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I am going to be building a beach cruiser frame with 26" springer forks and 25" apehangers with a 1" headset. what is the difference between 5/32" x 16b and 3/16" x 15b, performance wise? Basically I would like to know if the size of the bearing makes any difference

  • Frankly, it will make very little difference. I've seen bikes functioning pretty well with all the balls having fallen out of the headset. Obviously, you don''t want that, but there would be no perceptible difference in smoothness of action between the two choices, and the tiny difference in durability would only be relevant on a bike that was used for jumps or stunts. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 17 '16 at 1:48
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My opinion is that the smaller balls could theoretically be smoother. The larger balls could be more durable. Seeing as how a typical low tech headset lasts a very long time if installed, adjusted and maintained correctly, I doubt it makes a huge difference. The exposed part of the race may be slightly more visible if appearance is a critical factor.

  • Good point - I assume a beach cruiser will be used at the beach? And exposed to salty air, so serviceability is important. – Criggie Jul 17 '16 at 1:40

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