Any problem with the internal headset in Giant- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Any problem with the internal headset in Giant

    It looks to me silly to use the frame as part of the headset,any movement of the headset
    can slowly destroy the frame,what is your experience?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Good job! Integrated headset?

    No problems at all, 2001 NRS and 2003 NRS.

  3. #3

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    It is silly...

    to use the frame as the cups for the headset. But, I don't think Giants use that technique. Giant calls it an integrated headset, but FSA (which Giant specs) calls it an internal headset, which just means the cups are pressed into the headtube and don't stick out (ie, Cane Creek Zero Stack). Otherwise, they work the same as a traditional headset.

    I will say that I am talking about my AC here... I know it has the internal headset. Does the NRS also?

    And finally, if you don't like the idea of the internal headset, you can buy reducer cups that will allow you to use a standard headset.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBIN7
    It looks to me silly to use the frame as part of the headset,any movement of the headset
    can slowly destroy the frame,what is your experience?
    Thanks in advance
    The headsets that Giant uses on it's frames are integrated headsets. This means that the headset cups are inside the headtube, instead of sticking up out of both ends. No real functional difference in the two, but using the integrated means that we no longer have to use adaptors, as our downtubes are oversized, which means a bigger headtube as well.
    I've had no issues whatsover on my bikes in the past 4+ years riding them.
    Thanks,

    [email protected]

  5. #5

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    Integrated or internal or terminology issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    The headsets that Giant uses on it's frames are integrated headsets. This means that the headset cups are inside the headtube, instead of sticking up out of both ends. No real functional difference in the two, but using the integrated means that we no longer have to use adaptors, as our downtubes are oversized, which means a bigger headtube as well.
    I've had no issues whatsover on my bikes in the past 4+ years riding them.
    Thanks,

    [email protected]



    James,

    I read one of your posts on headsets and thought I ask you a question. I'm a little confused about the whole headset issue, and many others seem to be too. Partly because the industry as a whole doesn't consistently use the same terminology.

    Does giant use cups pressed into the frame , usually called
    internal or zero stack, or do they have a non-removable cup machined into the head tube, usually called an integrated headset? What are sutable replacement headsets on a 04 Giant VT3?

    Thanks,

  6. #6

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    Giant uses zero stack headsets. I've had no issues on my VT or my Reign. Cane Creek and FSA both make excellent zero stack headsets if you need a replacement.

  7. #7
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    Well as far as I understand it the headset used in my GIANT Trance is a internal FSA headset. It's the FSA Orbit-Z http://www.fullspeedahead.com/fly.as...xid=65&pid=181 that's the page for it. I don't forsee any problems with this design, the headtube is just bigger that a normal one to allow it to have the headset "hidden" in it - looks kinda clean to me, having it integrated/pressed into the fram and not poking out. Don't see that either way would put more stress on a frame than the other, and would actually have to think the internal design would be the less stressful on a frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  8. #8
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    internal headset

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBIN7
    It looks to me silly to use the frame as part of the headset,any movement of the headset
    can slowly destroy the frame,what is your experience?
    Thanks in advance
    i believe the correct terminology for the giant frames would be internal or semi-integrated since the bearings ride inside cups rather than the frame. chris king has a detailed explanation of all the differences between internal headsets and fully integrated headsets and why they are bad on the website. i have a 2003 nrs air that i am building up and giant makes adapters if you want to use a standard headset from chris king or raceface. the chris king headset looks sweet sticking outside the frame and steers like butter!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrememadness
    i believe the correct terminology for the giant frames would be internal or semi-integrated since the bearings ride inside cups rather than the frame. chris king has a detailed explanation of all the differences between internal headsets and fully integrated headsets and why they are bad on the website. i have a 2003 nrs air that i am building up and giant makes adapters if you want to use a standard headset from chris king or raceface. the chris king headset looks sweet sticking outside the frame and steers like butter!

    Can you order them on the internet or do you have to go to a Giant dealer?

