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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-04-06, 12:39 AM   #1
wearyourtruth
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which headset?

i need a new headset and i think i'm down to two.

1) Stronglight J9: $29.99, needle bearings.


2) Tange Levins ISO: $24.99, 5/32" ball bearings.



i'm leaning towards the Tange, but my main issues are needle or ball bearings? which do you guys prefer? another thing is that the Stronglight comes in "BSC" or french threading, i know what french threading is but i've never heard of BSC... is it the same as ISO? sheldoning gave me nothing.

also, are there any other ~$25-30 headsets i am overlooking? (other than shimano STX and Ritchey logic, they are ugly)
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Old 03-04-06, 01:33 AM   #2
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id say ball bearings are much better IMO. also i believe french threading is different than ISO, so you might have to go with the tange
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Old 03-04-06, 01:35 AM   #3
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I'll be watching this discussion intently. I'm in the market for a cheap modern headset for my ~1980 Raleigh frame. In order to get the fork to turn smooth and freely, I have to adjust it loose enough that riding over bumpy pavement without hands on the bars makes the bearings rattle or clunk a bit. If I can get by with something that doesn't suck and costs ~$25, I'd be happy. Good looks would be nice, but are not essential.
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Old 03-04-06, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concernicus
id say ball bearings are much better IMO. also i believe french threading is different than ISO, so you might have to go with the tange
i know french is different from ISO... but i don't know what BSC is... hopefully someone does
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Old 03-04-06, 01:41 AM   #5
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Stronglight is french made but they carry english thread... Actually the question isnt the thread at all because in the stores is super rare to find french stuff... I think i would be more worried about if the tange one is iso or jis. A jis cup is slightly smaller in the outside so if the frame is italian or english standard the cup it will be lose. It wont be tight in the front tube at all. So be carefull w/that, U can even put the cups with the hand instead of using the press cup tool needed for the job.

I bought a FSA english threaded headset time ago and was JIS, I had to sell it. So be carefull with the tange one (ask 1st). What kind of frame do u have?

UM
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Old 03-04-06, 01:44 AM   #6
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Bsc=iso
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Old 03-04-06, 01:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970
I think i would be more worried about if the tange one is iso or jis.

What kind of frame do u have?

UM
the tange is sold in ISO and JIS, i'd be buying the ISO. my frame is a Pake (brand new baby!)
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Old 03-04-06, 02:14 AM   #8
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regarding bearing styles, I'm of the opinion that needle bearings are the far superior technology for headset use. Balls are great for things like hubs and bottom brackets that are constantly spinning around, but a headset does very little rotation, and the result is that road shock is transfered up the fork to the bottom headset cup and crown race in a few specific spots (where the bearings touch them.) Needle bearings spread out the force in a line rather than a point, vastly decreasing pitting while still rolling well enough to provide a smooth headset. As far as the bearings in these specific headsets go, I have no idea, but I just overhauled a needle bearing headset that has been well-abused and ill-maintained for the past 3 or 4 years that shows absolutely no signs of damage. Stronglight is generally credited for the first needle-bearing headsets, too.
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Old 03-04-06, 03:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth
i need a new headset and i think i'm down to two.

1) Stronglight J9: $29.99, needle bearings.


2) Tange Levins ISO: $24.99, 5/32" ball bearings.



i'm leaning towards the Tange, but my main issues are needle or ball bearings? which do you guys prefer? another thing is that the Stronglight comes in "BSC" or french threading, i know what french threading is but i've never heard of BSC... is it the same as ISO? sheldoning gave me nothing.

also, are there any other ~$25-30 headsets i am overlooking? (other than shimano STX and Ritchey logic, they are ugly)
Hmm, sheldoning gave ME this (scroll down)
Same is stamped on many English BBs.
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Old 03-04-06, 03:09 AM   #10
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Sheldoning... nice word
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Old 03-04-06, 03:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth
i need a new headset and i think i'm down to two.

1) Stronglight J9: $29.99, needle bearings.


2) Tange Levins ISO: $24.99, 5/32" ball bearings.



i'm leaning towards the Tange, but my main issues are needle or ball bearings? which do you guys prefer? another thing is that the Stronglight comes in "BSC" or french threading, i know what french threading is but i've never heard of BSC... is it the same as ISO? sheldoning gave me nothing.

also, are there any other ~$25-30 headsets i am overlooking? (other than shimano STX and Ritchey logic, they are ugly)
did you email him? hell answer you in like an hour.
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Old 03-04-06, 07:56 AM   #12
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There's also an alloy version of the Tange Levin which isn't much more than the steel version. It looks significantly less scrappy in real life. Is the Stronglight steel or alloy?

There's also the WTB Momentum... there are always a few of those on eBay for around $25.
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Old 03-04-06, 08:10 AM   #13
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The Stronglight A9 is an extremely durable headset. A relative bargin at the price.

I'm not sure in practical terms if you could tell the difference between needle and ball bearings. I'm running the A9 on one bike (79 Peugeot), had one on a frame I recently gave away (84 Trek 560) and on one in the build que (84 Trek 720). If you blindfolded me and stuck me on a bike with an A9 and then a second bike with a Shimano 600/Ultegra HS I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The Stronglight is alloy. Again, a very durable HS.

Some eighties bikes run a mix of Campy Standard (ISO/BSC) and JIS, using a 30.2 head cup size and a 27.0 race. Check your bike first... I know the Huffy made USA Raleighs often used this mixed HS.
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Old 03-04-06, 09:33 AM   #14
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The most expensive headsets (King, Cane Creek, Campy, etc) have ball bearings in them, but I'm kinda with the other dude on the needle bearings theory though. From a physics standpoint needle bearings would distribute the downward force more evenly in a headset.
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Old 03-04-06, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth
the tange is sold in ISO and JIS, i'd be buying the ISO. my frame is a Pake (brand new baby!)
the Pake fork has a threadless steerer... are you cutting threads or using a diff. fork?
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Old 03-04-06, 10:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by WakeUpOnFire
the Pake fork has a threadless steerer... are you cutting threads or using a diff. fork?
didn't get the pake fork, have a different one
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