Chris King woes

2manyoranges

Senior Retro Guru
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ah....don't get me wrong, it's clear that Chris King really is an excellent company - the ethos, the metal and oil recovery, the shift pattern of the workers etc. And its genuinely great that it is a domestic employer for its major market. That's all incredibly good. And the headset in the Stanton probably would have gone on for a great deal longer despite the poor installation by the original owner. But the reality is that you have to close down the bike to replace the bearings. Not so with Hope. And Hope similarly are a great domestic manufacturing success for England - with the additional asset that it only takes 10 minutes to replace the bearings. And I've had many a helpful discussion with the tech guys at Hope over replacement and maintenance, they are good people. And their maintenance videos are a very good service.
 

al-onestare

Kona Fan
2manyoranges":ogxf5gcp said:
ah....don't get me wrong, it's clear that Chris King really is an excellent company - the ethos, the metal and oil recovery, the shift pattern of the workers etc. And its genuinely great that it is a domestic employer for its major market. That's all incredibly good. And the headset in the Stanton probably would have gone on for a great deal longer despite the poor installation by the original owner. But the reality is that you have to close down the bike to replace the bearings. Not so with Hope. And Hope similarly are a great domestic manufacturing success for England - with the additional asset that it only takes 10 minutes to replace the bearings. And I've had many a helpful discussion with the tech guys at Hope over replacement and maintenance, they are good people. And their maintenance videos are a very good service.

No-one's doubting Hope's service or quality of product.

Your original and subsequent posts indicating there's an issue with the headset design is crazy when a) the lies with the previous owners poor installation and subsequent lack of maintenance and b) after a forced removal, the headset still worked, thereby demonstrating the quality of the product!

To suggest that CK should have some sort of Europe/UK based service centre is wishful at best. To indicate displeasure or woes to CK because the previous owner f8cked up and the design - that's worked for years and years - caused an issue upon removal because of the owners error is bizarre.
 

2manyoranges

Senior Retro Guru
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Re:

Hang on a minute...

‘Bizarre’
‘Suggest european service centre’

Bit over the top and not what I implied.

Any headset where you need to remove the cup and return to the manufacturer means downtime for the bike, whether that’s sending it to Lancashire, Ohio, or Cotbus. That’s ALL I am saying. If you can plan for doing that, then it’s fine. I can, since we have a silly number of bikes in the household. But others can’t. So if you notice your headset is stuffed doing a Yorkshire enduro race, it’s quite useful to slip in a new bearing before next Saturday’s race. That’s all. Really - that’s true and it’s what I said.

Flushing CK bearings properly takes a lot more than the service video and instructions state, since you can only get to one side of the bearings. An airline does the job fine, but otherwise it takes meticulous hours of patience. And not everyone has a compressor. I don’t. The same is true of any bearing where you can flip the seal and only get to one side, it’s not restricted to CK. But that’s the real world.

I stated very clearly that it was an installation error. Agreed. CK are brilliantly made and function wonderfully. I will be keeping mine, and I hope that fully serviced I will get years more service out of it. New clip ring and rubber seal arrived Saturday, and Winstanley’s hopefully will come up with a new Griplock collar, top race and top cap. Not relying on that though, since they have let me down a number of times with ‘stock with supplier’. Do CK deserve their reputation? Yes. Do they have very loyal consumers? Yes. Should we still look at them realistically...er yes.
 

kaydee

Devout Dirtbag
Interesting I have two bikes fitted with CK and Two fitted with Hope ,They are all 10 years old plus,I recently changed a couple of set of forks and both the CKs and the HOPES were like new inside,clean ,no bearing play.Very impressed with both.More so with the hope as they cost quite a bit less new,both excellent.
all the best
 

Prodigal Son

Retro Guru
There are other headsets. Cane creek, White industries, Phil Wood. Those on the upper end. Mid priced headsets are also very good.
King is a bit like Rolex. Everyone admires a Rolex but there are other options.
 

2manyoranges

Senior Retro Guru
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Good reminder. Gosh you have taken me back. I have fitted Mavic (10/10), Contax (9/10), Onza Mk1 Mongo (minus4000/10), Shimano (variable/10), FSA (8/10), King (10/10), Hope (10/10), Ritchey (2/10-9/10), Stronglight (7/10) and Cane Creek (9/10) and a few no name bits of tat.

Actually, the most stand out - ‘....goes in and is smoother than anything else I have ever installed...’ - was a recent instal into a Spesh P2 aluminium jump bike frame. Not only was the headtube faced brilliantly and thicker than a piece of Victorian down pipe - a good substrate to work with - the FSA DH Fat Pig headset was the slickest, smoothest thing I have put in. Carefully installed with a press, a and then adjusted for zero play, with the frame sitting in the workstand, the forks went round and round like they were on an air bearing, spinning and spinning. Really excellent. And they since have been subjected to extreme prejudice in the bike park. Well done FSA.
 

TheAntsPants

Devout Dirtbag
I'd agree that CK has some design flaws that it offsets through incredible manufacturing. Needing to return the whole headset to replace bearings, ie not user serviceable is quite crazy, except that the headset is so well made that the bearings hardly ever need replacing. Another "problem" is that it relies on super tight tolerances which means that it relies on a perfectly faced headtube, instead of using a self-centring mechanism like other headsets. Again, fine when it's so expensive that it will usually go on a properly prepped frame. Lastly, as ishaw points out, it does seem to damage steerer tubes too.

Personally, I appreciate good design over tight tolerances, but you really need both good design and good manufacturing for the perfect product.

I'd be keen to hear of experiences with other headsets (1 1/:cool: that match or better CK, especially cane creek, of which I've heard good things.
 

Tad

Retrobike Rider
Gold Trader
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Cane Creek 110 headsets are well worth a look, on a par with Hope & CK. The only down side to them is the snob factor, cane creek make cheap headsets, medium range as well as the high end 110. CK, well they make CK headsets.
 

2manyoranges

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Tad - good point re 110. Cane Creek are beginning to look like Skoda - originally associated with lower end products but then sanctioned by VAG to move up the market with better and better products, until they were seen as very desirable things. The 110 is beginning to hustle on the heels of top end suppliers like CK...
 
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