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FSA Orbit XL II Headset

4.56/5 (36 Reviews)
Weight : 100 grams MSRP : $46.98


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Product Description

  • Forged and CNC machined 6061/T6 aluminum cups
  • Angular Contact sealed bearings
  • Split 7075 aluminum crown race


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 15 (36 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by miked1583 a All Mountain Rider

    Date Reviewed: January 30, 2013

    Strengths:    Strong, low maintenance, simple

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    Great headset. It's on it's second bike now, making about 7,000 miles total. Only had to grease once. I ride everything from XC to AM and it takes it all!
    If I could give it 10 chili's for value I would, I really can't see it failing. Save your money, this is all you need!

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   4 years, 7k miles

    Purchased At:   online

    Bike Setup:   2010 Banshee Viento

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by mike_d_1583 a Racer from cincinnati,ohio

    Date Reviewed: August 19, 2009

    Strengths:    Simple design. Sealed cartridge bearings

    Weaknesses:    Need to tighten top cap pretty tight to get it to stop knocking. Bottom race doesn't seal 100%, leaves about .5mm space.

    Bottom Line:   
    Nice headset for the price, Would rather pay a little more and get a quality part then spend 20 bucks on one that you will need to replace in a month. So far put about 600 miles on mine with no problems, just needs tightening every once in a while. But, I'm not easy on my bike. Sometimes hitting 3-4' drops. So I would recommend it due to the fact that it's not designed for that kind of use.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   anything dangerous

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $45.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   cheap aheadset

    Bike Setup:   09' Hardrock. Marzocchi Bomber 33 fork

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by pokz a Cross Country Rider from philippines

    Date Reviewed: July 24, 2009

    Strengths:    simple, strong, solid, price

    Weaknesses:    non bling

    Bottom Line:   
    reliable xc headset....not a waste of money!
    you get more for the price you pay!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   south

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $25.00

    Purchased At:   pasay

    Similar Products Used:   a lot

    Bike Setup:   marin ht

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by urmb a Cross Country Rider from Over the hills and faraway

    Date Reviewed: February 21, 2009

    Strengths:    Economical, maintenance free, smooth, tough at least for XC.

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    I built up my favorite pony with this headset in 2003 and now, 10155 spring, summer, fall, and winter miles later, not one problem now or along the way. It has never leaked grease either.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Lunar

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   ebay bike store

    Similar Products Used:   All types over 21 years mountain biking

    Bike Setup:   Which one

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by ceejayvee a Cross Country Rider from uk

    Date Reviewed: October 30, 2008

    Strengths:    CHEAP, DURABLE, ULTRA LOW MAINTENANCE

    Weaknesses:    Lower bearing has dropped grease over the crown of my fork, I haven't regreased it but is still works perfectly (this could be the additional grease used when it was installed).

    Bottom Line:   
    Never had to maintain it in anyway, I may replace the sealed bearings after my five years of use, just for the hell of it.

    The bike came with cup n cone, I got bored of cleaning it all the time. I didn't have the big money for a Hope at the time, so bought the XL until I could afford a Hope. The XL has lasted so well I haven't needed to replace it yet and am so pleased with it's durability I will only buy XL's in the future. Sorry Hope.

    No Maintenance, very happy with this headset.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Similar Products Used:   CUP N CONE

    Bike Setup:   Bianchi, Marzocchi MXC ECC, Hope XC/Sapim Race/xm317, LX train, XT Discs, RF post n bar, On-One stem

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by tom a Weekend Warrior from uk

    Date Reviewed: June 4, 2007

    Strengths:    Simple, cheap and light headset with sealed cartridge bearings.

    Weaknesses:    None so far...

    Bottom Line:   
    Good reliable headset that has had far more abuse it deserves. Much stronger than its construction and weight sugest and its still running smooth even after a whole UK winter in the saddle. FSA need to source bearings from somewhere and it sounds to me like some people have had bad experiences with seals being out of tolerance. Not so with mine, I wish i'd have bought another one of these before forking out for a hope on my other bike

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Whytes level, afan

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Various other FSA headsets and hope.

    Bike Setup:   05 coiler, sherman fireflys, ex729's bulbs etc etc

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by tom a Weekend Warrior from uk

    Date Reviewed: June 4, 2007

    Strengths:    Simple, cheap and light headset with sealed cartridge bearings.

