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Integrated headset frame damage?

Old 09-16-04, 02:46 PM
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Integrated headset frame damage?

Ok,

I have read lots of threads (Including Chris King website) about the differance between the standard and integrated headset designs. It seems that by theory, the integrated headset design has a greater potential for problems and even frame damage down the road. However, how common is this?

Looking at a cross-sectional drawing of the design does seem to indicate the possibilty of problems, but I haven't really heard of a series of frames or headsets to have failed, causing th damage that everyone keeps referring to.

Has anyone ever had serious problems with their integrated headset? If so, what was it?
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Old 09-16-04, 02:57 PM
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The King website is dead on in my opinion on their assesment of the integrated headset situation. Personally I don't like the idea of having a headset that I can't completely replace. Yes, I'm a PROUD owner of a Chris King Headset and plan on purchasing additional products from them
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Old 09-16-04, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
The King website is dead on in my opinion on their assesment of the integrated headset situation. Personally I don't like the idea of having a headset that I can't completely replace. Yes, I'm a PROUD owner of a Chris King Headset and plan on purchasing additional products from them
The King stuff is sefl serving drivel.I've yet to hear of any number of trashed frames due to integrated HS, and they have been around awhile.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
The King stuff is sefl serving drivel.I've yet to hear of any number of trashed frames due to integrated HS, and they have been around awhile.
I disagree. What do you do when you brinnel the "cups" on an integrated headset? That's right sparky you get a new frame.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:23 PM
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Aside from the debatable question of esthetics, what are the purported benefits of integrated headsets? If there are none, then it is just plain bad engineering to reduce the repairability of mechanical components that undergo stress and friction.

Granted, the road bike industry seems to be driven by the compulsive upgraders and the racing crowd who trash bikes every couple of years, but many of us consider a multi-kilobuck investment to be significant enough that the purchase ought to last a while.

An integrated headset seems to be one bad adjustment away from damage requiring a frame replacement. I like a little more slack than that.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
I disagree. What do you do when you brinnel the "cups" on an integrated headset? That's right sparky you get a new frame.
There is NO integrated system where the BALLS run dirtctly in the head tube EITHER!!. The cups in a semi integrated design are replacable. In systems where ther are no cups, the balls are in a sealed carttidge.I think it helps to know what is involved before you start bad mouthing it.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:34 PM
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That said, my original question still stands. How many of you know of frames where they have had serious problems because of this?

Is there any way to convert an IS headset carbon frame to accept a standard Chris King or Cane creek SL5 headset?
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Old 09-16-04, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed

An integrated headset seems to be one bad adjustment away from damage requiring a frame replacement.
Really?? Why is that?
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Old 09-16-04, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
There is NO integrated system where the BALLS run dirtctly in the head tube EITHER!!. The cups in a semi integrated design are replacable. In systems where ther are no cups, the balls are in a sealed carttidge.I think it helps to know what is involved before you start bad mouthing it.
I DO know what's involved sparky. Just because it's in a sealed cartridge doens NOT make it failsafe.
Instead of a positive connection between the bearings and the head tube, this design allows the bearings to "float". Without any press fit, the bearings are free to move about on those ledges because, unlike a normal headset, they are not actually attached to anything. Because the bearings are not securely pressed into anything, they will move around even if your headset is properly adjusted. The amount of movement (in an integrated system) will be much larger than a conventional headset would experience. In addition to the two dynamic surfaces that you have in a conventional headset, you add two more: the two interfaces between the bearings and the frame.
Try this: You know how you can see your fork flex backward when you are braking really hard? Under this kind of braking, the front of the lower "integrated" bearing is moving down and the rear is moving up, like an airplane in a nosedive. When you let off the brake, the front comes back up and "levels off" to where it started. Enough repetitions of this and your headset will creak and click. Replacing the bearings will maybe help for a little while, but that creak will be back, louder than before. Add a little dirt and water into the bearing area (on your first wet ride, guaranteed), and that inevitable bearing movement is going to have some abrasives to help grind away your frame. This is going to be considered "normal wear and tear" by your frame maker. When your headset starts to creak, you will need to start regularly packing your "easy to service" integrated headset area with grease just to keep it quiet. This will not be a permanent solution though. Pretty soon, no amount of grease will allow you to silence the creaking and a perfectly good frame will be ruined.
I never said anything about the Semi -integral / "internal" headset which I'm fully aware does have cups.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:46 PM
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From what I can gather the reason for going to an intergrated design was to lower the stack hight of above the head tube. Most intergrated designs have longer head tubes which inturn allow for a stiffer design. I believe that Sydney is correct in his/her evaluation of how the intergrated system works.

I have had several frames with this design and zero problems. But this may be from the way that I maintain my bike. I re-grease the headset at the end of every season and check it thoughout the year. I make sure it's not to tight or loose all of this will keep it living longer.

To answer the oringinal question, no I have not heard of any frame failures stemming from intergrated headsets.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:47 PM
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Another thing I have noticed while searching Ebay and other websites looking at carbon fiber frames....

The overwhelming majority of them use integrated headsets (Some use standard). If they are so potentially flawed, then why does it seem that most of the high end frames have the IS headset setup? Shouldn't the best frames have standard Chris King headsets?

For example, the TIME VX series use integrated Campy and FSA headsets.

