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  1. #1
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Broken Chris King headset

    Getting my bike ready for an upcoming race, I've been going through the bike servicing what needs serviced. Last night I serviced my Fox TALUS RLC - oil and seals. I removed the stem - smacked the steer tube with a soft hammer. The fork dropped with the lower headset bearing still attached - the lower cup was still in the frame (they are not supposed to separate). The bearing was cocked on the steer tube - when I fiddled with it - the bearing came apart - little balls went everywhere. So now the inner race of that bearing and the original headset "race" - are still on the steer tube. Going to the LBS today to use their Park race removal tool to see if I can get the stuck race off. I also have an email into CK warranty department (website says 10 years) to see if they will do anything. I've had the headset 6-8 years - pretty sure I don't have the original receipt. If they don't - I guess it's time for a new headset.

  2. #2
    ed
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  3. #3
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    I just got off the phone with CK - they told me to send them the whole headset and they would fix it up and send it back - awesome.

  4. #4
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    Sorry Ed, but there's a huge difference between a Chris King and a CC Tank Hit. One of the beautiful parts of a King headsets is this part: "I just got off the phone with CK - they told me to send them the whole headset and they would fix it up and send it back - awesome." Sometimes price includes quality parts and quality warranty.
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  5. #5
    ed
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    I know. I'm just being a smart ass.

  6. #6
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimlock View Post
    Sorry Ed, but there's a huge difference between a Chris King and a CC Tank Hit. One of the beautiful parts of a King headsets is this part: "I just got off the phone with CK - they told me to send them the whole headset and they would fix it up and send it back - awesome." Sometimes price includes quality parts and quality warranty.
    Your implication is that Malcolm from CC would not do the same, and based upon my mulitple dealings with him over the years, I have to say I disagree.

    cryptid01
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  7. #7
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to imply anything of the sort. I like Cane Creek stuff just as much as the next guy: the SC-1 is my go-to replacement for customers. I just meant that a $30 headset often isn't the same as a $200 headset. Mr. Ed is a funny man and I clearly just missed the joke boat on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
    Using a nicer sealed bearing headset vs a $10 set is like throwing a frisbee vs a dodgeball.

  8. #8
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
    Your implication is that Malcolm from CC would not do the same, and based upon my mulitple dealings with him over the years, I have to say I disagree.

    cryptid01
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    How did your CK headsets get trashed - same issue as mine? - Did you try to warranty them? They seem to be treating me well at this point - but I don't have the headset back yet.

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimlock View Post
    Sometimes price includes quality parts and quality warranty.
    Of course you can always buy two $40 headseats at once and you'll have a half hour warranty replacement sitting at home.
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  10. #10
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Of course you can always buy two $40 headsets at once and you'll have a half hour warranty replacement sitting at home.
    Yea - their stuff is not cheap, but typically lasts a very long time. I have 3 headsets ( all over 6 yo) and a hub set - 11 years old, with well over 30,000 miles - and this is the first failure. And then there is the bling factor.....

  11. #11
    ed
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    I've still got the Tank on my rigid. Raises the front end a bit due to the taller lower. I sold my CK and probably won't buy another due to a 200 dollar headset not performing any differently than my 40 dollar headset.

    Though I was joking with the OP...cryptid has a valid point.

    I tend to buy headsets based on need of fit these days. I'm running a really low stack CrankyBro on the Komodo b/c I was really lacking in steerer tube. As I already stated...the Crapper needed a slacker HA, so I went with a tall rigid fork with the tall lower bearing cup headset.

    I think CK stuff is a bit more bling than function.

  12. #12
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I think CK stuff is a bit more bling than function.
    I agree. There are enough high quality headsets out there that are way more cost effective than a CK one. As it was written above, you can buy two solid ones with a serious amount of change left over compared with a single CK. However, the CK headsets do look good. An out of town buddy of mine came over for the first time who also happens to be a mountain biker. I was showing him my bike and the first thing he noticed were my CK headset and hubs.

    Damn, I look good sometimes.
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  13. #13
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I think CK stuff is a bit more bling than function.
    I agree - now - but when I bought my last one (I might have gotten a good guy discount at the lbs) - I paid less than 100 and there were not as many option as there are now. My hubs spent ~ 6 years on a mountain bike, 3 wheel builds and the last 6 on my road bike, 1 build (so far) - not too many other hubs could get away with that. The last mountain wheel set I built I was going to go with CK - but I saved several hundred bucks and went with XTR - don't look as nice but I don't have to deal with the angry bee sound either.

