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In the recently posted Beta MTB Dream Build of an MX Shred Dogg, I noticed they used a Chris King headset. I was looking to replace my headset bearings, so I did a little digging and figured out that I could probably use a Dropset 3 with the GG. Things got a little bit more complicated in practice, so I thought I'd post what I found out if anyone else wants to try this.

Option 1: just replacing the bearings
What you need: 42mm (upper) and 52mm (lower) OD bearings for tapered fork, plus corresponding crown race. Can confirm that Cane Creek Hellbender 70 and Chris King bearings work. Cane Creek crown race's little blue seal doesn't seem to seal against the lower cup though.
a) replace old crown race with new one
b) replace old bearings with new ones
c) use GG supplied plastic tapered preload ring and headset cap

Option 2: using Chris King Dropset 3
What you need:
Chris King Dropset 3, an assortment of stem spacers, ideally 0.5mm, 1mm, 3mm, and 5mm
What's different: the CK tapered preload ring is slightly shorter than the GG one, and the CK headset cap is slightly larger diameter than the black GG one. If you try to just use the Dropset alone, you won't be able to get enough preload and the cap will contact the upper headset cup.
Solution 2a: replace the crown race with the CK one, and replace the old bearings with the CK ones. Use the GG plastic preload ring and black alloy headset cap, then stack the CK cap (with just the o-ring and thin white scuff shim inside it) over top of the GG one. Reduce your stem spacer stack under the stem by about 2mm. Preload the headset and tighten stem as usual. See photo below:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Cameras & optics Hood


Solution 2b: replace the crown race with the CK one, and replace the old bearings with the CK ones. Use CK preload ring, then stack either 4.5mm or 5mm of stem spacers over it. Then the CK cap (with just the o-ring and thin white scuff shim inside it). Reduce your stem spacer stack under the stem by about 2mm. Preload the headset and tighten stem as usual. IMPORTANT: confirm that the bottom of the CK headset cap is at least 0.5mm above the headset cup. If you don't have enough spacers between the preload ring and the CK cap, it will make contact with the cup, like in this photo. In the photo, I had 4mm of spacers and it wasn't quite enough. 5mm of spacers made it clear, but I was concerned about it not sealing dirt out well enough, so went with Solution 2a.
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive tire
 
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