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King Headset

Old 02-15-22, 11:38 AM
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daniell
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King Headset

Being somewhat anxious, I contacted King with a few questions. They replied by sending me a link and advising me to use their grease. $12 plus shipping seems a little exorbitant for a small amount of grease that I will only use once. Also, since it is not giving me any trouble, perhaps I should just forget about it.
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Old 02-15-22, 11:41 AM
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Use a synthetic aircraft grease = this will be of the highest quality possible, when something 'goes wrong' on a aircraft, they cannot just 'pull over' ....consequently everything on aircraft is designed to a very high standard
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Old 02-15-22, 12:01 PM
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I find one thing in respect to the lubrication process troubling. The bearing have to be cleaned inside of the cup. I would think that any contaminants that are present would be pushed to the bottom. I prefer soaking the bearings or replacing them. But what do I know?
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Old 02-15-22, 12:06 PM
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King headsets are way-crazy overpriced ....other brands of headsets can be purchased with the attributes of King, but, at a fraction of the price
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Old 02-15-22, 12:15 PM
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Special grease is not necessary for headset bearings. I use marine grease for pretty much everything on a bicycle. As long as you have mostly grease in the headset, and not mostly dirt/sand/dried grease/water/etc. you'll be fine.
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Old 02-15-22, 01:17 PM
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Servicing the bearings while installed really isn't too bad -
  1. remove snap ring and neoprene seal
  2. I use spray degreaser to clean (King advises against citrus based degreaser as it interacts with their anodizing) - automotive brake cleaner works fine for me.
  3. I spray the bearing with compressed air to remove residual degreaser
  4. Pack the bearing with just about any grease of your choice
  5. Replace neoprene seal and snap ring - cup done
I have my cups out of my frame right now as it is at the painter for a facelift. I serviced the bearing at my desk (with a detour to the kitchen sink to degrease with hot water and dish detergent/toothbrush and a trip to the garage to blow out the bearings with my air compressor) using a tube of some old Pedro's grease from my toolbox. Total time was well under 30 minutes, this headset is 21 years old and has been serviced ~3 times - has been clean as a whistle every time.

If you have a repair stand it's not too hard to do with the cups still on the bike.
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Old 02-15-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mprince View Post
Servicing the bearings while installed really isn't too bad -
  1. remove snap ring and neoprene seal
  2. I use spray degreaser to clean (King advises against citrus based degreaser as it interacts with their anodizing) - automotive brake cleaner works fine for me.
  3. I spray the bearing with compressed air to remove residual degreaser
  4. Pack the bearing with just about any grease of your choice
  5. Replace neoprene seal and snap ring - cup done
I have my cups out of my frame right now as it is at the painter for a facelift. I serviced the bearing at my desk (with a detour to the kitchen sink to degrease with hot water and dish detergent/toothbrush and a trip to the garage to blow out the bearings with my air compressor) using a tube of some old Pedro's grease from my toolbox. Total time was well under 30 minutes, this headset is 21 years old and has been serviced ~3 times - has been clean as a whistle every time.

If you have a repair stand it's not too hard to do with the cups still on the bike.
Can I use WD40 to clean the bearings? I don't have compressed air. Though it is 20 years old, I would have more of an incentive to do it if there was a problem.
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Old 02-15-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by daniell View Post
Can I use WD40 to clean the bearings? I don't have compressed air. Though it is 20 years old, I would have more of an incentive to do it if there was a problem.
If you want to, sure. I normally wouldn't use WD-40 as a cleaner so I can't say if this is advisable or not. I'd probably use mineral (white) spirits and a toothbrush before I grab a can of WD-40 for this job.
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Old 02-15-22, 02:22 PM
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I agree with what everyone is saying but one thing if they are ceramic bearing you shouldn't use conventional grease. But short of that use what you have on hand. I have for years and never had an issue. I don't own a King anything because of the cost..I think its crazy. But have used FSA and Cane creek for years without an issue.
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Old 02-15-22, 03:16 PM
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You buy a very high end premium product and then complain about service costs of that product? Should have bought a cheaper but just as functional one in the first place, as suggested FSA & Cane Creek as good.
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Old 02-15-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
You buy a very high end premium product and then complain about service costs of that product? Should have bought a cheaper but just as functional one in the first place, as suggested FSA & Cane Creek as good.
I bought it 20 years ago. I have changed since then.
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Old 02-15-22, 05:08 PM
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Chris King is good stuff, people always love to complain about nicer stuff but there is a reason it exists and lasts and lasts. In terms of grease I like Phil Wood Grease for most things but it was designed well for bearings. You don't need a special grease of any sort but the Phil is good stuff and generally easy to get.
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Old 02-15-22, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by daniell View Post
I bought it 20 years ago. I have changed since then.
If you are just now servicing the headset, I think youíve gotten very good value out of the headset. You likely paid about $110 for it (as I have). Thatís $5.50 per year of use. Not a bad bargain at all. As to the cost of the lubricant, again, youíve done this once in 20 years and $12 isnít going to break the bank. But King says to use a ďmedium viscosity [lubricant]. That says to me to use whatever you have on hand.
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Old 02-15-22, 05:48 PM
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Just get a tube of phil's grease and be done with it. Unless you have a huge fleet or you put way to much grease on it will last for years.

now get off lawn you whippersnappers
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Old 02-16-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
If you are just now servicing the headset, I think youíve gotten very good value out of the headset. You likely paid about $110 for it (as I have). Thatís $5.50 per year of use. Not a bad bargain at all. As to the cost of the lubricant, again, youíve done this once in 20 years and $12 isnít going to break the bank. But King says to use a ďmedium viscosity [lubricant]. That says to me to use whatever you have on hand.
What you said makes perfect sense. I guess I am apprehensive about working on it. If it showed the slightest sign of roughness, I would have already taken it apart. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-16-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by daniell View Post
What you said makes perfect sense. I guess I am apprehensive about working on it. If it showed the slightest sign of roughness, I would have already taken it apart. Thanks for your input.
I had a bearing seize on a King bottom bracket and had to regrease it. It’s not that difficult. Soaking a headset in solvent may be a bit more challenging if you can’t remove the cup from the frame but not impossible. If you have the tools, I’d just pop it out of the frame and soak it. If you can’t take it out of the frame, I’d probably just flow mineral spirits over it with a squirt bottle until the bearings are clean, then fill it with grease.
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