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  1. #1
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    Chris King No Thread Set Headset on vertex rsl 70

    a quick one here for the experts. before i buy it, can i fit a Chris King No Thread Set Headset to a 09 vertex rsl 70?

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Nope, not unless there's a new CK version that can mount where a Campy 42mm Integrated Headset would mount. The 44mm King Internal headset won't fit.
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 04-05-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Allow me to clarify:

    Campy = INTEGRATED. No cups pressed into frame, bearings drop in directly.
    CK = INTERNAL. Cups press into frame, bearings go into cups.

    CK does not work with any of our carbon frames. It works on our Vertex 30 / 50 2010, and in a roundabout way w. our 29'ers. (mix+match w. 1.5 lower)
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  4. #4
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    thanks for the info!

    so i presume the fsa headset that came with the frame is the best you can get for a vertex rsl 70?

  5. #5
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    Unle$$ you want to go ceramic bearing$...
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  6. #6
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    can you please specify the exact name of the ceramic bearings headset?

    thanks ron

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    That would be the FSA Orbit CF Ceramic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    Allow me to clarify:

    Campy = INTEGRATED. No cups pressed into frame, bearings drop in directly.
    CK = INTERNAL. Cups press into frame, bearings go into cups.

    CK does not work with any of our carbon frames. It works on our Vertex 30 / 50 2010, and in a roundabout way w. our 29'ers. (mix+match w. 1.5 lower)
    RMB-PM,

    Mind if I ask a question? Is there any reason for going integrated on all alloy/CF framesets?

  9. #9
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    1. Lighter system weight
    2. Oversized HT = stronger = lighter
    3. Better bearing separation
    4. Easier service (no special tools required)

    Are the 4 main reasons...
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    Unle$$ you want to go ceramic bearing$...
    OR RF "Deus" Aheadset or CK "NoThreadSet"

    Ohh wait, I just can't do that! I'm holding on to my "older" RM's more than ever now. The only exception is this year's Blizz, but that's an other story.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    1. Lighter system weight
    2. Oversized HT = stronger = lighter
    3. Better bearing separation
    4. Easier service (no special tools required)

    Are the 4 main reasons...

    Sorry, but none of those reasons are true.

    1. The weight advantage is miniscule.

    2. The head tube is not strengthened by removing the bearing cup. If anything, by having the bearing placed directly against the frame, you are applying more forces onto the frame and harming the frame directly. Furthermore, the bearing cup (which is almost always a stronger piece of metal than the frame itself) absorbs the loads from the fork against the bearing, and distributes them unto the headtube over a wider surface area...thus protecting the headtube from damage in two ways, actually.

    3. Better bearing separation? What does that even mean?

    4. Easier service? A bearing cup remover is $30 or $40. But you don't even need to remove the cups to service the bearings.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    1. Lighter system weight
    2. Oversized HT = stronger = lighter
    3. Better bearing separation
    4. Easier service (no special tools required)

    Are the 4 main reasons...

    Sorry, but none of those reasons are true.

    1. The weight advantage is miniscule.

    2. The head tube is not strengthened by removing the bearing cup. If anything, by having the bearing placed directly against the frame, you are applying more forces onto the frame and harming the frame directly. Furthermore, the bearing cup (which is almost always a stronger piece of metal than the frame itself) absorbs the loads from the fork against the bearing, and distributes them unto the headtube over a wider surface area...thus protecting the headtube from damage in two ways, actually.

    3. Better bearing separation? What does that even mean?

    4. Easier service? A bearing cup remover is $30 or $40. But you don't even need to remove the cups to service the bearings.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator
    Sorry, but none of those reasons are true.

    1. The weight advantage is miniscule.

    2. The head tube is not strengthened by removing the bearing cup. If anything, by having the bearing placed directly against the frame, you are applying more forces onto the frame and harming the frame directly. Furthermore, the bearing cup (which is almost always a stronger piece of metal than the frame itself) absorbs the loads from the fork against the bearing, and distributes them unto the headtube over a wider surface area...thus protecting the headtube from damage in two ways, actually.

    3. Better bearing separation? What does that even mean?

    4. Easier service? A bearing cup remover is $30 or $40. But you don't even need to remove the cups to service the bearings.
    1. Miniscule? So in fact it is true? FYI: here are 2 equivalent headsets...

