Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Race Face Team SL Headset

3.17/5 (12 Reviews)
MSRP : $99.00

Product Description

Race Face Team SL

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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by AZmtncycle a Cross Country Rider from tempe, AZ, US

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2004

Strengths:    appearance only

Weaknesses:    will NOT get all the slop out between the fork and headset no matter how much you tighten the top cap screw. Constant clunk like others have reported. It needs a shim between the top cap and bearing race!!

Bottom Line:   
There is no comparison between CK's headset and this POC. RF missed the target on this one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything with dirt/rocks

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   supergo

Similar Products Used:   Chris King on all my other bikes. Tried to save money on my Single Speed and shouldn't have!!

Bike Setup:   Converted hardtail to SS

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jo Blo a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2004

Strengths:    -Oohhhh shiny!...
-'Works' in a very primitive sort of way
-Bearings appear to be good quality

Weaknesses:    -Impossible to adjust
-doesn't seem to seal out much at all
-even when (over)tight, still knocks

Bottom Line:   
This thing is a P.O.S. I am totally unimpressed with Race Face on this one. I have enjoyed 3 sets of Race Face cranks, a taperlock BB, a set of their handlebars and a seat post, all of which functioned perfectly and really never needed any attention at all. Set and forget. But this piece of crap is hopeless. Even getting it at a reduced price, it just isn't worth the frustration. There is an omnipresent *clunk* on hard front-caliper braking, even when the thing is so tight it sticks. Plus, after a few months of use, the upper dust-cap seems to have warped and now sits asymetrically. The sealed cartridge bearings appear to be of a high quality, which is good because the machining tolerances are so loose, just about anything, dirt, water, squirrels... can gain access to those bearings. Overall design is just lacking.

Compared to the $30 Ritchey that lasted 5 years without a squeak, spinning smoothly the entire time, and the $25 Dia-Compe that survived the wettest, muddiest, most revolting winter Western France has ever seen, this headset is an embrassment to Race Face, especially when retail price on this hopeless piece of crap is around $130CAD.

Bottom line: this item was designed to look nice and never actually be used. It looks like a million bucks, and with the Race Face name on it, one would think it should be worth the poppy. Sadly, RF missed the mark on this one big time. I just hope RF will take this piece of crap back and refund my $ so I can get a King.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Darn near anything

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Dia-Compe, Ritchey

Bike Setup:   2004 Blizzard with everything testosterone makes us buy for our race bikes.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Bill a Cross Country Rider from Hoboken

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2002

Strengths:    It is a headset.

Weaknesses:    Same as everyone else. The thing is never right, it is either too loose or too tight. I find that the problem is dependant on the outside temperature. If its hot out, it loosens up, if it is cold, it gets tight.

Bottom Line:   
Do not buy Race Face Componentry that involves bearings. They cant seem to build a square bb that works either.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Diacompe-aheadset - never had a problem

Bike Setup:   Yeti ASR - Lots of Race Face Componentry

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Derek a Downhiller from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2002

Strengths:    cool image
good for cross-country bikes

Weaknesses:    HORRIBLE DESIGN - the old headsets (4-5 years old ?) had a shim that fit between the upper cup & the steer tube. By tightening the screw , you wedged the shim in & thus kept the steer tube from moving . The newer headsets lack this shim , thus allowing the steer tube to move even if your headset is on tight . This problem is made worse if you have triple-clamp forks due to the increased leverage they exert on the headtube. I recently switched to 6 inch Super-T's & have experienced this problem first-hand . My headset is creaking constantly & you can actually see the spacers on my headtube moving . And yes , I did loosen the upper clamps on my fork before tightening everything up . And yes , my headset is on tight with absolutely no movement at the cups . And no , my cups aren't cracked or warped . It's simply due to a terrible design . My LBS agrees & said that this is a common problem with this headset .

Bottom Line:   
If you are a freerider or DHer , save youself the agony & buy a Chris King headset . Avoid this piece of s@%*!! like the plague . Did I mention that I really think that this headset sucks ? YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE SPACERS MOVE WITH EVERTHING CLAMPED DOWN TIGHT !!!!!!!!!!???????????

Oh yeah , I'm also warrentying my Raceface stem since I can twist it on my steertube even when the screws are reefed on tight . But I'll save that rant for another time .

The only Race Face products I would buy are drivetrain related . I'm extremely disappointed & disgusted since I used to love this company .

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   corkscrew,pingou,bogeyman,empress

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Ritchey A-Head set

Bike Setup:   2000 RM6 with Super T's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Warren Cress a Racer from Bargersville, In. 46106

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2001

Strengths:    seals out dirt & water very well. lite weight.
easy to service.

