The headset is the interface between the fork to the bike frame, holding it securely in place while allowing it to rotate to steer. While the interface requires lateral stiffness to withstand riding loads, including cornering, braking and potholes, it also needs to be rotationally free for steering

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The headset is the set of components on a bicycle that provides a rotatable interface between the bicycle fork and the head tube of a bicycle frame. The tube through which the steerer of the fork passes is called the head tube. A typical headset consists of two cups that are pressed into the top and bottom of the headtube. Inside the two cups are bearings which provide a low friction contact between the bearing cup and the steerer.