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Discussion Starter #1
Nothing pi$$e$ me off more that when a company comes up with a cheap and crappy way to make more money by selling an "innovation" as a great leap forward, when they are really just abusing their customers by selling them junk.

I just read Chris King's argument against the so-called integrated headset.

Clearly, the integrated headset is great for the frame makers, but the customers are getting sold a bill of goods.

Have many companies switched to this inferior and crappy technology?

Now that I'm educated about it I will never, ever fall for this hype. No integrated headsets for me, ever.

I urge everone to reject this, and all other attempts to market inferior technologies as great leaps forward.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Chris King's rant is more to do with the fact they didn't come up with the concept themselves, and intergrated (or semi-intergrated) headsets ability to readily use cartridge bearings (which can last forever practically) takes away sales for ChrisKing headsets, which is what the company built its reputation on.

And lots of manufacturers have adopted them, Giant especially uses the ZeroStack (semi-intergrated) headsets on all their models and have for about five years. That's another thing... CK's rant on them is a good five plus years old. I first read it around 2002 and it was old even then. Its not inferior and its not crappy but its obvious CK's still suckering people in to believing that.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Incidently CK has been promising to launch a BB for a decade now and still hasn't. They were big pushers of the ISIS spline standard and that has been a total flop. Really, I wouldn't put much stock in what CK has to say on anything anymore.
 

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Live fast. die younG.
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I'll admit I'm not an industry insider, or pretend to keep up with the cutting edge, but was ISIS really a flop? I'd take ISIS over square tapers any day.

Besides that though, I'd not want my frame as part of the bearing race. As long as the bearings are sealed cartridge style I think it's just fine...but when your frame is a wearing part contacting bearings, you've got troubles....and I don't sell headsets.
 

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keeb said:
I'll admit I'm not an industry insider, or pretend to keep up with the cutting edge, but was ISIS really a flop? I'd take ISIS over square tapers any day.

Besides that though, I'd not want my frame as part of the bearing race. As long as the bearings are sealed cartridge style I think it's just fine...but when your frame is a wearing part contacting bearings, you've got troubles....and I don't sell headsets.
Do not confuse integrated headsets with internal headsets. Many bike companies use the internal headsets such as the FSA Orbit Z. Internal headsets are just as capable as external ones. They use bearing cups that fit inside the headtube.
 

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College Boy
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Have you ever wonder if the entire rant is self serving. OMG Chris King thinks it is a bad idea. It must be....

I remember reading (on these forums) Cane Creek came up with it and patent it. Then turn around and licnces it to everyone BUT Chris King. Chris King is not allowed to use the technology so they go to the only thing they can bash it.
Now assuming this is true I do not blame Cane Creek at all for doing it. Chris King is one of the biggest competitors and would not surpise me is Chris King tick them off so either they are getting some sweet revenage for it or they where smart enough to keep it away from the main compilation and give it out to enough to make a lot of frame makers to want to use it.
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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Twister said:
... I will never, ever fall for this hype...

I hope you never buy a King headset. 100% hype. Close to 0 (zero) real world performance difference vs. $10 OEM headsets.
 

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You always have people who bash CK headsets and you have people who swear by them. I'm the latter. My CK headsets are the only ones which have never given me any issues, and I've tried plenty of other headsets. Yeah, they're expensive, but I can install one and never worry about it again. This is particularly important since it's fairly easy to ovalize a headtube if your headset it out of adjustment. It's important enough to me that I won't buy a frame if I can't put a CK headset in it.
 

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thecentralscrutinizer
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Either type of headset is less f'ed up than the stuff Specialized is doing now. Talk about "hype.":rolleyes: I find it hard to beleive that their new set-up is any better than what the industry standard has been in recent years.
 

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MTB Rider
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keeb said:
I'll admit I'm not an industry insider, or pretend to keep up with the cutting edge, but was ISIS really a flop? I'd take ISIS over square tapers any day.

Besides that though, I'd not want my frame as part of the bearing race. As long as the bearings are sealed cartridge style I think it's just fine...but when your frame is a wearing part contacting bearings, you've got troubles....and I don't sell headsets.
I would not call either ISIS or Octalink flops. However, both introduced new problems due to smaller bearings. Namely the bottom brackets failed a lot sooner then square taper (ISIS moreso then Octalink). Then benefit of both systems was that you did not round off any crank arms.

The topic of integrated and bottom brackets is actually quite relevant now. Since the new external bearing cranks work a LOT like the head-tube, some frame makers have taken to integrating the bottom bracket into the frame body. So basically you would just press in bearing and pass the crank axel through it.

Someone just brought this up on twentynineinches.com. When you think about it, this system eliminates ALL the problems with bottom brackets. The BB shell can be as large as the manufacturer wants so long as there is a bearing of that size that can be pressed. The crank arm interface on the oversize axel will not strip and the "zero-stack" allows for traditional narrow Q-factors. Plus everything is stiffer.

Methinks this system will catch on.
 

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GAME ON!
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i don't imagine that the mass majority have any issues with their headset - be it a $150 set or $50.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Shayne said:
I hope you never buy a King headset. 100% hype. Close to 0 (zero) real world performance difference vs. $10 OEM headsets.
I won't unless I win the lotto or something like that. King's stuff is way to expensive for me. It's good stuff though. If I could afford it, I'd buy it just for the bling factor.

My rant is against the notion of frame makers forcing consumers to accept throwaway frames that last a year or two and then have zero retained value.

