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best headset for a touring bike? Fork?

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best headset for a touring bike? Fork?

Old 06-15-15, 02:24 PM
  #1  
chrisx
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best headset for a touring bike? Fork?

What is a good solid headset for a touring bike? 1 1/8 inch fork.
As long as we are asking.
What is a good 100 mm suspension corrected fork, 26 inch? (450 axel to crown, 40mm, 50mm rake?) The troll fork weighs over 3 pounds. I was looking for something a little lighter. Like maybe half that weight. I could be happy with rim brakes. I bought a Dahon Flo frame. It is a Ritchey breakaway frame. Alaska Air says under 50 pounds, or pay more. 18 pound case, 2 or 3 pounds tools. = no 3+ pound fork. What else is out there?

Anybody ever had mounts for rim brakes added to a frame? How much would you expect to pay for that job?
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Old 06-15-15, 04:12 PM
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Thorn makes a solid fork for their Nomad Mk II that is designed to fit on a frame that can also use a 100mm suspension fork. My Nomad Mk II fork is pretty heavy, I weighed my fork (with a fender and a LED headlight attached) at 1,670 grams. It is V brake only - not for disk. And they do something screwy, the brake posts are on the back, not the front so you can't fit a cantilever brake hanger. I am using a V brake with travel agent.

Thorn also makes a fork that is sold separate with the same size and shape. Unfortunately, shipping costs are not insignificant.

Thorn Mt Tura Mk2 Steel Fork - 109.99

I plan to put my fork in a different piece of luggage than the rest of my S&S bike because of the fork length (I have a tall steerer tube), so the total weight of the bike and case is less critical to me.

For comparison, my suspension fork is about ~2,470 grams according to the manufacturer, but I have not weighed it to check.
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Old 06-15-15, 05:22 PM
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Any decent headset should work for touring. Pay extra attention to it if you spend lots of time off-road.

All steel forks weigh ~1300-1800g when new, and a little less if/after you hack steerer tube. Have a friend help you measure ATC distance (you sitting on bike, sus fork slightly compressed), then find a rigid steel fork with ATC preferably within 10mm of the original dimension. Rake is usually 45-55mm on most all of them.

You need steel for touring if you intend to ride off-road and/or carry a front load. Do yourself a favor, just buy the Surly fork if the ATC is close - you won't find anything lighter with adequate strength/toughness/longevity for the relatively low cost of a Surly fork.

Adding rim brakes to the Dahon would probably cost half as much as a whole new LHT frameset, or more. This estimate excludes the cost of a decent respray/re-powder-coat to repair damage to finish from paint stripping/welding/brazing.
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Old 06-15-15, 06:45 PM
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I am a big fan of Cane Creek. If you want top of the line, the 110 series is great and I think is probably just as good as Chris King minus his logo (it is made in the U.S. with quality materials, sealed bearings...) If cheaper is your thing the 40 series is still just fine. Just make sure you get your SHIS straight and you will be fine (Standard Headset Identification System)

As far as fork, Surly makes good quality parts at decent prices that are going to last a while. It isn't lightweight but that isn't their goal. You could probably order one through Co-motion or another semi or full custom builder to get exactly what you want but that will usually cost a bit of money.
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Old 06-15-15, 07:06 PM
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Twenty-five years ago I installed a Chris King headset on my BG RNR. Five years ago I had King rebuild it for a nominal fee. Use included the Divide Ride in a wet year and lots of touring miles on and off pavement. I have always mounted fenders which explains some of the longevity but the rest I attribute to a quality product made to close tolerances with in house made bearings.

For the initial price plus small rebuild fee I am more than pleased with the performance. I learned long ago to get a quality item and then take care of it. It helps avoid multiple replacements of lower quality items every few years.
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Old 06-17-15, 04:03 PM
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I used my 2009 fargo fork, for now. claimed weight is 1,100 grams. I noticed a long time ago that people recommend Surly stuff without owning any. Never heard someone say they pedaled a Troll 20,000 miles, and claim they are satisfied. I also used the Cain Creek headset from the Fargo. It is the Fargo that needs a new one. The v1 fargo gets a shimmy if I load up the front and roll fast down a hill. Yesterday I salvaged an FSA headset from a downhill bike with a cracked frame. Think I will try it on the Fargo. The fargo looked the best on paper. In real life it had a shimmy with a front load and at speed. The fargo did not deliver on it's promise to load it up and go anywhere. Same guy owns Surly.

Who makes a more premium 100 mm suspension corrected fork.
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Old 06-17-15, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
...
Who makes a more premium 100 mm suspension corrected fork.
I am not sure how to define "premium", but I recommended the Thorn products above. Photos of my Nomad Mk II, one with the Thorn fork and one with a 100mm suspension fork.

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Old 06-17-15, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Twenty-five years ago I installed a Chris King headset on my BG RNR. Five years ago I had King rebuild it for a nominal fee. Use included the Divide Ride in a wet year and lots of touring miles on and off pavement. I have always mounted fenders which explains some of the longevity but the rest I attribute to a quality product made to close tolerances with in house made bearings.

For the initial price plus small rebuild fee I am more than pleased with the performance. I learned long ago to get a quality item and then take care of it. It helps avoid multiple replacements of lower quality items every few years.
Damn skippy! Quality and care will save you money in the long run. 25 years of a working bike part with plenty more life left and one rebuild isn't bad at all. I hope our headsets long outlive us all and that we all live long fruitful lives.
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Old 06-18-15, 07:51 AM
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German Tout Terrain [Disc only] have cleverly oversized the fork blade the brake is attached to ..

I only have CK headsets on threaded fork bikes .. for 1.125" it's their Gripnut (Bike Friday Pocket Llama)

Threadless is same but for the way its adjusted, different Top ring.

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Old 06-18-15, 06:05 PM
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KING headsets just last forever. They also perform well with the additional weigh of front panniers.
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Old 06-18-15, 06:47 PM
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I just installed a Tange-Seiki Passage headset today. With the included spacers (which the seller threw in at no extra cost), it's a perfect fit. It's a great addition for my budget-minded bike build.
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Old 06-19-15, 03:28 AM
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I have several headsets set aside that have roller bearings in them for extra bearing and heavy loads.

The additional weight of front panniers probably has some effect, but for the most part the weight is below the headset so it will be indirect in the form of rebound momentum and braking loads.
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Old 06-19-15, 01:14 PM
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I went with the FSA THE PIG DH headset on my cargo bike and commuting bike. They live up to the name but are very burly and tightened up the front end of the xtracycle especially. I haven't had front panniers on that bike yet as I just installed a front rack, but expect zero problems. I also installed a surly big dummy fork on the xtracycle. Not sure of the dimensions but it is definitely built strong.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:06 PM
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chrisx
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Originally Posted by sjt78 View Post
I went with the FSA THE PIG DH headset
I salvaged a pig dh pro from a downhill bike. I am curious, was the lower bearing pressed in by the factory, or did i get a lower bearing that was smashed in by going off jumps?
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Old 07-12-15, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
I salvaged a pig dh pro from a downhill bike. I am curious, was the lower bearing pressed in by the factory, or did i get a lower bearing that was smashed in by going off jumps?
Sorry, just noticed your question. I believe the bearing was already pressed in when I installed the two I have.
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