What Headset Should You Choose for Your Bike?
The headset on a bike is an essential component, allowing your handlebars to turn, and the bike to change direction while you ride it. All through a ball bearing system. It is formed by different components fitted inside the bike’s head tube and join together the fork and the handlebar stem.
Changing your headset may seem a difficult, doubt-plagued process – there are many different typologies and measures. It’s thus essential to know the kind of headset that is compatible with your bike.
It’s also important to give your headset regular maintenance in order that it works properly. In other words, it should be unassembled, cleaned and greased frequently.
Different types of headset
Depending on their threading system and how the bearings are placed, headsets can fall into one of these four categories:
- Threaded headsets: This kind of headset is used nowadays on low-end bikes, and are less and less common. Threaded headsets’ bowls are fitted with nuts that help get it installed onto the fork tube. In this kind of headset, the handlebar isn’t directly attached to the fork – allowing the cyclist to choose their handlebars’ height.
- Ahead headsets:They are the most common kind since years ago. Bearings are located in bowls external to the headtube, and aren’t fitted with nuts. In order to adjust them, you only need to tighten the screw on top of the headset.
- Integrated headsets: Similar to ahead headsets, their bearings are located inside the headset itself, with no bowls. They are the smallest, lightest headsets..
- Semi-integrated headsets: Their bearings don’t exceed the headset’s external diameter and are adjusted similarly to ahead and integrated headsets.
Choose the right cap, claw and spacers for your bike
These are the key components of a properly functioning headset:
- Headset caps: Used to protect the top part of the headset. They come in many colors. Install one on top of your stem to protect it and give it a unique style.
- Headset claws: They are threaded inside the headset tube and are adjusted through a screw located inside the headset itself.
Headset spacers: Inserts installed under the headset in order to raise the handlebars and correctly adjust them to the cyclist’s height and position on the bike. There are different spacers with varying diameters and thickness.