    FSA Orbit C Integrated - 73g
    FSA Orbit X Trad - 95g

    Sounds stupid, but it's not all that easy to eek 22g out of a frame. Our engineers also swear they can make the headtube lighter, since there is no pressfit to hold the cups in place. Extra material is needed to resist that pressfit. So the SYSTEM weight (headset + frame) is indeed lighter...

    2. I didn't say anything about the headset interface being stronger... the whole font end is stronger, since there is a larger area to work with, to move carbon around. The OD is bigger, without adding thickness...

    3. For the same given stack height (on the bike, incl the headtube), the contact points with the frame are further apart. I.e. where the integrated bearings sit in the frame (where the loads are) is further apart than the traditional contact points of cups (where the loads are). The further apart you can get the loading points, the more solid the connection. And again, for the same given stack weight, the headtube length is longer (by about the height of the 2 cups), and longer HT's are stronger. And if something is stronger, it can be made lighter.

    4. To service bearings, no, you don't need a $30 - $40 tool, or a screwdriver and a hammer if you're REALLY thrifty. Nor do you need a $200 headset installer from Park tool. But if your headeset is dead / kaput / old / ugly and you feel you need to remove the cups or press some back in... Then you either buy the tool, pay to have someone else do it for you or if you're a bro, buy someone a beer. So yes, all things being equal (New headset to new headset), it is easier on maintenance...

    Look, I know there are a lot of integrated headsets haters out there. And I know we can't make EVERYONE happy ALL the time. And I suspect that you, Waspinator, are a die hard traditional HS kinda guy, and that's cool, CK makes killer headsets (I own 2, but have fewer and fewer bikes to put them on). But there is a lot of misinformation out there on the subject.

    But on occasion, we do think some of this stuff through.

    Oh, and of all the 5.5" travel Altitude RSL's out there being over-ridden and abused... Not a single report of headsets troubles. Oh, and BMX have been using integrated (in steel, granted) for years now. If a 25lbs bmx falling from 8' onto it's fork doesn't kill an integrated headset, not sure we can on the Vertex RSL either.

    Sorry, no multi colored CK headsets here....
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    1. Miniscule? So in fact it is true? FYI: here are 2 equivalent headsets...

    FSA Orbit C Integrated - 73g
    FSA Orbit X Trad - 95g

    Sounds stupid, but it's not all that easy to eek 22g out of a frame.
    Twenty-two grams is the weight of about nine pennies. Yes, I know that every gram adds up, but you're removing weight by removing a very important part from what is quite arguably the most important part of the bike.

    Our engineers also swear they can make the headtube lighter, since there is no pressfit to hold the cups in place. Extra material is needed to resist that pressfit. So the SYSTEM weight (headset + frame) is indeed lighter...
    Instead, you're using in your frame a design where you drop in a bearing that is not tightly held in place (i.e. there is far greater potential for movement of these bearings when forces are applied to the fork). And this bearing is being placed directly against the frame....which very well may be a $1000 or $2000 product! If the headset isn't perfectly tightened, any movement is going to result in the bearing rubbing directly against the frame. It's a bad design. Period.

    2. I didn't say anything about the headset interface being stronger... the whole font end is stronger, since there is a larger area to work with, to move carbon around. The OD is bigger, without adding thickness...

    3. For the same given stack height (on the bike, incl the headtube), the contact points with the frame are further apart. I.e. where the integrated bearings sit in the frame (where the loads are) is further apart than the traditional contact points of cups (where the loads are). The further apart you can get the loading points, the more solid the connection. And again, for the same given stack weight, the headtube length is longer (by about the height of the 2 cups), and longer HT's are stronger. And if something is stronger, it can be made lighter.
    "For a given stack height". I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't hold water, especially since there is such a thing as an "internal" or "zero stack" headset (i.e. where the bearing cups are hidden within the headtube).

    As for your strength vs. stack height benefit, I don't have any statistics to comment on it. Although, I suspect that you're merely making a conjecture.

    4. To service bearings, no, you don't need a $30 - $40 tool, or a screwdriver and a hammer if you're REALLY thrifty. Nor do you need a $200 headset installer from Park tool. But if your headeset is dead / kaput / old / ugly and you feel you need to remove the cups or press some back in... Then you either buy the tool, pay to have someone else do it for you or if you're a bro, buy someone a beer. So yes, all things being equal (New headset to new headset), it is easier on maintenance...
    Pay someone to do it for you? I've never had a bike shop charge me more than $25 to remove an old headset and install a new one. But what if they charged $50 for the process? How often do you need to replace your headsets? I've ridden a Syncros headset for the last ten years, and it is still working flawlessly. In fact, it's the frames that have changed, and the headset has been removed and installed into two different frames.