Weaknesses:    NONE

Bottom Line:   
I have used this product for one year. I have serviced it twice. There has never been any dirt or water in it. The seals are easy to pop out in order to regrease the bearings. The thing never loosens up. Maybe the people that have reviewed this product and complaind about the tolanences not being what they should be got a bad one. I had a Cane Creek headset that was defective (which they promply replaced). To sum up my review I would for sure buy another one.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   don't remember

Similar Products Used:   cane creek, richey

Bike Setup:   Specialized S-works FSR

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aaron a Cross Country Rider from Centerville, Ohio

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2001

Strengths:    Light, easy to take appart

Weaknesses:    Bottom bearings went out. And it is either too tight or loose.

Bottom Line:   
I question the tolerances. The center ring on the bearings got pushed up. Great headset until the problems with the bearings.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ceasar's Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $100.00

Similar Products Used:   ATB

Bike Setup:   Leader Carbon frame/Specialized Hard Rock FS Comp, all XTR and RaceFace.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Eric a Racer from Canada

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2001

Strengths:    Color, top cap, solid design

Weaknesses:    Poor tolerances

Bottom Line:   
Nice product except for the fact that mine has a sticky spot. If I rotate the bars all the way left and then back to the right, just past center there is a tight spot. Rotating the bars through the tight spot will eliminate it, which to me implies a problem with the bearings. If it was the frame being non-parallel the stickiness would not go away with bar rotation. Rocky Mountain is meticulous with their frame prep and the LBS mechanic pressed the cups again just to make sure they are all the way in, so I do not believe the problem is in the frame. He also claims to have this problem on one of his bikes with a Race Face HS. I might consider trying a replacement, but I'm seriously considering ditching it for a Chris King.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   WTB Momentum, Shimano Dura-Ace/Ultegra/XTR

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Turbo Scandium road, Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork, D/A 9spd.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by prc a Cross Country Rider from Batalha Portugal

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2001

Strengths:    light

Weaknesses:    #$%&/ price!!, screw that comes w/ headset

Bottom Line:   
This is a great headset. I'm not sure if it's as good as a Chris King but good enough for me. The screw that came with the headset was rusted after 3 months. Overall I recomend this headset, I just wish it were a little cheaper.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   BTTerra

Similar Products Used:   Ritchey, Cane Creek C2

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by peter hendrix a Cross Country Rider from marietta

Date Reviewed: February 7, 2001

Strengths:    still spinning smoothly after much mileage, seals really do their job,

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
smooth even after many bumpy trails w/team fatboy, i've seen what can become of a lesser headset, i believe that the ritchey was destroyed by my bikewashing technique by the way, however i've rebuilt my hubs twice (kings) and repl my
b-bracket once since i bought this headset and it's still just as good as the day that i bought it, it gets 5 flamin
sailors bcs of it's lightweight and durability,

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bear creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   boneshaker bicycles

Similar Products Used:   richey fuzzy logic, shim xt level,

Bike Setup:   m2 stmpjmpr, ck racelites,full race face,xtr r-r blah,blah

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Lee a Racer from Farmington Hills, Mi

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2001

Strengths:    Weight, Looks, Seals

Weaknesses:    Its lose or tight, you can't get it so there is no play without it being tooooooo tight.

Bottom Line:   

I have had it "fixed" by raceface twice now. They said it was just the top race, but I think it is something to do with the bearing or the races not alining well. If they go this sorted, then there would be nothing wrong with it. But now I don't want the hassle of it so a Chris King one is in the post to me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   ENGLISH

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $99.00

Similar Products Used:   Cane creek s5
FSA xl ii
Cane creek C2

Bike Setup:   Dekerf team sl, XTR, Sid Race, Full line of race face part (not the headset anymore), Mavic cross link wheels,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Leon Phelps Ladies Man a Racer from PA

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2000

Strengths:    Light, smooth

Weaknesses:    botom seal cant come out to overhaul

Bottom Line:   
awesome headset, got it cheaper than a King and its lighter than a King (But Kings are awesome too)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cliffhanger

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   stock headsets, Ritchey

Bike Setup:   Spec. Stumpjumper Pro, SID XC, Race Face cranks/headset, XTR

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Crystal B. a Weekend Warrior from Weirsdale, Fl

Date Reviewed: September 25, 1999

Light wieght, true king competitor. cool looks!!

Little pricey, but you get what you pay for!

Bottom Line:   
For someone who wants something other than a king headset, since everyone has them. This is a truley well built product.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Bellview, Fl

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   

Bike Setup:   
Schwinn Homegrown Carbon
Marzocchi Atom Bomb
XTR deraillers
Avid arch 5.0 w/ 2.0 levers
XT shifters
Mavic 217 CD w/ Continental kevlar tires
Azonic bars and stem
salsa skewers
Race Face LP cranks w/ rings
Answer Rocker seatpost

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

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