best bmx headset

BMX riders know that the foundation of every good trick and smooth ride lies in the minute details of their bike's components. Among these, the headset - the critical interface between the frame and fork - often goes unnoticed. Yet, its quality can significantly improve your ride.

Choosing the right headset ensures seamless performance, precise steering, and longevity of the bike. Through rigorous testing and feedback from seasoned riders, our team has scoured the market for the best BMX headsets available.

We evaluated build quality, ease of installation, and most importantly, how they enhanced the riding experience.

The standout was the Odyssey Pro Conical. Not only does it boast superior durability and precision, but it's also the top pick among professionals and hobbyists alike.

Dive in to find out more about what makes this headset our number-one choice and learn about other worthy contenders.


Overall best odyssey pro conical headset

Odyssey Pro Conical

  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Precision tapered wedge design
  • Smooth 45º tapered bearings
  • Elegant dust cap design
  • Fits 42mm BMX head tubes
  • Spacer fit issues reported
  • Not ideal for advanced riders
  • Limited annual production
  • Image might differ for bikes
  • Materials could be stronger
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Odyssey Pro Conical Integrated Headset: This top-tier headset showcases a refined dust cap design with a Monogram laser-etched logo, creating an elegant aesthetic. It's specifically tailored for riders who desire a taller setup without the fuss of multiple spacers. High-quality sealed bearings guarantee both smooth movement and durability. A precision tapered wedge ensures the headset remains responsive and tight, even in challenging conditions. The 45º tapered bearings stand out, offering a velvety rotation, ideal for barspins and tailwhips. While many users praise its superior bike handling and seamless bar turns, some note fitting concerns with the conical spacer, and advanced riders might seek sturdier materials.


most durable shadow stacked headset

Shadow Stacked

  • Large dust cap with logo
  • Taller 15mm top cap
  • CNC'd from durable aluminum
  • Sealed bearings, minimal maintenance
  • Compatible with integrated tubes
  • For integrated head tubes only
  • Specific to raised bar trend
  • Mixed brand review averages
  • No distinct unique features
  • Price comparable to other headsets
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The Shadow Conspiracy Stacked Headset stands out for its innovative design, allowing riders to adjust height without multiple spacers thanks to its 15mm top cap. Made from lightweight yet durable 6061-T6 aluminum, this headset offers performance without the heft, perfect for performance-focused riders. It integrates sealed bearings, ensuring minimal maintenance and a smoother ride. Each package includes a washer and varied spacers (2mm, 5mm, 7mm) for added customization. Feedback from riders underscores its game-changing attributes in the BMX world, though individual preferences could differ. Some drawbacks include its suitability for integrated head tubes only and a price point comparable to other brands. Nonetheless, its blend of aesthetics and utility, coupled with its competitive price, makes it a worthy consideration for those eyeing an upgrade or new BMX setup.


BSD Highriser

BSD Highriser

  • Tailored for taller riders
  • High-precision sealed bearings
  • Eliminates the need for extra spacers
  • Three color choices are available
  • Durable CNC'd aluminum construction
  • ​​Might be pricey for some
  • Limited to taller rider focus
  • Not included star nut
  • Only three color options
  • Not gyro compatible
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The BSD Highriser BMX Headset stands as a specialized offering in the BMX sphere, meticulously designed for taller riders. Featuring high-precision sealed bearings and a robust CNC'd aluminum build, the Highriser emphasizes top-tier performance and sleek aesthetics. Distinguishing itself further, this headset is a taller iteration of BSD's standard model, addressing the unique requirements of taller riders with its 15mm high top cap, effectively minimizing the need for additional spacers. Besides its precision-focused engineering, which is vital in BMX where minor adjustments matter, its design is optimized for effortless bar spins. On the aesthetic front, the Highriser presents a neat design adorned with the BSD logo and is available in three color variations: black, raw, and polished. Priced at $27.99, reflecting its premium positioning, the Highriser offers unparalleled value for its construction and tailored design, making it an ideal pick for riders seeking a heightened, clutter-free setup.


