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Hope Head Doctor Headset

3.33/5 (9 Reviews)
MSRP : $24.00


Product Description

Hope's Head Doctor offers an elegant alternative to the traditional top cap and star nut system.


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Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by dfuse

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2013

Strengths:    No special tools needed to install your headset. It can only get in straight.

Weaknesses:    No instructions included, hard to get in

Bottom Line:   
I bought this because it was my first bike assembly and watching the youtube vid from Hope it looked a piece of cake to install with no special tools required as opposed to a starnut. In the video they just slide the head doctor into the steerer tube.
Reality was't quite the same as the youtube vid though, the head doctor didn't really fit into my steerer tube, it looked like it was a bit too wide. I ended up filing the inside of the edge of my steerer a bit to create a chamfer and greasing the head doctor. Then I knocked it in using a rubber hammer (the instructions tell you it is ok to use a hammer). Once it was completely inside I knocked it further down but the rubber ring that is in the middle came of because the fit was too tight.
I didn't have any problem tightening like other people had, if the bottom part spins around just tilt your allen key a bit.
I didn't snap my top cap bolt, but I was really careful after reading previous reviews. Haven't ridden the bike yet so I can't tell anything about further experiences.

I don't think I will buy one again if I needed to install a new fork, given the trouble I had installing it. I would buy the DIY mtbr cap and install a regular starnut, since the design of a starnut negates any sizing problems with steerer tubes.

Lastly, there are no instructions included but I found them here:
http://www.hopetech.com/webtop/modules/_repository/documents/hed_doc_fit_instructuctions.pdf

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by renaultvwsaab a Weekend Warrior from Singapore

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2009

Strengths:    smooth

Weaknesses:    difficult to install, top bolt broke while tightening with little strength and i end up replacing the top cap with one from ABR that comes with a stainless steel allen screw.

Bottom Line:   
Good, but installation is not easy.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bukit Merah MTB trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Similar Products Used:   Chris King


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rolto1822 a Cross Country Rider from London

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2008

Strengths:    Good looking, great idea

Weaknesses:    very weak!

Bottom Line:   
I bought one a few days ago so it came today and I was fitting it. I was just tightening it and suddenly... CRACK... the top of the bolt and the cap just came out into my hands... the whole thing had just twisted off and it is now stuck in there and i don't know how to get it out!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   ebay.co.uk

Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek etc.

Bike Setup:   Trek 4900 SLR Custom, Rockshox Pilot c, Avid Juicy 7's

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Giles Jones a Downhiller from Cannock, Staffs, UK

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2007

Strengths:    Doesn't scratch the tube. Goes in straight. Requires no special tools.

Weaknesses:    Requires a bit of thought as the instructions are rubbish. If it falls apart in the tube it is hard to get all the pieces out.

Bottom Line:   
Fitting this requires some thought. First of all you should have a nice chamfer on the inside edge of your steerer tube, otherwise it won't go in easily and the rubber ring will get damaged.

Secondly you should not loosen the threads too much, if you do this then when you come to tighten the head doctor the top and bottom parts will just turn. I'm giving this device a 4 stars for this reason, the design should be improved such that the bottom part won't turn around.

So to summarise, file a nice chamfer on the steerer tube and test that the bottom nut doesn't turn when tightening, do this before you fit it!

Once it's fitted correctly I can't see it ever coming lose.

As for the reviewer who complained about it producing horizontal force, how else will it stay put? At least you can control the amount of pressure, use your common sense when tensioning.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cannock Chase

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Ebay


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nick Price a Weekend Warrior from Birmingham, UK

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2006

Strengths:    its reusable, comes in a miriad of colours

Weaknesses:    those who arnt mechanically minded struggle to use it properly

Bottom Line:   
if you use a bit of common sense, a dab of grease, and arnt ham fisted with the allen key, youll have no problems. alot of the people who complain about the head doctor dont realise that this device is only used to preload the headset, it doesnt hold your forks on, thats the job of the stem. any lossening problems are due to stem slippage. any steerer tube cracking problems are due to overtightening! just because the mechanism uses a 8mm allen key doesnt mean youve got to do it as tight as a crank bolt.

