It is very important for a cyclist to keep every part of the bike fully functioning and perfect. And from that point of view, special attention should be paid to the bicycle headset. There are many riders who want to convert their bicycle’s Threaded Headset to Threadless at times. Although this matter is not very easy, it can be done through various serious steps. But I personally would not recommend this.

So today, I will tell you about Headsets. Besides this, I will similarly advise you on several details about the conversion of Threaded Headsets to Threadless, their exact definition, differences, exact headset size, the fitting procedure of a new headset, change & appropriate modification of old threaded headsets. Therefore, browse the detailed dissertation carefully.

Headset Meaning

The headset is a set of components on a bicycle that provides a rotatable interface between the bicycle fork and the head tube of a bicycle frame.

The tube through which the fork driver passes is called the head tube. And, a typical headset consists of two cups that clamp onto the top and bottom of the head tube. Also, there are two cups inside the bearings which provide a low friction contact between the bearing cups and the steer.

Threaded Headset And Its System?

A threaded headset is a headset that screws into all the threads and is closely related to the bicycle fork.

  • Threaded headsets are mostly used in conjunction with bike forks. Because of this, you’ll also find a threaded steerer tube next to it, but mostly on traditional headset types.
  • It consists of 8 parts from the bottom to the top. Those parts are lower bearings, upper race or cone, washer, locknut, lower frame cup, upper bearings, upper frame cup, and crown race.
  • As the Threaded headsets generally work with a cycle’s fork, the threads move a few inches from top to bottom towards whatever fork crown the bike has. It is generally seen that the diameter of the bicycle fork steerer is about 1 inch.
  • Threaded headsets work in conjunction with, and are installed on, whatever threaded fork the bicycle has. Also, a threaded headset can seat all the bearings on the bike in cups that are mostly pressed into the top side of the head tube as well as the bottom side.
  • The steerer tube of the bicycle fork is threaded and a threaded race is attached to the top of the fork with the help of screws. Due to this the bearing on the upper side sticks a lot. This allows you to set a lot of preload during tightening.
  • Threaded headsets are internal most of the time. Underneath the interior design, the raceways and cones are embedded in the head tube, creating a tidy, well-thought-out look. No components are visible except for a plastic ring between the fork crown and head tube and only the locknut protruding from the top of the head tube.

Threadless Headset And Its Structure

The threadless headset is often referred to by Dia-Competition with the registered trademark “Addset”, and is manufactured under license.

  • Unlike threaded headsets, threadless headsets do not race threaded top headsets or use threaded steerer tubes. Instead, the steerer tube extends all the way from the fork through the head tube and over the headset and is held in place by a stamp by stamp at the top.
  • Tightening the threadless headset requires tightening the cap’s preload bolt at the top of the stem. This bolt is attached to a star nut driven into the steerer tube which acts as an anchor by gripping the inside of the steerer tube with a downward force.
  • The bolt compresses the stem into spacers, usually Aluminum, which in turn compress the headset-bearing cups. As the preload bolt does not hold the fork to the bike. So that after the preload is set, the stem bolts should be further tightened to secure the fork in place. The adjustment should be such that there is no play in the bearings but allows the fork to turn smoothly without binding or excessive friction.
  • Spacers in threadless headset systems are critical in placing the stem and preload bolts in the correct position on the steer tube. So, the stack height stem becomes important. And, the steerer tube of the fork should be cut to a length that leaves at least enough of the steerer tube above the headset to press on the stem.
  • But, if the steerer tube is cut longer than the stem, spacers are used to fill the gap between the stem and the conical compression washer.
  • Bicycle racers looking for a better saddle-to-handlebar drop to match the aerodynamic headset bearing cup stack height plus stem height will often cut spacers forefoot and steerer tube. Sometimes it is known as ‘semi-integrated headsets’, ‘internal headsets’ include all the parts of a conventional threadless headset, but locate the bearings inside the head tube rather than outside.
  • Unlike integrated headsets, internal headsets still employ bearings and cups between the frames. Moreover, prominent standards of internal headsets include Chris King’s Inset and Can Creek’s Zero Stack. As you can see that most of the time designs use a 0 mm internal head tube diameter.

