Join Date: Jul 2009
Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC
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The newest Stronglight A9s have sealed bearing cartridges now, and I have it on one of my bikes close to a year already. Decided to get it because NOS a9s with the needle bearings are getting way too expensive lately, if you can find them. The new A9 only cost me like 42 bucks shipped from a UK seller.
It did loosen a little bit after a few miles but since then the cartridges "bedded down good" after just one readjustment. It's functioning nice and smoothly so far without anymore signs of loosening, so I guess it will be good for the long run. I do put just a smidgen of tension into A9 headsets (needle bearing and this new cartridge bearing versions) when I install them without causing any problems. These A9s will never feel as free rolling as loose ball bearing headsets would when adjusted properly. The one on my Peugoet is still the original that came with the bike and has been working without any signs of looseness or wear since 1984. I only adjust it when I tear it open for cleaning an lube. Then, always just a single readjustment after a few miles.
I guess what I'm saying is, the new and old Stronglight A9s are definitely not crap too!!