I noticed even most of the titanium Lightspeed bikes have integrated headsets as well. What's the deal?
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Old 09-16-04, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
I DO know what's involved sparky. Just because it's in a sealed cartridge doens NOT make it failsafe.
I never said anything about the Semi -integral / "internal" headset which I'm fully aware does have cups.
And you are just throwing up(regurgitating) the King drivel. Have you experienced a trashed frame or ACTUALLY know any one that has?
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Old 09-16-04, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Another thing I have noticed while searching Ebay and other websites looking at carbon fiber frames....

The overwhelming majority of them use integrated headsets (Some use standard). If they are so potentially flawed, then why does it seem that most of the high end frames have the IS headset setup? Shouldn't the best frames have standard Chris King headsets?

I noticed even most of the titanium Lightspeed bikes have integrated headsets as well. What's the deal?

Well maybe it's because there is nothing wrong with the design? I had over 10k miles on my Cinelli with a intergrated headset and never one single problem. That bike got ridden hard with many many miles on fast decents that included very very hard braking. I can't vouch for every bike in the world but from my experience it seems that the design works just fine.
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Old 09-16-04, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Another thing I have noticed while searching Ebay and other websites looking at carbon fiber frames....

The overwhelming majority of them use integrated headsets (Some use standard). If they are so potentially flawed, then why does it seem that most of the high end frames have the IS headset setup? Shouldn't the best frames have standard Chris King headsets?

I noticed even most of the titanium Lightspeed bikes have integrated headsets as well. What's the deal?
The top end Trek uses a Standard (Aheadset) https://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/...e_madone59.jsp
The main reason they don't equip them with King's as a standard option is due to CK's quality control standards. King prefers that their headsets be installed with their tools or the warranty is null and void. The cost of ensureing that the headsets are correctly installed (nevermind the cost of the headset itself) would make the process unprofitable in much the same way as having Phil Wood BB as standard equipment.


EDIT The Litespeed Ghisallo uses a standard as well. https://www.litespeed.com/bikes/2005/ghisallo.aspx#
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Old 09-16-04, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Another thing I have noticed while searching Ebay and other websites looking at carbon fiber frames....

The overwhelming majority of them use integrated headsets (Some use standard). If they are so potentially flawed, then why does it seem that most of the high end frames have the IS headset setup? Shouldn't the best frames have standard Chris King headsets?

I noticed even most of the titanium Lightspeed bikes have integrated headsets as well. What's the deal?
There is no MAGIC connected with CK HS. I use them when I can get them new for $50.Otherwise there are plenty of others that do the same job for less.

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Old 09-16-04, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
The top end Trek uses a Standard (Aheadset) https://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/...e_madone59.jsp
The main reason they don't equip them with King's as a standard option is due to CK's quality control standards. King prefers that their headsets be installed with their tools or the warranty is null and void.
I guess you have bought it all.
I've installed plenty of them without the 'special' CK tools, they function perfectly , and no one could ever know the difference.
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Old 09-16-04, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
I guess you have bought it all.
I've installed plenty of them without the 'special' CK tools, they function perfectly , and no one could ever know the difference.
No sparky what I said was that a COMPANY couldn't install them without using the tools. I installed mine without the adapter as well and have had no problems, however a COMPANY couldn't do this because the liability would be on them due to the breach of the warranty.
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Old 09-16-04, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
... however a COMPANY couldn't do this because the liability would be on them due to the breach of the warranty.
Now you are just grasping.
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Old 09-16-04, 04:40 PM
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A thought as to why so many of the high end frames like Time VX and Lightspeed frames come with an integrated design. I am beginning to think it may jus be a weight issue, as the integrated headsets seem to be a little lighter than CK headsets etc.
They may not last 20 or 30 years. But, I guess that may be the only drawback I can think of.
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Old 09-16-04, 06:12 PM
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I agree with most of the chris kind marketing "drivel" I think it makes sense. I think that I'm gonna get a chris king headset when my current cane creek dies. I agree that it seems like a bad idea to have the balls run inside the frame. however, I have never heard of anyone ruining their frame with an integrated headset. Its probably ok for a few seasons, by then the aluminum frame that I will probably have the Integrated headset on will have cracked. heh. just makin' fun. I love spouting marketing drivel.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:11 PM
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I don't know whether its a real world rampant problem or not, but it's a dumb idea from a theoretical POV with no advantage over the standard design. That's the reason I don't like it. The main problem is is that because the bearings have a shallow contact angle ( typically 45º ), any loosness in the headset will translate instantly to headtube damage. The design also has a propensity to rock as the bearings are not press fit into the headtube, which is also asking for problems - Not exactly what you want from an expensive road frame.

The only advantage the design has is for Aluminium bikes with large downtubes, as the current head tube diameter is basically too small for any downtube over 35-38mm.

Anyone who doubts Chris Kings' engineering knowledge and dismisses it as 'marketing drivel' needs to have their head checked.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:22 PM
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I agree it seems like a less structurally sound design.

But, why do most of the high end frames use them? They must be strong enough. I can't see why Time or Lightspeed would be selling frames for thousands of dollars knowing they have a weeker structural integrity.
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Old 09-16-04, 08:22 PM
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Is there a integrated headset conversion to standard type out there?
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Old 09-16-04, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Is there a integrated headset conversion to standard type out there?
You may be able to convert a Zero-Stack internal headset headtube to use the Chris King Perdido headset system but you will want to check with your manufacturer and probably Chris King first. I don't think this will work for true integrated headsets though. Beware that it will be pricey.
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Old 09-16-04, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Thylacine

Anyone who doubts Chris Kings' engineering knowledge and dismisses it as 'marketing drivel' needs to have their head checked.
Even the most knowledgeable can put their own self serving spin on things. King has an interest to protect.
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