change from the King to Cane Creek. Looks like King does not trust mfg's to get the tolerances correct and will offer zero stack only. Niner has gone all integrated. I like King but with a bike that rides this good it won't be a deal breaker.

    Thanks to all for decreasing the confusion for new Ninerds.
    Wait, so the new Jet 9 RDO frames have Integrated headsets? Glad I got one with Internal then. I can only imagine how bad carbon would hold up to having that bearing rubbing up against it. I already have a bad creaking problem with another Integrated headtube.

  28. #28
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    You know what this forum needs? A sticky with a link the the Niner Encyclopedia.

    Niner Encyclopedia The Holy Grail of Niner Bikes

    I vote to sticky!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by llamma View Post
    Wait, so the new Jet 9 RDO frames have Integrated headsets? Glad I got one with Internal then. I can only imagine how bad carbon would hold up to having that bearing rubbing up against it. I already have a bad creaking problem with another Integrated headtube.
    I was thinking about this and suspect that carbon would actually hold up better than aluminum in that situation. Unfinished aluminum has a bad habit of turning into black goop under friction situations... a problem I don't believe carbon has. This may be why the aluminum frames have moved to the ZS style headsets whereas the carbon are able to take advantage of the weight savings of not having pressed in cups.

  30. #30
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    Well my closeout Jet 9 RDO showed up from Jenson USA and it looks like I got V1.0 which takes the zerostack and before the headbadge changes. Funny how I could be so stocked about the framing showing up only to be disappointed that it was V1.0 not V1.1. I'm shallow.......

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tneker View Post
    Well my closeout Jet 9 RDO showed up from Jenson USA and it looks like I got V1.0 which takes the zerostack and before the headbadge changes. Funny how I could be so stocked about the framing showing up only to be disappointed that it was V1.0 not V1.1. I'm shallow.......
    Well you will be High when you ride it
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tneker View Post
    Well my closeout Jet 9 RDO showed up from Jenson USA and it looks like I got V1.0 which takes the zerostack and before the headbadge changes. Funny how I could be so stocked about the framing showing up only to be disappointed that it was V1.0 not V1.1. I'm shallow.......
    I was in the same boat when I got in on the beginnings of the frame deals a couple months ago. But every time I ride the thing my smiles per miles far out way what is under my stem.

  33. #33
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    Mine came with an FSA headset, built it yesterday, merry Xmas to me

  34. #34
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    Hey guys...playing the waiting game like the rest of you..not sure which version to expect. I ordered mine from a local dealer who matched the OO price (Cheers to that!)..we are talking out the door price, no sales tax on top of the price. I kinda expected the headset to not be included..so i had the dealer order the proper cane creek one.

    For you guys who have received your frames w/ headsets...what headsets are they coming with from niner? Cane Creek or FSA? Are there any markings on the headset cap...or on the actual cups? Or any visible differences between the preinstalled headsets and an aftermarket cane creek zero stack? I wanna make sure they dont see a headset already installed...but still charge me for the additional part...I told them to press fit the bb and headset before I come to pick it up...and i can see how something like that could slip through the cracks

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    Hey guys...playing the waiting game like the rest of you..not sure which version to expect. I ordered mine from a local dealer who matched the OO price (Cheers to that!)..we are talking out the door price, no sales tax on top of the price. I kinda expected the headset to not be included..so i had the dealer order the proper cane creek one.

    For you guys who have received your frames w/ headsets...what headsets are they coming with from niner? Cane Creek or FSA? Are there any markings on the headset cap...or on the actual cups? Or any visible differences between the preinstalled headsets and an aftermarket cane creek zero stack? I wanna make sure they dont see a headset already installed...but still charge me for the additional part...I told them to press fit the bb and headset before I come to pick it up...and i can see how something like that could slip through the cracks
    My V1.0 came from Jenson USA without a headset so I orderered the appropriate 40 series cane creek once I confirmed it was a zero stack frame. I recall my Air 9 came with an FSA headset, but I installed a cane creek and ebayed the FSA. I was pleasantly surprised that it came with a niner seat clamp.

  36. #36
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    For the guys that have the 1.0 Frame.
    You have the capability to run different angled headsets to make the frame a little more Trail/downhill savvy (not like Redbull downhill). The newer ones with the internal headsets cannot do this. When I asked Niner about this they said that if you had one of the newer version going to a 120 fork would make the geometry slacker and improve the Trail characteristics.

