What are headsets?
Your bike’s headset is the pivot point between the fork and frame – it’s essentially a set of bearings that allows the fork to turn freely when you move the handlebars.
Who needs a headset?
Although you can sometimes just replace the bearings in your headset when they wear out, sometimes it can be cheaper and more economical to just replace the whole headset.
What are the choices?
Older-style bike have a traditional quill headset, which grips an L-shaped stem that slots or threads straight into the steerer tube. Most modern bikes have an aheadset, though, which the stem sits on top of and clamps the steerer tube. Headsets can be external, integrated or internal, depending on how the bearings fit around or inside the frame’s head tube. You will need to get the right sort to fit your frame.
What should I buy with them?
Headsets usually need a bit of quality bike grease when you fit them, so don’t forget to buy it. They also need expensive headset pressing tools, so it might be best to get your local bike mechanic to fit your new headset.
Under no circumstances should you try to fit a new headset without the right tools. You could cause damage that writes off your valuable bike frame.
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