Sunline, while new to the scene, has shown a lot of poise and promise in their dedication to making what the consumer wants. The V-One Reducer headset is unique in that it is a parallel headset. What is a parallel headset and what are the benefits of the design? Continue on.
The Sunline V-One headset uses a parallel contact design. Most headsets use a compression sleeve to secure the headset but not this one. There is a parallel spacer that snaps into the inner radius of the upper bearing. This spacer has walls that are parallel to the steerer tube and the inside race of the bearing. This spacer and bearing assembly slides on over the steerer tube and once it is inside of the bearing cup, the headset is tight. The headset essentially presses together completely and an audible snap can often be heard once everything is assembled together. The purpose of the press fit and parallel spacer is to ensure that the headset does not come loose upon impacts.
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In addition to the headset not being able to come loose, it also means that the headset can’t be overtightened with a standard starnut assembly. This takes some of the guesswork out of installing a headset and making sure it is set up properly, which can be particularly annoying in a dual crown fork installation.
The Sunline headset cups are very light and pretty thin walled. Removing them without damage could prove to be somewhat of a challenge due their thinner wall thickness. Some of the edges of the headset cups do have some minor marks on them. In the event that the headset’s parallel spacer does lose its tolerance, it will need to be replaced because you can’t simply tighten the headset to remove the play, as the parallel spacer dictates that load.
Installing this headset requires some procedures that differ from a standard setup. You can see some clear instructions here. We’ll be trying out the V-One headset soon to see how it stacks up. The instructions included with the headset aren’t quite as good as the one’s in the pdf so it’s worth a look if you’re going to buy one. If you need to cut the steerer tube, it is easier to not install the top bearing/parallel spacer and mock up the setup you’ll be running so you can measure where you need to cut first to remove the fork a bit easier. Sunline says you can also cut the fork on the bike, but it has the potential to leave metal shavings where they shouldn’t be.
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The design is quite innovative and it utilizes bigger bearings than other reducing headsets, which adds some minor weight but should increase its strength and life. The man behind this headset, Pablo, also is the one who has designed the new Corsair bikes. So far the headset is impressive as well an innovative approach to what seemed to be a defacto in the headset world. Swapping forks or removal won’t be as easy but perhaps these benefits outweigh that. You can purchase this headset for $99 right on the 661/Sunline website or at any good bike shop.