Headsets---Chris King, why so expensive?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Headsets---Chris King, why so expensive?

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    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?

  2. #2
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    they have Cane Creek headsets that cost more than Kings ... but i swear by King headsets ... the one in my Zaskar is probably 10 years old and works perfectly and im about to install a King headset in my VooDoo Canzo build. i guess you could say you get what you pay for.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah they pretty much last forever. he most you'll ever have to do with them is change the bearings but it's not something that requires to be done very often. To be honest, I bought mine out of hype and to see the difference for myself. Do I feel the difference? Not at all but I know that it'll last forever and be used on multiple bikes and I still think it's worth paying for it. You might consider the CC 110 also. It came out after I bought my CK but I would have probably tried it if it was on the market back then!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by manida
    SS content:
    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?
    Not only do I have the King on my 'cog, but I got Phil W turning the cranks too. Awesome parts and performance--no worries!

  5. #5
    don't try this at home
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    echo the sentiments here. i've had my CK HS for the last 8 years on my ss and i haven't touched it once. i'm sure there are other comparable HS's out there now, but at the time, CK was the shiznit.
    will you rep me?

  6. #6
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    Chris King headsets are worth every penny and will far outlast any bike you install them on and then some. I have used CK headsets (and hubs) for years without a single problem. You can seriously get away with only overhauling the bearings once every 5 years, if that (headset only, of course). Add to that the bearings are completely user serviceable and not throwaways and the value is even better. So, will the King Headset make you a better rider? No! But they will make you a better person.
    http://chrisking.com/asiamfg/index.html
    They are one of the most responsible manufacturers you will encounter. And that should be worth something, right?
    And No, I do not work for CK or am affiliated in any way. Just a fan and a believer.

  7. #7
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    OK thanks everyone for the input....I get it. CK is the good stuff.

  8. #8
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    I will never even think about buying a King headset.


    I had to try even things out.... ;-)
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  9. #9
    mvi
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    I run CC headsets that I got on close out for $10. No problems either. Headset is THE place to safe money. Put the money in hubs and BB!
    Got a KING on the bike I use on the beach one week /year and it is as shot as the rest.
    Which I expected, salt water is brutal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by duotone
    I will never even think about buying a King headset.
    So, maybe I should send you one when I break down my freeride bike here soon?

    King is just bling. I've had/have a couple, many Race faces and a couple CCs.

    Kinda like mvi states, spend your money on more important components.

  11. #11
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    Not worth the money. Maybe the hubs, but certainly not the headset. For the cost of a King headset that lasts 10 years, I could buy a CC headset for the first five years and a second CC headset for the second 5 years. And I've never had a headset fail on me. Catastrophic headset failure isn't exactly common...

    My opinion: It's really just for show.
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  12. #12
    Single Speed Junkie
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    King does make good headsets, there is no denying that. However if your running longer travel forks or 29er then the CC design seems to hold up a bit better in my opinion.

  13. #13
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    if the headset on that monocog isn't broken, why replace it? It's not going to add any significant advantage or value to the bike. Save your money for something that improves ride quality.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by manida
    SS content:
    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?
    Run the stock headset until it dies, then replace it with the CC S3. Kings are good but not $70 better than an S3. However, if you're looking for bling and to blow some cash, CK (or Hope or higher end CC) will be hard to beat...

  15. #15
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    Rastafari

    Quote Originally Posted by manida
    SS content:
    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?
    To get the powers of the almighty JAH.....Rastafari.....His Imperial Majesty
    Chris King Selasie

    'nuff said.

    My Niner had a Race Face Deus and it just does not hold up well. The front end feels better aligned and stirff with a King. I have had numerous crappy S3, S6, CC headsets and they do not hold the front end as well. Once I set up the king you forget about ir and it forks. I actually like the feel of the FSA headsets, but still just spend the $$$ on the rasta headset.
    Sit and spin my ass...

  16. #16
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    I have King, FSA Orbit, and American Classic headsets. All are fine. I cannot tell the difference between any of them when riding or just turning the bar, and they all seem to be lasting just fine. About $50 for the FSA, $75 for the AC, and $100+ for the King. If you're concerned about weight, King is the heaviest, then FSA, then AC is lightest by a fair amount.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by manida
    SS content:
    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?
    Why rush out to replace a headset that's working?

