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One inch threaded headsets are increasingly close to extinction on new bikes but this one might come to the rescue of older mid range winter trainers, crossers and commu-tourers needing a cheap but fairly cheerful replacement.
The nine-piece alloy construction keeps the weight low and styling is reminiscent of Stronglight’s venerable A9 unit but the Acor requires careful installation to avoid damage, especially to the crown race. A moderate 37.5mm stack height means it should fit all but the most shallow of steerers.
Costs are cut a bit by running on a hybrid of caged ball and needle roller bearings. Needle rollers top and bottom would be an obvious upgrade, although setting them loose in a bed of thick marine grease is a notable improvement.
After riding in all weathers without guards for six weeks, it was reassuring to discover the basic seals offered reasonable protection from dirt and ingress, although machines in hard service-especially cyclo cross and mountain bikes – should fit a boot around the lower race as extra insurance.
There are better designs on the market but upgrading the bearings and with regular servicing it makes a worthy replacement for older, mid range road bikes now earning their keep as winter trainers and fixer conversions.
Lightweight and reasonably serviceable alloy headset for older, mid range machines.
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Make and model: Acor One inch Headset
Size tested: One inch
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It is a one inch threaded alloy headset to cater for old fashioned threaded steerers and the resurgence in popularity of fixer conversions may see this niche make a small but noticeable comeback. My initial feelings were that this was a copy of Stronglight's venerable A9
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
With a moderate 37mm stack height and weighing 89 grams, it should accomodate most threaded steerers aside from those cut for Shimano, the upper race are relatively cheap caged ball bearings whilst the lower are more dependable needle roller cartridge type.
Inexpensive and fairly cheerful.
Surprisingly effective, if slightly basic weather seals keep the elements at bay and with a liberal re-greasing bearings feel reassuringly smooth.
Generally fine but care needs to be taken when installing as crown race in particular is easily damaged.
Inexpensive but there are models sporting two sets of needle roller bearings for about a fiver more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performs reasonably well, is easily serviced but some tweaking and a stout grease is required to get the best from it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, classic design and reasonable weather seals.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cheap, caged ball bearings and soft crown race.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, minor niggles aside
Would you consider buying the product? For old, mid range cro-moly bikes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)