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  1. #1
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    Headset advice please

    I just bought an above-average quality Chinese carbon frame (Massimo Course 6.2) and it came with a cheap headset virtually identical to this; Wholesale! Full Carbon Fiber Bicycle Headset Up 1 1/8 Down 1 1/2 Bicycle Parts, Pinarello Road Bike Frame. Bicycle headset-in Bicycle Headset from Sports & Entertainment on Aliexpress.com
    I am seriously tempted to splurge on a Chris King inset headset instead like this;
    Chris King® InSet™ 2 GripLock™ Headset - Tapered (I2) - Red
    Free Shipping Worldwide: Chris King InSet™ 2 Headsets • AVT - Aspire VeloTech - Chris King World's Largest Dealer


    Now granted, paying $160 for a headset to be installed on a $590 frame seems like putting a silk dress on a pig, but I hate cheap crap (and again, my frame is delivered and having seen a lot of cheap frames, this one is well above the average), so what would you do? I must admit that I have a Torelli Selvio that came with a cheap inset headset and through three seasons of very rough use it has been fine. Any advice is welcome.

  2. #2
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    I would have to agree that it seems overkill just from a headset vs. frame price perspective. But if you have the money, go for it. I have zero regrets about putting King headsets on both of my bikes. Of course not really knowing the real quality and longevity of the frame, most likely the King will outlast the frame. And then you can pull it out and put it on your next bike because these things last and last.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet.zombie.jesus View Post
    So, it's so "above-average" that you're ashamed to show us with a url what the frame looks like? or for us to know what grade carbon was used to make it so "above-average"? I'm curious to know what frame(s) you consider "average".

    You don't have to look long on forums.roadbikereview.com to find hundreds of sincere endorsements for that very same "cheap headset".

    And by the by: I never liked Sonic Youth. Compared to The Pixies and Pavement and others of that ilk, they always sounded below average. Cheap, even.
    1)The frame was not the subject of the inquiry so there was no reason to list a URL for it. Google it. You can do it.
    2)FSonicSMITH, not Sonic Youth, "Sweet Zombie Jesus". Obviously, you are confused and obviously you are not very versed in rock and roll history. Fred Sonic Smith was in the band MC5 of "Kick Out the Jams Mother ****er" fame and married to Patti Smith.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    These types of bike barely have a headset in the traditional sense anymore. Use the headset it came with. It'll likely last the life of the bike. King is great stuff but now that so many proprietary bikes come with contact-sealed cartridge bearings, premium upgrades are usually unnecessary. Good BB bearings are worthwhile but also easy to pull out and replace if the stockers go bad.
    Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane - Best climb name ever.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidka View Post
    These types of bike barely have a headset in the traditional sense anymore. Use the headset it came with. It'll likely last the life of the bike. King is great stuff but now that so many proprietary bikes come with contact-sealed cartridge bearings, premium upgrades are usually unnecessary. Good BB bearings are worthwhile but also easy to pull out and replace if the stockers go bad.
    This is what I kind of intuitively knew but I am hung on this-don't the inset cups matter at all? They must be of far lesser quality than King and yet as I said in my OP, they do seem to get the job done and last forever despite hard use. Regardless, great response-thank you.

  7. #7
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    It really depends on the frame. The headset photo looks like bearings which would rest on permanent faces/cups in the frame. If that is the case, you can't change those. They'll either be carbon or aluminum that is bonded in place. The King headset you posted is probably not compatible with your frame.

    I do love the King stuff. I still have an old one (before they put logos on them) that's been in 5 frames. Just waiting for the day I have an older frame to use it with again.
    Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane - Best climb name ever.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet.zombie.jesus View Post
    Fair enough. But you have to expect that if you "big-up" a frame on a bike forum like you did, people are gonna be curious to see whatever it is you're raving about. People might want to get in on a piece of the action.

    I'm still not getting whatever it is that has convinced you that this frame is "above average".


    Is it this?




    Or maybe this?



    To me, "average" for a carbon frame is a frame made of Toray T700, T800 grade carbon. 95% of the frames you'll find mentioned here are T700/T800. Typically, frame sellers who want to stress the distinction that their frame is "above average" will have plastered all over their marketing stuff, "Toray T1000" or whatever the other "above average" grade carbon is ("M" something or another; google it; you can do it); So, since kellisa isn't all that transparent about what grade carbon the frame is made of, I'm not convinced that it is any better than the "average" T700 grade carbon.

    Don't get me wrong! I think it is a stunning looking frame! Very good quality I'm sure. But it has an "average" weight; it is [more than likely] made from "average" grade carbon; and it sells for an "average" price. But "average" ain't a bad thing! You could do a lot worse.




    who cares?
    My assessment that it is "above average" is based upon looking at it "in hand" and seeing that it is well constructed and finished. Very smooth lines everywhere. This is relative to all the junky frames one sees on Alibaba and Aliexpress. This will be my third el-cheapo carbon frame that I have raced on, and I also have a top-end but outdated Bianchi and a 2011 Madone 6.9. Guess what-they don't ride very differently and to the extent they do, it is minor and mostly involves fit. All that said, I hate rough finish work. I am a steel guy at heart. Carbon is all "temporary" in my book, but it is light and serves a purpose.

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