Comparison Between Threaded Headsets and Threadless Headsets

Threaded Headsets:

  1. On bicycles that have not been maintained, water can find its way between the threaded headset stem and the steerer tube, causing corrosion and seizure.
  2. Threaded steerer tubes are matched to the frame at the factory, making handlebar height adjustment easy.
  3. It usually uses a classic quill stem that can usually be adjusted vertically over a greater range than threadless headset stems.
  4. These types of headsets have all the modern bearings attached through special manufacture, making cycling more comfortable.
  5. Older people or riders with back problems can easily raise the handlebars of the bicycle to achieve a comfortable and upright cycling position with threaded headsets.

Threadless Headsets:

  1. Threadless steerer tube forks are cheaper for manufacturers because they can be cut to size at the time of sale and manufacturers can use the same fork on different frame sizes.
  2. By comparison, a fork with a threaded steer tube must match the headset tube length of a frame; Therefore, bicycle manufacturers have to make or buy different size forks for each frame size.
  3. A biker can easily use regular Allen wrenches for adjusting threadless headset bearings. By comparison, larger and relatively expensive wrenches are needed to adjust threaded headset bearings; and their size doesn’t usually carry them on the road.
  4. Threadless headsets and forks are faster to install, saving production costs. And also, the fork is slightly lighter than an equivalent threaded headset and fork.
  5. The threadless stem connects more rigidly to the forks, giving improved rigidity to the handlebars.

Can You Change Your Threaded Headset To Threadless?

No dear, you can’t change or replace your threaded headset with a threadless headset. But there are some different types of answers to this topic.

  • Many people think you can change your threaded headset to threadless, but it’s hard. Because most threaded headsets are 1″ in size. On the other hand, most threadless headsets are available in 1 to 1/8″ in size. So naturally, they don’t want to be physically fit with each other.

But one thing you can do when running a threadless stem is to use a converter similar to that. However, you don’t seem to be able to enjoy many benefits in this case.

  • When you think about replacing a threaded headset, it won’t be too easy to swap out the cups that hold the clamps.
  • Besides, you should also replace the bicycle fork at that time. That’s because the fork of a threaded headset will never line up properly with a threadless headset. In this case, you have to get a new stem as well. Also, in some cases, the threaded stems are not long enough to work perfectly with threadless headsets.

Generally speaking, a threaded headset can be converted to a threadless headset in many cases. But it can’t be a simple swap at all. While doing this you will need to replace many parts of the bicycle headset. Sometimes your threaded headset will not convert properly to a threadless headset.

How To Remove An Old Threaded Headset?

When you use a threaded headset it can get old after a long time. If the installation of the headset seems too complicated, you may need to take some special precautions. It is very important to perform each step with extra care.

During the whole process, be careful not to damage your favorite bike’s frame or forks when removing the old threaded headset from your cycle. For your convenience, I am giving step-by-step instructions on how to easily remove an Old Threaded Headset from a bicycle.

Step 01:  Remove The Fork From The Bicycle Frame And Don’t Forget To Remove The Stem As Well.

This is the first step & it can be very easy, also effortful for you. If you unhook your bicycle cable well And then you can properly remove the stem and fork of your bike. Also ensure that all parts of the threaded headset, including the bearings, are thoroughly wiped clean.

  • Now just unscrew the screw carefully and then remove it so that you can adjust the headset properly.
  • And, need to place the two headset cups on the bike frame and a crown race on top of the fork as well.

Step 02:  Grab an RT- 1 Race Tool that will come from Park Tools.

You can use a special tool from the Park to remove the cups of the bicycle headset. But the tool must be correctly inserted into the center of the head tube. Then start, taking care when starting to stick the narrow end first.

  • When you see that the wide end is going inward along the middle of the frame, be sure to push very hard from the sides.
  • Apply pressure so that it easily penetrates the inside of the headtube and expands quickly. You will hear a clicking sound as the headset continues to align with the cup and then lock into place.
  • Now it’s time to properly tap the narrow end of the tool, you can use a hammer to tap. The cup frame on the lower side of the headset should be carefully tapped until it comes out completely.

