OverviewWell the headset is probably the most boring part of the bike. You buy a new one and you don’t see much. It’s not like a new set of forks, or disc brakes or your first spuds. It is precisely for this reason that most manufacturers cut corners and dump the cheapest headset on even the high end MTB rigs. BUT within weeks it has clagged up and developed index steering and certainly lets its presence be felt with every twist and turn. In less than a season it is shot without extensive maintenance and what a pain to replace without those expensive specialist tools. Enter the Christ King headset.
The first thing that smacks you between the eyes is the price. $130 (£65) for something so small, cannot possibly be worth that much. It cannot possibly keep the filth and muck out where all others completely fail miserably?
It has to be said that this baby is a work of art. Far too nice to put on a bike and throw mud and grit at it. Much better hung round the neck!! And it comes in all colours too if that is your thing. You can even mix and match!
On the Bike
I bought one of these after being totally naffed off with ALL other headsets. I’d tried expensive cartridge type bearing ones, needle bearing ones and re- greasable ones etc etc and got far less than a year of smoothness out of them. Looking back it was costing me an absolute fortune! So when on holiday in the States, with a great exchange rate, I bought one in Flagstaff in the summer of 2006. It cost $130 or £65. Bargain!!
When I got it home I decided to pay £10 to get it on the bike. I wasn’t going to botch up such an expensive piece of kit. The first thing I noticed was how buttery smooth this thing felt from the start. How do they do it? And you know what it has stayed exactly like that for three UK winters (coming up to the forth). I cannot believe that this thing is so good. Everyone raves about King headsets and all is true. Not many parts are fit and forget but this is and in an area which gets serious abuse. It is also backed by 5 year warranty on the bearings!
Bottom LineChris King Headsets are the best on the market. Nothing else touches them. I’d pay the full UK price for one of these now. You save in the long run. If you are fed up of the rubbish that is out there and the garbage that manufacturers dare to put on new bikes, then buy a Chris King Headset. You will not be disappointed. There is no hype just the truth!
20th Nov 2009This is still going strong. I have not even touched it in over 3 years and it is still dead smooth. It is great to have a truely fit and forget component.
King say that they need servicing every so often but I am loathed to touch it when its running so well. Maintenace looks pretty straight forward according to the website. I'll let you know!!