  10. #10
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    headset spacers

    Quote Originally Posted by reactor
    Can you order them on the internet or do you have to go to a Giant dealer?
    i dont think giant sells online. but just ask your LBS to get them for you. or a giant dealer. my LBS is a giant dealer and they got them for me so it shouldnt be a problem. hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by reactor
    Can you order them on the internet or do you have to go to a Giant dealer?
    Yup it's available online http://www.wadescycles.co.uk/shop/as...GRATED+HEADSET
    http://xoomgear.com/roadbike/headset...FSA_OrbitZ/60/
    It ain't a GIANT specific part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    the spacers or adapters to use a standard headset like the chris king no thread headset on giant frames are only available through giant! remember these spacers are specifically for use with a standard headset! i just prefer chris king headsets because they are so smooth. they dont make an internal or zero stack headset so i had to use the spacers! there is no difference structurally, i just wanted a chris king headset. dont know much about the orbit z but fsa is a great company so im sure its a worthy headset!

  13. #13

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    FWIW similar ICBM headset on my Schwinn...

    I rode the bike real hard for over four years... about 2-3K OFFROAD miles/year with a serious creek crossing up to the hubs part of the year, in at least 50% of my rides.

    After about 2.5 years the orig. headset began to make noise. The original was a cup & bearing/race type with steel "cups" just kind of sitting (not pressed, not tight) in the head tube. Eventually these "cups" began to move around and creak. I replaced it with a fully-integrated type Cane Creek sealed/cartridge headset where the bearings "press" (aka "slip & sit") into the head tube directly. Rode that 1.5 years and it feels/rides as good as new.

    So that said, since building my Trance up from the frame I can tell you these bearing cups are definitely pressed in TIGHT... There's no opportunity for slack. The bearings then sit in the cups just like in a king headset. The reality is that this will flex less and has less torque on the press-fit surfaces so IMHO it should last at least as well as a traditional headset. Not only that, obviously the head tube is larger and potentially stronger.

    Chris King's big knock on integrated headsets is basically twofold: #1 there's no way to machine a head tube to the tolerances you need for it to function as a bearing cup, and #2 instead of wearing a bearing cup that can be replaced, you're wearing out the head tube itself. IIRC anyway. So... Giant's internal headset system does not have either of these weaknesses and is largely a traditional headset with different geometry. In fact it's a lot more like King's own "perdido" headsets!

    Anyway, point is, if the press-into-the-head-tube ICBM design in my Schwinn will take 7-8K miles on a crappy non-fitting steel cup and race inferior headset with regular creek crossings, and then another 5Kish miles on a replacement midrange headset in the same inferior design, then the Giant headset should last forever.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharprocks
    I rode the bike real hard for over four years... about 2-3K OFFROAD miles/year with a serious creek crossing up to the hubs part of the year, in at least 50% of my rides.

    After about 2.5 years the orig. headset began to make noise. The original was a cup & bearing/race type with steel "cups" just kind of sitting (not pressed, not tight) in the head tube. Eventually these "cups" began to move around and creak. I replaced it with a fully-integrated type Cane Creek sealed/cartridge headset where the bearings "press" (aka "slip & sit") into the head tube directly. Rode that 1.5 years and it feels/rides as good as new.

    So that said, since building my Trance up from the frame I can tell you these bearing cups are definitely pressed in TIGHT... There's no opportunity for slack. The bearings then sit in the cups just like in a king headset. The reality is that this will flex less and has less torque on the press-fit surfaces so IMHO it should last at least as well as a traditional headset. Not only that, obviously the head tube is larger and potentially stronger.

    Chris King's big knock on integrated headsets is basically twofold: #1 there's no way to machine a head tube to the tolerances you need for it to function as a bearing cup, and #2 instead of wearing a bearing cup that can be replaced, you're wearing out the head tube itself. IIRC anyway. So... Giant's internal headset system does not have either of these weaknesses and is largely a traditional headset with different geometry. In fact it's a lot more like King's own "perdido" headsets!

    Anyway, point is, if the press-into-the-head-tube ICBM design in my Schwinn will take 7-8K miles on a crappy non-fitting steel cup and race inferior headset with regular creek crossings, and then another 5Kish miles on a replacement midrange headset in the same inferior design, then the Giant headset should last forever.
    i completely agree. there is nothing wrong with the giant headset. chris king is just a personal preference of mine. i wanted one for my frame. they will only sell the perdido to frame manufacturers. so i can only use their standard headset! all in all it comes down to personal preference!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrememadness
    i completely agree. there is nothing wrong with the giant headset. chris king is just a personal preference of mine. i wanted one for my frame. they will only sell the perdido to frame manufacturers. so i can only use their standard headset! all in all it comes down to personal preference!
    I wasn't dissing the quality of CK headset. I have one on one of my bikes and if the Giant used standard type headset, I'd also have one on that bike. Nice to have a part on the bike you can simply install and completely forget about ever having to touch it again.

