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  1. #1
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    Are King headsets still the defacto best?

    With all the new(ish) offerings from Cane Creek and Crank Bros. are CK headsets still considered the "best"?

    Mainly asking mechanics that see bunches of bikes each day, not just personal opinion.

  2. #2
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    When I asked the mechanic at my LBS, he recommended King.

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    Many would and will argue that King is king. Many will disagree as well.

    I have no issues with the threaded Chris King models but I prefer a Canecreek style headset for threadless.

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    I just had the same conversation with a bike shop owner/mechanic and he said cane creek is now tops in his book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
    Many would and will argue that King is king. Many will disagree as well.

    I have no issues with the threaded Chris King models but I prefer a Canecreek style headset for threadless.
    im with you on this one. no on king threadless. for threadless im cane creek all the way or any other headset that uses the split compression ring

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    The majority of mid/high end road bikes are all integrated type. Chris king does not factor into ANY high end road bikes anymore. Headsets now consist really of two bearings (no crown race even on higher end ****), upper bearing cover and a top cap.

    Get with the program Chris King. You're going to be obsolete soon.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Yeah King does not want to follow on the whole integrated thing. They say it is bad, but now that that is the high end standard, they are falling behind.

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    I'll add that the most recent threadless headset I installed had one of those split crown races.

    Thumbs up for any headset with the split race, no tools to install or remove.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'd offer a language change, among the best, since there are many companies
    that want your money, all offering top tier stuff.


    Chris King company is located in Portland Oregon USA, they are manufactured right there.
    Buying that stuff keeps your money in the country,

    rather than shipping it abroad.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-21-10 at 10:01 AM.

  10. #10
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    a headset is one of the last bearings on a bike that needs to be high quality.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  11. #11
    Technically Canadian Neccros's Avatar
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    Crank Bros HS's are made by Cane Creek
    Cant we all just ride along???

  12. #12
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    Many years ago I would have argued that King is the best, and although they do make an extremely high quality product I have to say that Cane Creek is at the top of the dog pile. I feel this is the case primarily because of the fact that King does not use the concentric split ring that is used to support the upper bearing race. This is the KEY design feature that makes Cane Creek ( and others who license the design ) superior to all others out there. There is not doubt that King's product is high quality but without the concentric ring it does not work as well.

  13. #13
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    I have a Chris King 1-1/8" threadless headset on one bike as it came as part of a package deal. So far (4 years and 15,000 miles) it has been flawless and the steering precision is wonderful. If the split ring centering collar Cane Creek and FSA use to support the top bearing isn't there, it certainly isn't missed.

    That said, I also have both Cane Creek (S-3) and FSA (Orbit X and Orbit XLII) headsets on other bikes and they are also perfectly satisfactory. The FSA's have the split crown race which certainly makes installation a breeze.

    My take: Chris King makes an excellent headset that sells for a premium price but has limited applications since they don't, and won't, make integrated headsets. They have no real superiority over the current Cane Creek and FSA products which are far less expensive and seem just as functional.

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    Cool, good knowledge. Thanks.

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingleside View Post
    Many years ago I would have argued that King is the best, and although they do make an extremely high quality product I have to say that Cane Creek is at the top of the dog pile. I feel this is the case primarily because of the fact that King does not use the concentric split ring that is used to support the upper bearing race. This is the KEY design feature that makes Cane Creek ( and others who license the design ) superior to all others out there. There is not doubt that King's product is high quality but without the concentric ring it does not work as well.
    And what about the non split ring design do you think makes the headset superior?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  16. #16
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I have a Chris King 1-1/8" threadless headset on one bike as it came as part of a package deal. So far (4 years and 15,000 miles) it has been flawless and the steering precision is wonderful. If the split ring centering collar Cane Creek and FSA use to support the top bearing isn't there, it certainly isn't missed.

    That said, I also have both Cane Creek (S-3) and FSA (Orbit X and Orbit XLII) headsets on other bikes and they are also perfectly satisfactory. The FSA's have the split crown race which certainly makes installation a breeze.

    My take: Chris King makes an excellent headset that sells for a premium price but has limited applications since they don't, and won't, make integrated headsets. They have no real superiority over the current Cane Creek and FSA products which are far less expensive and seem just as functional.
    +1
    I've got King on my two "nice bikes" and they are great. I've had FSA and Cane Creek on my lower end bikes and they are great too. I you want bling get the king. If you want utility at a cheaper price point get Cane creek or FSA

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    And what about the non split ring design do you think makes the headset superior?
    I've found that the o-ring bearing cap set up King uses can lead to problems in the long run. The o-rings wear out casing the tapered lip on the bearing cap to wander and put uneven pressure on the upper bearing, which leads to the alloy bearing cap to wear out. In essence the system is relying on a rubber o-ring to center the entire assembly. On the other hand the concentric split ring that Cane Creek employs uses the bearing and steertube to align the assembly leading to a more solid setup. The ring cannot wander back and forth as easily due to the rigidity of the mating surfaces.

  18. #18
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    Yes

  19. #19
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    I've talked to 5 of the 6 bike shops here in town about this. They all said the same thing. Cane Creek S-2/S-3's are the most cost-effective, but Chris King's are still better. I don't know enough about the headset designs to comment on that, but when bike shops tell me it's not worth it to spend more money at their shop, I believe them, especially when the S-3's happened to be at half price that weekend.

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