Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rochester, New York
Bikes: 1987 Centurion Dave Scott Expert
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Help choosing new headset and BB
I have an old Centurion Ironman Expert that has been neglected that I'm having powdercoated and getting back on the road. Just dropped it off at the powdercoaters this morning. In the process of stripping everything off to prep for powdercoating, I confirmed what I suspected, that both the headset and the bottom bracket were in need of replacement. The old headset was shimano 105, but was so worn that it was binding and "indexed." The old BB was a Kiyata cup and cone type BB. I'd never heard of Kiyata before, it seems like a generic asian BB that centurion put on to save money rather than use shimano 105, like the rest of the bike, because most people wouldn't notice that the BB was different.
So now that I'm replacing them, I want to get something solid and decent, but I don't need anything fancy. I want something relatively inexpensive, but also solid and durable, and that will offer good performance. I don't race or anything, I mostly use the centurion as a fast commuter.
I figured since the spindle and bearings need to be replaced (the cups look like they might be okay, but I didn't bother to really clean them up and inspect them since the spindle obviously needs replacement), it made sense to install a cartridge BB. So I have been looking at the velo-orange grand cru bb, as compared to the shumano un55. The shimano is about $10 cheaper. With the extra ten bucks for the grand cru, what am I getting? Am I getting better performance, better durability, lighter weight, or am I just paying for the shiny boron steel spindle (as opposed to the shimano's black spindle) and the faux-French velo orange hipster cred?
As for the headset, I'm limited to JIS (27mm crown race), since I'm not really interested in having the fork milled to fit an ISO headset. I've been comparing the velo orange alloy headset with the tange levin steel alloy headset. The price is within a few dollars on either one, and from what I can tell, they are pretty comparable, but if anyone has any experience with these, I would appreciate any feedback.