Archival Reviews of Shimano MTB Headsets


The Deore XT headset uses a stainless steel lower bearing cup and race. The lower bearing assembly is subject to most of the impacts and shocks so it is wise to make it of better material. The upper race and cup are made of steel. Each of the exposed steel pieces is painted Black. The bearing surfaces on all pieces are well cut, however, the upper cone race has a painted surface. The head lock nut is Black anodized aluminum with a small snap ring on the inside, to fasten the stem seal, which is recessed in the headlock nut. There are fitted seals to keep contaminants out of the upper and lower assemblies. The style of the seals is identical to the Tioga "triple seal". This headset uses heavy duty ball bearings in retainers that are pre-greased (sixteen 1/8" diameter in the 1", eighteen 1/4" diameter in the 1 1/8", and twenty-two loose 5.5mm diameter in the 1 1/4" size), it's almost overbuilt! The XT headset comes in three diameter, 1", 1 1/8", and 1 1/4". It weighs 110 grams in the 1", 182 grams in the 1 1/8" and 172.5 grams in the 1 1/4" size. The 730 was replaced by the 740. We sold the 1" size for $34.99, the 1 1/8" for $39.99 and the 1 1/4" for $56.99


The DX series of parts were discontinued by Shimano in the 1994 season as they elevated the LX line to the DX price position. In '93 they had been shipping the DX headset with LX parts groups. The DX headset has a good deal in common with the "old" XT. It uses all steel construction though there is no stainless steel used. The lower fork race is cast then ground and polished. The lower cup race is cast, then ground to receive the bearings, then it's entirely painted black. The upper fork race is cast steel which is then black finished. The upper cup race is cast steel with the race ground to receive the bearings, then entirely painted black. It comes with a steel head key washer and a steel head lock nut. The lock nut has a rubber stem seal and a snap-ring to retain it. There are plastic seals for the upper and lower assemblies in the "triple seal" style. This 1" unit comes with sixteen 1/8" heavy duty bearings in a pre-greased retainer while the 1 1/8" uses eighteen 1/4" diameter steel balls, like the XT headset. It comes in two sizes, 1" and 1 1/8". The 1" size weighs 121 grams, while the 1 1/8" size weighs 201.5 grams. Both the upper cup and headlock nut of the 1" DX headset can be adjusted with a 32mm headset wrench, for the 1 1/8" size, a 36mm wrench adjusts both sizes. The 650 was replaced by the 560. We sold the 1" size for $25.99, and the 1 1/8" for $33.99

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