    Look, I know there are a lot of integrated headsets haters out there. And I know we can't make EVERYONE happy ALL the time. And I suspect that you, Waspinator, are a die hard traditional HS kinda guy, and that's cool, CK makes killer headsets (I own 2, but have fewer and fewer bikes to put them on). But there is a lot of misinformation out there on the subject.

    But on occasion, we do think some of this stuff through.
    Ummm, not really. Much of the design decisions of the biking industry are made based on fads. In contrast, you look at some of the highest-end manufacturers--i.e. Litespeed, Merlin, SevenCycles, Colnago, and so on -- and you'll see that most of them do not use integrated headsets. Not anymore, at least. They either use standard threadless headsets or zero-stack headsets. They make expensive frames, and they value the benefits of bearing cups.

    Oh, and of all the 5.5" travel Altitude RSL's out there being over-ridden and abused... Not a single report of headsets troubles. Oh, and BMX have been using integrated (in steel, granted) for years now. If a 25lbs bmx falling from 8' onto it's fork doesn't kill an integrated headset, not sure we can on the Vertex RSL either.

    Sorry, no multi colored CK headsets here....
    "Not a single report of...."

    Did you ever consider the possibility that problems aren't getting reported to you? It seems as though you don't do business with online retailers, so customers probably take their problems to their local bike shops who are likely to handle them directly.

    Moreover, what kind of "troubles" did you have in mind? I'm not talking about someone cracking the headtube or "killing an integrated headset". I'm talking about damage that probably does occur to the inside of your headtubes from bearings sitting directly, and loosely, inside of them.

    Besides, someone above, in this very thread, reported a problem!

    Finally, I thought I should mention: I just purchased one of your Vertex frames. It's my first Rocky Mountain product....and my first bike that uses an integrated headset.

  15. #15
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    The top tubes and downtubes on titanium and steel bikes aren't big enough to make it worthwhile to use really big diameter headtubes, on aluminium and carbon bikes, big diameter DT and TT tubes are needed which makes bigger weld areas or carbon tube blending necessary which pushes the head tube size up.

    There aren't any standard 45-50mm diameter steel or Ti headtubes that would fit internal headsets, and that's why those custom steel or Ti frame manufacturers still use press in 1-1/8" headsets.

    And of course as many people discover, you can ovalize the thin headtube on steel or Ti frames and that means an expensive bit of headtube replacement or remachining necessary.

    You'd have to put aluminium inserts into a carbon frame to press a headset into it, you wouldn't want to be pressing a 1-1/8" headset into a bare carbon headtube. I wouldn't anyway. I like the ease of just tossing the headset bearings into the cups in the frame on my Vertex RSL and Altitude 90 RSL, piece of cake to install or change, and so far every bit as stable and solid as any press-in headset.

    My only complaint about internal headsets is that there are about 20 different versions, and they don't make every style/model in all the quality ranges. If there were only 2-3 different versions, they could make them all in the same quality versions.
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  16. #16
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    Well, let's agree to disagree. I'm OK with that. Besides, you now know how to get ahold of myself, Peteypete and JPHcross, so if you run in to any trouble, don't hesitate.

    A
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    The top tubes and downtubes on titanium and steel bikes aren't big enough to make it worthwhile to use really big diameter headtubes, on aluminium and carbon bikes, big diameter DT and TT tubes are needed which makes bigger weld areas or carbon tube blending necessary which pushes the head tube size up.
    For a couple of years, Litespeed used integrated headsets on a few of their titanium frames. But that's beside the point.

    What you're talking about regarding tube diameters may or may not be true. They've been using pretty damn big-diameter tubes for a long time now. Moreover, the tube diameter has nothing to do with the decision to use integrated or standard headsets (i.e. headsets with bearing cups). I'd have absolutely no problem with frames that require zero-stack headsets. (Of course, when it comes to a DH or FR bike, I'd want something that could use a headset with a deep insertion....i.e. like the Chris King Steelset or the RaceFace Diabolus).

    There aren't any standard 45-50mm diameter steel or Ti headtubes that would fit internal headsets, and that's why those custom steel or Ti frame manufacturers still use press in 1-1/8" headsets.
    I think you're mistaking "internal" with "integrated". Internal headsets are very similar to standard headsets. They have bearing cups, but the bearing cups are completely hidden the headtube. Integrated headsets don't use any bearing cups. The bearings sit directly (and loosely) against the frame.