Sunday Low Integrated Headset

Sunday Low Integrated Headset

  • Lots of options
  • Reputable brand
  • Matching spacers
  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Not many color options
  • Tall stack height may not be for everyone
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The Sunday Bikes Low Integrated Headset is a testament to the brand's commitment to innovation in BMX equipment since 2005. Catering to riders who yearn for a grounded riding experience, this headset offers a distinct low-profile design in a market dominated by higher headsets. It doesn't go to extremes, maintaining a balance with the inclusion of 3mm and 5mm spacers for tailored adjustments. The headset's quality stands out with high-quality sealed bearings and a precision tapered wedge, ensuring durability and a snug fit. Remarkably, this headset is compatible with both Odyssey Gyros and Snafu Mobeus. With a stylish laser-etched Sunday logo and a lightweight design weighing 2.1 oz without spacers (2.3 oz with them), this product epitomizes a perfect fusion of style, functionality, and quality. Riders can trust this headset for a stylish and dependable BMX experience.


Stay Strong Integrated

Stay Strong Integrated

  • Assorted washers for height customization
  • Stylish cone spacer design
  • Lightweight at 60g/2.1oz
  • Multiple color options are available
  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Simplicity might not suit all
  • The brand is not as prominent as some
  • Potentially limited availability
  • Single size (1 1/8")
  • No mention of material durability
Check Price

The Stay Strong Integrated Headset distinguishes itself in the competitive BMX arena, showcasing a harmonious blend of style and performance. Crafted for those who gravitate towards aesthetics without skimping on functional prowess, this product stands as a testament to Stay Strong's unwavering commitment to quality. Noteworthy attributes encompass top and bottom sealed bearings, a crown race, and a compression washer, all packaged in a weight of merely 60g or 2.1oz. A significant highlight is its collection of thin washers, empowering riders with the flexibility to tweak the headset's height, ensuring an unparalleled ride. Adding to its visual allure, the elegant cone spacer and top cap, embellished with the Stay Strong emblem, uplift its design quotient. With an array of color choices, this headset addresses varied style inclinations. Even though its simplistic design might not strike a chord with everyone and there might be constraints related to its accessibility, the balanced amalgamation of style and adaptability positions the Stay Strong headset as a notable contender for BMX aficionados.

What is a BMX Headset?

diagram image of a bicycle headset

Every bike has a headset, it's an essential part of the steering column. The headset is a rotatable interface between the forks and the stem, throughout the head tube of the frame.

Most headsets are a set of two cups surrounding two sets of bearings. One cup is pressed into the top and bottom of the head tube. These cups hold the bearings in place so the forks can rotate freely.

Types of BMX Headset

There are three types of headsets normally used on BMX bikes: Standard, integrated and internal.

Standard 1-⅛” headsets use two cups that are pressed into the frame. Unlike an internal headset, standard models have smaller and heavier cups. Though they do serve two purposes; the surface for unsealed bearing to ride on and the mating surface for a sealed bearing.

Integrated headsets are opposite and have no cups. Frames that can accept integrated headsets are effectively manufactured with the cup connected to the frame. Then the bearings can just be placed straight into the headtube.

Internal headsets are most similar to the standard version. Cups have to be pressed into the headtube at the top and bottom. The cups are normally larger than those used in standard setups. Once the cups are in your frame it's just a case of sitting the bearing cartridges on top.

Headset Spacers

bmx headset spacer

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BMX headset spacers are small cylindrical or disc-shaped components placed on the steerer tube of a BMX bike's fork, just above the headset bearings and below the stem.

Their primary function is to adjust the height and preload of the stem and handlebars. By adding or removing spacers, riders can fine-tune the handlebar height to achieve a comfortable riding position.

Headset spacers also play a crucial role in ensuring proper headset compression and bearing function. When installed correctly, they help distribute the clamping force evenly across the headset bearings and prevent excessive pressure that could lead to premature wear and damage.

Additionally, headset spacers are used to customize the bike's aesthetics and accommodate various stem lengths. Riders can choose from different sizes and colors to personalize the look of their BMX bike while maintaining optimal functionality.

Headset Bearings

BMX headset bearings are an essential component of any BMX bike. They are responsible for allowing the handlebars to rotate smoothly and easily, making it possible for the rider to steer the bike. The headset bearings are located at the top and bottom of the head tube, and they are designed to withstand the constant wear and tear that comes with BMX riding.

