Attic What IZIT #17
by Bikeman • September 27, 2023
We had a lot of fun with the Attic What IZIT back in the day. We'd dig up some of the more obscure parts hiding here and put it out to our loyal visitors to come up with what it is. Bikeman would always know of course but it was entertaining to see how long it would take for someone else to come up with the correct answer. We would post the answer so the winner could take a victory lap. In the event of multiple correct answers we would post the most complete or creative one. We'll try to dust one of these off each week and keep the excitement going of what will pop up next.
Originally Published early in this century
After a long hiatus Bikeman has been doing some treasure hunting in the Attic! To the novice the item in question is simply a headset. To a true attic connoisseur this is an extremely unique headset with some interesting design features. For this edition of the Attic What IZIT we are looking for the Manufacturer, the Model, and What makes this headset so special.
ANSWERS: This edition proved tougher than Bikeman originally anticipated. Two key elements, the manufacturer and model, eluded even the wisest of the Attic faithful. One person actually took the time to look up the patent number and wrote a winning answer based on this information. Excellent work! This is the Mud Master headset put out by SideTrak Industries. The idea was that it could be tightened by hand and would hold this adjustment via the spring mechanism. The arrival of threadless headset spelled a quick end to the Mud Masters life. 6 people qualified for the Attic What IZIT Grand Championships. More info coming next week! The winning answers and qualifying answers are listed below.
"According to the patent # it is "A head parts assembly for use in a two-wheeled vehicle such as a bicycle and a motorbike includes a head pipe, a front fork pipe which extends through the head pipe and a pair of ball bearings to support the head pipe and the front fork pipe to be relatively rotatable from each other. The present head parts assembly also includes a self-adjusting mechanism which allows to maintain the head pipe and the front fork pipe in alignment at all times." Patented by Mori Manufacturing Co. in 1985. So I guess after reading that its pretty much a self adjusting headset, or one that is easily adjusted by hand using the grooves?"
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: Big Daddy (Derek)
"I cant remember if it was made by Tioga or Odyssey, but it is a spring loaded headset. This was a mid eighties attempt to make a BMX/MTB headset that wouldn't loosen up but a mystery to keep adjusted properly. It had a funky coil spring, that once adjusted and seated in the keyway properly was supposed to keep tension on the upper headset cup to prevent loosening. There was an extra top cup cover made out of plastic or rubber that went on top of the tension spring, and added up to a massive stack height, that never seemed to stay in the fork keyway. I installed one on an old Fuji Sundance MTB once and retired it out of frustration. I don't remember ever getting one of these things to work properly and went back to carrying around cut down headset wrenches and replacing cheap headsets."
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: Robert Price
"A self-adjusting threaded headset for the late 80's. Inside it has a ratcheted spring that uses the fork/handlebar rotation and a frictioning clutch to keep the bearing adjustment snug. From the top, clockwise motions add engage the spring-clutch tightening the headset while counter-clockwise motions disengage the clutch and allow the ratchet to add more spring tension if needed. I thought it was a great idea, but it proved heavy with a lot of extra parts." ...A little bit late but still a good effort.
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: Dave Locke
"Hi, Cool stuff! Glad I found your site. That is a GT Epoch headset. Those were very commonly speced on the early BMX sized Yeti forks. Very nice. I have one at home on my Yeti. Do you have any of these for sale?" ...Sorry Dave, we have not dug up a GT Epoch headset yet.
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: Dave from KC
"This looks like a Joe Murray Impact Headset. The Impact headset had many of the buzzword features in the day, like headlock and oversized bottom bearings. They were made in Taiwan by YST.
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: Will Waterstrat
"Well, I have no idea what make or model it is, but judging by that coiled spring, it looks like it's designed to be either self-centering or damped. I remember the Hopey hydraulic steering dampers, so maybe this is an early attempt at the same sort of thing?"
RUNNER UP / QUALIFIER: David Tong
"Prototype chris king/dia-compe/cane creek THREADLESS (ahead) headset." ...Not quite but you made an effort.