Opinions on cheap Brand-X headsets on CRC? (Looking for IS42/52 45x45)
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Opinions on cheap Brand-X headsets on CRC? (Looking for IS42/52 45x45)

    Long story short, I'm planning on installing a Lauf Grit SL fork on my upcoming gravel build, but the Grit SL has an integrated 45deg carbon race, and Cane Creek's headset kits are all 36x45. The only quality IS42/28.6 + IS52/40 headset kit i could find in 45x45 was the Chris King Dropset 2, which is a whopping 125 bucks for not all that much imho (and definitely overkill for my uses).

    I say it's a "gravel bike," but in reality, all it is is a fancy adventure bike for me to explore and ride around the shitty roads of chicago more comfortably, so the bike won't be getting any powerwashes or intense mud-sprays.

    I couldn't help but notice CRC has the Brand-X headset which is in Campy style tapers, which would be perfect if not for the fact that I can't even find an official website for "Brand-X". I assume they're just another brand that stamps their name on OEM chinese parts such as neco headsets. I'm trying to stay away from that kind of garbage since it's an expensive fork, but I don't seem to have many cost-effective options.

    What do you guys think? Should I just go for the cheap Brand-X?

    Would the quality of my headset matter that much given the light riding I'm giving it? I don't want whats known as steerer tube 'banding' where an imperfect headset fit causes the compression ring/wedge to grind a groove into the steerer tube.

    What other options do I have? Buying a complete headset, then buying a replacement bearing for the lower race?

    Have I overlooked any quality headsets that meet my needs?

    Heres what I need exactly:
    IS42/28.6 in either 36x45 or 45x45
    IS52/40 in ONLY 45x45


    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by hihihi8; 07-18-2019 at 11:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Without commenting on any particular specific headset, I can't think of one problem I've ever had with any headset, cheap or expensive, over nearly 50 years. Of all the bearing set on a bike, the headset is probably the last thing I'd worry about.
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  3. #3
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Without commenting on any particular specific headset, I can't think of one problem I've ever had with any headset, cheap or expensive, over nearly 50 years. Of all the bearing set on a bike, the headset is probably the last thing I'd worry about.
    Agree. Headsets just don't have a lot to do, relatively speaking, and even worn, maladjusted headsets will usually turn.

    Having said that, I just took an ancient Raleigh into the shop for a new headset. The old one's races were (false) brinnelled pretty badly, and I also didn't have the 42mm headset wrench needed for the old adjusting race. But I think this might be maybe the second time I've had to replace a worn-out headset in my forty-odd years of cycling.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Without commenting on any particular specific headset, I can't think of one problem I've ever had with any headset, cheap or expensive, over nearly 50 years. Of all the bearing set on a bike, the headset is probably the last thing I'd worry about.
    In loose bearing headsets, fretting (often incorrectly called brinelling) of the races can result in the dreaded "index steering" where the bike becomes hard to ride no-handed because the headset gets "stuck" in the dents. A bit of a pain but not a serious problem.

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