FSA announces Super Light headset bearings

Hybrid aluminum and steel cartridges save weight but maintain durability

Weight weenies rejoice! FSA has figured out a way to shave a few grams from conventional steel headset bearings while retaining comparable levels of durability. As the exterior dimensions are unchanged, they're also a drop-in replacement for easy installation.

FSA's new 'SL' headset bearings use the same steel inner race and balls as its standard all-steel bearings. Instead of the typical all-steel outer race and casing, though, the SL bearings use an abbreviated steel race tucked inside an aluminum shell.

Weight savings are substantial in terms of percentages with the SL bearings as much as 38 percent lighter than conventional bearings, according to FSA. The reductions are more modest in terms of actual mass, however – just 7.7-9.2g depending on size.

FSA will offer the new SL bearings in 45° x 45° (for 1 1/8", 1 ¼", or 1 ½" steerer diameters) and 36° x 45° sizes (1 1/8" and 1 ½" steerers only). Retail price is US$29.99 apiece.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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