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  1. #1
    Member BicycleMonkey's Avatar
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    preping for first build/Headset help

    I'm researching building up a frame (Specialized Allez Comp Cr-Mo) I picked up a couple weeks ago (with the Specialized carbon fork. This will be my first build BTW and what I have determined from searching BF is that I should let my LBS install the headset and probably the BB. My LBS said it would cost $15 to install the fork/headset, as well as $15 to install the BB/crank. I'm thinking "with labor prices that cheap I may end up having them build the whole thing"...But the point of me building as much I can is to learn (even if it costs a little more in the long run).

    I'm going to start by having my LBS install the headset and fork, but which headset? LBS said that if I want to go top end go Chris King but I was doing some research last night and found out that this frame takes an integrated threadless headset and Chris King apparently doesn't make integrated headsets. So what would be the next best headset to buy? What are the different variables with headsets? weight? I assume that with headsets as in most other things, higher price doesn't necisarily mean better.
    Last edited by BicycleMonkey; 04-04-06 at 09:38 AM.
    04 LeMond Tourmalet
    05 Specialized Allez Comp Cr-Mo project - DONE
    06 Specialized Sirrus

  2. #2
    Member BicycleMonkey's Avatar
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    Oops, somehow this post got listed three times. Two of them can be deleted...sorry.
    04 LeMond Tourmalet
    05 Specialized Allez Comp Cr-Mo project - DONE
    06 Specialized Sirrus

  3. #3
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    You will narrow down the field pretty quickly by finding one that is compatible (i.e., there is more than one standard for "integrated" headsets). Unless you have specific preferences or are trying to pinch pennies, I'd ask LBS for their advice, and buy better quality if you can, or get what came with the bike originally. While you will get lots of opinions here, you are learning about this stuff, and the way to learn is by doing, IMO.

  4. #4
    Member BicycleMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
    You will narrow down the field pretty quickly by finding one that is compatible (i.e., there is more than one standard for "integrated" headsets). Unless you have specific preferences or are trying to pinch pennies, I'd ask LBS for their advice, and buy better quality if you can, or get what came with the bike originally. While you will get lots of opinions here, you are learning about this stuff, and the way to learn is by doing, IMO.
    I'm not trying to pinch pennies, so price really isn't an issue over quality. I'd like to get the best headset I can, I'm just not sure which one/brand that is. I'm sure there are better ones out there than what came OE on the bike.

    My tentative goal with this build is to use the highest quality components (more or less) so I won't have to even think about upgrading for a while. I've never owned/ridden a bike spec'd out better than my Tourmalet (105/Ultegra). Since we have our first baby on the way this will be my last chance to potentially have a nicer bike. Even though this is a steel frame, I'd like to keep the weight to no more than 19lbs. I think my Tourmalet is hovering around 20lbs...I'd like it to be lighter than that.
    04 LeMond Tourmalet
    05 Specialized Allez Comp Cr-Mo project - DONE
    06 Specialized Sirrus

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Pinching pennies isn't the problem. Integrated headsets come in a couple of incompatible formats and the type you specifically need could be available from only one or two makers. I expect you will wind up with a Cane Creek or, possibly, an FSA headset so buy the top of the line that fits.

    BTW, Cris King headsets are super quality but absurdly expensive and overkill for most bikes. As you noted they don't make a compatible integrated headset. They have their own proprietary design that requires a special headtube configuration and, as far as I know, no production frame is made to accept it.

    As an aside, integrated and Zero stack headsets seem to be on the way out. Litespeed has stopped using them and there are other makers who will follow. It was an OK design but offered no advantages over the older pressed-in cup design. They made for more confusion and complexity and made greater demands on frame makers with no compensating benefit.

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