Chris King DropSet 1 Headset: Rider Review

Rider Review

Chris King makes things that spin well and look stylish, this is no secret. The DropSet 1 sealed bearing headset is no exception. I got the DropSet 1 to fit my Nomad. I believe this version fits all Santa Cruz bikes and many other modern mountain bikes as well. The headset comes in many color options but I chose matte jet for a subtle yet high-quality look.

Chris King DropSet1 Rider Review - Headset


Installation was straightforward. It came with instructions and is basically the same as any other headset installation. The small parts are already placed in order in the package, making the installation idiot proof. The crown race that comes with the package is very simple but clearly very high quality. I lubed it up with some grease and drove it onto the crown of my Fox fork by hitting a capped PVC tube with a rubber mallet. I greased up the bearings and stacked up all of the components in the right order and the installation was complete. One thing to note is that the stack height of the Chris King headset is slightly lower than the Cane Creek headset it replaced, so I had to add an extra 3mm spacer below my stem to maintain equivalent geometry.

Chris King DropSet1 Rider Review - Headset


So far this headset has performed well. It spins nicely and feels solid as a headset should. They say CK bearings wear in and perform better over time rather than wearing out. I am looking forward to experiencing this as I continue to ride it. It is supposedly easy to service the bearings as well. I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Final Impression

Overall, this is probably not a necessary upgrade over most stock headsets. I would think they all spin pretty well. I decided to get this product more as a style feature so that all of the spinning parts on my bike would be Chris King. It definitely looks and performs well so I am happy with the upgrade.

Chris King DropSet 1 Rider Review CTA

February 13, 2019

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