    I currently have another brand of of 29er with very similar geometry except it is almost 2 degrees slacker at the head angle. it sure is confidence inspiring when the trail decends. (or what some of us midwesterners consider decending anyway ) I love the way the bike rides but have always wanted an Jet9Rdo

    My Niner frame is currently on my Mantle as I gather odds and ends for the build. Not the most popular storage location in the household but I really like it.

    Anyway I plan on initially running the stock headset the existin 100MM Reba then making decisions on different headset mfgs/Fork options after some seat time on the bike.

    If you look at some of the Magazine reviews this was an area they thought would enhance the bike if used as a trailbike.

    This is not the writeup I was thinking about but they mention it (Stock headset angle =71.5)

    Edit: I do not have enough posts to post a link in this forum but if you put www in front of the following line you will see the reference.
    dirtragmag.com/reviews/review-niner-jet9-rdo
    Last edited by Ohfugit; 01-12-2013 at 06:45 PM.

  37. #37
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    Mine has the integrated headset too...no complaints. Saved me a couple bucks on the build. Also came with the bottle top cap and a niner seatpost clamp. Definitely was expecting those to be included...cheers to that!

  38. #38
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    I got mine from Outside Outfitters 2 weeks ago $1500 is hard to beat for such an amazing frame, and it came with a headset. I was lucky to get the inset headset, otherwise I would have returnded it and tried to find an inset frame. STAY AWAY FROM INTEGRATED HEADSETS!!! ESPECIALLY ON CARBON FRAMES!!! Carbon fiber is a very strong material when layed up properly, however.... there is a reason you do not see carbon fiber knife blades, tools, etc. it is not a strong material for friction, contact, and sheer force. read the following information about Inset vs. integrated from Chris King: http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/Int2...sExplained.pdf

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdcrisp View Post
    I got mine from Outside Outfitters 2 weeks ago $1500 is hard to beat for such an amazing frame, and it came with a headset. I was lucky to get the inset headset, otherwise I would have returnded it and tried to find an inset frame. STAY AWAY FROM INTEGRATED HEADSETS!!! ESPECIALLY ON CARBON FRAMES!!! Carbon fiber is a very strong material when layed up properly, however.... there is a reason you do not see carbon fiber knife blades, tools, etc. it is not a strong material for friction, contact, and sheer force. read the following information about Inset vs. integrated from Chris King: http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/Int2...sExplained.pdf
    Sweet PDF from 2002! Not sure its relevant anymore though. I have integrated headsets on all my frames, road and mountain. Nothing against king but it sure seems like companies like niner have their **** together. My air9 rdo headset has been great and I've had it for a year now. I could see how you might have issues if the bearings locked up but you would have issues in any material at that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If I told you I saw a unicorn ****ing a leprechaun trail side, you'd probably be suspicious.

