a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2012
Strengths: Solid and smooth sealed bearings.
Weaknesses: Weight but that isn't a real issue
I'm a heavy rider 220+ and I have broken a few parts but this FSA Pig Pro DH is super solid. I broke the original headset off my Pitch and refused to spend money on a Chris King. I ended up picking a Pig Pro DH as recommended by the counter guy at Cambria bikes. Its the smoothest I've ever felt my bike steer. I've taken it to northstar a few times and never even had to worry about it. I did a lot of DH and AM and it's been perfect. I greased it maybe twice but I doubt it needed it. It's a heavy headset but I figured it's gonna need it. I've put 3 forks on my pitch but it's still running the same headset. I have put one on a Specialized Bighit I build for shuttling DH and zero issues. I love this headset and wouldn't bother putting anything else on. I'm planning on putting one on a Demo I just got and I'm sure I'll never have to worry about it.
If you're looking for a headset that you'll never have to worry about, get a FSA Pig Pro DH and properly install one in your bike. Hell swap out all your bikes to have one! It's a good buy and for about $30 who can beat that. It's not for weight weenies but for riders who want to ride and not just have their bike parts stared at.
I weigh 250 pounds, and I like to beat up my bike. My old FSA Orbit Xtreme Pro was pretty resilient, it lasted through all kinds of punishment even during the snow and salty slush of winter. I always kept an eye on it, but it never needed tightening over the last year.
When spring came around and I started doing rougher trails again, the headset developed a nasty creak/pop. So I decided to look for a new headset. I considered getting an Orbit Xtreme Pro again since I was happy with the last one, but I decided to try alternatives instead. I quickly got turned off from a Chris King headset after reading reviews. Considering my weight and the punishment I give my bike, I didn't think a Chris King would last very long. The price is also a major turn-off.
With "burliness" in mind, I decided on a new FSA Pig DH Pro. The same brand as my previous headset, but supposedly much stiffer and stronger.
For those people who claim a headset is "just a headset", you're wrong. One ride with my new Pig DH Pro was all it took to convince me. The handling on my bike has never been so responsive. It's like all the flex I didn't realize was there before is now gone. Everything feels stiff and solid. I never would've known what I was missing unless I tried something new, and I'm glad I did.
The lower cup is made of steel and contains MONSTER bearings. Even the crown race is thick and massive. The upper cup is made of aluminum and has more "normal" bearings. Each bearing assembly is fully sealed and easily replaced.
The Pig DH Pro is not for weight-weenies. At half a pound, it's probably one of the heaviest headsets around. But considering the improvement in handling, I think it's well worth it. Especially since it only costs $36!!! Now THAT'S value!
from Fort Collins
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2008
Strengths: Cheap. Keeps working.
Weaknesses: I guess it's heavy but it says "DH" on it. Overkill for an xc bike.
Ridiculously cheap for sealed bearings. Whoever said this won't last your bike doesn't know how to set up a headset proper. I've had mine for over 4 years, never a problem. Don't over-tighten! I greased mine a couple years ago, not sure it even needed it. Maybe I'll open it up again one of these months...LOL. Gets plenty of mud and evil sand/dust without issues. I've taken this everywhere - mostly freeride/dh but plenty of XC/AM too...generally 50 miles a week for that whole four years. I'll never buy anything else - the only reason would be image, and you only get that if you buy a King for 3 times as much. I guess you could get some pretty colors then...but I don't know how a King could work any better than the Pig...
Similar Products Used: Don't remember...it's been so long...
Bike Setup: Brodie Thumper, 66 Light, DHX 5.0, Holzfeller, Deity...other heavy things
a Weekend Warrior
from los angeles
Date Reviewed: June 22, 2008
Strengths: Sealed bearings, heavy duty and cheaper than Chris King
Weaknesses: none--its a headset for crying out loud
This is a great buy for a sealed bearing headset. I've purchased 2 so far for my bikes and I am ordering another for a Stinky that I recently bought. I've read the other reviews about it rusting but you gotta figure that if other parts on their bikes are steel than they must be rusted too? Ya think? I wouldnt want an aluminum headset, its the part that gets the most pounding from the fork. Anyways save money and go sealed bearings with the Pig Pro.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2008
Strengths: it's chunky, heavyweight steel, hard to break
Weaknesses: sealed poorly against the elements, and rapidly turns into a nasty rusty pile of poo.
