The Guide on Bike Headset

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Have you realised what helps you steer and turn your bicycle? The headset is the component that connects to the steer of the fork and fits into the head tube of the bike frame.

Purpose of the headset in the bike

To precise the need for the headset, below are the three main points to note:

  • The headset is the part that helps the fork steererrotates inside the head tube frame.
  • Headset conveys the bike of any rotational changes you do at the upper body
  • The common type of headset found in modern bikes is the threadless headset.

The headset holds the fork in place securely to the bike frame and allows the rotation motion in the steer. The rotation for steering helps in surviving the riding loads. Headset is the component that connects to the steer of the fork and fits into the head tube of the bike frame.

Yet, one of the most unattended components in a bicycle could be a headset. It serves the most essential function in a bicycle. The proper working of the headset depends on how it is adjusted and maintained accurately. Ignoring this essential part will lead to premature wear and tear; cause irritating noise, and frame damage apart from poor handling. Ensure to read the bike headset guide when you plan to purchase a new one. 

Types of headsets

There are mainly two types of headsets.

  1. Threadless Headset Used In The Modern Bikes

A threadless headset can be joined, placed internal, and external to the bike. The modern ones have a bearing that is fitted directly into the frame.

The more manageable and superior design is the threadless headset, which is easier to service. The repair and maintaince is easy with the use of standard tools. The threadless headset also has the bearing fitted at the top and bottom parts of the head tube, and the crown race sits at the bottom of the steer tube. But, in the threadless headset, the fork is not attached to the headset. Instead, it is clamped to the steer extension from the head tube using a stem.

  • Conventional Threaded Headset Used In The Traditional Bikes

Threaded headsets were the most common type in the older retro bicycles. Threaded ones are generally found in the expensive bikes, touring bikes, track bikes, apart from the older versions.

Most of the headset is a combination of multiple components that are majorly hidden inside on the top and bottom of the head tube, held up in pressed cups.

The term threaded refers to the threading on the external at the top of the fork steering. The top bearing race will have the internal threading and thread lock-nut to be held in place. Top race has a bearing cap that is sealed to protect the bearings from dust and debris.

Disadvantage of threaded headset is that the multiple overlapping of the components in the threaded headset causes an increase in bike weight.

Outer diameter of the steering column determines the size of the headset in a bike. Most of the headsets are not interchangeable.

The difficulty with the threaded headset is that it tends to undo itself. Hence, it should take proper care. And regular maintenance and servicing are essential.

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