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Old 02-28-11, 09:39 PM   #1
cuda2k
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Velo-Orange roller bearing headset - review(s)

Today I had two new Velo-Orange roller bearing headsets installed today. One on my Gazelle AB-Frame, the other on my Serotta. Both previously had current production Record threaded headsets, both of which had developed indexing over the last 2-3 years of use.

1) I'm happy to report that the stated stack height appears to be spot on as they installed without issue on steerer tubes which had been cut down to fit the fairly low stack height of the modern Record headsets.

2) Finish is good for the price, it's not as polished as the Record headsets, but the satin silver headset does not look out of place next to the Cinelli stems or silver Centaur brakes. There is a black plastic seal that fits above the locknut that I would have rather had been hidden at the bottom of the nut or something, but I'd rather have it last longer.

3) headsets feel smooth and quiet. We'll see how long they last, but at a price of nearly 1/3 of the Record headsets, I'm already well ahead of the game.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:59 PM   #2
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If their design is anything close to Stronglight A9s and its many subsequent needle bearinged derivatives, those VOs should last you many years.

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Old 02-28-11, 10:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
If their design is anything close to Stronglight A9s and its many subsequent needle bearinged derivatives, those VOs should last you many years.

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I have only needed to replace one headset, and that was on a rigid mtb. I don't know if it was the downhill shock or dirt that killed it off first, as it was a cheapie I was not complaining.
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Old 02-28-11, 10:09 PM   #4
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Your Record headsets both had issues after only 2-3 years? I think they may have been installed wrong.

I was seriously considering the VO needle headset over a stronglight A9 (which they unmercifully copied) but was worried about the longevity of the threaded bits. New needle bearings and races can be had for about $4 Per side so they certainly have a leg up in the long term category for bearing and race wear.
Be careful not to over tighten the head nut, as I have noticed on my A9 and Miche Primatos (a stronglight X15 copy) that they are harder to install perfectly, but then afford you years of use without worry.
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Old 02-28-11, 10:40 PM   #5
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How about noise when hitting bumps? I had an Origin8 roller with alloy cups, and no amount of adjusting would lose the loose headset thud when hitting sharp bumps in the road. Drove me nuts until I removed it.,,,,BD

I just went to VO and checked it out. It looks mysteriously like the Origin8? Hmmm... Slightly
different appearance, but close enough to the same manufacturer?

http://www.origin-8.com/?page_id=91&...d&cl1=HEADSETS
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Old 02-28-11, 11:51 PM   #6
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This interests me because I just was outbid on an A9 on eBay earlier!
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Old 03-01-11, 08:18 AM   #7
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I just went to VO and checked it out. It looks mysteriously like the Origin8? Hmmm... Slightly
different appearance, but close enough to the same manufacturer?
Even if it is, one is cartridge, the other needle bearing. The designs are different enough that it is mostly irrelevant if both headsets are made by the same manufacturer.

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Old 03-01-11, 10:19 AM   #8
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I'll get a road report as soon as I get a chance to get either out on the road (Saturday at the latest). I bounced the front wheel a couple times on the garage floor, didn't hear any noise then.

I don't know what happened to the Record headsets, I suspect that they were not tightened enough when installed (only one of those being partially my doing). Either way, yes, I was quite bummed about the lack of longevity out of them, especially the Serotta which has seen very few miles in that time period, but all the same I could quite easily get the wheel to 'lock' straight ahead. At $100-$110 a pop, I didn't feel like trying them again for a while.


The appearance does resemble that Origin8, but as Kurt points out, that one is sealed bearing. Interestingly enough I got a chance to handle on of FSA's sealed cartridge threaded headsets at the NAHBS show this past weekend. Looked nice, but the stack height is a bit tall for the steerer tubes on the Gazelle AB-Frame and the Serotta I have.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:07 PM   #9
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First ride under my belt. Headset operated just like a headset should. No noise, didn't feel any vibrations or other out of sort issues under braking or other time. Of course only time will tell how it holds up over the long run, but so far I'm pleased with the purchase.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:54 AM   #10
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Good to know!

I've got a bike (old mountain bike) that needs a new headset-
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