Introducing the Chris King GripLock Aug 21, 2014


In 1976 Chris King manufactured the first Chris King headset. It was built to medical grade tolerances and set the standard for what a quality bicycle component should be. Since that time bicycles have changed significantly, from 6-speed road bikes and 45-pound fully ridged mountain bikes to sub 10-pound road bikes and 35-pound dowhnill bikes, the design of today’s modern bicycles has kept pace with the development and style of riders. As riders we want our bikes to perform with out hassle so we can get the most out of our riding experience and it was with an eye on the changes in capabilities and material of todays most advanced bicycles that we developed GripLock™ the next generation of our legendary headsets.

GripLock™ has been in use on Chris King’s headsets for quite sometime and has been featured on our InSet family of headsets since their introduction. Also all 1-1/8″ NoThreadSets have been equipped with GripLock™ since 2010. Our press introduction comes about after we were awarded a patent for this advanced system prior to receiving the patent we wanted to keep our messaging about GripLock™ light now that we have patent security we are thrilled to share this feature with the world.

Chris King’s GripLock™ headset retention device uses an isolated wedge system to separate headset bearing adjustment from steerer tube location thus eliminating loose headsets on long travel mountain bikes while simultaneously removing any chance of headset inflicted fatigue on the lightweight carbon steerer tubes found on modern road forks.

GripLock comes stock on all InSets and 1-1/8″ NoThreadSets. GripLock upgrades are available for 1-1/8″ NoThreadSets currently with out a GripLock bearing cap.”

Learn more at Chris King

  • Tom

    What differentiates this from the split wedge system that already exists in other headsets? After years of CK selling headsets with the kind-of-sketchy o-ring, one can assume this was to avoid patent licensing fees, given that the moment the Aheadset patent expired (2010), CK started offering this design (as noted above). What makes this proprietary? Is it the combination of split wedge and that additional tapered ring between it and the bearing race? Just trying to understand. And FTR, I’m not hating on King, I have several King products which I love, but prior to 2010 I would have bought a CaneCreek 110 before a NoThreadSet.

    • Tom let me try to clarify some specifics about GripLock. The main difference is that this is not a split wedge system, GripLock is a newly patented system that has been pending from a number of years. While Dia-Compe’s patent was for threadless headsets systems in a more general sense Griplock was developed to address the increased use of long travel single crown forks and steerer tubes made with advanced materials such as carbon fiber. GripLock has been used on our InSet and 1-1/8″ NoThreadSets for the past couple years but it is only with the recent patent approval and the every increasing use of the both single crown long travel forks and carbon fiber steerer tubes that lead us to amplify our message about its function. The best way to learn about the more technical aspects of the GripLock system would be to visit out tech page, We hope that this helps to explain why we feel GripLock is the next evolution of headset technology.

      • Luke

        I was wondering the same thing and I don’t know about you Tom, but this doesn’t seem like much of an answer to me. Not a split wedge system? I can see a wedge with a split in it.

        • Luke, in a traditional split wedge system, the split wedge works to both locate the streerer tube as it passes through the bearing and serves as the bearing race that is preloaded to keep the headset in adjustment. There are two detrimental results of this system. The wedge is effected by the constant torsional bending and shock that are transmitted through the steerer tube causing the headset to be more susceptible to coming loose, the wedge is essentially hammered out of the bearing. The second is that because of this movement the wedge is constantly contracting on the streerer tube as it resets itself over and over again on to the steerer tube.
          You are right in that GripLock uses a split wedge, this is done to accomodate the minute changes in steerer tube diameters that are unavoidable with such a great variety of different manufacturers steerer tube. But this is not a split wedge system in the traditional sense, rather GripLock uses this inner wedge solely to locate, or center, the steerer tube. This inner ring then interfaces with the outer ring, the bearing race, which then accounts for the bearing preload. By creating two separate elements we have eliminated the issue of contraction on the streerer tube, a potential problem when using advanced materials such as carbon fiber while greatly enhancing the headsets ability to resist shock and stay in adjustment, something needed for long travel single crown mountain bikes.

          • Tom

            Thanks for taking the time to explain! @disqus_7VuavT5UGy:disqus

          • Luke

            Thanks for the detailed response. I take it this is important for short travel 29ers too, due to longer axle to crowns.
            I have had mixed results fitting my pre-2010 King headsets to different steerers, this is sure to make it easier.
            Thanks again.

          • Luke
            You can order a GripLock bearing cap upgrade for your existing 1-1/8 NoThreadSet. See your local dealer or contact [email protected] for details.