Deep cup headsets for Nicolai bikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    lazy piston
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    Deep cup headsets for Nicolai bikes

    So as Whafe suggested, I’m starting this thread… this is sort of a note to any Nicolai owner and to anyone else who’s going to become one. There’s one thing you should remember when choosing a headset for your bike:
    If your frame has 1 1/8” headtube
    AND
    If your Nicolai frame is designed for serious off-road riding
    THEN you most probably have to have a deep cup headset installed.

    This requirement involves a good part of frames in Nicolai’s line. I don’t quite remember which ones exactly, but I’m certain it concerns all frames where 1.5 headtube is an option (doesn’t come standard): Nucleon TST-EVO and TFR, Lambda ST, Ion ST, the late M-Pire ST, Helius ST and FR, Ufo DS, Argon FR.
    Helius CC, Argon CC, Saturn TCC, Nonius CC and other road/crosscountry bikes are fine with any headset.
    I’ve missed some models because I’m not sure if they have this requirement or not, but I think I’ve listed all the most popular models; you can always contact Nicolai to learn about your particular frame.

    If you do not comply with this rule and install a common headset, your headtube is no longer warrantied against ovalization. Which means that if you manage to ovalize your headtube, it is not covered under warranty and you’re most probably going to need a new front triangle for your frame (or, as Crisillo mentions, you may have your headtube replaced which is not going to be a low-cost solution either).

    So, how deep is deep enough, you may ask. Nicolai themselves differ a little bit: sometimes they mention 25 mm deep cups (which rules out MOST headsets), sometimes they mention 22 millimeters of headset insertion. As far as I remember, Falco Mille confirmed that 22 mm is enough.

    22 mm headsets are not that common, and when I was looking for a headset for my frame I came upon this thread on mtb-news.de, a German MTB forum. User tripletschiee (big props to the guy) posted a chart that lists some of the headset which comply or ‘almost’ comply with the 22-mm rule. Here’s the chart:


    The chart is divided into three parts: the first one lists 1 1/8 headsets (which is of greater interest), the second one lists reducer headsets (for 1.5 headtubes and 1 1/8 steerers) and the last one lists 1.5 headsets for 1.5 steerers.

    In the first and second columns you can see Manufacturer name and Headset model, “Gewicht” is weight (probably as listed on manufacturer’s site or in the catalog, real weight may differ as we well know). “Einbauhohe” is stack height (lower / upper), “Einpresstiefe” is the most crucial parameter, it’s the press in depth. As you can see, there are some 20-mm and 21-mm headsets listed which are NOT officially allowed, so it would be safe to avoid them. Most headsets have identical upper and lower press in depth, in those cases there’s only one figure.
    “Material” is pretty self-explanatory (though I don’t know the difference between “Stahl” (steel) and “Edelstahl”). “Farbe” is color – “schwarz” for black, “silber” for silver etc. “Preis” is price (most probably not up to date any longer) and “Shop” is the store that stocks the headset at the indicated price (probably not up to date either).

    There may be other headsets (I personally know of a certain Token headset), but this chart is a good start for those looking for a deep cup headset for his/her Nicolai frame.

    Hope I haven’t made a lot of mistakes, English is not my native language either
    Last edited by Smith; 12-10-2007 at 05:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Nice work, Smith!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith
    If you do not comply with this rule and install a common headset, your headtube is no longer warrantied against ovalization. Which means that if you manage to ovalize your headtube, it is not covered under warranty and you’re most probably going to need a new front triangle for your frame.
    actually, while Wahfe and I were at the factory, Falco showed me a frame whose headtube was being replaced because of ovalization.... so a new front tri might not be necessary.... but for sure the repair won't be cheap..... Falco told me of something along the lines of "damaged in a dirt jumping crash" IIRC, so it wasn't "normal riding conditions". I didn't think at the time about asking if it was warranty work or paid for, but it shouldn't be cheap anyhow, so better be safe than sorry...

  4. #4
    lazy piston
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    Well yes, you're right. I'll make corrections to my post...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith
    Well yes, you're right. I'll make corrections to my post...


  6. #6
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    Hmm not so why is it only Nicolai that say that, a chunkier headset which will inherently add more strength and weight to that area, is required. Why not build a design which allows buyers to use a wider range of headsets.. Seems a strange concept to me?

    Am I the only one who thinks this a little odd?
    Last edited by Karve; 12-10-2007 at 06:32 AM.

  7. #7
    lazy piston
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    Hmm not so why is it only Nicolai that say that a a chunkier headset which will inherently add more strength and weight to that area is required. Why not build a design which allows buyers to use a wider range of headsets.. Seems a strange concept to me?

    Am I the only one who thinks this a little odd?
    Probably that has something to do with their 5-year, transferrable to second owner, race-worthy warranty?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith
    Probably that has something to do with their 5-year, transferable to second owner, race-worthy warranty?
    Sure but why not build it to a point in the first place that they are still confident it wil last that warranty period with standard parts.. they are not cheap after all.. check my balance this month for evidence of that..