  14. #14
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
    Your implication is that Malcolm from CC would not do the same, and based upon my mulitple dealings with him over the years, I have to say I disagree.

    cryptid01
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    Cane Creek is frikken awesome as all get out. Chris King, no where as much.

    I honestly think the Cane Creek 110 is ten times the headset than a king and I believe comes with a 110 year warranty.

    Chris King as a company is a bit hypocritical, claiming their headsets are better off without the wedge piece and what do they do for 2011? Incorporate in a wedge piece with the headset.
    Last edited by Dannihilator; 06-26-11 at 09:25 PM.
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  15. #15
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    I agree - now - but when I bought my last one (I might have gotten a good guy discount at the lbs) - I paid less than 100 and there were not as many option as there are now. My hubs spent ~ 6 years on a mountain bike, 3 wheel builds and the last 6 on my road bike, 1 build (so far) - not too many other hubs could get away with that. The last mountain wheel set I built I was going to go with CK - but I saved several hundred bucks and went with XTR - don't look as nice but I don't have to deal with the angry bee sound either.
    Angry bee sound is kickin'! I love it. I love loud freehubs. My Hope Pro II's have lasted me 4.5yrs now though and they're like 1/2 the price of CK. ($570 vs. $300 at universalcycles) I've not been ginger with them.

  16. #16
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    Angry bee sound is kickin'! I love it. I love loud freehubs. My Hope Pro II's have lasted me 4.5yrs now though and they're like 1/2 the price of CK. ($570 vs. $300 at universalcycles) I've not been ginger with them.
    My son has been riding on my old road bike with the CK hubs - he really likes the crazy high pitch whining sound when going down a hill at 40+.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    I think CK stuff is a bit more bling than function.
    Perhaps. When I got my fixie in 2002, I put a WTB headset on it. The headset lasted less than a year before I destroyed it, I was yanking on the handlebars that hard. Replaced it with a King, and it is still going strong almost a decade later with zero maintenance and zero adjustment. This is easily worth $200 from my point of view.

    As far as the hubs go, the angry bee sound is ostentatious, but I still run CK hubs because I like the engagement. (Besides, compared to my Rohloff, the CK hubs suddenly don't seem so expensive...) I have even learned to like the angry bee sound.

  18. #18
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    How did your CK headsets get trashed - same issue as mine? - Did you try to warranty them? They seem to be treating me well at this point - but I don't have the headset back yet.
    They didn't grenade like yours, they just started making god awful creaks and cracks. One was 11 years old and the other was 6 or 7, and they both had a hard life (aggressive riding, tall a2c forks, heavy rider). I suspect, as Dannihilator mentioned, that it was a design issue. I didn't attempt to warranty.

  19. #19
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Ok CK is getting a big thumbs down from me - they could have just told me not to send it in, but they offered to fix it. So I sent it to them, waited a week and then gave them a call. When I called, the lady that answered said they had not received it yet. I told her I shipped it priority and asked if she could look into it - after a big sigh she said she would and put me on hold. 5 min later she got on the line, giggled a little, and said somebody forgot to check it in. I mentioned I had a race coming up and hoped I would have it back by then - she said I would get it in a week or so. That call did not inspire my confidence in CK, so i pressed in a spare and forgot about it. So I called again yesterday - nearly a month later - and had about the same conversation. This time a guy answered, put me on hold for 5, got back on, explained how busy they have been and then said he didn't understand why nobody had gotten on it yet. He said someone would get on it in the morning. Then he offered to call me the next day to let me know it shipped. No call today. I have 3 CK head sets, one set of hubs and was about to buy a BB - yea, they talked me out of that.

  20. #20
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    I've got one King HS on my commuter bike that gets ridden in all sorts of nasty weather, year round. Pristine inside, supah smooth, and near six years old. Overall though, something with decent sealed bearings is all you need. I prefer Cane Creek for a nice blend of decent pricing and durability.

