Headset bearings are a grudge service item, but their influence on steering dynamics can be crucial.
When a headset starts wearing, your bike’s ability to self-correct its steering at speed, is diminished. And that is risky.
Unfortunately, winter riding is particularly harsh on headset bearings. Even if you are riding with a mudguard mounted to your fork, tyres can project trail contaminants and moisture upwards into the area where your crown steering tube and headset meet.
Nukeproof believes it has found a way to reduce the annoyance of seasonal headset bearing replacement. By using a titanium structure, Nukeproof has produced a new Horizon headset with some very bold durability claims.
By applying advanced chemistry in its build process, Nukeproof has been able to coat its bearing races with a layer of titanium only 0.000118 of an inch thick. How did they structure a headset bearing system with such a narrow layer of titanium? By using a process where titanium is vaporised in a vacuum, before being deposited on the bearing races as an extremely fine coating.
Although the actual headset ball bearings remain steel, the titanium coated races provide excellent moisture and wear protection. This is achieved by allowing for a very tight interface between all the components, leaving scant room for moisture ingress.
This new headset is ABEC-5 certified, with appropriate internal/external tolerances and spherical specification. Among the stress testing for these new headsets was an accelerated wear and temperature gradient test, ran at very high revolutions per minute – far exceeding anything that a mountain biker would achieve with normal steering inputs.
Nukeproof is claiming a five-year warranty on its new titanium coating headset bearings, which appears to be great value. Customers have the choice to purchase either top or bottom cups, at £29.99 each, with a vast array of headtube standards covered.