CLASSIC CORNER: Headsets

Classic Corner is for pre-1970 parts and accessories.

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Headsets
Most pre-WWII British bikes used headclip headsets with races that fit into cups which are part of the head lugs. These come in two main versions:
Those to fit steerer tubes which have a reduced external diameter of 31/32in – all BSA and many othersincluding some Brampton
Those to fit steerer tubes which have an external diameter of 1in – all Chater-Lea and many other others including some Brampton. These headclip type headsets mostly used 1/8in ball bearings; a few used larger bearings in the lower races. These are quite rare but I do carry spares for these special lower races. Please enquire if you think you need these special aces.
A few British frames pre WWII used headsets with push-in races and standard 1in threaded steerers but this did not become common until after WWII. Most headsets of this type use 5/32in ball bearings though occasionally 1/8in and 3/16in ball bearings are occasionally specified.

Post-WWII some British bikes continued to use headclip headsets until the mid 1950s but many started to use headsets with push-in races and standard 1in threaded steerers. Most headsets of this type use 5/32in ball bearings though occasionally 1/8in and 3/16in ball bearings are occasionally specified. Good quality English headsets of this type could be specified to suit 20g or 22g head tubes. Those for 20g head tubes which are generally much more common have 30mm insert race diameter. Those for 22g head tubes 30.2–30.4mm insert race diameter. The 20g head tubes spec is essentially the same as the JIS standard and the 22g the same as ISO/Campag…
Stack heights are normally around 32–36mm. Crown race diameter was normally 27.0mm (the same as JIS). However a few used 26.4mm crown races the same as most modern headsets. 27.0mm crown race diameter can be cut down to 26.4mm by any good framebuilder or bikeshop wiith a crown race cutter.

There was also another variant: the top race was screwed but instead of push races they used the same races as the headclips which dropped into the head lugs. Like the headclip sets these almost always used 1/8in ball bearings. These have a very shallow stack height of about 20mm.

Tandem headclip headsets have several different standards set around 1 1/8in steerer tubes but with different lugs; generally they are not interchangeable between makes.

We check the headsets we sell very carefully for pitting or brinelling. All headsets we sell are free of pitting or brinelling unless it is stated otherwise in the description.

I offer some modern headsets with shallow stack heights which can be used on older frames with 26.4mm crown race diameter. I include a couple of suggestions at the bottom of this page.

Headsets are one of the most difficult parts to fit correctly in part because special tools are often needed. We offer a fitting service for £15.



Please contact me at: hilarystone@hilarystone.com to check on availability and confirm shipping cost.

PLEASE NOTE that you get exactly what is in the pictures, not more or less unless specified differently in the text.

 

HEADSETS

HEADCLIP TYPE HEADSETS


CHS6 CHATER-LEA TANDEM HEADSET 1920s for 1 1/8in steerer complete with all races and crown race will only fit tandem frames made for Chater Lea headclips really very unusual £75

 

CHS7 UNBRANDED HEADCLIP for 31/32in STEERER ** New Old Stock** rare size £35 I can supply insert and crown race to match at additional cost

 

BRAMPTON HEADSETS

CHS10A BRAMPTON CONTINENTAL HEADSET 1in 26.4mm crown race 30.2mm insert race diameter None-original lower races Excellent bearing surfaces £55

 

 

STRONGLIGHT HEADSETS


CHS25 STRONGLIGHT V4 1950s/60s 1in 27.0mm crown race 30.2mm insert race diameter 38mm Stack height English threads. V-shaped races with two points of contact on each ball bearing – as a result these are very long lasting but need precise fitting. Excellent but slightly indifferent chrome £69

 

 

TDC HEADSETS

CHS37 TDC 1in 27.0mm crown race 30mm insert race diameter Excellent £55

 

CHS37A TDC 1in 27.0mm crown race 30.2mm insert race diameter Excellent £55

 

CHS38 TDC 1in 27.0mm crown race 30mm insert race diameter PLEASE NOTE 38mm Stack height V-Shape races like Stronglight V4. V-shaped races with two points of contact on each ball bearing – as a result these are very long lasting but need precise fitting. Excellent £65

 

 

OTHER MAKES HEADSET

CHS51 NO-NAME 1in 27.0mm crown race 30.2mm insert race diameter 35mm Stack height ** New Old Stock** £65

 

CHS52 TA PROFESSIONAL 1in 27.0mm crown race 30.2mm insert race diameter 35mm Stack height A rare headset Excellent £145

 

HSF3 CAMPAGNOLO GRAN SPORT HEADSET 2nd TYPE c1959 ** New Old Stock** incredibly rare… £225

 

HS15 TANGE LEVIN 34mm stack height excellent quality traditional looking headset with low stack height 26.4mm crown race diameter with 30.2mm insert race diameter Ideal for use on older British frames though will need crown race seat milling ** New Old Stock** £19

 



HS17 TANGE PASSAGE shiny chrome (pic shows satin chrome, no longer available) ** NEW AND UNUSED** very low 31mm stack height, 26.4mm crown race diameter with 30.2mm insert race diameter £12



Shipping costs:

Headsets
UK: £4
Europe: £7
North America: £10
Rest of World: £12

Bottom Brackets
UK: £4
Europe: £7
North America: £10
Rest of World: £12

The figures above are
estimates, rates may change in
special circimstances.
Contact us for more info.


Click sale images to
enlarge the picture.

 
property of hilary stone