If you’ve worked in the service department of a bike shop any time in the past few years, you know all too well what a raging nightmare determining headset compatibility can be. With internal headsets in several different sizes, tapered headsets using two different size bearings, and of course, the old standard 1 1/8 guys still kicking around; figuring out the right headset for a given bike can be a total pain in the…can be difficult. But Cane Creek along with partners like Acros, Hope, Race Face, Reset and Ritchey have decided to help eliminate this problem by addressing the “changing landscape of bicycle headsets” (changing landscape? It looks like freaking Iceland over here) by developing a new, standardized language for discussing  “headset fitment.” The System is called S.H.I.S., which stands for “Standard Headset Identification System.”

Learn more after the break…

The aforementioned headset manufacturers intend to adopt the new system and employ it within their respective companies over the next year. The hope is that other manufacturers will follow suit. Some bicycle parts distributors will be partially integrating the S.H.I.S. in their 2011 catalogs and several bicycle manufacturers will start using the system on new model year bikes.

From Cane Creek’s website:

“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 explicitly noting bearing location/cup type.”

If you want to find out how, and get all technical about it, check out the S.H.I.S. overview.

There is also a collaborative website in the works which will provide more detail on the Standard Headset Identification System. It’s called Bicycleheadsets.com and it should be available by the end of November.

As a semi-operational bicycle mechanic myself, I will say this: the Standard Headset Identification System is the SHIS-nit.

Hey guys (I’m talkin’ to you Chris “Rout” Strout), feel free to use that last line in your publicity campaign.


  1. I diggit. However, I’ll give you one guess as to who’ll probably buck the system and then end up adopting it. However, people will sing how awesome the system is once this other company adopts it. I hate King.

  2. @ WannabeSTi: Wow, really? King, FSA, Campy, Crank Bros, etc don’t immediately jump onto this interesting but half-baked idea and you hate on ’em for it? Haters gonna hate regardless…

What do you think?