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  1. #1
    Nighttime Rider
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    Please tell me about headsets.

    I'm building a Surly Pugsley, it's my first full build.

    It's time I purchased a headset. This has never been a consideration before
    because it usually came with the bike.

    Is there anything important I should look for? Is a simple $20-30 headset sufficient
    for most things?

    thanks

    CE

  2. #2
    Your mom
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    From experience, don't get a cheap headset. Spend at least $20, and probably $30. As a good friend says: "Buy nice or buy twice".

  3. #3
    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Ive had great luck with the cheap cane creek headsets.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Just curious, but what are you going to use the Pugsley for? I saw one on a beach in Florida recently, set up with HUGE tires running at low pressure for riding on the sand. Very cool bike-

  5. #5
    steel riding houseman
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    I just went through this exercise, and it seems the main differences that you'll notice are smoothness, durability under stress, and lifespan. Looking at some mildly old bikes around I did actually notice "indexing" in the headsets, which is when it kind of clunks from one spot to another. Not something I want in a freshly built bike.

    When it comes to the price of components versus durability, I tend to think a) how physically hard is it to replace, and b) what are the consequences of failure, either catastrophic or just reduced functionality? For me Headsets seem like a) a big pain the ass to swap out but b) chunky turning might not be that bad for some people.

    Ultimately I ended up scratching nickels for a few weeks longer until I had my $125 for a Chris King. The girl at my LBS said "I've had my Chris King on 6!! bikes now. still works perfectly." Good enough. That thing is buttery smooth, looks sharp, and from what I've read, should still be functioning that way in 20 years.

  6. #6
    bac
    bac is offline
    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianp View Post
    Ultimately I ended up scratching nickels for a few weeks longer until I had my $125 for a Chris King. The girl at my LBS said "I've had my Chris King on 6!! bikes now. still works perfectly." Good enough. That thing is buttery smooth, looks sharp, and from what I've read, should still be functioning that way in 20 years.
    This is the ultimate answer. CKs are not cheap, but they are the best IMHO. I've also had luck with some of the Cane Creek headsets, but none perform like the CKs. Set it and forget it!

    ... Brad

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Acros is even better than Chris King. Just as precise, but sealed up even better. Same price as the King

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    FSA (full speed ahead) makes some excellent quality headsets in the $40 to $60 price range. I like the Orbit models that use sealed angled cartridge bearings. I just put one on a Surly cross check, very nice. Many FSA headsets have good ratings in MTBReview also.

  9. #9
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Seems a bit skimpy to build up a pugsley with a cheap headset if you ask me.

  10. #10
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    For swamp riding, see the nearby thread Need simple grabs for bike-overboard rescue.

    You'll probably need to start a new one for gator repellent.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  11. #11
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    That has the stainless steel cartridge bearings(The cheaper CaneCreeks have an open non cartridge bearing). It should work well for you purpose and the bearings are pretty cheap if you get them crusty.
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