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  1. #1
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    Will more expensive headset make a difference

    Have a new lemond poprad which comes with a cane creek headset. The front end is very flexy with brake applied. Aside from a stiffer fork, does headset quality/manufacturer affect this at all? Thanks.

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    Utility Cyclist Ian Freeman's Avatar
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    Headset quality should not affect the flex of a bicycle if properly adjusted. Even a low-end headset will hold everything in place just right if it's property installed, the only gain to be had with higher quality is further reduction in usually unnoticeable "grind" from steering and of course, weight savings.
    "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost." -J.R.R. Tolkein

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    Thank you and...

    ...I have the stock 46/38 crank and would like much more on the low end to haul kids and such. Will a 36 be enough or can I put a nice mountain crank on? Thanks!!!

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    Hopefully your headset is tight.

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    A more expensive headset will not make a difference but a cassette with a larger cog will.

  6. #6
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    If the headset is seated properly then the fork is your only other possible "flexy issue"

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    Senior Member Astroluc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadimk View Post
    Have a new lemond poprad which comes with a cane creek headset. The front end is very flexy with brake applied. Aside from a stiffer fork, does headset quality/manufacturer affect this at all? Thanks.
    sorry, a bit off-topic:
    I've been drooling over the Poprad lately... how do you like it?? congrats on the new ride, btw!
    "I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Tom Waites

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    Quote Originally Posted by nadimk View Post
    ...I have the stock 46/38 crank and would like much more on the low end to haul kids and such. Will a 36 be enough or can I put a nice mountain crank on? Thanks!!!
    The 36T will provide a 5% reduction in effort? Is this enough improvement? I expect it would be almost unnoticed.

    You probably need either a road or MTB a triple with a 26T or smaller granny ring. A road triple will typically take as small as a 24T granny ring and most MTB cranks will go down to 20T.

  9. #9
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    1: The steel straight blade fork of the Poprad is very flexy and give lots of brake chatter. Not much you can do but change out the fork with a stiffer fork like the Alpha-Q CX20 (was designed to reduce brake chatter, but at $600 MSRP, probably not the best choice)

    2: you can't put a 36t chainring on your crankset unless you have a compact. And If I an recall, Poprads come with a standard crank with cross rings

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    Thanks...

    ...these are all very helpful replies! I've only had this bike for a few days, but the stock fork no worky good! It is partly carbon (inferior material!) and round, a most inauspicious choice for a cross bike with disc brakes. But, we'll keep riding and see what happens. I have no problem buying an Alpha Q to make the bike better and safer. We'll see.

    To the guy drooling...I suggest you buy it. For the spec, $1649 is a good deal, and IMO, ox platinum steel is about the best bike material for my purposes. There are many good choices, but not in steel unless you go custom. The bike rides like a dream, nice steel feel and fits me well. Notice the tiny VR handlebar and cross top brakes I installed aftermarket. The stock 2008 poprad disc does not come with cross top brakes. I commute on it, so these brakes are perfect.

    The stock saddle is also a bit weak, but it's a cool white color! More updates as time goes by.

    I can't seem to upload a photo because it keeps telling me the file is too large.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadimk View Post
    ...I can't seem to upload a photo because it keeps telling me the file is too large. Thanks!
    Pictures as attachments are limited to 100kb. Now if you host your pic with a third party you can use the "insert image" icon and have no limits

  12. #12
    Are we having fun yet?
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    New Poprad

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroluc View Post
    sorry, a bit off-topic:
    I've been drooling over the Poprad lately... how do you like it?? congrats on the new ride, btw!
    I just got a new 2008 rim-brake Poprad (about 1.5 weeks ago) and I love it so far. I've mostly ridden in it's native configuration, but I did pop my road wheels/tires onto it for a fast group ride last week (it performed very nicely). My only concern at the moment is all the scary talk about steel frames and rust. I live just north of Chicago and the roads will be turning crappy soon, and the salt trucks will be out in force...

    Anyways, if you want a great all-around ride, the Poprad is a great choice. On another note, the pearl white with deep red lettering is very sweet looking IMO.

    Dru

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    Quote Originally Posted by nadimk View Post
    The stock saddle is also a bit weak, but it's a cool white color! More updates as time goes by.
    I'm with you on the stock saddle. I love the way it looks on the bike, but it's a punishing ride. I think I'm going to put an Arione on it like I have on my road bike--they can be gotten in white.

