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Chris King Headset
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Chris King Headset

 
Chris King Headset

Page Type: Article

 

Page By: Andy Livo

Created/Edited: Dec 20, 2008 / Jun 10, 2014

Object ID: 269109

Hits: 2444 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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Overview

Well 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.

Initial Impressions

 
Chris 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

 
Chris King Headset
 


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 Line

Chris 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 2009

This 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!!

22nd Oct 2010

Still going strong. Not touched this component since it was installed in August 2006. Runs really smoothly. Perhaps I should put new grease in? But if it aint broke don't fix it!

27th Feb 2011

Not touched it at all. Still smooth!! What more do you want from a headset. I must have saved a lot of money in the end. I reckon I would have got through 4 cheap headsets by now. That would be £120!! Twice what I paid for this in 2006 and a load of hassle!

10th June 2014

Still not touched this headset after 8 years!!! I suppose I ought to degrease but am loathed to strip it down when it is running so smoothly. No prob. This is just the best headset out there.

Images

Chris King HeadsetChris King Headset

Comments


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TreetrimmerChris King

Treetrimmer

Voted 10/10

Nice review Andy. I can say that I have not owned the CK headset, but I do still ride a CK rear hub which I purchased back in '98 or '99. Last month I opened it up and the grease was still clean! Pay the extra for CK and you cant go wrong!
Posted Dec 30, 2008 10:46 pm

Andy LivoRe: Chris King

Andy Livo

Hasn't voted

Thanks for your comments and vote Paul. I was very cynical about CK stuff. Not now!! Those hubs look amazing. My XTR external BB is on its way out and I have only had it for 8 months. The cheepo Shimano internal got me 3 years!!! Not impressed at all. Any news on the Joker?
Posted Dec 31, 2008 4:39 am

TreetrimmerRe: Chris King

Treetrimmer

Voted 10/10

Hi Andy,

No news on the joker. I think Ellsworth is closed for the holidays. Right now all I lack is a rear hub, spokes, seat, rear derailleur, cranks and frame! Luckily I have my AMP B-4 to ride while I get this Ellsworth together.

As for the CK hubs, they are heavier than most high dollar hubs, but it will be the last hub you will buy. The only problem I have had was the aluminum cassette body has some wear on it (not a failure problem though). They do have the SS cassette body available which is heavier/stronger.

Happy New Year!

Paul
Posted Jan 1, 2009 11:21 pm

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