    What im saying is either way you are adding more material to the bike.. either through deeper cups or a stronger tube in the first place.

    Id rather have a stronger head tube to start with that allows me to use a wide variety of headsets.

  9. #9
    lazy piston
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    To that, I have no answer. Perhaps there's some engineering reason behind this decision. I just don't know.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    Hmm not so why is it only Nicolai that say that, a chunkier headset which will inherently add more strength and weight to that area, is required. Why not build a design which allows buyers to use a wider range of headsets.. Seems a strange concept to me?

    Am I the only one who thinks this a little odd?
    It does seem a bit strange...or maybe in their design philosophy, they go for weight savings in the headtube.

    I asked Turner a year ago or so if I should be using a Steelset, and he replied no. The RFX (2006) had rings machined into it for extra strength, making the deep Steelset unnecessary. The current RFX has the ring only on the bottom, as there are lower forces at the top.

    Here's what mine look like. I swore I saw it in the Nic catalogs as well. Pretty much any headtube is going to get messed up in a bad DJ incident, unless we're talking the HT on the 2000-2002 RFX, which is thicker and more gusseted than just about anything out there today.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Smithy, great post, and yes invokes some good discussion...

    For sure there will be valid reasons, I am sure a great deal of this has to do with the very good and transfeerable warranty, I also agree with JC, that it may be for weight savings reasons in that area of the bike..... Am sure engineering wise it has been warranted....

    LOL = Go for the 1.5 HS option
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  12. #12
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    Had a flick through loads of the pictures etc I took at the factory visit.

    For sure the frames are not showing the type of increased strength in the way of which JC's RFX shows, also my MotoLite is like JC's as well so to speak...

    Here are some shots and some wording taken from where they sell the Fett set as an extra, for sure is more the case with the bigger hit type bikes. As you can see the Helius CC does need the 22mm cups, where by the Helius FR does as we are discussing of course, then I looked a the shots of Falco's Helius ST, the Headset area is far beefier again for want of a better word than the Helius FR.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  13. #13
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    Just a note on the words used in the material column: Stahl is just simple steel, Edelstahl is steel of high purity, eg. with a low phosphorus content. Edelstahl is also often (though incorrectly) used as a synonym for stainless steel. Looking at the table, I'd just interpret them all as steel and look at the manufacturer's website to see what kind of steel (as the CK is listed as standard steel for example, while this should be stainless).

  14. #14
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    Is this type of deep cup headset required for the Helius AM, it seems it is acording to the Nicolai UK website???

    Reason i ask is i've received mine with a standard CK headset (I believe other people with AM's are also running these) so i need to know if i should change it to a steelset or suchlike which seems a little extreme since i wont be doing any 50ft gap jumps of 20ft drops????

    Cheers

    Del

  15. #15
    steep fast and loose :)
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    If Nicolai dictate this on their website and on the UK site, then I'd reckon it's a good bet to follow their advice irrespective of riding intentions.

  16. #16
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    fwiw i just bought a da bomb x-10 for my fr. cheap as chips, so it remains to be seen how well it bears up though. plus it's black which is more to the point.

  17. #17
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    I'd be a bit worried fitting a cheap deep insertion headset. The da-bomb my work out good but as an example... the normal FSA pig is PoS that only lasts a few months... go for the deep insertion PIG and the thought of trying to get those cups back out after only three months gives me the heebiejeebies.

    If going deep insertion I would go for something you are sure will not be needing to come out again for a very long time... probably until you've sold the frame on (which may only be a few months for those of you who change your frames more often than I change my pants).

  18. #18
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    LOL! agree'd thepimpmessiah!

    As for Dabomb headset, hmmmm thats like putting homemade halfords tints on a Ferrari?????????? Are you nuts! Hope it works out ok but i wouldnt risk it.

    Cheapest i'd go for is this :
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=13392

    Put pref this :
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...x?ModelID=2035

    If you spend out the d0sh on a nicolai frame, no point puting in a cheap headset, other cheap components maybe then upgrade, but these deep cup headsets are a ***** to remove!

    Just my 2p worth!

  19. #19
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    Although my Diabolous HS is still running smoothly I'm going to adhere to Nicolai's recommendations and fit a 22mm one now that I have the Totems fitted. It's a shame the exchange rate is crap at the moment as last month I could have bought a steelset for 85 quid.

  20. #20
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    Yeah i duno how much they would be at the moment from Aspire Velotech, but i think Simon and myself are buying Steelsets from Richard, so if you get one too might get it cheaper?

  21. #21
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    Got my chris king steel set from aspire velotech. they are 100 including postage to the uk.I paid about 90 when i brought mine.

  22. #22
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    some of us can't afford all the bling straight away

    i'd rather struggle to get a headset out if/when it dies than void the warranty. besides i got more important things to worry about like contents insurance. some little pikey let themselves into our house last night and lifted the missus' laptop and over 100 in RNLI sponsorship money. left all the bikes n other highly twocable stuff though.

    scum

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by forky
    some of us can't afford all the bling straight away

    i'd rather struggle to get a headset out if/when it dies than void the warranty. besides i got more important things to worry about like contents insurance. some little pikey let themselves into our house last night and lifted the missus' laptop and over 100 in RNLI sponsorship money. left all the bikes n other highly twocable stuff though.

    scum

    Sorry to hear about this ,Hopefully your insurance will cover it.