    Dru

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    I plan to open seat tube, headtube, and bottom bracket and spray frame saver in. I have had a steel Bianchi Eros for 15 years and not a speck of rust that I can see. Ox platinum is more corrosion resistant than other steels in any case. Riding with fenders makes a big difference I think in keeping too much grit off the frame.

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    Pick the bike up off the floor with the rear tire resting on the floor. If you can move the fork up or down the slightest bit the headset is loose. They do come loose. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    You can also apply the front brake and push the bike back and forth. This will show play in the headset or front-hub bearings. Once adjusted correctly, cheap or expensive headsets shouldn't be any different in performance. More expensive headsets do have better seals so they'll last longer, but won't perform any differently. Personally, I like the Stronglight headsets with roller-bearings. Very smooth action and lasts forever due to the load being spread out over a much larger surface area.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-13-07 at 12:27 PM.

  17. #17
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    You can also apply the front brake and push the bike back and forth. This will show play in the headset or front-hub bearings. Once adjusted correct, cheap or expensive headsets shouldn't be any different in performance. More expensive headsets do have better seals so they'll last longer, but won't perform any differently. Personally, I like the Stronglight headsets with roller-bearings. Very smooth action and lasts forever due to the load being spread out over a much larger surface area.
    The Chris King headsets seem to have exactly the same kind of bearings you describe. However, you can have very cheap Stronglight headsets (and still the same kind of bearing), but you can't have very cheap Chris King headsets (for example, on eBay you can find Stronglight Delta headsets for less than GBP20).

  18. #18
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    I have a Chris King headset that I just moved onto my new bike (well new except for about three parts). It's about 12 years old. I can't imagine how you'd expect a better service life than that. However my Cane Creek and FSA cartridge headsets in my mountain bikes have been absolutely trouble free as well, but the whole bike dies long before the headsets wear out on MTBs. Maybe my steel road bike will outlast the vintage King headset that I just put on it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Astroluc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunix View Post
    Anyways, if you want a great all-around ride, the Poprad is a great choice. On another note, the pearl white with deep red lettering is very sweet looking IMO.

    Dru
    I like LeMonds but the styling I could always take or leave; but when I saw that Pearl White... I was in bike lust.

    When it comes to salt (I live in NewEngland so I understand you on your rust concerns... so I ride aluminum ) just treat it like a car; wash and wax it regularly, but not too much

    Congrats and enjoy it!
    "I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Tom Waites

  20. #20
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    The best price I've found on Stronglight headsets is at XXcycle, even with shipping from France to the USA.http://www.xxcycle.com/php/boutique/...ch=31&start=10
    You could buy a half dozen A-9's for the price of one Chris King.

  21. #21
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Hey, I just checked a FSA headset I had somewhere stashed away, and it has the same kind of bearings as the Stronglight and the Chris King. It's a 1 1/8" headset, red anodized aluminum, don't know what model but it has "Sure Lock Pro" written on top and "Exclusive triple lockring mechanism" on the side.

    I remember I got it real cheap, and that's just why I bought it. Didn't really need it, but it was so cheap I thought I'd get one for the stock. Nice looking headset. I'm pretty sure I got it for less than 20 EUR, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.

  22. #22
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    well the stronglight headsets look to be all 1" ... so you know it hardly competes with 1-1/8" Chris King threadless headsets at any price.

  23. #23
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    Hey NADIMK,

    check out what I did with my Poprad.

    Note that headset will not resolve the fore-aft flex and some the flex is due to the movement of the pad within the disc caliper (when stationary.) It's less apparent when braking from speed.

  24. #24
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    Eye poppingly gorgeous! Very nice job. I changed out the handlebar too, but with a 50 dollar Bontrager Fit VR bar made for women. I love the feel. I needed a shorter stem, too, and the LBS essentially gave me a short, older Bontrager XXX stem that is 70mm. I installed Salsa cross tops, which are great when you commute in traffic. Because I commute and lock up in so many places, I have a clear plastic tube encasing the top tube to protect it against damage; cost me $3.50. I know, you want pictures, but mine looks like dog meat next to yours! Keep me abreast of your wheelset endeavors. Good job.

  25. #25
    Tell them I hate them Peedtm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krash View Post
    well the stronglight headsets look to be all 1" ... so you know it hardly competes with 1-1/8" Chris King threadless headsets at any price.
    Huh?

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