Maybe I overtightened the original headset on my Brompton. I had some play and after fixing it, the added force maybe caused premature wear to the bearings. It is easy to overtighten the headset – this is a job that needs experience, a “feel” for the right torque – but a non pro mechanic has to adjust a headset only once in a year – max – nothing to build up the needed sensitivity.
Anyhow. I had a reason to get a new headset and since I love Chris King headsets (I run one on my Moulton too): that was the place to look for a new one.
The Brompton comes with a threaded fork and the GripNut™ Threaded headset in 1-1/8″ is the perfect solution (if the price tag is not too high for your budget – they are not cheap – around 150 €). The weight is 109g and the color I chose is called “Mango”.
For the proper installation of the cups you need a tool to press the them in (“Bearing Cup Press” around 80 €, “Crown Race Setting System” around 100 €). You will also need a tool to remove the parts of the old headset (“Head Cup Remover” around 40 €). Those tools are more expensive then the new headset. So I asked my local bike shop to install the new headset for me.