There are two main types of BMX headset bearings: sealed and unsealed. Sealed bearings are the more popular option, as they are designed to keep out dirt and debris, which can cause damage to the bearings over time. Unsealed bearings, on the other hand, require more maintenance and are more prone to damage from dirt and debris.

When choosing BMX headset bearings, it's important to consider the quality of the bearings. High-quality bearings will last longer and require less maintenance, while lower-quality bearings may wear out more quickly and require more frequent replacement. Additionally, it's important to choose the correct size and type of bearings for your specific BMX bike, as using the wrong bearings can cause damage to the bike and affect its performance.

How to Install a BMX Headset

How to Install BMX Headset | SkatePro

Most people opt to use a bike shop when their new headset needs installation. However, some people can't afford a bike shop visit or simply don't live close enough to one.

It's simple enough to do, just a bit more of a pain than some other BMX parts.

This quick tutorial is presuming you have the frame and headset part already in bits.

Start by applying a little grease to your headtube, bearings and headset cups.

Next drop in the headset cups or bearings, depending on your headset type. Some headsets will need pressing in while others just need placing into the headtube.

Do the same thing on the top and bottom of your frame. Whatever method you use on the top will be used on the bottom.

Finally, slide in the fork, C-ring if you have one, and the top cap of your headset. This stuff is all super simple, just make sure your stem is tightened sufficiently.

How to Remove a BMX Headset

Removing a headset is generally a little harder than installing one. With the right tools, it's perfectly possible to do this without the help of a mechanic.

Remove the stem

Start by removing the stem from the fork. Loosen the bolts that hold the stem in place and slide the stem off the fork.

Remove the top cap

Use a 5mm Allen key to loosen the bolt on the top cap. Once the bolt is loose, remove the top cap and set it aside.

Remove the spacers

Take note of the order of the spacers on your headset. Remove the spacers and set them aside.

Remove the fork

Remove the fork from the frame. You may need to use a rubber mallet to tap the fork out of the frame.

Remove the bearings

Use a headset press tool or a long bolt and a couple of nuts to push the bearings out of the frame. Be careful not to damage the frame or the bearings.

Clean the frame

Once the bearings are removed, clean the inside of the frame with a rag and some degreaser.

Remove the bottom race

Use a flathead screwdriver to pry the bottom race off the fork. Be careful not to damage the fork or the race.

What to look for When Buying a BMX Headset

When buying a BMX headset, there are several factors you should consider. Here are some of the most important things to look for:

Headset Type

As you know from earlier in this post, there are multiple types of headsets. Make sure you know the type of headset you buy is the correct one for your BMX frame.

Headset Size

Almost all headsets are now a consistent size, 1" or 1 1/8". It's safe to make sure that your bike is also one of these sizes.


The quality of the bearings in your BMX headset will affect how smoothly the headset turns. Look for high-quality bearings that are durable and smooth.


BMX headsets are usually made from aluminum or steel. Aluminum is lightweight and durable, while steel is heavier but more durable. Consider which material will work best for your riding style.


Choose a reputable brand when buying a BMX headset. Look for brands that are known for producing high-quality components.

Odyssey Pro Conical BMX Headset Review

conical headset from odyssey bmx

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Odyssey Pro Conical Integrated Headset, a top-tier addition from a company that's been leading the way in BMX innovation.

Odyssey has been a quality, reliable brand since their inception in 1985 Norwalk, California. Although their original BMX part was the Gyro, for which they own the trademark, other great BMX parts have flown off their line.

As for the Pro Conical headset, the new dust cap design, complemented by the Monogram laser-etched logo, gives it an elegant aesthetic. What's even more impressive is its functionality — this design caters to those who prefer a taller riding setup without the clutter of many spacers.

Now, if you've had the opportunity to get hands-on with this headset, you'll notice it's built with the same uncompromising quality as the rest of the product lineup.

Those high-quality sealed bearings aren't just for show — they ensure smooth movement and longevity. Couple this with the precision tapered wedge, and you have a headset that remains tight and responsive even under the most demanding conditions.

The 45º tapered bearings deserve a special mention as they offer that velvety-smooth rotation, ideal for those who love barspins and tailwhips.

Reviews speak of how this headset enhances the bike's handling, especially during aggressive maneuvers. For instance, one user mentioned how the bars turned "like butter" after a bit of breaking in. Another complimented its easy setup and solid design.

