Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)

    My Chris King Headset is an object of frustration - so expensive, so beautiful and generally effective, except for bearing preload on the aheadset. It's an old O ring version. The ring wobbles, creaks and growls. There's a $38 GripNut, but I've read it too suffers from O ring troubles. GripeNut then.

    So since this is 1 1/8, I finally realized (D'oh!) that the cups are symmetrical. Which opens the possibility - Split the king onto lower headset of two bikes, then use a proper, lesser headset up top with a split ring that can preload a bearing and clamp the steerer.

  2. #2
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    I own king headsets on most my bikes and have 0 issues. dropsets and insets

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by senorbanana View Post
    I own king headsets on most my bikes and have 0 issues. dropsets and insets
    Cool story.

    They had a known flaw and deflected and blamed it on the users for years.

    Then, when the Dia Compe patent ran out, they changed their design and charged people to upgrade to the design they should have had all along.

    Known issue and a reason I'll never go with CK components. Despicable business decisions were made.

    To the OP, if the bearings are exactly the same, then maybe, most headsets have bearings with more load capacity on the bottom though.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
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    I have 7 Chris king headsets. You are doing it wrong

  5. #5
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    King have amazing warranty based on my previous experiences, if you do have the new type contact them with your issues

  6. #6
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    I'm the original owner, O ring type. On steeps the head tube rattles about. Nothing for it I could see, so I replaced it with a $20 aheadset which works fine. Pulled the CK out of the parts bucket last year for the orange cheapie cro-mo frame I'm working on, thinking it would be a commuter. But I'm liking the frame so much it's getting a suspension fork, and it's a chance to rethink the headset. So to save some work I'm leaving the lower cup in. And putting anything cheap with a split ring up top, closeout FSA orbit this time. It's red to match sort of.

    This CK headset is so old (old stock from LBS) it's the type with no logo on the cups, thus the D'oh! moment that there's a half a headset aheadset if you know what I mean

  7. #7
    Keep on Rockin...
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    You can upgrade your HS with King's aftermarket compression ring made to address this known issue. Call them direct. I've done it to old King headsets.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    You can upgrade your HS with King's aftermarket compression ring made to address this known issue. Call them direct. I've done it to old King headsets.
    So I measured wrong . . . it is the newer size 40.5mm, so I'll consider the gripnut, but I'm liking the hybrid solution for now as two bikes benefit from the better lower bearing.
    Last edited by gnatsOnTeeth; 05-30-2020 at 01:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    2 for the price of, well, two. Plus bits. King and FSA

    The Chris King Grip Nut is $38, and the baseplate $22. The FSA Orbit MX complete headset is not from USA, but is $22.50, (some ethics to chew on). I went with the baseplate and FSA. Because the split ring works to grab the steerer.

    My 1 1/8 Chris King was the o-ring type and never worked properly, clunking away on chunky steeps. So it sat in a box for years. My eureka moment was looking at the identical cups and seeing two bikes that needed headsets. Putting superior King on the bottom cup, which drastically improved steering on both bikes. For the upper, the new orange 29er was treated to the complete FSA upper assembly.

    Then on the old Mongoose 26er, another trick. The split ring from its decayed Cane Creek S2 was compatible with the FSA bearing. Next I saw that the Chris King Bearing cap has a conical center which presses into that same space the split ring is in. And that it's outer diameter was a match for the FSA cup. So I sanded just enough of the cone flat (sacrilege!) to press against the split ring and clear the FSA seal. This was done on a flat metal table saw with sandpaper, hopefully keeping it close to level.

    The process totally worked. Like ViceGrip Garage, I'm an idiot, don't do what I do. But this saved me bucks, put idle parts to use, and improved steering on two bikes.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)-photo-jun-08-3-37-55-pm.jpg  

    Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)-photo-jun-08-7-30-40-pm.jpg  

    Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)-photo-jun-08-7-30-59-pm.jpg  


  10. #10
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    This method works great for threaded 1" tubes. Picture an old "car bike" with pitted races and indexed steering. Replace cage with loose ball on top.

    For the bottom, I just setup a friend's "car bike" this way while replacing a bent fork, using half a Cane Creek 40. It steers like a racer now. PITA filing JIS to ISO. To keep round, I kept spinning across padding on a table saw while filing, measuring with micrometer, and getting down from 27.0 towards 26.4. Used edge of file, taped flat to preserve top of crown. Inside lower of race is tapered, so tape offsetting file from crown is not a problem. Grease and pound, it's on!

    After success on the MTB, again from the parts bucket, I used half a King 1" on my car bike. And after ordering a base plate, the other half replaces the organ donor that gave up the lower 40.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chris King Headsets and losing my grip(nuts)-img_0791.jpg  


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