  24. #24
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    *cough* insurance?

    (yes i bought some this aft. somewhat belatedly )

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by forky
    *cough* insurance?

    (yes i bought some this aft. somewhat belatedly )


    Oh dear, that sucks

  26. #26
    steep fast and loose :)
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    yetiman - you're now covered - Steelsets on their way

    see you tuesday @ the night location. doggers will get fried with the power of 3000 lumens beaming down at them... LOL

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    yetiman - you're now covered - Steelsets on their way

    see you tuesday @ the night location. doggers will get fried with the power of 3000 lumens beaming down at them... LOL

    3000 lumens have you stole a lighthouse

  28. #28
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    I talked to the guys at Reset Racing (the German Chris King) about the deep insertion headsets recommended by Nicolai and other brands. My bike, a German Alutech, requires such a headset too, or the warranty will be void. My frame has a 1.5 reducer headset by Alutech weighing in at 360 gramms.
    The guy of Reset said, they don't always understand the need for these headsets, especially in case of 1.5 headtubes, which seem to be very strong.
    In his experience headtube ovalization is not a very common problem with well constructed bike frames.
    They told me the German Nicolai Racing Team has been racing normal Reset WAN.5 Reducer headsets without deep insertion cups for more than a season without any problems.
    So, I ordered a Reset Wan.5 now. With the new headset i'll save around 200 grams.

  29. #29
    steep fast and loose :)
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    san andreas - thanks for the post - food for thought, although, the security offered via CK's steelset is my preference.
    will the fitment of the steelset increase front end rigidity ?

  30. #30
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    An alternative would be an Acros AH-07 deep insertion headset. Fits the bill, 5 yr guarantee, and made in Germany! I have 2 of normal ones, one ceramic and one with steel bearings and no probs so far. The AH-07 would be half the price of a King steelset as well.

  31. #31
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    Reset has several deep cup models, too. And you can order every headset with your desired cup.

  32. #32
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    Sorry to hear about you break in dude, hope you get it all sorted out! and as for the comments i made re. the headset i was only suggesting it would be more cost effective to put in a long lasting headset like the FSA Steelset (Not that expensive) and maybe a cheap seatpost and suchlike then upgrade the easy to remove parts, sorry if you took it otherwise! I am led to beleive these deep insertion headsets are a barsteward to fit but even near imposible to remove!! A mate had part of him Ti frame come out with a normal CK headset which is nuts nevermind a deep cup one!!!

    I'd be interested in those reset racing headset's but i dont know of any UK distributors so im just going with the CK Steelset

  33. #33
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    You can order them directly here: http://www.reset-racing.de/
    Just contact them by email and tell them which option you need.

  34. #34
    Axe
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    Resurrecting an ancient, but useful thread, as i am planning for a headset.

    Really? 22mm minimum on 1.5" headtube? What are they are making it from, cheese?

    I am really puzzled that something like 17mm cups - on Acros and many good headsets are a problem..

    Any other options for 1.5" since 2007?

  35. #35
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    They are happy to use angle sets now. Are they deep inset, I don't think they are.
    Aka chainline...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Resurrecting an ancient, but useful thread, as i am planning for a headset.

    Really? 22mm minimum on 1.5" headtube? What are they are making it from, cheese?

    I am really puzzled that something like 17mm cups - on Acros and many good headsets are a problem..

    Any other options for 1.5" since 2007?
    As far as I remember, 1.5" headtubes had an inset of 12mm or so.

    This 22mm insertion was only for long travel 1.125" headtubes.

    Maybe someone can confirm this.

    Anyway... I was in sin for a while but now fitted a Steelset on my AC. The thing now comes with a compression ring, not the dang o-ring anymore. It's heavy, but solid and oh so sexy.
    Check my Site

  37. #37
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    As far as I remember, 1.5" headtubes had an inset of 12mm or so.

    This 22mm insertion was only for long travel 1.125" headtubes.

    Maybe someone can confirm this.
    I sent a request on their web site, but they are not responding. There is a quote in this very thread about 17mm being OK, but I can not find anything official. I could fancy an issue with one of those ZS sets with tiny cups - 5mm or so..

    1.5" tube is a whole lot of aluminum to ovalize. It does not look particularly thin - comparing it visually with Ventana's. I do not know any other manufacturer requiring that.

    I think Angleset is 20mm. But FSA Option S looks less. I was thinking getting Acros - but it is 17mm.


    In other news, Helius AM shipping in May. Sky Blue.

  38. #38
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    As far as I remember, 1.5" headtubes had an inset of 12mm or so.

    This 22mm insertion was only for long travel 1.125" headtubes.

    Maybe someone can confirm this.
    I asked whether a particular headset is OK. Got an answer:

    17mm is totally OK at 1.5 Head Tubes.
    Did not ask what is the minimum.

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