Just like our ULTIMATE Bottom Bracket Guide we thought we should do the same for Headsets as we get a lot of calls about what will fit what bike and sometimes its hard to give advice over the phone without the bike in front of us. We constantly get asked What Headset will fit my BMX? Hopefully this will give you all the information you need to make sure you are buying the correct part and also some things to look out for:
The Integrated Headset is now the most commonly used headset for most modern BMX Bikes. Its easy to spot if your frame takes an integrated headset as the Head Tube (The front tube on the bike the fork goes through) will taper outwards at each end. This is where the bearings will sit for the headset. be careful not not get confused if there are already cups pressed into the frame, double check this. If loose ball bearings come out of the headset its definitely not integrated.
The technical measurements are a 45 x 45 Campy style headset. Typically a kit will come with two integrated bearings, a crown race for the fork, a top compression collar, a top dust cover and a couple of headset spacers to use depending on the length of your steerer tube on your forks.
If your frame does not taper out or is an older frame then you will most likely need a cupped headset. These come in a few different sizes depending on the bike its going on.
In a similar way to the integrated headsets you can get sealed bearing cupped headsets, but most installed in cheaper bikes are usually unsealed using loose ball bearings in a cage. Typically the headtube will measure 44mm where the cups of the headset will press into the frame. In the image below you can see the two cups in the centre. These are press fitted into the frame using a headset/BB press, but can also be done using a rubber mallet or a block of wood to prevent damage.
Old school BMX bikes from the 80s and early 90s will use a 1 Inch Threaded headset. The headset itself uses the threads on the forks to create compression on the bearings. There is two sizes in 1 Inch Threaded headsets; BMX and Road. BMX bikes use a larger cup size and larger bearings than Road bikes do. BMX Bikes also use a different sized stem shaft as the stems slide into the fork steerer rather than clamp on. You can get these in both Sealed and Un Sealed options depending on what you are after.
|Steerer O.D in mm
|| 32.6 mm
| 26.4 mm (varies)
|| 25.4 mm
|| 30.2 mm
|| 26.4 mm
|| 25.4 mm
22.2 mm (7/8")
You can see in the iamge below that the headset has a locking nut and cone nut at the top that threaded onto the threaded fork to keep everything together.