When you've got a product that is as good as Chris King's NoThreadset you don't have to make changes to it very often, but that doesn't excuse it from upgrades when they might make it a better headset. So this NoThreadset 1-1/8" Headset w/ GripLock is better than ever before. You might be asking, "how is this possible?" We've stated before that Chris King makes the best headsets on the planet. Well, competition breeds innovation and change, and GripLock is the result.
On the top, Chris King's GripLock upper bearing cap uses a new compression design. This assembly replaces the older style, one-piece bearing cap that contained the O-ring. Instead, GripLock uses a split compression ring to center the steerer tube in the upper bearing, and when you preload the assembly, the split ring provides additional surface area against the steerer for a more secure and safer interface, especially on carbon fiber steerer tubes. Otherwise this is exactly the same Chris King 1-1/8" NoThreadset that you know and love. It still uses the same in-house manufactured sealed cartridge bearings. They’re fully serviceable, and they’re made from surgical grade stainless steel. The constant contact seals you get on a King are easily removed to allow for user servicing, yet provide an impervious barrier to the worst grit and grime of riding.
The Chris King NoThreadset 1-1/8" Headset w/ GripLock is available in a variety of highly polished and anodized colors. It fits frames with a 1-1/8" (34mm ID) straight head tube and forks with a 1-1/8" straight steerer tubes. Chris King Headsets have a 10 year warranty against manufacturing defects.
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I've used Chris King before, as bike shop folks who mostly road bike recommended them based on the quality. The old design simply did not work well with long-travel forks and aggressive riding, and loosened constantly. Now that certain patents have expired, CK has smartly added a compression ring, and all is well. This is a beautiful piece of hardware, and made in America by an awesome company. But, for 99% of the performance and half the price, I'd still go with a CC 40.
If you have built up as many bikes as a non-LBS mechanic and used alot of manufacturers then once you use the CK headsets you will know what the greatest is! So silky smooth it is insane and easy to install. Expensive.............depends on what you consider expensive to be quite honest. If you want a lifetime headset then spend the few extra bucks and get the best or you can keep replacing the "el-cheapos" every few years.
This headset can't be beat, nor matched. There is nothing else like it. There may be other headsets that last nearly as long, and sell for nearly the price, but they don't look this good when they bookend your head tube.
Have the CK nothreadset on my road bike and mountain bike. Have not touched the headset on my mountain bike in 6 years and the steering is as smooth as buttah! Picked up the black sotto voce for a stealthy look on my road bike. Even though it's more expensive than other headsets on the market, the price is completely worth it. Just put this on your bike and you can forget about thinking about this component for a long time.
Yes, it will fit, however, Specialized was known to ream their headtubes out slightly larger than spec for a 1 1/8" in that era, and I have seen CK headsets literally fall out of the head tube. This was mostly due to the very exact tolerances that CK adheres to. They did make a Specialized-specific 1 1/8" headset to remedy this issue, and it's likely available via special order from any quality bike shop. I believe it is (or was) only offered in black.