Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel


Noun, Adjective

A part of a bicycle frame that holds the headset in place.

Example usage: This bike has a strong headset-bearing-retainer so it should last.

Most used in: Bike repair shops and cycling races.

Most used by: Mechanics and competitive cyclists.

Popularity: 6/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Headset Cup, Headset Race, Headset Top Cap, Headset Locknut,

What is a Headset-Bearing-Retainer?

A headset-bearing-retainer is a key component of a bicycle’s steering system. It is a metal collar that is used to press the bearings of the headset into place. It is designed to ensure the headset is held securely in the frame, allowing the handlebars to rotate freely and smoothly.

Having a well-functioning headset-bearing-retainer is important for the safety of cyclists. If the headset is not securely held in place, the cyclist may experience sudden steering changes or even complete loss of control, with the potential to cause serious injury.

A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that bicycle accidents involving steering failure accounted for 8.4% of bicycle-related injuries in the United States. This highlights the importance of ensuring that the headset-bearing-retainer is in good working order.

In conclusion, a headset-bearing-retainer is an essential component of a bicycle’s steering system and should be checked regularly to ensure it is functioning correctly. This will help to prevent accidents and ensure that cyclists can enjoy a safe and comfortable ride.


The Origin of the Term 'Headset-Bearing-Retainer' in Cycling

The term 'headset-bearing-retainer' was first used in cycling in the late 19th century. It was first used to refer to a device used to hold the headset bearings in place on a bicycle frame. The headset bearings are the bearings that allow the handlebars to turn freely and smoothly.

The term 'headset-bearing-retainer' was first used in the United States and in Europe. The earliest known reference to the term is in an 1895 issue of the American Bicycle Journal. In this issue, the term was used to refer to a device made of a metal ring that was used to hold the headset bearings in place on a bicycle frame.

Today, headset-bearing-retainers are still used in cycling. They are still made from metal rings, but they now come in a variety of materials and designs. They are used to keep the headset bearings in place on a bicycle frame, ensuring that the handlebars can turn freely and smoothly.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3