    And of course as many people discover, you can ovalize the thin headtube on steel or Ti frames and that means an expensive bit of headtube replacement or remachining necessary.
    That argument in favor of the current headset designs is really, really weak!

    First, it doesn't justify the omission of bearing cups.

    Second, it's very easy for manufacturers to beef-up the ends of their headtubes in order to prevent ovalization. GT did it for a while. They machined their head-tubes so that they had a little extra band of metal near the headtube faces. Ovalization problem solved.

    Third, ovalized headtubes aren't even caused by bearing cups specifically. They're caused by forces on the headtube. I have no doubt that a headtube can be ovalized by an integrated headset if the headtube isn't designed properly.

    And fourth: The potential problems with ovalized headtubes are can easily be remedied by designing the headtube properly (e.g. the GT headtubes I described above). But the problems inherent with having a bearing held directly and loosely against the headtube of a frame cannot be eliminated.

    You'd have to put aluminium inserts into a carbon frame to press a headset into it, you wouldn't want to be pressing a 1-1/8" headset into a bare carbon headtube.
    Carbon fiber frames have been around for a while, and they've been using standard headsets just fine!

    I like the ease of just tossing the headset bearings into the cups in the frame on my Vertex RSL and Altitude 90 RSL, piece of cake to install or change, and so far every bit as stable and solid as any press-in headset.
    Come on, pal. Seriously. How often do you need to "install or change" the bearings in your headset? Like I said earlier, I have a Syncros headset that I bought in 2000, and I've never had to change the bearings in it.

    And this convenience you're talking about comes at a price. The absence of a tight, positive seat means that you can have a bearing that moves around and rubs on the inside of your headtube....especially if the headset isn't optimally tightened. That just doesn't sit well with me. And it doesn't sit well with Chris King either! Nobody knows headsets like they do.

    My only complaint about internal headsets is that there are about 20 different versions, and they don't make every style/model in all the quality ranges. If there were only 2-3 different versions, they could make them all in the same quality versions.
    Yet another reason to completely do away with the ridiculous integrated designs. Actually, the internal (aka "zero stack") design can go too. Totally useless.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    Well, let's agree to disagree. I'm OK with that. Besides, you now know how to get ahold of myself, Peteypete and JPHcross, so if you run in to any trouble, don't hesitate.

    A

    Indeed. We can agree to disagree. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a friendly debate.

    I'm curious, though.....

    As for getting a hold of you, is it Rocky Mountain's expectation that anyone with a problem with their products join mtbr.com and contact you that way? Because there's no phone number on the Rocky Mountain website. Only an address!

    That's very odd, don't you think?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator
    Indeed. We can agree to disagree. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a friendly debate.

    I'm curious, though.....

    As for getting a hold of you, is it Rocky Mountain's expectation that anyone with a problem with their products join mtbr.com and contact you that way? Because there's no phone number on the Rocky Mountain website. Only an address!

    That's very odd, don't you think?
    Nah, we don't expect our main line of communication to be MTBR! It;s been said around here before, we rely on our dealers to interact with our customers. We don't want to cut them out of the loop. However, there have been instances where Peteypete has helped facilitate some issues.

    We weren't a very "open company" for the last little while, a bit hard to get ahold of... Consider our presence on MTBR a 1st step. We are re-working the website also...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM
    Nah, we don't expect our main line of communication to be MTBR! It;s been said around here before, we rely on our dealers to interact with our customers. We don't want to cut them out of the loop. However, there have been instances where Peteypete has helped facilitate some issues.

    We weren't a very "open company" for the last little while, a bit hard to get ahold of... Consider our presence on MTBR a 1st step. We are re-working the website also...

    RMB, nobody wants the maker of their bike frame to be "a bit hard to get a hold of". Offering your customers a phone number to call and talk to someone is not difficult. You simply post the number on the website.

    The Vertex I recently bought looks like an awesome frame (integrated headset notwithstanding), but the lack of direct support is a bit unsettling.

    As for keeping bike shops out of the loop, let me offer you this opinion: there are a lot of us who steer clear of bike shops. Personally, I haven't had good experiences with them, so I handle all of my own bike building and maintenance. Other people have a problem with the price-gouging that is typical of bike shops. For others, bike shops are simply inconvenient. Have you considered the possibility that you should be offering your customers (and potential customers) an option with regard to purchasing your products?

    I could be wrong here, but I'd imagine that by only working through bike shops, you're severely limiting your customer pool. In the 17 years or so I've been mountainbiking, and having lived in five different cities since then, I have only encountered one bike shop that carries Rocky Mountain bikes.