As a headset it's big and meaty. Handled everything I could throw at it.
Unfortunately it's poorly sealed against the elements - I ride all year, and even when the sun shines, there is almost always some mud to ride through.
water broke past the bearing seal on the bottom bearing, and corroded the bearing, leading to it's failure after just 9 months of use. Spares for it are just about impossible to find, and generally it seems that it's cheaper to buy a new headset than replace the bearings anyhow.
gets 3 chillis for value it is pretty cheap for headset, but a 2 overall for turning into a nasty rusty mess.
a Weekend Warrior
from Bergen, Norway, Europa
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2008
Strengths: Beefy and solid, no bearing play, sealed bearings, steel bottom cup, reasonable weight
Weaknesses: Surface rust on bearings after 2 months of use with frequent servicing, and the bike beeing stored indoors in between rides. (ridiculously high price from local distributor, but that won`t draw any chillies here)
A magnificent headset if you live in Arizona, Andalucia, Algerie, or the Kalahari for that sake, but it is not suited for most other climates.
I stored mine indoors in between rides, and before summer had gone(2months of use) the well lubricated bearings showed surface rust. The quality of the steel used cannot be top notch, rust will eventually break through..
There has been no compromise in function though, so I guess it`s worth the bucks if you can get them at 40$, just remeber that this is not the type of headset that will survive your bike. I bought mine based on the reviews below, but it`s definitely not worth 5 chillis
Best I've ever had, this headset IS a pig. The headset is one of the few parts of your bike that you never want to notice, because if you do there is probably something wrong with it and you never think about this one, just set it and forget it. It can take a beating and even after riding in muddy conditions it will still remain buttery smooth. The sealed cartridge bearings it uses are way better than regular cartridge ball bearings. I plan on using this headset for a long time.
Bike Setup: 2006 Transition Preston with Marzocchi 55 TST2
Date Reviewed: June 6, 2007
Strengths: The sealed barrings, the sweet look, THE PRICE!!
Weaknesses: None other than the fact it would be cool to have different colors
I wouldn't buy any other stem, i have beaten the hell out of this thing and it hasn't even developed a creak yet, i do alot of urban freeride and downhill and it has served me soo well. for the two years that iv had it i haven't serviced it once, or taken it apart to clean it as there is no need. it truly is an install and forget stem i recommend it to anybody to get buy it over a king the price is amazing to
Bike Setup: Kona Dawg - ripped apart and rebuilt for freeride because the frame is super light but sooooo strong, manitou stance kingpin, MTX S-Type rims front and back, 16 inch frame, stock rear shock, tioga white tiger on the front and a nokian Gazza on the back, FUNN KILLA Stem and soo much more done to this bike
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2007
Strengths: Very sturdy, looks good, easy on the wallet.
Weaknesses: a little heavy
Awesome product no problems what so ever.By far the best headset for the money.
Similar Products Used: Only one that durable havnt needed another
Bike Setup: 24/7 crosser 14", mx comps 2005, XT rear mech, sram x.9 shifter, hope minis, sun single track rims on DMR revolver hubs, DMR Moto tyres. Reflecters on the wheels!! maybe not!
from Manchester, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: September 26, 2006
Strengths: Smooth, strong and cheap
Weaknesses: A little heavy, but it is made for hucking
I bought this headset when rebuilding my sugar towards a cross mountain ride. I have had no problems with this headset within the year that I have used it. It is still as smooth as the day installed and I have not performed any maint. on it. I have been through mud, rain, dust and dry with no problems. Handles what I can dish out with my roll over it or jump off of it riding style. I have only had to adjust it once shortly after it was installed, but that is to be expected. It is not as sexy as the King and a bit on the heavy side, but for $100 less who cares...its a freaking rock solid headset!
Bike Setup: Fisher Sugar 3+, 130mm Fox vanilla fork, Cane Creek Cloud Nine rear shock, Thompson stem, hayes disc, XT...blah blah blah
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2006
Strengths: was nice when it works
Weaknesses: yesterday I destroyed it
It was nice, really nice feel, but yesterday I destroy all the headset from inside. I am 230 pounds not so gentle with my bike, so I understand to destroy things, but 1 year for a DH headset it is bad. Dont get me worng when it work is really nice but yesterday I almost had to comeback walking from the trail to home.