Chris King headsets on Specialized bikes

Hey Lee I have an 07 Enduro SL Comp and I also have a bike I am parting out that has a new Chris King Headset in it. Will a standard Chris King 1-1/8″ fit the Enduro SL? I would like to switch it out before I sell the parts off if it will fit. The reason I ask is I have heard that Specialized uses a slightly oversized headset cup.


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Hey Glen,

I’ve been running Chris King headsets in my Specializeds for years, on my own dime, with no problems. But I’ve heard the same thing recently, so I asked The Man Himself, Brandon Sloan. He’s the product manager for high-end Specialized mountain bikes. He says:

– Specialized head tubes do tend to run a bit large. A tiny bit.

– This is no problem for Taiwan-made headsets like Cane Creek and FSA, but Chris Kings tend to run a bit smaller. And Chris Kings are very consistent.

– If you have a Specialized, you can run any Taiwanese headset, or you can contact Chris King for their “oversize skirt.” The diameter is slightly larger to better fit Specializeds (and any other Taiwan-made head tubes/frames).

Hope that helps. Like I said: my Enduros, Demos and SXes have all had King headsets, with no problems. The gold King in my SX — I’ve had that headset for five years on three bikes, and it’s perfect.

2 replies
  1. joseph says:

    true, but watch yourself– I bought a demo 8 and the standard king from my old bike could be pressed in and pulled out by hand. Get that oversize skirt or you are out of luck. King also will replace brand new skirts for free but not used ones ( $50 bux +!)

  2. Glen says:

    Thanks for the information Lee…. Joseph I called King about the upgrade and they said if it was new they would replace the skirts for $50 but since its used I need to buy a new unit. Oh well I guess I will be rocking the stock headset no big deal.

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