Headset manufacturers develop 'universal language'

Acros, Cane Creek, Hope, Race Face, Reset and Ritchey link to create Standardized Headset Identification System
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A group of headset manufacturers have collaborated to develop a standardized 'language' for headset fitment.

The newly developed Standardized Headset Identification System (S.H.I.S.), seen in detail here, creates a 'common language' for describing modern bicycle headsets. The system provides comprehensive and scalable headset fitment information in a standard format; making it easier to communicate headset requirements based on frame and fork interfaces.

“As a bicycle manufacturer I have participated in many conversations with customers who are struggling to understand modern headset fitment,” says Michael Bonney of Orange Mountain Bikes. “During Eurobike and Interbike I suggested to a couple of headset makers that a universal system for talking about headsets was needed, and I’m excited to see it happening.”

The Standardized Headset Identification System (S.H.I.S.) incorporates the four critical interface dimensions required to fit a fork to a frame, as well as noting bearing location/cup type.

The group of companies leading the development of the new headset naming system include: Acros, Cane Creek, Hope, Race Face, Reset and Ritchey.

Each now plans to integrate the Standardized Headset Identification System into their respective businesses over the course of the next year and encourage additional headset manufacturers to follow.

On the bicycle manufacturing level, several early adopters will begin using the system on their new model-year bikes.

“Headset standards were getting a bit out of control and the nomenclature to keep it all together was unraveling,” says Steve Domahidy, co-owner of Niner Bikes. “It was becoming difficult to talk to customers about headsets and help them understand, so this system takes out the guesswork and makes it as easy as it can be to insure that everybody’s speaking the same language.”

To learn more about system methodology and to view specific examples and illustrations, please download the complete S.H.I.S. overview. A collaborative website, BicycleHeadsets.com, is under development too and will be live by the end of November.

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