Stronglight A9 with the black anodizing stripped and the alloy polished.
The Stronglight A9 is considered to be one of the best headsets ever made by many whose opinion I respect. It’s lighter then a Chris King or Campy Record headset and cheaper (if you can find anyone with NOS as it’s not made any more) . It’s also purported to minimize shimmy in low trail bikes.
I was a bit concerned about stories of shimmy being more common with low trail bikes as I am replacing an old carbon fork on my Rhygin that had 45mm of offset with a steel one that has 56-57mm of offset (to accommodate a front rack bag). Those that have reported a problem had it when riding no hands. I suppose since low trail bikes do better with more weight over the fork, that sitting up, unloading the fork and shifting the riders weight rearward by riding no hands would be more likely to have an adverse effect on handling then it would with high trail bikes that do well with a rear load bias.
Make sure you get the A9 with needle bearings -there are some A9 batches that have regular bearings.
Brass wool will remove the logo easily
I purchased an A9 from Rene Herse Cycles. They have a stash of NOS black A9’s that look like the sets Schwinn supplied on the 50th Anniversary Paramount. 60 seconds of rubbing with brass wool got rid of the Paramount logo without any damage to the black ano. I wanted silver not black so I stripped the anodizing off and polished everything with some Simichrome polish and liquid white rouge.
The original black anodized headset.
Rene Herse bicycles store
Note: Mike at Rene Herse tells me they are all sold out of A9’s. The closest currently made headset is the Miche which has needlebearings and a similar design to the old A9.
Polishing and anodizing supplies: Caswell Plating