17 September, 2008

Grand Cru Sealed Bearing Headsets

The goal was to make an absolutely top-of-the-line 1" threaded silver headset. It took a few tries and a larger minimum order than we would have liked, but we think the result was worthwhile. look at the details:

  • Over-sized sealed bearings
  • Alloy construction
  • A discrete logo; no huge and garish lettering
  • The bearings can be replaced by simply dropping them into place, not be pressed in.
  • The fork crown race is split so it slides on without tools. (ISO, 26.4mm)
  • Rubber seal on the lock nut

This is a $40 headset that we feel is comparable to some that cost two, or even three, times as much. I'm proud of this component.

Also, we now have the $19 VO loose-ball headsets in both JIS and ISO sizes.


Anonymous said...

Nice piece. I could see one on my bike. What's with the split fork crown race? I would think that would let in dirt, allow some movement between race and bearings that would accelerate wear.
Other than that, thumbs up!


C said...

Split crown races are not a problem. While the potential issues you mention do make sense I've yet to see them occur.

Anonymous said...

Presumably the actual race is part of the replaceable sealed bearing, and the split race is effectively just a spacer?

What's the stack height on these?

Velo Orange said...

armb, Exactly! The stack height is 41mm.

Gunnar Berg said...

Nice. At what point is the following phrase obsolete?

A blog about bicycles, cyclo-touring, and a little company

Anonymous said...

This headset almost makes me sorry my 25 year old Tange Levin is holding up so well! :D

dori said...

Hi Chris, nice work. Are they ball bearings or tapered?

Hank said...

Any chance of a 1" threadless version (or just an upper race to convert it)?

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

The split "race" is a very nice feature on some higher end threadless headsets. There is no need to have to force it on the steer tube since it is not a bearing race. Any headset that uses cartridge bearings (commonly referred to as "sealed" bearings) can make use of the feature. I have wondered why they don't all use it.

Anyway, that is quite an achievement, Chris! Lovely piece and as you say, the price is great.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Nicely done. I second the request for a threadless upper. But really, the 1" threadless set was sort of a transitional item, so maybe it wouldn't be worth the effort to make and stock 'em. Having typed that, I wonder now if it is true.

Does filing out the threads work? I know GP wrote about it once, but has anyone else tried it?

Anonymous said...

Will the new headset fit a 27.00mm crown diameter? I am wondering because this headset looks like a better version than shimano offering.


Stephen Simon

Tom said...

Velo Orange stocks 27.0 JIS headsets in the traditional caged bearing version, which is a fine headset in it's own right. If we could presell 300 JIS sealed bearing headsets we might think about stocking it. Realistically, there is not much of a need for a high end sealed bearing JIS headset these days.

Anonymous said...

can the logo be removed. i refuse to ride a headset with a logo. king no logo was my choice before but king wants the billboard now. thx superfreak

Hank said...

The logo appears to be etched on, so no, it's not removable by ordinary means (extraordinary means would be sanding down the surrounding area and re-polishing the whole thing from scratch).

Paul L. Nelson said...

I have the VO Grand and I am very uncertain about application of the crown split race because it does not fit well on the fork. I have a Surly Cross Check frame with fork.

The sealed bearing actually fits well on the form without the crown race. If I apply the split crown race, it becomes too large to fit in the bearing.

Any thought or help?

VeloOrange said...

Hey Paul,

Shoot us an email so we can get you set up!


Bearing said...

what kind of bearing is this?