  18. #18
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    another vote for CK being a bling thing -sorry to the devoted people out there!


    ....even with that said ive ever liked them even as a 'bling' item

  19. #19
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    Monocog's a good enough frame that a CK wouldn't be wasted on it. But,in keeping with the spirit of the Monocog (which is having a rawkin' good time without having to pay 2K for a blinged SS MTB, for Gawd's sake...), I like the FSA Pig, or even better, the DH Pig. $25.00 and $40.00 respectively; freakin' massive stainless steel bearings...you'll sooner break a chainstay before you break one of these. Rock on...

  20. #20
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    I have several king headsets, but recently came to the conclusion that the higher end Cane Creek is just a better design. It is irritating that King puts so much emphasis on their tight tolerances, and then includes a plastic ring to eliminate creaking. I still have Kings on all of my bikes, because 5-10-15 years ago they were the best thing going. The metal shims in the hope headset are bothersome too. A Cane Creek S3 is trouble free, quiet, and will last forever if kept clean and greased.

  21. #21
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    Why Coke over Pepsi? Why Bud over Coors? Why LandRover over Geo? Why CK over CC?

    I think its called personal preference. I run with FSA, CK(2), CC(2), XTR and Dura Ace and have the most problems with the XTR which is threaded (big suprise).

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  22. #22
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    CK headsets

    Hello all:

    My first serious MTB-Marin Pine Mountain- after 2 years the headset rusted and seized up I could barely turn the wheel so i bought a King and now have 3 Kings but the price was cheaper back them. I ride in Washington state and the winters are brutal here for rain so to me the King is worth every $$. I am planning on building a new bike and the King is coming off the Marin and going to the new ride.

  23. #23
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    At least part of the price for the CK headset is the royalty they pay to Dia Compe (Cane Creek) who hold the original patent for the threadless headset although I'm sure it's a small one. Incidentally, the star-nut was originally found in German outdoor furniture. My .02 and some silly cycling history. I've found the CK headset to be as bulletproof as it gets

  24. #24
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    When someone asked Willie Nelson why divorce is so expensive, he replied "Because they're worth it"...I have the same sentiment with regards to CK hubs and headsets

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by manida
    SS content:
    OK, I hear the stock headset on the Redline Monocog is junk ans should be replaced quickly.

    Why do Chris King headsets cost so much more than others?? Are they that much better? Should I just buy 3 Cane Creeks and replace as needed?
    I'm sure that one of the reasons that CK headsets are so popular is because they ARE so expensive.

    People will assume that high cost = high quality. Sometimes, people buy things because they percieved as exclusive. Look at designer handbags as extreme but applicable example- they are crazily expensive, of good build quality and materials, available in a wide range of pretty colours, but in terms of functionality only marginally better (if at all) than products that cost half as much to buy.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaux deuk
    At least part of the price for the CK headset is the royalty they pay to Dia Compe (Cane Creek) who hold the original patent for the threadless headset although I'm sure it's a small one. Incidentally, the star-nut was originally found in German outdoor furniture. My .02 and some silly cycling history. I've found the CK headset to be as bulletproof as it gets
    Unfortunately, that is not correct! Chris King is the one company that does NOT pay any licensing to Cane Creek. The CK headset uses and O-ring inside the upper headset piece to hold the steerer tight. This difference is apparantly enough to not infringe on the CC patent. Every other headset uses a split compression ring that snugs against the steerer when tightened.

    This difference is exactly my problem with the CC headset. It does not hold the forks steerer tube securely. That is why you have to use the plastic washer thingy, because the steerer is actually moving and plastic washer keeps the metal parts from wearing each other away. This effect can vary, as the actual size of the forks steerer tube will determine how much movement you get.

    And if FSA and others can sell $20.00 headsets and still pay the license fees to CC, it can't be that much!

  27. #27
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    I always wanted a CK headset (and hubs too) but never wanted to pay for em. Fortunately my buddy gave me his. I gotta say its really cool (looking). If you can afford it why not?

  28. #28
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    They look spiffy and seem to last forever. That said, I've been running a CC S-3 on my heckler for about 2 years now with 0 issues. If it ever dies I'll replace it with... Another S-3.

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