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  1. #1
    FM
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    headset standards rant.

    Gotta rant. Building up a bike with a 44mm headtube.
    • Bought a new 44mm headset off an eBay seller with positive feedback of 1gazillion. Get the headset, the lower cup is 49mm. +1 week to build time.
    • Buy a second headset rather than return, to get this bike built! +$100
    • Press new headset into new frame. The frame had been built previously so I wasnít really worried about facing & chasing. Used a park press but didnít have the proprietary adapters for internal 44mm cups. Bearings feel like ****.
    • Remove cups, measure headtube at 43.3. .7mm undersized! That would explain the shitty feeling bearings?
    • Called 2 local frame building shops and 5 LBSís, nobody has a 44mm reamer. Finally found one across town. +1 day driving & waiting to get the frame faced & chased.
    • Press the cups back in- they still feel like ****. Sending the headset back to mfg.


    I figure this is all my fault for not following instructions and having the used frame faced & chased before install, and not using the proprietary adapters for the park headset press.
    On the other hand, the 2 largest shops, and 2 custom frame builders in my area did not have the tools to chase the headtube or properly install the headset.

    Iíve had everything needed to build this bike up for 2 weeks and I am still a week out from riding it.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I remember a similar situation when I got one of the first 1 1/8" headset bikes when they switched over from 1"...
    Sometimes it just takes a while for new standards to kick in.

  3. #3
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    I'm surprised you were even able to press the headset into the frame if the tolerances are that far off. If it wasn't good before it's definitely trashed now.

    What frame is it? What headset?

  4. #4
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    Sucks about your situation, hopefully sooner than later the ebay seller can refund you.

  5. #5
    FM
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    used Kona Honzo Frame, new Chris King headset.
    Headset seller #1 did refund me....
    It did take a fair amount of effort to get it pressed in the first time, but not enough that I was alarmed.

    The lower external cup felt just a little rough after installation, but the upper integral cup felt horrible- indexed. One thing I've learned from this experience is that integral press-fit headsets are far more sensitive to tolerances than external cups. I've pressed in hundreds of external cup headsets over the years and never had an issue like this.

    Lesson learned!

  6. #6
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    used Kona Honzo Frame, new Chris King headset.
    Headset seller #1 did refund me....
    It did take a fair amount of effort to get it pressed in the first time, but not enough that I was alarmed.

    The lower external cup felt just a little rough after installation, but the upper integral cup felt horrible- indexed. One thing I've learned from this experience is that integral press-fit headsets are far more sensitive to tolerances than external cups. I've pressed in hundreds of external cup headsets over the years and never had an issue like this.

    Lesson learned!
    I know you're aware of this but have to post it for others that may read this.....

    Headset Tech | Chris King Precision Components

    Frame Preparation:

    Head tube preparation is one of the most important and most often overlooked elements in headset setup and performance. Especially with high end frames, it is often assumed that if a frame is new or already has a headset installed that the frame must have been properly prepared at the factory. This is very often not the case. We recommend a careful inspection of the facing and reaming of the head tube before installation.

    Were you using the correct adapters to press the headset into the frame?

    .

  7. #7
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    Glad you got the refund already. I almost ended up in a similar situation a few weeks ago. I just built up a new trail bike with a 44mm ID headtube and finding a HS that fit a tapered fork was a much bigger challenge than I anticipated. It ended up being the last component for the build. Almost pulled the trigger on a pinkbike sale after the guy assured me it was a i7 king headset, only to have him explain at the last minute it was knocked out of a Mojo HD, (Lower cup is 49mm). Luckily I have good friends who live around Portland and they were able to hook me up with the right headset the first time!

  8. #8
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    I know you're aware of this but have to post it for others .

    Were you using the correct adapters to press the headset into the frame?

    .
    Exactly my point- called every LBS and 2 local frame builders, nobody had the adapters and only 1 shop had a 44mm reamer. Note the 43.3 measurement was taken at one LBS after they had "prepped" the headtube...somehow without a 44mm reamer.

  9. #9
    Plays with tools
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    Might help if you realized there isn't an actual headset standard anymore.

    A shop here in Bend had a 44mm reamer that was oversized by almost half a mil. So even though they had one, it ruined the only frame they tried to use it on. Not their fault, but it sucked to have that happen on a custom built bike.

  10. #10
    FM
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    wow. My story pales in comparison to that!

  11. #11
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Press the cups back in- they still feel like ****. Sending the headset back to mfg.
    Good news / follow up!
    Got the original headset back from Chris King today. They replaced the upper assembly (entirely brand new) and the lower cup is good-as-new. That is really incredible customer service given that none of this was due to a faulty headset, and I had basically destroyed the upper cup installing/removing into the undersize frame.
    Props to Chris King!

    As for the bike, I finally got the head tube reamed to spec and installed a new king headset back in December. So now I have a functional bike and an extra headset.

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