Evans Cycles
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The headset is the set of bearings that sits within the head tube at the front end of the bike frame. The forks pass through the headset, allowing them to turn freely and the bike to be steered.

There are two types of headset. Traditional headsets were threaded onto the fork steerer, but more common now is an ‘A-Headset’ design, where the steerer tube passes through and is clamped in place with the stem. Headsets are sized according to the diameter of the fork steerer tube. Sizes exist from 1 inch through to 1.5 inch, with the most common being 1 1/8 inch, but if you’re not which size your bike requires then check with your local Evans store.

Basic headsets use individual, steel ball bearings held in a concave steel race but many recent designs benefit from the use of sealed cartridge style bearings with a longer service life. If you’re buying a headset for a mountain bike, then it’s best to choose a model with high quality seals to resist the constant attack from dirt and moisture. Stainless steel bearing races or housings are more expensive but potentially prolong service life further as even if water finds its way in, they will not rust.

Headsets come in three forms; integrated, semi-integrated and external (or standard). The type you require depends on your frame design, according to where the bearings sit. External cups house the bearings completely on the outside of the head tube whereas integrated systems locate the bearings within the frame. Again if you are unsure which fitment is required ask your local Evans Cycles bike shop for advice.
This story was last updated on 17/01/2012