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Old 05-12-11, 09:13 PM   #1
RobE30 
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Durable headset

I think I have most aspects of my project figured out, I'm undecided on a headset. My current inventory consists of an Omas in decent shape and a rough Raleigh HS. I had a fair condition Nuovo Record HS but it was traded for a set of cranks.... Will the OMAS be strong enough to stand up to my weight (220 or so), handlebar bag (10-20lbs) and the potential for rough roads? How would a Campy NR or SR headset hold up? Does any of this really matter? I've never really given it much thought before but now after riding my 74 International with Campy NR, I'm impressed at how smoothly everything works
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Old 05-12-11, 09:57 PM   #2
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Go with a cheap steel headset and it will hold up longer then you think, just wont be as smooth. Campy aluminum headset wont last long.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:06 PM   #3
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Tange Levin (CDS or 1500) or Stronglight A9 are two reasonable options.

I've ordered one of the Token needle bearing headsets to try...should be coming from Wiggle in about a week...also pretty cheap.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:19 PM   #4
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Tange headsets are a great product and good value. I have a cheapo Tange headset on my Raleigh Professional and don't have any complaints, it even looks pretty good.

I have the needle bearing version Stronglight A9, the aluminum wrench flats seem a little fragile to me otherwise it's fine... but a little more complex than plain bearing balls.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:33 PM   #5
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+1 Tange works fine and is tough. Looks pretty good as well. Comes in all sizes.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:59 PM   #6
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The Stronglight A9 with needle (instead of ball) bearings seem to last forever because of the much larger bearing contact surface area. They're no longer made, but Ben's Cycle has some N.O.S. A9s, sadly only in black.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:04 AM   #7
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If you can find a needle bearing Stronglight A9, grab it. My favorite ever made. Super light and lasts and lasts (even for us Clydes).

No one's mentioned King? Pricey, but there is a reason so many love 'em.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:11 AM   #8
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I agree on going with a cheap steel HS. when I took my poor old '87 Sport SX in to have a new HS installed, thinking that after using it for 'cross, commuting (in rain and snow) and then being in storage for 10+ years unused it would be trashed. the called and "hey this ols steel HS in in great shape! we think you should overhaul it"

I never used the needle bearinf ones but I like the idea and design of them. you may even consider a cartridge bearing style like a shim 105.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:19 AM   #9
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King headsets are a beautiful thing but the Tange Levin really hits the sweet spot for price, longevity, and performance... have had Tange headsets last for tens of thousands of km with regular service and they still keep working.

There are other great headsets out there... Shimano makes very nice headsets and if you ever come across a Suntour / WTB greaseguard unit or Lazer this are fabulous but are no longer made.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
King headsets are a beautiful thing but the Tange Levin really hits the sweet spot for price, longevity, and performance... have had Tange headsets last for tens of thousands of km with regular service and they still keep working.
No kidding, you could buy 6 Tange levins for the cost of 1 King headset.
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Old 05-13-11, 09:02 AM   #11
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Velo-Orange has a nice range of headset options, too.

But I also give a +1 for Tange headsets. Solid value.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:12 PM   #12
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On my 84-85 Trek 620 there is a Stronglight headset. Could that be a Stronglight A9? It says Hinault on it. I could pilfer it off the Trek for now.... Otherwise a Tange Levin looks the part well.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:45 PM   #13
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My vote for a durable C&V headset is the Stronglight Delta needle bearing headset shown on the left of the pic below:

It has the features of the original/proven A9 needle bearing design but backed up with O-rings at the top and bottom races to help seal the bearings from outside moisture/contamination. It's still very light at 77 grams.
They still come up regularly for auction at ebay in English and French threading. They go for typically around 55 to 65 bucks NOS. They sell quick as they are still very popular with C&Vers, just like the A9s.
the one on the right in the pic is the Stronglight model JDX94 needle bearing headset. I think it came out around the time Stronglight was providing integrated headsets in the early 90's to French companies like Vitus for their bikes. The interesting feature on this headset is the upper bearings and races are flipped upside down from how they are in the A9 and the Delta. The concept was to provide a more stable reverse thrust effect from above to locate the steering tube in the headstock. It features a moulded in delrin locking bushing in the upper crown (black band at the top portion of the headset) that cancels out the typical top locknut you find in traditional headset. unfortunately, id did add some weight to the design coming in at 111 grams.

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Old 05-15-11, 07:49 PM   #14
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+1 I can't imagine anything better than a Tange headset, though the old Record headsets are quite pretty. The steel ones are very slender, too -- much smaller in outside diameter than an alloy headset. I really like that slim look.
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Old 05-15-11, 10:42 PM   #15
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The Levin looks better, but as an alternative, the Ritchey Logic is a nice headset for the price.http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=18272
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Old 05-16-11, 06:18 AM   #16
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In this order. I own all of these.

1: Chris King. Hands down the best headset on the planet
2: Shimano. Any of the Shimano cartridge as they are poor mans versions of the Chris King. I own 105 and Dura Ace examples.
3: Any roller bearing headset.
4. Loose ball: Tange are good headsets
5: Campy. Great headset until your need a new fork race. 2 complete Tange headset costs less than 1 Campy fork race.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:06 AM   #17
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RobE30, I've no experiance with the Omas headset, but if in good condition I wouldn't expect any problems. All of my roadbikes now have sealed Tange headsets. They aren't the lightest nor strongest headset available, but after thousands of miles I can't fault them.

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Old 05-16-11, 10:08 AM   #18
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Factoring in the stack height can narrow your choices considerably.
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