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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a Dropset 2 for installation on my 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper ST 27.5 (which I love BTW). I used the Chris King fit finder and matched the bike specs to the Dropset 2.

I'm having issues with fitment of the upper bearing and Griplock assembly. The GripLock assembly rests on the top exterior of the frame, preventing contact of the split ring with the bearing. No amount of pretensioning via tightening the top cap creates contact. Tightening only results in pushing the GripLock cap into the exterior top of the frame. This results in vertical and horizontal play between the upper bearing and fork steerer tube.

The installation manual on the Chris King website provides no help with this issue There are no Dropset 2 or specific manuals, only a Dropset 1 version (probably doesn't matter though).

Other headset brands (e.g. Cane Creek) address this via use of microspacers. No such option appears to exist for Chris King Dropsets.

I've verified the headset bearing specs of the Stumpjumper, 42/52, 45 x 45 degrees, correspond to the Dropset 2. FWIS, the Specialized bike manual indicates that the stock bearing in 8mm tall. Placed side by side, the Chris King bearing is shorter by ~2 mm. However, the difference is in the length of the angled part, therefore I surmise that this has no impact on this issue. The bearing stack height is identical.

The stock FSA headset has a relatively large split ring insert that snaps into the the top of the upper bearing. This split ring extends ~2-3 mm above the top of the upper bearing in order to contact the FSA upper cap.

At this point I'm stumped (no pun intended). It appears to me the issue is that the split ring isn't tall enough to reach the top of the bearing. There doesn't appear to alternate sized replacement split rings available. I spent several hours already searching online for information and a solution to no avail.

I'll be calling Chris King later this morning and am hopeful they can solve this for me.

Anyone out there run into and more importantly, resolved this issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just spoke to someone at Chris King. Short answer, the Dropset 2 will not fit Specialized bikes where the bearing sits below the upper edge of the frame. Seems like important information to put on the product page. Too bad Chris King didn't do that though.

Will be returning and buying a Cane Creek, which is what I should have done in the first place.
 

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BTW, this is not cheap! This makes no sense economically, at all in any way, shape, or form, and makes the headset far more costly to use than is justified by the performance. I just wanted to see that it could be done.
 

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That is all that is needed. Too bad that Chris King does not have one available since they have the machining resources. I did talk to them about this, but the economics probably don't make sense for them. I looked around and I found one more spacer that I have kept for a rainy day.
 

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So this spacer goes underneath the bearing, interfacing directly with the integrated cup? Interesting.

I'm running a Dropset2 on my Epic Evo. I just shimmed it out with like a 2 or 2.5mm spacer and a .25mm Cane Creek Microshim. I'm running those under the headset topcap and on top of the bearing. It works aok.
 

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That is a neat way to approach the problem - I never looked at it that way because I always assumed that the top of the bearing needed to be free of any other item. Also substantially easier to find spacers that way.
 

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So this spacer goes underneath the bearing, interfacing directly with the integrated cup? Interesting.

I'm running a Dropset2 on my Epic Evo. I just shimmed it out with like a 2 or 2.5mm spacer and a .25mm Cane Creek Microshim. I'm running those under the headset topcap and on top of the bearing. It works aok.
Can you take a picture of how you have it spaced if you get time. I know this would require pulling the stem so understand if you don't want to do it.
 

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So I just dealt with this same issue! I called Chris King and told them about the issue and Alex there informed me that they just started producing a Dropset5 a couple of weeks ago. This new headset was made to accommodate Specialized frames that have a deeper bore. Sending mine back for an exchange. Said they aren't making these for direct purchase YET but will be soon after they make sure no issues arise. I'm probably one of the first few guinea pigs. Lol. Hope this helps you and people in the future.
 
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