  21. #21
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    "Oh, and of all the 5.5" travel Altitude RSL's out there being over-ridden and abused... Not a single report of headsets troubles."

    I did have an issue with mine in that it was making a groaning/grinding/creaking sound when the handle bar was turned. I discovered when I took it apart for an inspection that both upper and lower surfaces were dry and covered in light surface corrosion. I wasn't sure if this was normal as I had no experience with this type of headset but I didn't think so. I ended up cleaning both surfaces and lightly greasing them. This appears to have solved the problem for now but I may have more reason to be concerned after reading this:

    http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/Int2...sExplained.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowup
    This appears to have solved the problem for now but I may have more reason to be concerned after reading this:

    http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/Int2...sExplained.pdf
    Notice the date on that document. Also consider that if a company is in the business of making high quality headset cups, they might resist a trend going towards systems that don't use conventional cups.

    The sounds coming from your headset were fixed with a film of light grease.... those are noises that can come from a dry headset of any sort.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator
    Sorry, but none of those reasons are true.

    4. Easier service? A bearing cup remover is $30 or $40. But you don't even need to remove the cups to service the bearings.
    This is the only point I have the energy to refute. Most headset bearings do not simply drop out of conventional headset cups. You need a bearing puller or a hammer and a screwdriver to get them out. A bearing cup remover is indeed only 30-40 bucks, but how much is a headset press? Sure a mallet and a piece of 2x4 works, but it's not pro or foolproof.

    As someone who avoids working on bikes like the plague (too many years lost in a bike shop) and who has to perform frame swaps regularly for team riders/ RMB staff, I do enjoy the simplicity bearings that drop into frames. As RMB-PM said, there have been no headset durability issues on Vertex RSL or Altitude RSL.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteypete
    Notice the date on that document. Also consider that if a company is in the business of making high quality headset cups, they might resist a trend going towards systems that don't use conventional cups.

    The sounds coming from your headset were fixed with a film of light grease.... those are noises that can come from a dry headset of any sort.

    Not really, Peteypete. When using headsets with bearing cups, I'd imagine that it's quite uncommon for there to be any play between the bearing cups and the headtube, especially since the bearing cups are press-fitted (tightly) into the headtubes AND supported by two surfaces (i.e. the inside surface of the headtube as well as the headtube's face). It would seem more reasonable that you might get noises between the bearing cup and the bearing.

    But you know what? At least you know it's just a cheap bearing cup and not your $2000 frame that's being damaged with every squeak and creak of your headset!

    As for your questioning Chris King's motives for writing that article, I think perhaps you're forgetting that Chris King--even at the time of the article--had other products that were highly sought-after. Moreover, if Chris King made an integrated headset, you can be sure that it would sell!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator
    Indeed. We can agree to disagree. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a friendly debate.

    I'm curious, though.....

    As for getting a hold of you, is it Rocky Mountain's expectation that anyone with a problem with their products join mtbr.com and contact you that way? Because there's no phone number on the Rocky Mountain website. Only an address!

    That's very odd, don't you think?
    It's a tricky issue. I think you might be surprised at the massive volume of calls we receive from our dealers and if we took calls from individual customers, it would be crippling. This is why most bike companies do not sell, fill warranty claims, or provide tech support directly to customers.

    I hear you on being sour on some bike shops. Some are frustrating. We feel that for the most part our dealers perform a service that we simply can't one-on-one. Things like bike fit, helping with bike choice, service, troubleshooting, warranty, etc.

    For those customers that are completely knowledgeable and just want to bee-line it to the product they want, there are some mail order outlets that sell our products. It's important to know that customers like you and I are a tiny minority of bike buyers. Most customers need a bit of help along the way and will need help after their purchase. I bet most bike buyers aren't even comfortable using a barrel adjuster. We aren't a tiny company and we aren't a huge company, but we are big enough that we have to structure our business to meet the needs of as many of our customers as possible.

    That said, a Rocky Mountain contact email address on the website is coming. Stay tuned. It is way, way more complicated than you might guess to facilitate, but we're going to make it happen because we want to be as open as possible with our customers.

    As for your headset complaints, I want you to ride the hell out of your bike. If you have a headset issue, you can rant and rave to your heart's content... but why not cross that bridge when you come to it? You might be surprised on how well the system actually works. No headset is as durable as a Chris King threadless headset - we all know that- but give it a shot first before you assume the worst.

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