If you like the look of Chris King's Titanium No Threadset but don't fancy shelling out 200 of your hard-earned pounds, then look no further than Spin's Bling Ti which you can have for half that. And it's beautifully made to boot. Spin describe it as "the finest headset in the world"; I don't think I'd go that far but it's pretty good.
It looks quite a lot like a Chris King headset, this; the shape is similar. Inside it runs on standard sized angular contact bearings that should be easy and cheap to replace when they run out. The body's machined from 6Al/4V Titanium and you get a matching top cap and a star-fangled nut thrown in, although Spin like everyone else recommend an expander wedge for carbon steerers.
Fitting's a piece of cake. The hardest part - setting the crown race - is rendered a one-hand job by the fact that it's a split ring. I've no idea why all headsets with cartridge bearings don't come with a split crown race, to be honest. The Spin race fits Chris King headests too, and Spin told us that they sell as many split races to Chris King owners as they do anything else. The cups can be fitted with a standard headset press. there's an O-ring in the bearing cap to stop water getting in, and it also handily keeps the fork in place while you're fiddling with the fitting.
In use it's been a entirely fit and forget. I shoved a bit of thick grease in the split in the crown race just to make sure no water managed to get up into the bearing and I've nothing to report other than that. It's held the forks in place through a wet winter and an inspection in the spring suggests there's not been a drop of water inside in four months or so. It runs very smooth and it looks great. Spin's website suggests that the RRP is £199, but we've never actually seen them selling it for that kind of money; it's always been £99 so that's the price we're reviewing it at. Given that you can have this 6/4 Titanium headset for the price of a Chris King alloy one, I reckon it's how I'd spend my money.
Great quality Titanium headset for the same money as the more famous alloy one. "The finest headset in the world"? Well, It ain't bad.
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Make and model: Spin Bling Ti headset
Size tested: n/a
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?
The finest headset in the world. Rotation & Steering in Spindustrial Space Station Titanium
The Spin Bling T-iCandy Headset. 100% Titanium. From top to bottom.
Light Fast & Beautiful headset in Spindustrial Space Station Titanium 6Al4V Ti
Spin Your Ride in Spindustrial mirror polished head turning style
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Construction: 100% Spindustrial Space Station Titanium from fork base to top cap
Size: 1-1/8" only
Type: Threadless external headset standard
Bearings: Sealed precision steel bearings; replaceable with any 36 degree ID industry standard bearing
Weight: 138 grams average including bolt and top cap
Finish: Spin Bling Mirror Polish - classic understatement with just a touch of bling
Extras: Star fangled nut included (we recommend an expanding fork bung for carbon steerers)
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.