My frameset came with an extremely loose and mangled Chorus headset; I really couldn’t stand the look of it sitting in this frame, so without waiting till I had a replacement, I took it straight out, throwing it to the bottom of the bin. The only advantage of the banished headset was that it meant the frame was faced and the crown was cut, two jobs that I didn’t think would have been done due to the nastiness of the fitted headset but which now meant I wouldn’t need to carry them out myself.

It has taken a little while but I finally managed to track down a British threaded Super Record headset, suitable for this frame. It’s not cosmetically perfect, it has scratches due to its age, but all the bearing surfaces are perfect. Best of all, neither the threaded cup or top nut have bad spanner marks. Believe me, I’ve seen so many where it looks like a pipe wrench has been used. I could have waited and saved up for a NOS headset (there are a few available) but the going rate for a New Old Stock headset is approx £250 – maybe one day!

Without too much effort, a press to fit the cups and two very good fitting headset spanners, the cups were inserted, crown race drifted into place and bearings adjusted, producing a very smooth bearing, ready for stem/handlebars and wheel.

I really do think that there was nothing better at the time than Campagnolo bearing surfaces; they last a lifetime if they are well looked after and adjusted. The bearings fitted to this frameset are already 30’ish years old and still unmarked and ready for a few more years to come.


Written by Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

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