Step – 03:  Keep Repeating The Process.

Now you have to repeat all the steps of ‘Step – 02’ carefully. But be sure to do this entire process in reverse. So that you can easily remove the upper headset cup.

Step – 04:  Carefully Remove The Crown Race From The Bicycle Fork.

This thing is the crowning race when it comes to finishing the erasure that sits on top of your bike’s fork.

  • Now take a hammer and then a large flat blade screwdriver. The flat blade should be properly aligned along the underside of the crown race and then immediately pressed gently with the help of a hammer.
  • In the case of the Crown Race, work around the entire circumference of the bike, as well as be careful not to bend your fork.
  • After that, you need to loosen the crown race and slide it of
  • Wrap the surrounding areas with a rag while using a screwdriver to avoid any damage to your bike’s fork or crown races.
  • One thing to note is that if this is the case you are using a very expensive fork on the bike. Then be very careful while removing the crown race, especially if the fork is carbon fiber.

Step – 05:  Clean up.

  • Take a piece of cloth.
  • Wipe the bike’s headtube and accompanying fork steerer tube with a rag.
  • Make sure that there is no old grease or dirt left so that everything is clean.
  • Finally, inspect the headtube area of your bike for stress fractures.

Now, Installing A New Threaded Headset

When it comes to installing a new Threaded Headset you will find several special tools that you can use very easily.

If you feel that, don’t want to get into the various modifications for these tools as it may seem too far out of your wallet’s reach. Then you can easily adopt various cheap alternative methods. Nonetheless, you can do this whole new headset installation by using a block of wood and a hammer as well, but that will prevent you from getting the full output.

Moreover, there are many other tools through which this task can be accomplished. If you are in doubt about these things then you can take various suggestions from local bike mechanics. You can also read books related to different types of bike tools.

A new Threaded Headset installation may require these tools.

Installing Steps:

  1. When installing a new threaded headset the bicycle bearings should be installed first. And need to be placed in such a way that the top and also the bottom where the fork of the bicycle will go in must be removed.
  2. In some cases, you will find that the bicycle has bearings integrated into the frame as well. So you don’t have to worry about them falling from the bottom.
  3. Now attach the headset, spacer, and dust cap one by one. On threaded headsets, you will find a threaded bearing race that must fit into the column. You’ll also find a locknut that will attach if it fits into the properly threaded steering column.

Are All Threaded Headsets The Same?

In most cases, threaded headsets used for bicycles are sized by the outer diameter measurement of the steering column. This may seem like a very confusing type to you.

One of the main reasons is that the head cups of the bicycle do not measure up to the nominal value. Because Threaded headset sizes range from 1 inch, 1 to 1/8 inch, and 1 to 1/4 inch.

Thus it makes sense that these headsets have different standards that are often interchangeable. Therefore, it can say that not all threaded headsets are the same.

You May Like: Are All Bike Headsets Universal?

Threaded Headset Sizes That You Need

AspectsFrame Cup (Outside Diameter)Crown Race DiameterSteerer ODThreads (Per Inch)Steerer ID
JIS30.0 mm27.0 mm25.4 mm2422.2 mm (7 Or 8″)
French30.2 mm26.5 mm Or 27.0 mm25.0 mm25.4 (1 mm)22.0 mm
ISO*30.2 mm26.4 mm25.4 mm2422.2 mm (7 Or 8″)
Italian30.2 mm26.5 mm Or 27.0 mm25.4 mm2422.2 mm (7 Or 8″)
Austrian30.8 mm26.7 mm26 mm25.4 (1 mm)22.0 mm
East German30.6 mm26.8 mm (1 to 1/8″)26 mm26 mm22.0 mm

The Last Say

As the headset is an important part of the cycle, it needs to have proper knowledge about this. So today’s detailed discussion about headsets, threaded & threadless headsets, and the differences between them will help you choose the right headset for your bike and maintain them properly.

Moreover, after reading this article you have learned about properly removing a threaded headset, then reattaching a new headset, choosing the right size headset, and many more things. And, this specifically designed comprehensive information is brought only to you through my bike renovation experience, personal cycling, and research to improve your cycling life.

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