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Thread: Decent headset?

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    Decent headset?

    Hi

    I'm building up a winter bike for commuting in Ottawa, Canada. That means lots of snow, salt, ice, water, and corrosion. Most components do not last more than one or two winter seasons.

    My question is, which headset is well suited for these conditions? There are expensive HS's on the market with excellent seals (cane creek 110, chris king, etc); they are designed to be a durable investment, but I'm not sure they will hold up to salt and extreme temperature fluctuations well enough to warrant the price. On the other hand, I don't want to replace a cheap HS every season. Is there a good compromise? What will hold up for at least a few years but will not break the bank?

    Thanks,
    Pete

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikolo View Post
    Hi

    I'm building up a winter bike for commuting in Ottawa, Canada. That means lots of snow, salt, ice, water, and corrosion. Most components do not last more than one or two winter seasons.

    My question is, which headset is well suited for these conditions? There are expensive HS's on the market with excellent seals (cane creek 110, chris king, etc); they are designed to be a durable investment, but I'm not sure they will hold up to salt and extreme temperature fluctuations well enough to warrant the price. On the other hand, I don't want to replace a cheap HS every season. Is there a good compromise? What will hold up for at least a few years but will not break the bank?

    Thanks,
    Pete
    Go with a Cane Creek S-2. It has sealed bearings and is cheap enough that you can ruin it and not be sad about it
    Stuart Black
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    +1 on CC S2

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    Thanks, I was looking at the S-8 for the stainless steel bearings but the S-2 sounds like a good option. I just need to throw some good fenders on the front. Past years I had been riding with a front fender, but one that only covered behind the suspension fork and did not protect the headtube or HS. I've ordered a rigid replacement, and that fork has mounts for full fenders.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikolo View Post
    Thanks, I was looking at the S-8 for the stainless steel bearings but the S-2 sounds like a good option. I just need to throw some good fenders on the front. Past years I had been riding with a front fender, but one that only covered behind the suspension fork and did not protect the headtube or HS. I've ordered a rigid replacement, and that fork has mounts for full fenders.
    Either would do. The S-8 isn't horribly expensive compared to the S-2. Stainless steel is more resistant to salt corrosion but not impervious.

    I run a suspension fork with a SKS blade in the winter time. Complete protection of the headset and it's not too heavy. Plus I still get the benefit of the fork in rutted snow pack Here's what it looks like

    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I run a suspension fork with a SKS blade in the winter time. Complete protection of the headset and it's not too heavy.
    Interesting. How does the fender attach to the fork?

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikolo View Post
    Interesting. How does the fender attach to the fork?
    It uses a threaded insert that goes into the bottom of the shock. The fender slides onto the insert. Here's what the inserts look like



    The orange parts of the shock (below) slides onto the adapter



    I think the one in the picture is a Planet Bike fender I tried but didn't like. I now have an SKS Shockblade. Works very well.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    Good to know, thanks

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    Alright, in the end I went for a CC S-3. It appears well designed for keeping junk out, and though the sealed bearings aren't stainless, they're easily swapped. With a good set of fenders and the lizardskins / innertube condoms, the inexpensive (sub-$40 with shipping, from Cambria) HS should last. I'll post updates after the first big test this winter. Thanks for all your helpful comments.

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