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Split vs continuous crown race?

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Split vs continuous crown race?

Old 11-24-19, 01:12 PM
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Split vs continuous crown race?

The crown race is split on some headset, which simplifies removal. My FSA headset has a split crown race in which the crown race only supports the inner bearing. Checking into Cane Creek headsets, they have a continuous crown race. Does that mean the bearings actually run on the crown race? Is such a configuration better or have advantages?

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Old 11-24-19, 01:29 PM
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Split crown races only work with cartridge bearing headsets. Ball-and-cup type headsets run the balls directly on the crown race and need the continuous race. Split races are easier to install and remove than continuous races.
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Old 11-24-19, 01:31 PM
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If you're talking about cartridge bearings, I don't think a split crown race would make much difference. The inner and outer rings of the cartridge bearings will bridge the gap, and if the ball crosses the gap and that ball doesn't carry as much load (of an extremely minute amount of difference) while doing so then the adjacent balls will simply carry the extra load.

If you're worried about the gap, you could position it to the left or ride sides, as the front would probably have the most load followed by the rear. Folding bike top cap/nut are supposed to be tightened to 10Nm, which is really tight, so the there is quite a lot of compression on the rings, so for folding bikes I assume there is absolutely no difference in performance wither you use a split or continuous crown.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 11-24-19 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 11-24-19, 04:29 PM
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Some cartridge bearing headsets like the Velo Orange Gran Cru and some FSA models offer a split "crown race" (actually its just a bearing support, not really a race) which greatly eases installation and removal. I've got a VO on one bike and it was a joy to install.

Others, also with cartridge bearings like Cane Creak and Chris King, provide a continuous "crown race" but it's not needed and the user would be better off if they split them.
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Old 11-24-19, 05:22 PM
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With cartridge bearing headsets, the bearing inner race rides on the crown race. It doesn't matter if the crown race is split or not, the function is the same. The split ones are certainly easier to install.
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