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It might improve the aesthetics of the bike and make for cleaner lines, but the disadvantages seem to far outweigh this.
Is the Echo available with the option of a non integrated headset ?
I can't answer the question, but it raised my interest... I wonder if the disads of integrated headsets extend to BB30 bottom brackets?
Interesting discussion. I weigh 100kg give or take and have had my echo since 2008, but the headset is still fine, and a quick check of the headtube shows no distress to the headset bearing seats.
There's an interesting piece on Chris Kings website discussing this, but it seems rather biased in how's it's written.
It's seems a bit like me suggesting that people limit their speed to 30 in their car. If you drive at 70 then any stones and debris that hit the front of the car will be far more damaging. Eventually this could remove all of the paint, and then start to damage the metal...
Technically what I've said is true - debris will be more damaging at 70 than 30, but is this ever an issue?
Yes what Chris king says could theoretically be true - but has this ever ended up being an issue for anyone? Especially for a titanium frame?
I like the look of the integrated headtube, and the ability to easily change bearings.
I guess a question to Mark - would a switch to a smaller dia headtube (for conventional headset) result in a slightly different tube profile being required for the top and down tubes where they meet the headtube - ie slightly less optimised ovalisation?
Just my $0.02 anyway...
As well as giving pleasing lines to the Echo frame, the 6/4 integrated head tube also adds additional stiffness to the front end of the frame and therefore adds to the overall performance. The Echo combines all that is best about titanium frames with sparkling performance and sharp yet sure footed handling.
Another key advantage of the integrated design is ease of maintenance. There is no issue of wear with the 6/4 integrated head tube as it is very hard.
Why, then, do some Enigma models have integrated headsets and others have non-integrated? eg the Elite has the non-integrated type - what difference does this make to the ride and performance, as well as to servicing?
We use mainly non integrated head tubes on our steel frames as the head tube itself is lighter and being smaller in diameter it suits the main tubes better, aesthetically. Servicing wise there really is little in it.