Integrated headsets are a dead certain way to make sure a frame dies an early death.

I think a quality bike frame should last pretty much forever if well cared for. You should have to buy a new frame because you WANT to (or because you crash, etc.), not because of planned built-in failure after a purposely limited life.

I love my oldest steel frames like old friends. My old CCM is 36 years old, has God knows how many miles on it, and still rides smooth as silk.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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willtsmith_nwi said:
I would not call either ISIS or Octalink flops. However, both introduced new problems due to smaller bearings. Namely the bottom brackets failed a lot sooner then square taper (ISIS moreso then Octalink). Then benefit of both systems was that you did not round off any crank arms.
Shimano's Octalink is superior because they didn't rush it to market and actually put some original thought into the bearing setup (mixing ball bearings and needle bearings handles all the loads beautifully and last a long time). ISIS was developed by CK and Raceface and FSA mainly because while shimano allowed crank makers to use the Octalink spline patterns, they wouldn't license the patent for aftermarket BB production (CK in particular were denied it) though OEM only production licenses were granted (FSA got one to supply BBs for tandem makers like Santana for example).

The topic of integrated and bottom brackets is actually quite relevant now. Since the new external bearing cranks work a LOT like the head-tube, some frame makers have taken to integrating the bottom bracket into the frame body. So basically you would just press in bearing and pass the crank axel through it.
Old idea... Klein, Fisher, Merlin and others all had them in the late 80s. My Titan titanium frame has a press-in BB setup.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Twister said:
My rant is against the notion of frame makers forcing consumers to accept throwaway frames that last a year or two and then have zero retained value.

Integrated headsets are a dead certain way to make sure a frame dies an early death.
That's a myth started by CK. In reality the frames last as long as the ones that take convention headsets. Only way to ruin the headtube is riding with the headset improperly setup and a conventional headset can ruin a headtube (ever seen an ovalized headtube?) just as readily.
 

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Combat Wombat
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I have seen only one mountainbike that used an integrated headset. Like someone else pointed out, the internal headset, which Giant and many other mtb companies use, and integrated headsets are two completely different animals. If you really want to read something about integrated headsets, go over to roadbikereview.com and do a search. This debate has been beaten to death over there. The integrated headset is very common on roadbikes, in fact the next time your in a LBS, just try to find a production roadbike that does not utilize this system. While they do have their issues, like DeeEight posted, if you keep them correctly adjusted, the frames will last just as long as they would if they had a conventional headset.

Brian
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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They're also quite common on many BMX frames now, and you'd think BMX riders were be more concerned about shortening the lives of their frames to be using such a terrible headset right?
 

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BrianU said:
I have seen only one mountainbike that used an integrated headset. Like someone else pointed out, the internal headset, which Giant and many other mtb companies use, and integrated headsets are two completely different animals. If you really want to read something about integrated headsets, go over to roadbikereview.com and do a search. This debate has been beaten to death over there. The integrated headset is very common on roadbikes, in fact the next time your in a LBS, just try to find a production roadbike that does not utilize this system. While they do have their issues, like DeeEight posted, if you keep them correctly adjusted, the frames will last just as long as they would if they had a conventional headset.

Brian
IBIS Mojo uses a integrated headset. I was a bit suprised by this. I had a long dialogue with one of the owners and we debated the reasons to use or not use the integrated headset. He basically said that the Headtube can be remachined many times if any damage occurs due to bearing failure. But really, how many times has anyone had catastophic angular contact failure in their headset. He also said that he would replace any frame irrepairably damaged by a bad headset. I personally wouldn't buy a bike that used an integrated headset. Regardless of durability, I like the fact that other headsets are user replaceable and could be repaired in under an hour.

Brian's point about road bikes using integrated headsets is interesting. It was pointed out to me by Ibis that the roadbike headset gets hit with harder forces due to the rigid fork than MTB's. I don't know if that is true but its an interesting point. It will be interesting to see how the Mojo's headset holds up in time.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Intergrated headsets are user serviceable without special tools (other than to put the race onto the fork crown, and that only needs a piece of steel pipe) and can be assembled / disassembled in 2 minutes.
 

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Derailleurless
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I know of Schwinn's old ICBM standard, Maverick ML bikes, and Ibis, as being the only popular mountain bike manufacturers using a truly "integrated" headset (bearing in frame). I'm sure there are a few others, but who are they?

As for INTERNAL / "semi-integrated" / Zero stack (different terms to describe a internal headset with a pressed in cup, a couple points:

Twister, if you read through King's "rant," you'll note the author goes out of his way to differentiate the INTERNAL design from integrated, and acknowledges it is clearly superior. This applies to many frames you've been seeing from Giant / Iron Horse / Jamis / GT and others, since about 2001.

In speaking to Giant's old product manager of a few years back, James Winchester, his observation was that with their switch to Zero Stack, warranty claims for ovalized head tubes "virtually disappeared," and at the same time they gained a substantial increase in strength at the critical head tube junction, due to the large weldable area the oversized diameter head tube provides.

Since my 2001 NRS, my wife and I have owned 4 Zero-Stack frames, and the only headset problem has been a slightly overbored ID on one of them. Other than that, they've been as reliable as any conventional OR threaded headset I've ever owned.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Eclipse here in canada uses them. I dunno if they count as popular although they do about ten times the sales of Ibis (and probably more than Maverick combined with Ibis).
 
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