    Weaknesses:    None so far...

    Bottom Line:   
    Good reliable headset that has had far more abuse it deserves. Much stronger than its construction and weight sugest and its still running smooth even after a whole UK winter in the saddle. FSA need to source bearings from somewhere and it sounds to me like some people have had bad experiences with seals being out of tolerance. Not so with mine, I wish i'd have bought another one of these before forking out for a hope on my other bike

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Whytes level, afan

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Various other FSA headsets and hope.

    Bike Setup:   05 coiler, sherman fireflys, ex729's bulbs etc etc

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Paul a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, ON. Canada.

    Date Reviewed: April 30, 2007

    Strengths:    Well priced, nicely made, quality machining, very smooth and uses sealed bearings.

    Weaknesses:    None found yet.

    Bottom Line:   
    The cane creek A71 headset on my KONA Cindercone lasted for two years before the whole thing turned into a big rusty seized mess. I didn't want to spring for a Chris King so I did some looking in the product review area and found that the FSA Orbit XL II was well rated, reasonably priced and fit my application. A quick search on eBay netted me a sweet deal. This is a very nicely made component from FSA, the bearings are completely sealed and provide for a nice smooth rotation. If you're looking for a nicely priced, good quality headset I would highly recommend you give this one a look.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $28.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   Cane creek VP-A71 (OEM on my KONA)

    Bike Setup:   '04 Kona Cindercone with lots of upgraded parts (Mavic XM317 rims, Fire XC Pro 2.1s, '06 Marzocchi MX Comp ETA fork, WTB Rocket-V saddle, Avid Ti Speed Dial brake levers, Thomson seat post etc, etc.)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Daniel a Cross Country Rider from Spokane, WA, United States

    Date Reviewed: April 29, 2007

    Strengths:    light, looks good, performs well. sealed

    Weaknesses:    none so far

    Bottom Line:   
    This is a SMOOTH headset. Everything is sealed so dirt does not get in. It is also fairly light. I would recommend this to anyone. Why spend $100+ for a Chris King. Lets face it. Headsets rarely brake or malfunction unless you are abusing them. This one will last FOREVER.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $30.00

    Purchased At:   internet vendor

    Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek

    Bike Setup:   Motobecane Fantom elite. XT exerything

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by KJ Smith a Cross Country Rider from Orem, UT USA

    Date Reviewed: January 17, 2007

    Strengths:    Well made, solid. Crown race goes on easy.

    Weaknesses:    THe funky expansion cap. I don't use it.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great headset. I have two bikes with this headset on and one brand new headset waiting for my next project.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Aheadset, Shimano, Ritchey.


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Aaron a Weekend Warrior from Poughkeepsie

    Date Reviewed: October 1, 2006

    Strengths:    Very light & strong. Smooth operation. The sealed bearing system is great & makes for a super smooth turn. Install is real simple.


    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    Great product even at full price I just got lucky finding it cheaper. Super clean look & movement. Worth the money & upgrade.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Anything/anywhere

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $25.00

    Purchased At:   Chucks Bikes

    Similar Products Used:   Cane creek

    Bike Setup:   Ironhorse plus extras

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Todd a Cross Country Rider from Victoria, BC

    Date Reviewed: March 21, 2006

    Strengths:    Super smooth, fairly light, no maintanence

    Weaknesses:    None so far

    Bottom Line:   
    This is a great headset for the money. No problems thus far and is still as good as new. This headset has been in pooring rain, snow, mud, you name it and none of it gets in. For the price, I don't know if you can get a better headset.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Anything fun

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Similar Products Used:   Other open and sealed headsets

    Bike Setup:   TST Ti hardtail, Marzocci MX Comp ETA, FSA Orbit XLII, Thompson hardware, Shimano drive, Crankbrother Candys, Chris King Hubs, Mavic 717 rims, etc

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Kevin a Weekend Warrior from Lincoln, NE

    Date Reviewed: March 7, 2005

    Strengths:    Great headset. Good value.

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    The cane creek i had on the monocog started to loosen itself and i was getting a lot of motion in places where there shouldn't be. The Orbit XL II is super smooth and it works great, no more unwanted movement.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Platte River State Park

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $40.00

    Purchased At:   Trianlge Mountain Bikes (.com)

    Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek Aheadset S-2.