    And one King rear disc hub that is near seven now, I think. Has had QR, 10mm, and 12mm axle setups in it and been on multiple different frames. Much riding on the thing. Lots of high torque trialsy stuff, and just plain mileage. I pull it apart about once a year. The thing looks nearly brand new.

    I've had similar experience with Hadley hubs in the past. Plus, the highe engagement is noticable if you are riding techy stuf with some slow speed trialsy moves thrown in. Nice to have.

    The current Hope ProII on my Banshee? Not so much. Makes some weird resonance sounds, and the seals have not been doing the best job. discovered that when pulling it apart to check about the noise. It's less than a year old. It's getting replaced with a new Hadley build on its way to me...

    Lesson: sometimes you do get what you pay for.
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  21. #21
    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    Angry bee sound is kickin'! I love it. I love loud freehubs. My Hope Pro II's have lasted me 4.5yrs now though and they're like 1/2 the price of CK. ($570 vs. $300 at universalcycles) I've not been ginger with them.
    +1

    Take care of your half priced stuff and it'll last as long as CK. When it comes to CK it's all about the Ooooooh you got CK stuff, not much better than some of the other products out there, including HOPE which I have all over my bike.
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  22. #22
    lungbuster estabro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    Ok CK is getting a big thumbs down from me - they could have just told me not to send it in, but they offered to fix it. So I sent it to them, waited a week and then gave them a call. When I called, the lady that answered said they had not received it yet. I told her I shipped it priority and asked if she could look into it - after a big sigh she said she would and put me on hold. 5 min later she got on the line, giggled a little, and said somebody forgot to check it in. I mentioned I had a race coming up and hoped I would have it back by then - she said I would get it in a week or so. That call did not inspire my confidence in CK, so i pressed in a spare and forgot about it. So I called again yesterday - nearly a month later - and had about the same conversation. This time a guy answered, put me on hold for 5, got back on, explained how busy they have been and then said he didn't understand why nobody had gotten on it yet. He said someone would get on it in the morning. Then he offered to call me the next day to let me know it shipped. No call today. I have 3 CK head sets, one set of hubs and was about to buy a BB - yea, they talked me out of that.
    If you need a headset fast, buy a new one @ LBS and then sell the refurb that CK sends you on ebay when you eventually get it.

  23. #23
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    If you need a headset fast, buy a new one @ LBS and then sell the refurb that CK sends you on ebay when you eventually get it.
    Yea - I already pushed in a CC I had sitting on a shelf - seems to work ok, I may even leave it in there.

  24. #24
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Never got the call they promised, but the headset came in the mail yesterday. At first I thought it was new - but upon further inspection I could see the previous marks from being pushed into the frame. Looks like they replaced all that could be replaced other than the cups - it even had a new top cap. Looks like this one got lost in their system - they had it for over a month, but had it processed and back to me within 48 hours of my second call.

  25. #25
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIC0 View Post
    +1

    Take care of your half priced stuff and it'll last as long as CK. When it comes to CK it's all about the Ooooooh you got CK stuff, not much better than some of the other products out there, including HOPE which I have all over my bike.
    Sorry, wrong. As someone who has had Hope, Hadley, and King hubs, this is just incorrect.

    You get what you pay for. My King has withstood more abuse than any other hub I've tried. Including one destroyed Hope Bulb, one American Classic, and two Shimano hubs, and the current ProII that is having noise issues. Yes, the Hope stuff is nice, and light, and works well. but they are not as stoutly built, and their stock seals suck. The King and Hadley hubs are just a couple notches up in terms of reliability, and quickness of engagement. Yes, you pay for that in terms of higher weight and cost. All depends on your priorities.

    Maintaining any of them is easy, so having your hub die from not taking care of things is just stupid.

    I'll agree on their headsets; there are plenty of others out there that work as well, are just as durable, etc. Again, having had several Kings as well as other brands - not just talking out my ass. At this point, IMO, all King has to offer in the headset market is the "made in the U.S in a sustainable/green manner" cachet. Everyone has to decide for themselves if that makes them worth the higher price.

    FWIW, Hadley stuff is made in the U.S. as well, but a husband and wife team with a couple employees. Kick ass hubs that are very durable, very fast engagement, able to be swapped to nearly every axle standard out there, and are stupid easy to service when needed.
    Last edited by scrublover; 07-22-11 at 12:15 PM.
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

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