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  1. #1
    explody pup
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    Maybe I just don't understand what integrated headsets are...

    My new bike was shipped to my place yesterday. I'll have to install the headset so I was going through it to make sure everything was there and to check it out since I've never seen an integrated headset outside of the frame.

    I was surprised to see that (at least this model) had races much like any other headset I've seen. The only difference is that the entire cup fit entirely inside of the head tube (please correct me if I'm using the wrong terminology). Then the sealed bearings rest on/in these.

    I had always thought that with integrated headsets, the races were actually a part of the frame. So what the hell am I missing?



    Side question: I noticed there was a small amount of paint on the inside of the headtube. Is this going to cause a problem for when I install the cups? Should I have it reamed?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    sounds like you have a semi-integrated headset. Integrated headsets can damage frames

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  4. #4
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    Parktool has a section on headsets that should give you an idea of what parts make up a headset. Hopefully, with some figurin' on your part you'll understand how it all works.

    Paint on the steerer tube is not an issue. The surface of the steerer should NEVER touch the head tube. Thats what the headset does. It keeps the forks firmly attached and freely rotating on one axis. It is the only structural contact between your forks and your frame.

  5. #5
    explody pup
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    Thanks for the links. Yes, it's a semi-integrated headset.

    Quote Originally Posted by masiman
    Paint on the steerer tube is not an issue. The surface of the steerer should NEVER touch the head tube. Thats what the headset does. It keeps the forks firmly attached and freely rotating on one axis. It is the only structural contact between your forks and your frame.
    The paint is on the inside of the headtube, exactly where the cups will be pressed in.

  6. #6
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    I have not installed alot of headsets so I would have to defer to someone else's more experienced opinion. Even more so I have not worked with integrated headsets.

    My guess would be that if it is overspray it would be fine. If the paint has some thickness, it may need to be sanded some.

  7. #7
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    That park page on headsets rocks. I had no idea there were that many types of headsets.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    That park page on headsets rocks. I had no idea there were that many types of headsets.
    Neither did I . I just recently picked up my first bike with a threadless headset. It took some fiddlin' on my part to figure out how to adjust it. I am not quite conversant in it yet, but when I find some time I'll take it apart to see exactly how it ticks. I should get out more, lol.

  9. #9
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    I believe the type of headset you are describing is formally called a "Zero-Stack". The frame has the ends of the headtube flaired to accept press in cups (sort of like conventional headset cups but without the short cylindrical stubs) that then hold the bearing cartridges.

    True integrated headsets have the bearing seats machined directly into the headtube ends.

  10. #10
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    Hijack -- but a good discussion.

    HillRider,
    Did these come out of the low profile craze? I remember reading about them, but like biopace, I did not want to adopt early, . My impression of the early write ups is that they went through alot of complexities to fix a minor problem. And apparently from the King website, they did not do a whole lot. Anyone still specing these on frames? I just have not noticed them. If so, what types of bikes and reasons for using them?

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    They seem to be found on a fair number of triathlon / TT bikes....Felt, QR, Cervelo, Kuota to name a few. I think that aerodynamics of the head tube region is one reason for them--smooths out that region to not have cups 'protruding.' Another reason I think is that it allows for a "shorter" headtube area (which of course relates to frame geometry and fit....but I won't even try to speculate on HOW ).

    Quote Originally Posted by masiman
    Hijack -- but a good discussion.

    HillRider,
    Did these come out of the low profile craze? I remember reading about them, but like biopace, I did not want to adopt early, . My impression of the early write ups is that they went through alot of complexities to fix a minor problem. And apparently from the King website, they did not do a whole lot. Anyone still specing these on frames? I just have not noticed them. If so, what types of bikes and reasons for using them?

  12. #12
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    I was always convinced that integrated/zero stack headsets were a Marketing and cosmetic gimmick that had no functional value over conventional headsets. They weren't inherently flawed but didn't bring anything uuseful to the party either and many of the early installations had real problems.

    The fad seems to be fading as some makers (Litespeed for one) have abandoned them and gone back to the older type. They aren't gone completely but they don't appear to taking over the world either.

    Chris King's web site has a pretty strong condemnation of them but considering he never made either type and didn't want to tool up his motives are suspect. King did finally introduce a proprietary form of integrated headset that doesn't fit any standard frame but I don't think he sold more than a handful.

    I managed to wait them out and my new Litespeed had a standard press in headset.

  13. #13
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I don't really understand the reasoning for these integrated headsets either. I have not had any problem with my integrated headset for my homegrown, but I did not like pressing those bearings right into the frame. I also used a Zero stack for a while, I liked that more. Still, I don't understand why not just use the regular type. It's just one more machining operation to get the bore in the head tube. You really rely on the manufacturer boring these accurately, or else you will have problem. Then you squeeze the outer race of the radial bearing in and what a not so smooth setup you may have...

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