    Bike Setup:   Redline Monocog Singlespeed, LX cranks

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jon from Grand Rapids, MI

    Date Reviewed: July 28, 2004

    Strengths:    Price, smooth, sealed bearings




    Weaknesses:    none




    Bottom Line:   
    This thing is extremely smooth, light, and is very inexpensive compared to other headsets. So far had no problems. Its 18$ at bikeco, but only comes in blue, which works for me. Good product.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Fort Custer

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $18.00

    Purchased At:   bikeco.com

    Similar Products Used:   stock stuff

    Bike Setup:   Fisher Marlin, bontregor stem, Race Face Next carbon bar

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Cliff a Cross Country Rider from Las Vegas

    Date Reviewed: March 23, 2004

    Strengths:    light weight, good design, price, slide-on crown race

    Weaknesses:    Same as my post below, Conex, bearings/grease

    Bottom Line:   
    As a follow up to my previous post on Orbit XL II, here's a little more info on another headset in another bike. Actually I have been building bikes for awhile and run 4 mtn and 1 roaddie (need to break down and sell a couple). When I saw the Orbit's Mtbr reviews and the price at bikeco.com late last summer, I decided to order a couple of them, one of which I reviewed below. The second one went into a Y-bike (small frame/URT) - front end has SID XC, Mavic 517 32h, 3x, 14/15 db DT Swiss. This bike I ride on ocassion but gets most of it's use by a friend who is 55lbs lighter (130lbs) and rides somewhat less aggressively than I. She takes it a lot easier through the rock gardens and I figured that the headset would be fine. For initial installation, had LBS knock out the old cups, check the headtube (was OK), and press in the Orbit cups.

    No apparent problems but I decided to pull it apart and check the "sealed bearings". Although it had no squeeking or clicking sounds, both bearings (same sealing label/# as below posting) had tossed a whole lot of grease. Cleaned, repacked and reinstalled and so far it's OK but really not getting that heavy a use. Then I pulled the S-6 bearings out of the Dakar and the S-2 out of the other Y-bike ( large frame), there was negligable grease leakage and both sets seem to be OK. If the Orbit's hold up with the new grease (TREK synthetic with teflon), would be great.

    By the way, I called FSA and their customer service guy was outstanding. Said the conex equipped Orbit sets were discontinued several years ago and the Conex didn't fit some steertubes. Didn't know of any problems with weak bearings. Also, said for wet conditions (n/a here in Mohave desert), try a premium grease like the Phil Wood waterproof stuff (I found at Cambria $5.00) which I will do anyhow next time I pull them apart. Can get new Orbit bearings through LBS, but no bearing upgrade available. Recommended that the FSA Extreme Pro might be needed for the rock garden poundings. Probably good advice, but these Orbits should be holding up a lot better. Value and Overall ratings go up for the customer service; and I still suspect that these r not the "normal" Orbit II quality bearing sets/grease packing because of the other reviewers comments and what the other brand sealed bearings looked like after similar use.

    In this bike, bearings should have looked like new after the more limited, lighter riding - but don't want to hurt the ratings unfairly; just get some info out. If anyone knows of a steel/stainless steel bearing set that will fit, please email me.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   single track

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $19.00

    Purchased At:   bikeco.com

    Similar Products Used:   S-6, S-2, Aheadsets, oh yeah, a Dia-Compe

    Bike Setup:   Another Orbit XL II in a Trek Y, URT, XT level or better, all newer stuff

    Reviews 1 - 15 (36 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    FSA Orbit XL II Headset Question....

    I just received this headset. It was purchased brand new from Jenson. From all pics, I thought it came with a split crown race. In the box was a normal crown race (non-split). The crown race also doesnt fit perfectly flush against the bottom cup. Almost flush, but not perfect. Should I be conc ... Read More »

    Anyone with the FSA ORBIT XL II Headset

    I recently picked one of these up & installed it a few days ago. I am just curious to know if I have the metal rings installed correctly? I put the gold ring on the top where the fork post slides through then the cap (that says orbit xlII) laysover the ring & bearing assembly. I then installed the s ... Read More »

    Read More »



     




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