Race Face Thermo SP Headset

DESCRIPTION

Top race uses a combination of 7075-T6 aluminum and thermoplastic. The aluminum seats on the inner bearing race to give smooth, accurate performance. The lightweight, low friction outer thermoplastic ring has full 360 degree contact with the o-ring on the outer race, creating a seal and effectively protecting the top bearing from any contaminants such as mud, water, dust, and grime.7075-T6 aluminum cups are forged and machined, and are guaranteed for life. · Upper radial double sealed cartridge bearing with stainless steel balls spins smooth and friction free. Corrosion proof angular contact cartridge bearing with stainless steel balls is designed to withstand heavy loads. The inner bearing race is angled to mate with the fork race, allowing for full float if the head tube has not been reamed or faced. Like the top bearing, the lower bearing uses custom double seals and waterproof grease to ensure its longevity. High pressure low friction lip seal (not shown in picture) acts as a barrier, keeping contaminants such as mud, water, dust, and grime away from the lower cup and bearing assembly. Its low friction properties allow the lower bearing to spin smoothly without any drag. Nickel-plated alloy steel crown race is durable and lightweight.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 14  
[Jul 08, 2003]
Clemson
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

good looking,works perfect

Weakness:

none

Didn´t had any probs with the thermo sp.
works perfect until now and looks good.

Similar Products Used:

FSA Orbit

[Jan 13, 2004]
Reg
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Has performed flawlessly.

Weakness:

Cost, but you get what you pay for.

Truly set and forget. I have not had a single issue with this product. As I said above it has performed flawlessly from day one.

Similar Products Used:

FSA, Diacompe.

[Dec 22, 2001]
Pat Ownes

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Looks... Good looking product

Weakness:

Simply put... The bearings locked up on me after about a year. I called RaceFace and left a message with them about this.. NO ONE HAS RETURNED MY CALL (at least 10 days have gone by). Also, I sent them a e-mail. Again, NO ONE RETURNED MY E-MAIL.. Thus, the gloves are off. I gave them a chance to fix the problem. And, what's with this Life time Warrenty BS? Sounds good and looks good in print but the product failed and they have NO customer service.
DON'T BUY THIS PRODUCT!! Get a Chris King headset and don't look back!

I'm bummed I bought this...

Product failed. RaceFace didn't return my phone call OR e-mail. DON'T BUY THIS PRODUCT!!! It sucks and they don't support it. Also, look at the other reviews. Everyone had the same issue (Failed bearing)... I hate to be so brutal but they deserve this for the zero customer support they've shown!

Similar Products Used:

King

[Mar 05, 2001]
Mark Barker
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Nice looking.

Weakness:

Top bearings. Sealed bearings weren't and locked up after 4 months. Race Face replaced the top bearings and with a lot of attention they lasted 8 months.

Bought the race face thermo to replace original specialized sealed bearing headset that lasted abount 6 months, because of race face name and color. Despite lots of seals, top bearing grease washes out with Maryland wet and muddy riding. Headset probably good for dry climate but not wet and muddy. Just ordered a Chris King and I am hoping for better luck.

Similar Products Used:

Cane Creek, Aheadset

[Mar 27, 2003]
ed
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

Works great until it locks up

Weakness:

Doesn't work well near water. Best in a desert climate, like Saharan Africa.

This headset came with the bike and it seemed to work pretty well for about 18 months. Then I noticed that the steering was getting wierd. I tried to adjust it on my own, but nothing worked. Finally I took it into the shop, where they took the headset apart. It was totally locked up. The shop actually spent time getting the top half to move freely (which they billed me for--thanks!), but the bottom was totally frozen. The bearings had totally rusted to the races. So much for sealed bearings! I told them to replace it with a King, which I know will last a decade or more. Just for the record, I ride in the SF Bay Area, which isn't all that wet, and I don't powerwash the bike, so I have no idea how the headset rusted so bad. From the complaints I read below, apparently I'm not alone here.

Similar Products Used:

Chris King

[May 09, 2000]
Robin

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

Good Seals

Weakness:

Top race isn't strong enough, top bearing doesn't seem too strong either.

I really hate to do this to Race Face - Sorry guys !, but I feel like I wasted the considerable amount of money I spent on this headset - I ride a Santa Cruz Bullit with 5" Z1's for freeriding/downhilling/just riding about and the Thermo SP lasted maybe 6 weeks in my bike before it came out to be replaced with a King.
I had a Syncros before which stood up to a couple of years of pounding with no problems and is working great now for my buddy who bought it (along with the frame it was in) and I was (wrongly) advised by a guy working for a mail order outlet that the Race Face was a better headset, so I got one.
1 week and about 2 rides after installation I pulled the stem and the top race to discover a big witness mark where the top race was sitting in the bearing, and the bearing was pretty rough. About 4 weeks after that it started to work tight and then loose again and then it started to make a horrible groan when I braked hard, and then again when I compressed the fork, like something was moving back and forward. I had my LBS swap it out for a King last week, for fear it was a cup moving in the frame and doing really expensive damage - incidentally there was no sign of movment in the frame when the Race Face was removed, which is about the only good part about the whole episode. The King seems reeeeeaallly nice so far though.

To be fair I guess it'd be fine if you ride less heavy duty terrain than I do, i.e for XC, but I have to rate it for what I do, based upon which......

Similar Products Used:

Syncros Hardcore, King

[Apr 13, 2000]
HASMAN

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

smooth bearings, solid cups

Weakness:

top race

Look's? Who cares! Performance is all that's important. If you freeride/downhill stay away from the Thermo SP. One word "Plastic". The top race is made of plastic. The inner lip of the race will begin to get mushed on the front side of the steer tube, as you drop off of natures little feats. The force of shutes and drops is too much for the top race to handle. Bottom line, "Anything that is made from plastic should not be molded into the form of bike parts". Remember speed is your friend, and trust your steed.

Similar Products Used:

Aheadset, FSA

[Nov 09, 1999]
Brendan
Cross-Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Strength:

Looks good easy to setup. Good price Set & forget

Weakness:

none so far

Sweet. Still runs like the day I installed it have had no problems. Raceface are on to it & reps down here are the best

Similar Products Used:

Richey Pro logic

[Apr 25, 1999]
Tim Nielsen
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Strength:

Light weight
Sealed bearings
Cool thermoplastic cups
Many seals to keep out gunk

Weakness:

Sealed bearings wear out!

OK - I screwed up. I knew I should have gone for a new 1 1/8 King when I bought my new frame (1 1/4 on the old bike), but I thought hey, I'll try that cool-looking new raceface! Now the bearings are gritty and need replacement after 10 months. The King lasted 4 years without a single adjustment and were smoother (if possible) when I sold it. Now I'm going to buy the King. Oh well.5 chiles for craftsmanship, cool looks, and weight1 chile for crap bearings3 overall

Similar Products Used:

Chris King

[Apr 10, 2001]
Mark Collins
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I love the sealing on it, looks the bomb and is pretty lightweight too

Weakness:

None (apart from the fact it isn't available in P/C white to match my other RF bits)

I love this headset. The sealing is excellent and in two years I haven't had to adjust anything. Can't understand why other people have had problems with the bearings - have they perhaps overtightened the top race? I think that would cause some of the problems mentioned.

Similar Products Used:

King, AC, Ritchey, FSA

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