The Perdido Headset is an internal headset type that is very similar to the standard headset that we've all used over the years, other than the fact that the whole assembly fits neatly inside the frame's head tube. The bearings are pressed into cups and the cups are pressed into the frame. Just like a normal headset. "Integrated" headsets use bearings that are not securely pressed into the frame, they are held in place by the headset adjustment alone. King Cycle Group considers this imprecise and shoddy design to be extremely bad engineering work. As an alternative to the "integrated" headset, we introduced Perdido.
A standard (the Perdido Standard) is associated with the Perdido Headset because specific frame dimensions are required for the headset to function properly. A frame that is built to these specification is deemed "Perdido Compatible". The Perdido Standard is free to anyone who wishes to look at it or use it to make frames or headsets, there is no licensing agreement. Anyone using the Perdido Standard to build their bicycle components should label their component "Perdido Compatible".
Some frames built to accept the Cane Creek "Zero-Stack" headset (not the
IS-6) can be modified to accept a Perdido Headset. In these specific cases, the head tube can be reamed to the correct depth and bore diameter to accept a Perdido Headset. You must check with your frame manufacturer before converting your bike over to Perdido. King Cycle Group accepts no responsibility for any damages that occur as a result of any frame modifications. Work with your frame builder.
Frames designed to accept the Cane Creek IS-6 or the Campagnolo Hiddenset are considered "Integrated Headset" frames and cannot be modified to accept the Perdido Headset. We are sorry to say it, but if you buy a bike that uses either of these headset styles, you won't be installing a King Headset.
We feel so strongly about how bad a design the whole "integrated" thing is that we simply refuse to make parts that validate its existence and prolong its survival. We are actively campaigning against integrated headsets in the bike industry because we feel that it ultimately harms the customer and the bike shop. The frame will eventually be rendered unusable and unfixable due to the nature of how the "integrated" headset beats against the head tube. Plus, it builds a heavier bike that is at least twice as likely to have a creaky headset.
Our advice is to avoid any frame that is built to accept the Cane Creek IS-6, the Campagnolo Hiddenset, the Columbus Headset, Schwinn's ICBM, or any other "integrated" headset. The Conventional Headset that we've all been using for many years is very, very difficult to beat. It is lighter and stronger and more durable than anything that any integrated headset can offer. Perdido is an option, but the standard, plain old headset is still the very best option at this point.
Hope that answers your question
King Cycle Group