    However I think adding a reducer to the Giant head tube so you can fit any standard headset will likely weaken the whole headset interface so much that you negate any improvement in quality you might get from a CK headset. Looks like the Giant headset idea and the FSA part are more than good enough and should work well.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharprocks
    I wasn't dissing the quality of CK headset. I have one on one of my bikes and if the Giant used standard type headset, I'd also have one on that bike. Nice to have a part on the bike you can simply install and completely forget about ever having to touch it again.

    However I think adding a reducer to the Giant head tube so you can fit any standard headset will likely weaken the whole headset interface so much that you negate any improvement in quality you might get from a CK headset. Looks like the Giant headset idea and the FSA part are more than good enough and should work well.
    after reading your post, i gave king a call. they said using the reducers shouldnt be a problem but cant guarantee it because they are not familiar with the giant frame. my friend uses a king headset in his nrs with success but that could just be luck! i think i will play it safe, save some money, and just get an fsa or cane creek! which one do you think is better? thanks for the info!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrememadness
    after reading your post, i gave king a call. they said using the reducers shouldnt be a problem but cant guarantee it because they are not familiar with the giant frame. my friend uses a king headset in his nrs with success but that could just be luck! i think i will play it safe, save some money, and just get an fsa or cane creek! which one do you think is better? thanks for the info!

    I don't know which is better but the Cane Creek headsets were easier to find.

    Two cane creek models are widely available the ZS-6 and the ZS-2. Jensonusa has the ZS-2 and Pricepoint has the ZS-6. For something as important as a headset I'd spend the extra 20 bucks and get the ZS-6.

  18. #18

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    I'm not saying that with the reducers it's better or worse... hard to say anyway. Just that the added expense of a premium headset that requires a reducer to fit may not be worth it when a quality part that fits as intended is supplied or available at a lower cost.

  19. #19
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    I have a VT-1 and.....

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBIN7
    It looks to me silly to use the frame as part of the headset,any movement of the headset
    can slowly destroy the frame,what is your experience?
    Thanks in advance
    Not long after I bought the bike, I pulled the front end apart to change stems and trim a little extra steerer off. I was very impressed with the construction of this this headset. Looked solid and the cartridge bearings are definately very well sealed. I have a Cane Creek on my road bike and I personally do not think you would be gaining anything by swapping out the stock headset for one of those. In fact, it probably is a step down. I also have a CK on my ENO'ed GT Zaskar, and while it is an awesome headset, I do not know if it is good enough over the stock setup in my VT to bother with some kind of adapter to make it fit. I would think it would defeat the advantages of the oversize headtube by fitting a smaller heaset into it.

    Brian

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharprocks
    I'm not saying that with the reducers it's better or worse... hard to say anyway. Just that the added expense of a premium headset that requires a reducer to fit may not be worth it when a quality part that fits as intended is supplied or available at a lower cost.
    after thinking about all the trouble to get the reducers and then putting them in just to use a chris king headset is just not worth the effort or cost. so i agree with you! my bike shops gonna get me a cane creek z-6. i should be happy! thanks for all the help as this headset stuff was giving me a major headache! and i saved $60 to boot!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Not long after I bought the bike, I pulled the front end apart to change stems and trim a little extra steerer off. I was very impressed with the construction of this this headset. Looked solid and the cartridge bearings are definately very well sealed. I have a Cane Creek on my road bike and I personally do not think you would be gaining anything by swapping out the stock headset for one of those. In fact, it probably is a step down. I also have a CK on my ENO'ed GT Zaskar, and while it is an awesome headset, I do not know if it is good enough over the stock setup in my VT to bother with some kind of adapter to make it fit. I would think it would defeat the advantages of the oversize headtube by fitting a smaller heaset into it.

    Brian


    I just put a Cane Creek ZS-2 in a 2004 giant VT-3. I tried a ZS-6, but the bottom cup was wrong, it appears to it was a manufacturing/packaging fault. The bottom cup bore no resemblance to the top cup. Just wanted to reaffirm that the Zero Stack is the way to go.

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