However, it's essential to note that while the Odyssey Pro Conical offers many benefits, it might not be the universal fit everyone expects. Some users found slight discrepancies with the conical spacer fitting and had to use alternatives.

It's also pointed out that while it serves the majority of the BMX community efficiently, more advanced riders might look for materials designed for heavier-duty tasks.

Pros and Cons:

  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Precision tapered wedge design
  • Smooth 45º tapered bearings
  • Elegant dust cap design
  • Fits 42mm BMX head tubes
  • Spacer fit issues reported
  • Not ideal for advanced riders
  • Limited annual production
  • Image might differ for bikes
  • Materials could be stronger
odyssey pro conical headset and spacers

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Odyssey Pro Conical Specifications:

  • Campagnolo standard spec.
  • 1-1/8 integrated headset
  • 45º tapered bearings
  • 41.8mm outer diameter
  • Fits 42mm BMX head tubes
  • Conical shaped top cap
  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Color matched spacers included
  • 12mm dust cap. With 3mm, and 2mm spacers
  • Laser etched Odyssey bearings
  • Item Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.85 x 2.15 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.22 Pounds
  • Part Number: C-327-BK
  • Model Year: 2013

Odyssey Conical tall intergrated headset explained and review

Shadow Stacked 2024 Headset Review

Shadow Stacked 2024 Headset Image

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The Shadow Conspiracy smartly devised the Stacked Headset. Instead of juggling multiple spacers to get the desired height, riders can now rely on the Stacked's taller 15mm top cap. It's a simple yet ingenious solution, streamlining aesthetics and function.

Diving deeper into its technical features, the headset is CNC'd from 6061-T6 aluminum. This choice of material ensures lightness without compromising on durability, making it a preferred choice for riders who seek performance without the added weight. Furthermore, the integration of sealed bearings is a masterstroke, minimizing maintenance while guaranteeing a smooth ride, which is a must for BMX aficionados.

Yet, it's not just about the build; it's about the overall experience. The Shadow Stacked comes complete with a washer and a set of spacers (2mm, 5mm, 7mm), catering to varying rider preferences and setups. This degree of customization speaks to the brand's deep understanding of rider needs.

But while the product boasts an impressive spec sheet, real-world reviews add a layer of credibility. Scouring through user reviews, it's evident that the Stacked Headset isn't just a product; it's a game-changer. The majority of users praise its design, its performance, and its ability to enhance their BMX experience. However, as with any product, while the average score from The Shadow Conspiracy remains impressive, it's essential to note that individual experiences might vary. Some riders, especially those who prioritize certain unique features, might lean towards other brands or models.

In essence, the Shadow Conspiracy Stacked integrated headset, with its 15mm tall CNC machined top cap, is more than just another BMX component. It's a blend of form and function, designed for riders who refuse to compromise. While the price point sits comfortably within the average range for headsets, considering its features and the brand's reputation, it's clear that it offers value for money. For those considering an upgrade or even a fresh build, the Stacked Headset by The Shadow Conspiracy should definitely be on the radar.

Shadow Stacked Headset

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Pros and Cons:

  • Large dust cap with logo.
  • Taller 15mm top cap.
  • CNC'd from durable aluminum.
  • Sealed bearings, minimal maintenance.
  • Compatible with integrated tubes.
  • For integrated head tubes only.
  • Specific to raised bar trend.
  • Mixed brand review averages.
  • No distinct unique features.
  • Price comparable to other headsets.

Shadow Stacked 2024 Specifications:

  • Cap Height: 15mm
  • Material: 100% CNC, 6061-T6 cap
  • Pack Includes: 2 sealed bearings, top cap, alloy compression washer, 2mm spacer
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Colors: Black, Crimson Rain, Raw Polish, Skeletor Purple

The shadow conspiracy stack integrated bmx headset

Stay Strong Integrated Headset Review

Stay Strong Integrated Headset Image

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In a world where the BMX market is flooded with options, Stay Strong shines through with its straightforward yet elegant integrated headset. Crafted for riders who prioritize both aesthetics and functionality, the headset underscores the brand's commitment to quality and attention to detail.

