Recognized as being among the first to make needle bearing headsets, this is one of the finest and lightest versions we have seen. It starts very similarly to other needle bearing units. There are six aluminum pieces. Five of them are cast and cleaned up by interior machine polishing. These are the cone race elements, the bearing cup elements and the head lock nut. The head key washer is stamped from sheet aluminum. There are four beveled steel races, one for each of the cup and crown elements. The needle bearing retainer has twenty bearings in it. Although this headset has no rubber seals or skirt gaskets, with the tolerances that the parts are machined to, it probably doesn't need it. With the parts just resting on one another, and with no grease, the pieces move very freely. Available in English thread in Silver or Black. The A- 9 weighs 79.5 grams.
Color - BK-S $ Price in Catalog
The Delta is the A-9 enhanced with an O-ring seal around the perimeter of the fork crown race, and another within a groove around the perimeter of the cone race that is pressed into the top of the head tube. Like the A-9 the Delta is available in only a 1" diameter, in either Black or Silver with English threads. The Delta weighs 86 grams.
Color- BK-S $ Price in Catalog
The X12 uses the same needle bearing system as the A9, but the X12 incorporates an overbuilt headlock nut/bearing cup. The upper bearing cup and head lock nut are cast as one massive piece of aluminum. It's then threaded for the fork and cut twice on the top to make the grips for a headset wrench. Another cut is made two- thirds down the face to provide the contraction area that cinches on the steer tube. The final stage on the piece is drilling and tapping for the bolt. The X12 has a stem seal to prevent dirt getting in from the top. The fork crown race, upper cone race, and lower bearing cup are made of cast aluminum. The beveled needle bearing races are made of stamped steel and lie onto the adjoining cast aluminum part. The X12 weighs 134 grams and has approximately a 37mm stack height. Available in Silver or Black, only in the 1 inch size. This is an extremely sturdy headset.
Color - BK-S $ Price in Catalog
The X14 is very similar to the X12. The entire lower assembly is the same except the fork crown race lacks the groove that holds the lower O-ring dirt seal. Other than that change, the lower assembly uses the same races, bearings, and cup. The upper assembly uses the same bearings and races found in the X12, and is also used in the lower assembly. The upper piece that fits into the head tube holds the steel cup race. This piece is forged of aluminum alloy with a groove around the perimeter into which is an O-ring making a dirt seal. The primary difference between the X12 & X14 headsets is the shape of the upper head piece. Above we mentioned that the headlock/headnut was "overbuilt", and it seems that Stronglight thought so as well. The X14 headlock/headnut functions like the X12 but has an added horizontal cut 1/2 way through the piece that separates, and frees to operate independently, the two upper clamping arms. This horizontal cut is kept from view by a piece of Black tape with the Stronglight logo. The headpiece is slightly smaller and somewhat lighter at 53.5 grams rather than the X12's 66 grams. The X14 is made only with English threads, in the 1" diameter with a Black or Silver anodized finish. It weighs 117.5 grams.
Color-BK-S $ Price in Catalog
The X15 takes the mechanical design of the previous Stronglight headsets and beefs it up for a 1 1/8" size model. Like the other Stronglight headsets this uses needle bearings that revolve against steel races placed on or in the aluminum parts. The headlock nut is forged, then machined. The sizable piece of aluminum looks rather like the Mavic top piece. The headlock steerer threads are well cut and there is a O-ring stem seal recessed within a groove inside near the top. The X15 has a rather clever headlocking system. There are two holes drilled 13.5 mm from the bottom of the piece, one on each side. The holes are 1/4" in diameter and are spaced so the drilled hole passes through the edge of the fork steerer threads inside the headlock. Stronglight slides a modestly tight fitting White rubber tube into the hole, and slides a small steel bolt with a 2mm hex head through the tube. The bolt is cinched into threads tapped into the aluminum on the far side of the headlock nut. As the bolt is tightened within the rubber tube it compresses the ends of the tube forcing it to expand and make more firm contact against the fork steerer within the headlock. This bolt and compression tube assembly is covered by a removable Black rubber shield when the headset is in use, (like the Mavic). The bottom of the headlock piece becomes the point of contact for the cone race, which is Black steel and lays against the aluminum. A forged aluminum upper "cone", that is really an upper cup race fits into the top of the head tube. Another Black steel race lays into it. This alloy cup race holder has an O-ring seal recessed into a groove around its lower skirt. The lower bearing assembly is more traditional. A forged then machined aluminum alloy cup is pressed into the lower head tube, with a Black steel race laying inside it. The fork crown race is machined from aluminum with a recessed O-ring seal located in a groove around the skirt. A final Black steel race lays over this lower cone race. The X15 uses twenty 2.5mm diameter needle bearings, each bearing being 4mm long held in a White plastic retainer. The 2mm tightening wrench is not included. The X15 is made only in a 1 1/8" diameter, and only with a Pewter Grey (now being called Ti Grey, but it isn't really) anodized finish. It weighs 155.5 grams and an approximate stack height of 40.3mm. $ Price in Catalog