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Old 11-28-06, 04:20 PM
Mad bike riding scientist
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
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Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

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Originally Posted by MKahrl
I've not had a threaded headset loosen for several decades. And setting them up is not very difficult for anyone who has experience working on their own bike. Manufacturers created the threadless headset for their own convenience and are not ashamed to admit it. The removable faceplate is certainly a convenience especially now that there are so many cables up on the handlebars these days. We lost the handy vertical adjustment but that wouldn't have registered with new bike buyers anyway.

I used to think that threadless stems were just about the ugliest thing ever put on a bike but they match modern bikes quite well now.
There used to be a whole cottage industry for making locking mechanisms for mountain bike headsets. Shaft collars, special locking locknuts, special keyed races were just some of the attempts made to keep the headset from loosening. This wasn't too much of a problem with road bikes but it certainly was with mountain bikes. I've seen, and had, many headsets ruined in the course of a day's worth of riding because you couldn't tighten the headset in the field.

The threadless headset might have been created for convenience (although I have my doubts) but it certainly is easier to adjust and install for the consumer. All of my bikes are, finally, threadless and I wouldn't go back. Changing a fork is trivial now, as is adjusting one out on a ride...if it happens to come loose, which they just don't now.
Stuart Black
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