  40. #40
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    ... and if we just ... Integrated headsets and bottom brackets not good design...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeopleForScience View Post
    Sweet PDF from 2002! Not sure its relevant anymore though. I have integrated headsets on all my frames, road and mountain. Nothing against king but it sure seems like companies like niner have their **** together. My air9 rdo headset has been great and I've had it for a year now. I could see how you might have issues if the bearings locked up but you would have issues in any material at that point.
    The problem as Chris King and several other manufacturers have pointed out over the years is that integrated bearings in headtubes and in bottom brackets (BB30) inherently put undo stress directly against the frame itself. The outside race of the bearings are usually made of a very hard material such as high carbon steel or or high carbon stainless steel. In a world were we are putting extremly high amounts of load on cranksets and headsets (think impact force not constant force) one of the two materials at a junction such as a bearing to mating surface is going to see some sort of distribution of friction (even with great bearings) and or some sort of cohesion or distribution of high levels of "rubbing" if you will. When you have a soft or low hardness material such as carbon fiber fighting against a hard or high hardness material such as the outside of a bearing= ultimately the bearing is going to win the battle it is only a matter of time. This is why several bike manufacturers have stepped away from BB30 or integrated headset frames or have all together never made frames with integrated headsets or BB30 bottom brackets. If you read Park Tools explanation, Chris Kings, Moots, Specialized and so on most people agree that having an interface of direct contact on the frame with the bearings is a recipe for long term failure. However there are several great alternatives. For instance with Bottom Brackets you can still have the benifits of oversized 30mm spindle but have the bearings rest within a cup such as PF30 just like Niner uses on the Jet9 RDO. And in the case of headsets you have the internal versus the integrated. Having some sort of cup that can take the friction, cohesion, linear momentumand collision forces (no matter how small these forces are) is a good idea when mating a very hard material such as a bearing against something with such a low hardness and friction rating such as carbon fiber. Why do it, why take the risk? when you can simply put something between the bearings and the frame. The answer comes from the road frame world were there is a never ending quest to one up the other guys by making a bike a few grams lighter than the next manufacturer. As some manufacturers have said is it reduces the weight how ever slight it may be, and in the never ending quest to have the lightest frame on the market taking out a small amount of aluminum (or steel in the case of some headset manufacturers) saves some weight. Remember not all things that trickle down from the road world is necessarily a win win for the mountain bike world as well.
    You may be able to generate several hundred ft. lbs of constant torque with your leg against a lever (your crank arm) as you push down on it with all your weight. However unlike in the roadie world in the Mountain bike world a simply jump and landing off something as small as even a one foot jump can generate exponentially much more force. For instance a simple 150lb runner who is jogging generates roughly 1200lbs of impact step after step!
    Now just imagine how much force you and your bike are generating on your headtube juntion and bottom bracket junction everytime you hit a bump, take a jump, etc. I have read that some mountain bike manufacturers have seen numbers as high as 7000 to 8000 lbs of impact force from a simple xc racer on a xc race course on the bottom bracket and headtube. Now imagine how much force all mountian, free ride and downhillers generate! remember a jogger is taking a simple stride and not actually getting there foot much more than 4 to 10 inches off the ground. Impact Force is a big reason several manufacturers such as Chris King, ect simply refuse to make integrated headsets or bottom brackets.... its only a matter of time before your frame will wear down in these highly stressed spots as the bearing has to wear on something...
    yes that article I posted from Chris King may have been written in 2002 but too my understanding the laws of physics we are talking about have not changed since 2002?

  41. #41
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    It makes sense that an integrated headset could potentially cause problems to the frame, but wouldnt niners 5 year carbon warranty cover problems like this?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    It makes sense that an integrated headset could potentially cause problems to the frame, but wouldnt niners 5 year carbon warranty cover problems like this?
    Do you want to be depending on warranty to save you from a problem like that, and more importantly what happens after 5 years is up? I certainly wouldn't be thrilled to have to throw away a $2600 frame because the headset cups wore out at year 6. I wonder it it would be possible to ream out the head tube to accept ZS headset cups if that ever happened?

  43. #43
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    Headset worry = maintenance is your friend

    In response to the guy said "Nothing against king but it sure seems like companies like niner have their **** together." Really? Niner has repeadtly changed their designs to try and keep up with what is the most current. But more often than not gone back to what is tried and true ie. the new RIP9 RDO has a regular english thread bottom bracket. Furthermore over the years Niner has had a couple "oh oh" momments and had recalls and or "free" frame replacements due to errors. I am in no way bashing Niner, in fact I love Niner. I'm a Ninerd and own a WFO and and JET9 RDO. I think their suspension design is one of the best on the market if not the best. They build one hell of a strong and robust frame. (I have ridden many bikes in my 20+ years of mountain biking and I have never ridden a stiffer frame, that still pedals as efficiently and is still so plush of a ride!
    But... Niner is not perfect, no one is! The point I am getting at is, Niner at least stands by their mistakes, and takes care of their clients, much better than most companies in my opinion.

    More importantly, everything I have said is just my opinion, I am not an expert, and furthermore I am human so no matter how hard I try I will have some bias in my opinions, based on past experiences. Just like everyone else on these forums, all comments are just opinions, some more educated opinions than others, but all the same just opinions.
    So point being, take everything you read on these and all forums with a grain of salt!
    it doesn't matter what type of headset you end up getting- integreated, inset, etc. the main thing to do, is check your headset regularly, with your regular maintenance and you should be fine.
    Maintenance is your friend! and your bike will reward you for it!

  44. #44
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    Great post. Frame mfg's make decisions for a variety of reasons and it would be interesting to get Niners take on the headset decision.

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