Stay Strong is no stranger to the BMX community. Their offering of a simple yet highly functional headset showcases the brand's ethos of providing reliable equipment that doesn't skimp on style. The integrated headset, which comes complete with top and bottom sealed bearings, crown race, and a compression washer, is a testament to this commitment. Weighing in at a mere 60g or 2.1oz, the headset strikes a balance between sturdiness and lightness, an essential combination for BMX enthusiasts.

One of the most notable features is its versatility in height adjustment. While most headsets offer limited customization, Stay Strong's headset comes with an assortment of thin washers. This allows riders the flexibility to adjust the height to their preference, an often underappreciated feature that can significantly impact ride quality.

Beyond its functional attributes, what genuinely sets the Stay Strong headset apart is its aesthetics. The stylish cone spacer and the beautifully crafted top cap imprinted with the Stay Strong logo add a touch of elegance to any BMX setup. Moreover, the availability of various color options ensures that riders can choose a hue that resonates with their style, further underlining the brand's understanding of its audience.

Taking a cue from Van Homan, a legend in the BMX sphere, it's clear that while most high-end integrated headsets offer reliable bearings, it's the attention to detail that truly distinguishes them. Stay Strong has excelled in this domain, offering both a visually appealing and highly functional product.

In conclusion, the Stay Strong integrated headset is not just another component; it's a fusion of style and function. For riders looking to enhance their BMX experience, this headset, with its fine-tuning capabilities and aesthetic appeal, is a worthy consideration.

Stay Strong BMX Bike Headset BMX Integrated Headset Stay Strong

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Pros and Cons:

  • Assorted washers for height customization.
  • Stylish cone spacer design.
  • Lightweight at 60g/2.1oz.
  • Multiple color options are available.
  • High-quality sealed bearings.
  • Simplicity might not suit all.
  • The brand is not as prominent as some.
  • Potentially limited availability.
  • Single size (1 1/8").
  • No mention of material durability.

BSD Highriser BMX Headset Review

BSD Highriser BMX Headset Image

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The BMX arena is known for its need for specialized equipment that meets the demands of its riders. BSD's Highriser headset stands out in this field as a high-quality and functionally designed product tailored to taller riders. Its high-precision sealed bearings and CNC'd aluminum construction showcase the brand's commitment to performance without compromising on aesthetics.

BSD's Highriser is a taller version of its standard integrated headset, a response to the community's demand for equipment that caters to taller riders. Such riders often find standard headsets inadequate in meeting their setup needs. The Highriser, with its 15mm high top cap, eliminates the need for extra spacers, thereby providing a cleaner setup underneath the stem.

The focus on precision is evident in the high-quality sealed bearings that ensure smooth and accurate adjustments. This precision is critical, especially in a sport where every millimeter can make a difference. This commitment to precision extends to the headset's design, which is optimized for minimal effort when spinning bars. This feature is a testament to BSD's understanding of BMX riders' needs.

Aesthetically, the Highriser boasts a clean design with the recognizable BSD logo on the top cap. It's available in three color options - black, raw, and polished, allowing riders to choose a design that complements their BMX setup. This visual appeal, combined with its functionality, makes the Highriser a sought-after component in the BMX community.

The product's pricing, at $27.99 (though prices may vary), reflects its premium nature. While some might find it a tad bit pricey, it's essential to note that the value derived from its superior construction, precision, and aesthetics justifies the cost.

In conclusion, the BSD Highriser headset is more than just a component for BMX riders. It's a testament to BSD's commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of its community. For taller riders or those who prefer a heightened setup without the clutter of extra spacers, the Highriser is a perfect choice.

Highriser BMX Bike Headset

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Pros and Cons:

  • Tailored for taller riders.
  • High-precision sealed bearings.
  • Eliminates the need for extra spacers.
  • Three color choices are available.
  • Durable CNC'd aluminum construction.
  • ​​Might be pricey for some.
  • Limited to taller rider focus.
  • Not included star nut.
  • Only three color options.
  • Not gyro compatible.

