As you can tell from the pictures below, it's about time I did. I'm clueless as to where I'd get new a one. From this answer I think I can conclude it's an integrated one as opposed to a press-fit one, or am I wrong?(EDIT: I was actually wrong, they are press-fit ones) I figure the bottom one will also need replacing, I hope/figure they sell these in pairs?

Possibly relevant info:

  • Bike: Giant Boulder, no idea what year. (Can someone tell me this?)
  • Front shock: Rockshox Tora 318, 1.1/8 inch tube (measured at the top)


Any help would be much appreciated!


After much more research and measuring all sorts of things (head tube inner diameter top and bottom, steerer tube diameter top and bottom), I found that these bearings are EC34/28.6 EC34/30 (SHIS), the first part being the top part and the second being the bottom.

For anyone else looking to identify their bearings, take a look at this helpful web app that helps you get there step by step:
Canecreek Headset Finder: canecreek.com/headset-fit-finder

This answer can also be helpful.


2 Answers 2


It's the most common kind of threadless headset. External cups, caged bearings. It uses a 5/32x20 retainer (bearing size x count), which again is the most common type and available online and at most shops for cheap. If you want you can also use loose 5/32" balls, which is more of a hassle but slightly better for headset longevity because you get more contact area and loose balls migrate around more freely and reduce pitting.

  • So I take it these can't be replaced with sealed bearings? Or am I wrong? Would there be a good reason not to, if it were possible?
    – KJdev
    Dec 6, 2016 at 15:59
  • 1
    You could replace the entire headset with a sealed cartridge bearing one, which is a fairly major operation but still do-able with simple tools. The simpler thing is put in new bearings like what it has, as long as the rest of it is in reasonable shape. Dec 6, 2016 at 17:27

It is a traditional external cup threadless headset and non-tapered steerer tube. It is likely that the bearings are not available as spare part but you need to replace the cups and crown race too. These should be available in every bike repair shop.

Fun fact: Headsets used to be available only as top/bottom pairs but now that there are too many different diameters, mountings and steerer tube tapers to keep stock of every combination, tops and bottoms are available separately.

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