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July 31, 2018 3 min read

After making the very best pressed-in headsets for over 40 years, Chris King is releasing the DropSet 1, the first Chris King integrated headset. This project started from the ground up, beginning with testing to analyze the forces at play in an integrated vs a pressed-in headset design, and discovering the unique problems that needed to be addressed.

The most significant challenge to overcome is that integrated bearings are not pressed into a cup and sit loosely in the frame. When bearings are not pressed securely into a cup they shift and move, rapidly losing preload. As preload drops, the bearings are more susceptible to creaking, damage, and failure.

Enter, Chris King's patented GripLock bearing cap. The tried and tested GripLock, is a patented design that preloads the headset independently of clamping onto the steerer. The GripLock design ensures that the Chris King DropSet 1 retains preload far better than the competition and is impervious to the ill effects of load spikes from large hits and heavy braking. This means smoother steering, no more creaking, and a longer lasting headset.

When tested under normal riding conditions, the DropSet 1 with GripLock retains significantly more preload than the competition! The benefit is even more dramatic when heavy braking and big hits are encountered. The griplock design also takes the guessing out of preloading a headset. Because the bearing preload force is independent of the clamping force, our headsets can be preloaded to a torque spec. No more guessing and under preloading the bearings.

Additionally the DropSet 1 is available in steel or ceramic bearings. This is the first time that Chris King have offered a ceramic bearing headset. With the increased abuse that an integrated headset must endure the aim is to provide every possible advantage. Ceramic is a self lubricating and non-galling material that will be even more durable in wet and corrosive conditions than stainless steel bearings. These durable properties will decrease service intervals and increase longevity in even the most abrasive riding conditions.

Chris King made this first DropSet 1 an IS41/28.6 Upper, IS52/40 Lower. With a plenitude of shifting and abandoned integrated bearing sizes in the market, it was not an easy decision. To decide which bearings we should make we turned to brands that have held to reliable specifications and used them across their lines making it easier for bike shops to support and consumers to find what they need. Santa Cruz, Yeti, and Alchemy are all brands that have held to component standards making it easy for consumers and shops. All three use the IS41/28.6 Upper, IS52/40 Lower with 45 degree bearing seat headsets on their bikes with integrated headsets making them a perfect match for the DropSet 1.

To top off the performance a durability benefits, the DropSet 1 is available in all of Chris King's beautifully anodized colors and finishes. With the launch of this headset we are excited to bring CK's renowned quality and reliability to integrated headsets.

Pricing: $125 Stainless Steel, $245 Ceramic

Available to Pre-Order now with shipping from August 15, 2018.

  • Patented GripLock design
  • 10-year built-to-last warranty (the same as every Chris King headset)
  • Legendary Chris King made-in-house bearings. 41.0mm 45/45, 52.0mm 45/45
  • S.H.I.S. IS41/28.6 Upper Bearing, IS52/40 Lower Bearing
  • Available in all 9 stock colors

DropSet 1 Fits:

Santa Cruz, Yeti, Alchemy, All City, Ibis.

Please contact us for more info on potential fitments.



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