A good looking and simple way to preload your headset, that doesnt damage the fork (NOT FOR USE ON CARBON STEERERS!)

4 out of 5 due to price

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Coed-ye-brennin

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Halfords

Similar Products Used:   starnuts, headlocks

Bike Setup:   i use head doctors on my kinesis maxlight HT and my giant trance, both forks are rockshox, and use relativly thin walled alu steerers.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Charlie a Downhiller from UK

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2005

Strengths:    Simple Design, reusable.

Weaknesses:    Poor design, increadible expensive.

Bottom Line:   
My friend used a hope head doctor in his lightweight race forks on his cross country bike. The bolt that is used, weather a head doctor, a head lock or a star nut only needs to be slightly tightened, just to preload the bearings. They all do this well except for the head doctor, which also pushes out horizontally, causing my friend's steerer tube to crack! Poor design.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Setmurthy

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Headlock, star nuts.

Bike Setup:   222, Boxxers, Deemax's, MRP, Saints, Mono6+Mono4

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ivan from C-Springs

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2005

Weaknesses:    Instructions. Please.

Bottom Line:   
I bought a second head doctor (for a different bike) and thought I should revise my opinion. Head doctor installed a few years ago has been great. phenomenal. When Installing the CK headset on the Monkey fork, I had problems with tightening down the headset properly. I bought another doctor. I spent 30 mins trying to get the nut to sit (and not spin). Once in though, all worked well. Great product that really lets you crank down on your headset. The install is a pain. Especially with no instructions.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   401

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Jenson

Bike Setup:   Monkey w/ Chris King

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ivan from C-Springs

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2004

Strengths:    When you get the "doctor" locked in, it stays put. Much more reliable than a star fangled nut.

Weaknesses:    Instructions? Aluminum cap bolt (I get not torquing on aluminum bolts; but the headset doctor is targeted at people with loosening headsets/nuts. i.e. people who need to crank on the head-cap nut. I'm not putting in large amounts of metal in my steer tube to become a x-country racer. Make it fit the needs of people buying it).

Bottom Line:   
Per the weakness, a few instructions would be nice. Also, to get the "Doctor" into the steerer tube required loosening the "doctor" till it nearly came apart. THis takes all the criction out of the lower half resulting in no friction (so the bottom half spins instead of tightens). Also, the top cap bolt fit neither a 5.5 mm wrench nor a 6 mm wrench. I "persuaded" the bolt to take the 6mm. I then promptly sheard the shank of the bolt. Oops. An hour or so on the bike resulted in the shank vibrating out of the "Doctor".


I put the old steel bolt back in and have been good to go ever since.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pacific Crest Trail (all of it)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $24.00

Bike Setup:   Marz. Z1SL & chris king headset & Performance steam (two bolts on the steerer)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by David a Weekend Warrior from Cheltenham, Glos, UK

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2004

Strengths:    Does its intended job.

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Came with a Hope heatset.
As with all Hope eqiupment it is high quality and available in a wide range of colours.
Some way of holding the top cap in place whilst turning the socket cap bolt would be useful.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Head lock. Star nut.

Bike Setup:   Stumpy pro HT 2002
Stumpt pro FSR 2004

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

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


Hope head doctor

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Just about to fit a Hope headset to my GT Peace (rigid steel fork). The question is, should I use the Hope head doctor/stem plug, or just stick with the star nut? Any advantages either way? Head doctor or star nut? Star nut or head doctor?Read More »

Hope Head Doctor

What is the torque for the 8mm hex bolt inside the steerer tube? How deep inside the steerer the head doctor must be? What is the torque of the stem cap preload bolt?Read More »

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