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Genetic Cranium 1 inch headset



Good quality, great value headset for older frames

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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There's plenty of old frames out there that are well worth a bit of TLC, and Genetic's 1" Cranium headset is ideal for reuniting an old frame and fork. No bells or whistles: just a decent quality, simple threaded headset for not much money.

What do you get for your tenner? Alloy cups, steel bearing surfaces, caged bearings, O-ring seals and a chromed locknut. Ours was a perfect fit in the frame whereas the fork crown needed a bit of preparation to accept the lower race. Once it was all put together - with a big helping of grease - the fork felt solidly attached and buttery smooth. Several hundred miles later, nothing's changed. I took the fork out to see if there'd been any water ingress but everything was still absolutely dry.

A well-greased, well adjusted headset should last for ages and this Genetic unit is no exception, so it's a bargain. Okay it's not quite as swanky or svelte as some of the other remaining options for mounting a 1" threaded fork, but it'll give you years of trouble-free steering for pocket money. And it looks just right on an older frame.


Good quality, great value headset for older frames

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Make and model: Genetic Cranium 1 inch headset

Size tested: 1 inch

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's a replacement headset for older 1" threaded forks and it does the job just dandy.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Genetic Cranium Headset.

High quality classic style 1' threaded headset for use on

1' ITA standard frames.

Polished Alloy cups with steel runners, caged bearings

and O-ring waterseals.

Chrome plated locknut.


Rate the product for quality of construction:

Well made without being outstanding

Rate the product for performance:

No problems at all. You could uncage the balls and add an extra couple for a bit more longevity if you wanted.

Rate the product for durability:

Lasting very well with no water ingress

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

You're paying peanuts for a perfectly functional component

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose


Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Looks, price, function

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The crown race was super tight on my fork

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, inasmuch as you can enjoy using a headset

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

Add new comment


Municipal Waste | 12 years ago

I bought myself a Stronglight one and never fitted it, but I'm sure it's good.

cat1commuter | 12 years ago

What is its stack height? Problem I found when trying to replace a crap threaded headset was that all the better ones had a bigger stack height, so I couldn't use them because the fork steerer was already cut too short and couldn't thread into them.

dave atkinson replied to cat1commuter | 12 years ago
cat1commuter wrote:

What is its stack height? Problem I found when trying to replace a crap threaded headset was that all the better ones had a bigger stack height, so I couldn't use them because the fork steerer was already cut too short and couldn't thread into them.

the total stack height is 41.5mm (30mm for the top cup and locknuts, 11.5mm for the bottom cup)

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