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Weight Weenie Shop Owner
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Yes it is, if.....

you foloow torque specs and maintain it. The beraing s are a tad small and due to the small upper bearing cup it could be slightly fragile.

I tell most who purchase one from me, go with the FreeHead version. It's much more durable (larger beraings) and with the larger upper cup, it looks better under most stems and with todays larger tubesets.

if you maintain your equipment and do not abuse your parts then go for it. If you want a HS that you set and forget, then go King.

I have used both the Head and Free version for years wuith no issues. My 2yr old Freehead that was barely maintained still runs pretty darn smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dirt Boy:
does the maintenance free operation justify the weight penalty for the KING vs. The Head/Free Head

p.s. when is my bike pic going up on your site?! :)
 

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If you're a true WW (and by that I don't mean just wanting to build an impractical show bike), then the Extralite The Head is fine. I've been running one for 2.5 years now, and it's still going strong apart from having to replace the upper bearing this year, which I suspect may have been because I wasn't careful enough on reinstallation. The lower bearing is fully serviceable, so should keep going for ages. Obviously not as maintenance free as a King, but lots of grams saved, which is what it's all about here isn't it? Mine is an mk 1, but having seen a mk 2, I don't think there's any functional difference - they've just machined a little more off.
 

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...just as an addendum, I ride my bike year round in the UK, where kit gets a much harder life than in many other drier parts of the world.
 

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I've got 2 year on my THE HEAD, bought from dirtboy (Plug Plug! ;0)))), and 0 problems for XC and marathon training/racing! Including the 2005 Trans-Rockies.

I usually clean it 1-2 times per year, no more.

If you're a true weight weenie, the choice is obvious! If not, look elsewhere because they are expensive...

The best bang for the buck is certainly not the Extralite... Nor the King for that matter!

I've got a Tange (OEM Specialized) headset I got for 20$, almost as light as the Extralite. It's not as smooth, and needs more cleaning, but what a deal and it does it's job well!

Food for thought....
 

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Gee, thanks alot moderator.

B R H said:
Spam was here. Please use MTBR classifieds ad links.
I have an ad, you didn't have to delete the entire message. It would have been easy to just change the link to point to my MTBR ad if that was the problem.

Regarding the headset, I'm surprised TheHead lasts for anyone off road. Perhaps very lightweight riders. I'm no heavyweight at less than 165 pounds, but mine didn't last long at all. TheHead reminds me alot of ISIS bottom brackets. The bearings are simply too small for the job. I have never had a single issue with any King headset and they've been thru some of the muddiest races you can imagine. I have a Tange on a Specialized that rusted solid after one winter. Perhaps lubricating these other headsets regularly will help them survive longer, but that's not my idea of fun. I'd rather ride my bike.
 
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