Chris King Headsets? Worth It?

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  • Chris King Headsets? Worth It?
  • esher shore

    no love for the “old” king headset design from me with the “o” ring top cap design (patent issues prevented the use of the Dia Compe ‘aheadset’ design that all other headset manufacturers seemed to use without issue / paying a royalty)

    did not appreciate the headset constantly working loose, creaking, moving and top cap deeply scoring the steerer tube of my expensive forks

    yes, king were beautifully made, and had lovely bearings, really liked their manufacturing / company ethos;

    but based on the short life of both the “old” King headsets I owned, and the experience of many of my customers, and the poor warranty support we all received from the UK distributor, it was an item I could never recommend for aftermarket sales or custom bike builds

    if their newer design using the compression ring under the top cap has solved this issue (it should have) I cannot comment as I have no experience with the newer model.

    since the bike industry diversified with seemingly, a zillion different headset combos, people seem to run whatever actually fits, rather than worrying about the quality of the headset

    with many of the modern frames running internal headsets (many carbon frames using bearings seated straight to the head tube or bearing seat), I would say that a regular routine of dropping the fork, wiping off moisture/dirt and and smear of anti-seize is more beneficial in the long term.


    I have one that I bought in 1998, so it’s now 15years old.

    Still in use, still perfect.


    esher shore


    well this was the weird thing about the older King headsets

    many riders swore by them, including BMX riders who were probably the most abusive riders using that product, or so we assumed

    it was really when the longer travel (130mm+) single crown suspension forks became available that the older design King headset design started to show its flaws

    for customers riding XC with wheels on the ground, or shorter travel forks (or rigid forks including the BMX guys), the headset worked without issue

    however, for the newer more aggressive riding customers with the longer travel forks (especially once going past 140mm+) the issue with the top cap surfaced

    Premier Icon accu

    yep..but to solve this problem there are the grip lock conversion sets..
    bought them from bike components in germany for my really old king headsets last year (28.- euros)…. perfect with 160mm forks..


    I’ve had a chris king headset on my commuter since 2007, its my winter/wet weather commuter and do about 3000 miles a year on the bike. I’ve never touched the headset and its as smooth as the day it was fitted.

    Undoubtedly worth the money.


    Thing is, for all the folk saying “fit and forget”…start the same thread but about say FSA XLII headsets…

    you’ll probably get the same/more replies of folk saying they fitted and forgot them….

    Nearly ALL headsets are fit and forget.

    Premier Icon accu

    I had two cane creak headsets which failed…
    never serviced my king…
    only when installing in a new frame.. 🙂

Viewing 7 posts - 41 through 47 (of 47 total)

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