What headset for frequent fork swaps

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  • What headset for frequent fork swaps
  • TimP
    Member

    Headset are not particularly interesting bits of kit, mostly fit and forget so it is not something I can normally get too excited about but I feel I am shortening the lifespan of my current one by swapping in and out forks

    What headset should I get to replace the very cheap no name one I have bearing in mind I will be swapping in and out forks fairly regularly (one frame for everything so rigid to sus). Ideally it wont require to much fiddling to get the right adjustment (would cartridge bearings be better?), and spare crown races will be readily available. Oh and not cost much. Doesn't have to be light though.

    oh and 1 1/8"

    cheers

    angryratio
    Member

    Get something with a split crown race..

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy
    Subscriber

    FSA XL2.

    Split crown race, and dead simple to look after

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    What they said

    FSA XLII is what I use although not all come with the split crown race anymore so you may want to check before buying

    Premier Icon Vortexracing
    Subscriber

    Hope, split crown as well

    retro83
    Member

    sure somebody suggested that on here if a headset has cartridge bearings, it's okay to cut the crown race with a saw…is that true?

    Rockplough
    Member

    OP wants something which has spare crown races available, no doubt in order to install one on each fork, so split races don't matter.

    TimP I know you said cheap, but I'd honestly still get a Hope. They're brilliant, bulletproof things that you'll never have to worry about.

    DT78
    Member

    Um a had a pita fitting an FSA XLII last night. It didn't come with a split crown, in the end after an hour of faffing with a hammer and some wood I used a hack saw to make it a split crown so it fitted in seconds. As above my assumption is that as a cartridge bearing it'll be ok

    ure somebody suggested that on here if a headset has cartridge bearings, it's okay to cut the crown race with a saw…is that true?

    Cut mine and have no problems over the last year. I always put the split at the front so crap has less chance getting in.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I've cut FSA "races"- it's not really a race at all of course but nevermind- and they work just fine like that. Some people say you shouldn't and that it "could cause issues" but they always seem to be a bit nonspecific on exactly what sort of issues it's going to cause.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Hopes have a split crown. makes fork swaps easy and minimises risk of ruining the finish on your crown with a chisel.

    cynic-al
    Member

    In theory you can cut any cartridge bearing "race" and it will be fine.

    bassspine
    Member

    I just use a few cheap M-Part headsets, cost a tenner, so having several bikes with a shifting population of forks is easy. They last surprisingly well, so my theory of treating them as disposable has hit the snag of them not needing to be disposed of.

    DT78
    Member

    Btw – I got the FSA XLII from merlin for the princely sum of £20. I wouldn't shell out for a hope headset again. I ended up replacing the bearings (at the cost of £10 each) in under 12 months use.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    Chris King cups are both the same so Ive got one King headset split between two bikes (on the bottom of each)
    Spare crowns are easily available so Ive got one on sus forks and one on rigids and I swap them about quite regularly. Makes it really easy.

    Not the cheapest for King but worth the money IMO. Just keeps working with no maintenance.

    Btw – I got the FSA XLII from merlin for the princely sum of £20. I wouldn't shell out for a hope headset again. I ended up replacing the bearings (at the cost of £10 each) in under 12 months use.

    Do you jetwash?

    XL2 is a really good headset for £20. Hope is not 3 times as good! The Raceface Deus ones On One are doing for £27 posted are better than Hope. The RF ones are a 50-60 headset at £27. Really good deal. Only thing is they have the hardest and strongest crown race you can ever remove! Never had much luck with Hope Headsets.

    DT78
    Member

    No jetwashing. A week in morzine with a couple of epic rainy days rides killed the bearings. Headset was fitted by LBS too so it wasn't me bodging it. Took it back to said LBS and was told they weren't warrentied. Not best pleased.

    Fatbirds do the RF deus headset cheap too, though I've heard dubious reports on various forums so went for the XLII this time.

    retro83
    Member

    Cut mine and have no problems over the last year. I always put the split at the front so crap has less chance getting in.

    thanks 🙂

    I've cut FSA "races"- it's not really a race at all of course but nevermind

    true I suppose, what are they called then?

    Premier Icon simon1975
    Subscriber

    true I suppose, what are they called then?

    "Baseplate" 😉

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Um a had a pita fitting an FSA XLII last night. It didn't come with a split crown, in the end after an hour of faffing with a hammer and some wood I used a hack saw to make it a split crown so it fitted in seconds. As above my assumption is that as a cartridge bearing it'll be ok

    Easiest thing to fit crown races with (Apart from the proper tool!) is a length of plastic waste pipe. There's a size that **just** fits over a steerer tube, then belt it with a hammer. Cheap and effective, I find.

    Chris King cups are both the same so Ive got one King headset split between two bikes (on the bottom of each)
    Spare crowns are easily available so Ive got one on sus forks and one on rigids and I swap them about quite regularly. Makes it really easy.

    You know, that's a bloody good idea IMO. It's always the bottom race that fails first on cheaper headsets too. Thanks for that! 🙂

    Dia Compe CB-2. Only £32. Alloy and catridge. Loads of colurs and the all important split crown race so you can move between forks in seconds with no tools needed other than an Allen key.

    It's the only headset we sell and what I use on all my bikes. Works real well. Never had a single problem.

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