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Confused on headset terminology

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Confused on headset terminology

Old 11-20-04, 09:12 PM
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Akak
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Confused on headset terminology

I'm in the market for a headset and reading a lot of headset reviews on mtbr.com but the terminology some of the reviewers use is confusing me. I'm mainly confused about bearings.

The headset on my old bike had ball bearing held in place by a flimsy retainer ring. The balls themselves were completely visible when you disassembled the headset and could easily be popped out of the retainer ring.

Now, I read that many headsets use "cartridge bearings." I assume these are similar to skateboard bearings in that the balls themselves are completely sealed in a cartridge.

What's confusing is that many posters on mtbr talk about repacking headsets with cartridge bearings. Huh? DIdn't think you could do that.

Then, to make things more confusing, you add in "sealed" bearings. Not sure if these are standard loose (retainer ring type) bearings with a gasket around the steerer tube interface or another name for cartridge bearings.

I've searched the net for info but the best I could find simply explained how a threadless headset worked; which I already understand.

Any help would be appreciated, especially any examples of which headsets are which types.
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Old 11-20-04, 09:20 PM
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Maelstrom 
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To be honest. Repacking headsets is rare. Depending on the headset it CAN be done but is usually left for people who have problems with bearings (huckers) or REALLY muddy areas.

Sealed are bearings in a silverring sealed by a rubber wall (something like that, my description skills suck)

Main types. BEarings in a retaining clip, and sealed. Sealed are my choice but thats cause I like in mud central. With the clip version I used to take my headset apart, clean the race, regrease bearings and put it back together...I never trusted it to stay clean
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Old 11-21-04, 02:19 AM
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I had to repack the bearings in my headset when i took my fork off for the first time... But that was only because there was barely any grease in there and all the ball bearings fell out!
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Old 11-21-04, 09:14 AM
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seely
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sealed = cartridge bearings... personally all my bikes regardless of how crappy they are get a sealed/cartridge bearing headset. You don't have to get a King contrary to what everyone thinks. FSA and Ritchey both make nice cartridge bearing headsets for less than half what a King costs. In my opinion, the only thing that really wears out in a cartridge bearing headset is the bearings, and the bearings in a King and the bearings in an FSA are almost identical, so I really can't justify the King.
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Old 11-21-04, 09:54 AM
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Akak
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Thanks. By the way, what do you know about the Race Face Deus. I like the Deus stem and was going to get the headset to match. It says it's "sealed" but talks about an o-ring and not cartridge bearings.

Is the FSA Orbit Extreme the one you'd recommend? Looks like the cheapest one with cartridge.

What about Cane Creek? The S-2 is really cheap ($30?) but also has cartridge. Compared to a Chris King at $100, you'd have to destroy three headsets to justify it!

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 11-21-04, 10:58 AM
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I have an FSA on my roadbike and a Cane Creek on my mountain bike. The FSA I have is a Duron X, my Cane Creek I forget what it is. Either one seems to work well, the FSA is prettier and has a nicer housing if that matters at all though. I'm sure the Raceface is a good headset too, though.
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