How To Install a Chris King Headset

Installing a headset isn’t rocket science. In fact most people can do it with out any special tools. But when you’re dealing with an expensive investment such as Chris King Headset, well you need to install them carefully and with special attention.

Ryan Crump, Service Manager of Jax Bicycles of Fullerton was installing a new headset on a Trek Top Fuel and we were lucky enough to be there to learn from the experience.
Chris King Headset

First things first, you need to disconnect the brakes from your fork. If you disconnect the stem first and your fork drops while you’re holding your handle bars, then you could run the risk of damaging your cables.
chris king headset

Then remove the stem, and see how Ryan is holding the fork. He does this to make sure once the stem is loose, the fork doesn’t drop to the floor.
chris king headset

Remove the old bearing race. You’ll need a Crown Race Puller. But you don’t have access to it,carefully use hammer and screw driver to tap it out.
chris king headset

Install new Chris King bearing race, use Crown Setting tool, CRS-1. Again if you don’t have access to this tool, then carefully use hammer and screw driver to drive in the race.
chris king headset

To remove old head cups, you’ll need this head cup removal tool, RT-1. No tool, make one out of PVC pipe that you cut into similar pattern or use a wooden dowel.
chris king headset

Insert tool, seat it on the cup, tap it with a hammer.
chris king headset

Chris King Headsets need a special adapter 530-2 when using a cup press.

Align “King” logo to your liking. Ryan chose to have it face directly forward. Press one cup at a time. Ryan stated that if you press both cups in at the same time, the headset has a chance of rotating, causing the King logos to be misaligned.

Do the same for the top cup.

Next step is to grease the bearing race on the fork, just a tiny bit right before reinstalling it on the bike.

The last step of course is to reinstall your fork, brakes and stem then enjoy your new Chris King Headset!

I’d like to say thanks to Ryan Crump, Service Manager of the Fullerton Jax Bicycle Center for taking the time to show us how to install a Chris King Headset.

About the author

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).