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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok i know this sounds like blasphemy but i am having problems with my king headset. this is my 2nd one on the same frame. everything is installed properly and faced and nice and flush. i am very picky about my headset adjustment (maybe this is part of the problem). i have noticed that after about 6 months of hard use the headset gets to the point where it has some play and will creak and it is impossible to get a fine adjustment out of it. its either too tight or it has play. i work in a very high end shop and everyone i ask about this looks at me like i am crazy because king has the install it and forget about it reputation. i ride a riding 29 and i ride a lot of really rocky fast stuff so i am wondering if all the leverage from the long fork leg is the cause of the problem with the headset (just a guess).

has anyone else ever had this problem?

i am curious how hope headsets hold up? would i be better off running one of those?
 

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I bought a Cane Creek 110 on ebay.After getting tired of hearing a creaking noise coming from my King Headset on my 5spot.
 

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This may seem too simple to work, but try applying lube to the top cap bolt and stem bolts. I had problems with a Thomson stem always loosening until I realized the threads on the bolts were so dry, they couldn't "hold their tightness." Sounds dumb, but when I lubed the bolts, my problems disappeared.

Good Luck
 

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I can't find the thread, but a while back a guy was complaining about similar problems with his CK. An employee from Cane Creek eventually posted on the thread and explained in a lot of detail that the range of tolerance for the outer diameter of a CK headset is actually slightly smaller than the industry standard that nearly all of the other headset manufacturers follow. I can't remember the specific numbers, but he did provide them.

Frame manufacturers also have an industry standard range of tolerance for the inner diameter of the headtube. If you're installing a CK headset that is at the smallest end of CK's tolerance (which will be smaller than another brand at the smallest end of the industry's tolerance) into a frame at the largest end of the frame industry's tolerance, you very well could end up with a fit that isn't tight enough.

I have no idea why CK has a range that isn't consistent with the industry standard, but I think your next step should be to try a different brand of headset.
 

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. . .interesting!

This hits close to home. . . Chris King with Thomson stem. I've noticed the same problem recently and dismissed it as "drinking and wrenching don't mix. . ." This is after switching from a "Headlock" to a "normal" stem-cap w/ fangled-nut combo. . . guess I'll lube the stem-bolts, etc. and report back in a few rides.
 

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xcutterx said:
ok i know this sounds like blasphemy but i am having problems with my king headset. this is my 2nd one on the same frame. everything is installed properly and faced and nice and flush. i am very picky about my headset adjustment (maybe this is part of the problem). i have noticed that after about 6 months of hard use the headset gets to the point where it has some play and will creak and it is impossible to get a fine adjustment out of it. its either too tight or it has play. i work in a very high end shop and everyone i ask about this looks at me like i am crazy because king has the install it and forget about it reputation. i ride a riding 29 and i ride a lot of really rocky fast stuff so i am wondering if all the leverage from the long fork leg is the cause of the problem with the headset (just a guess).

has anyone else ever had this problem?

i am curious how hope headsets hold up? would i be better off running one of those?
what kind of frame, what kind of stem?
is the top and bottom of the stem clamp smooth and in parallel? sometimes a stem that is slightly off will screw you up.
but every 6 months is really not that bad - if it was ever week or three weeks something is wrong.
do you still have the thin plastic "scuff washer" that comes with the king? you need that to avoid creaking.
 

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xcutterx said:
ok i know this sounds like blasphemy but i am having problems with my king headset. this is my 2nd one on the same frame. everything is installed properly and faced and nice and flush. i am very picky about my headset adjustment (maybe this is part of the problem). i have noticed that after about 6 months of hard use the headset gets to the point where it has some play and will creak and it is impossible to get a fine adjustment out of it. its either too tight or it has play. i work in a very high end shop and everyone i ask about this looks at me like i am crazy because king has the install it and forget about it reputation. i ride a riding 29 and i ride a lot of really rocky fast stuff so i am wondering if all the leverage from the long fork leg is the cause of the problem with the headset (just a guess).

has anyone else ever had this problem?

i am curious how hope headsets hold up? would i be better off running one of those?
It is a known issue for riders in rough/rocky areas. I learned of it from Flagstaff area guys. CKs develops a knock or creak because they rely on a tight interference fit. Once the O-ring wears they get noisy.

Most other headsets use a compression washer for adjustment. This grips the steer tube and stays quiet.

The Flag boys like Cane Creek. I switched to a CC Solos and my knocking stopped. Even the "lowly" S-3 works well.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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King headsets bite; way overrated. Have had several and amongst them have had 2 creaky mofos. Will not buy King again. Would much rather have Cane Creek (Solos or 110) or Hope
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
its a thomson x2 stem. i am using the white washer and everything is flush and faced. no abnormal wear on the baseplate or top cap with o-ring. the ano is still in tact. it pains me to think about putting a cane creek on my bike.maybe i need to get over that. anyone had any luck with a hope?
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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xcutterx said:
its a thomson x2 stem. i am using the white washer and everything is flush and faced. no abnormal wear on the baseplate or top cap with o-ring. the ano is still in tact. it pains me to think about putting a cane creek on my bike.maybe i need to get over that. anyone had any luck with a hope?
I, as well as others I know, like Hopes. Its a friggin headset...how much difference is there really gonna be? but at least the Hope doesnt creak. My 1.5 King headset doesnt creak though...

why does cane creek pain you?
 

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Crank Bros. headset

. . .rather surprised there's no mention of the Crank Bros headsets here. . . as far as I can tell, the tolerances are on par with Chris King and Hope. A friend, known in our circle affectionately as "Rotter", has been abusing the "Iodine" for about three months with no (re)adjustments or (re) tightening.

As for me, I've since cleaned the spacers, bolts, stem, etc and regreased them. Test run tomorrow through some "jack-hammer" root-sections and a few jumps/drops. . .
 

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emptybe_er said:
. . .rather surprised there's no mention of the Crank Bros headsets here. . . as far as I can tell, the tolerances are on par with Chris King and Hope. A friend, known in our circle affectionately as "Rotter", has been abusing the "Iodine" for about three months with no (re)adjustments or (re) tightening.

As for me, I've since cleaned the spacers, bolts, stem, etc and regreased them. Test run tomorrow through some "jack-hammer" root-sections and a few jumps/drops. . .
New design. Little history. My CK headset did not give trouble for the first 1.5 years. My Solos has been going strong for 2+.
 

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xcutterx said:
its not really the creak that bothers me as much as the slight amount of play. on a rigid bike its pretty noticeable and to me is very annoying. to me if i am spending that kind of money on a headset it should work properly.
The creak is caused by the play.
 
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