BSD Highriser Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminium Top Cap 15mm
  • Size: 1 1/8" (28.6mm) Campagnolo 45°x45°
  • Bearing: Sealed Bearing
  • Spacer: No
  • Gyro compatible: Yes

Sunday Low Integrated Headset Review

Sunday Low Integrated Headset Image

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Since its inception in 2005, Sunday Bikes has consistently been at the forefront of BMX innovation. They have repeatedly introduced products that challenge the norm and redefine what BMX equipment can be. Naturally, their integrated headset does not deviate from this trend, presenting a distinctive contribution to BMX headsets.

The BMX community, diverse in its trick repertoire and preferences, has seen a market flooded with high BMX headsets. Yet, Sunday caters to those who prefer the opposite end of the spectrum with their Low Integrated Headset.

This product, tailored for riders who seek a closer, more grounded sensation, doesn't exaggerate its low-profile stance. It tactfully offers 3mm and 5mm spacers, granting riders the flexibility to adjust according to their comfort—another testimony to Sunday's insightful grasp on riders' nuanced preferences.

Quality is paramount. The headset features high-caliber sealed bearings, promising durability and a fluid ride. The precision tapered wedge, a smart inclusion, ensures the headset's firm positioning.

Its compatibility is impressive. Not only is it gyro-friendly, but it's also crafted to effortlessly synchronize with Odyssey Gyros and Snafu Mobeus. The laser-carved Sunday logo gracefully enhances the headset's visual appeal.

On the weight front, Sunday strikes the right balance. Tipping the scale at a mere 2.1 oz without the spacers and 2.3 oz with them, it ensures riders remain agile.

Conclusively, Sunday's Low Integrated Headset is a refreshing introduction in a high-headset-dominated market. It adeptly merges quality, functionality, and aesthetics, assuring riders of a dependable and stylish accessory.

Pros and Cons:

  • Lots of options
  • Reputable brand
  • Matching spacers
  • High-quality sealed bearings
  • Not many color options
  • Tall stack height might not suit everyone

Shadow Stacked 2024 Specifications:

  • New dust cap design: Yes
  • Tall stack height: 12mm
  • Matching spacers: Yes
  • Size: 1 1/8" integrated
  • Bearings: High-quality sealed, 45º tapered
  • Precision tapered wedge: Keeps headset tight
  • Compatibility: Odyssey Gyros and Snafu Mobeus
  • Standard spec: Campagnolo
  • Outer Diameter: 41.8mm
  • Weight w/out Spacers: 2.1 oz.
  • Weight with Spacers: 2.3 oz.

Sunday Integrated Headset

Frequently Asked Questions about BMX Headsets

What does a headset do on a bike?

A bike headset connects the frame's head tube to the front fork, allowing smooth and controlled steering.

It contains bearings that facilitate rotation and absorb road or trail shocks. The headset ensures the fork and frame are aligned, supports the bike's weight, and the rider's, and contributes to stable handling.

What size headset for integrated BMX?

For integrated BMX frames, the most common headset size is 1-1/8" threadless.

What are the disadvantages of integrated headsets?

Wear and Tear on Frame: If the bearings degrade, they can wear into the frame. Repairing this wear can be more complicated and expensive than replacing external cups.

Limited Replacement Options: Choices for replacements or upgrades may be limited to specific sizes or brands that fit the frame's design.

Potential Misalignment: If the frame's head tube isn't manufactured perfectly, it can lead to misalignment issues, affecting steering and bearing lifespan.

Difficult Inspection: With the bearings sitting directly inside the frame, spotting early signs of wear or corrosion can be more challenging.

Compatibility Issues: Not all frames and forks are compatible with integrated headsets, potentially limiting upgrade or customization options.

What's the best headset size for BMX?

BMX bikes predominantly use a 1-1/8" threadless headset.

This size refers to the diameter of the steerer tube and has become the modern standard for BMX.

There are two main types: integrated, where bearings sit directly in the frame, common on newer models, and standard, with press-fit cups for bearings, seen on traditional frames.

How long do headset bearings last?

The lifespan of headset bearings varies based on factors like riding conditions, maintenance frequency, and bearing quality.

Generally, with regular maintenance and under typical riding conditions, headset bearings can last several years.

However, if frequently exposed to harsh elements like mud, rain, or grit without cleaning or if they're of lower quality, they might need replacement within a year or even months.

Can you replace an integrated headset?

Yes, you can replace an integrated headset. Integrated headsets are designed with bearings that sit directly inside recesses (or cups) in the frame.


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