The NeedleBlasteur is our top headset, but it excels in a realm that's beyond the needs of most riders. It has needle bearings, not ball bearings, and the surface contact difference is about XXXXXX versus X. It has to last longer. More practically---and hold onto your hat for this one---it increases rotating resistance. The thing is, headsets can be too smooth. A little smooth-stiffness, a little gumminesss in the bearings, seems to eliminate the tendency of a bike to shimmy.
All of this goodness encased in a really lovely set of cups, made and lustrously finished in Japan, by Tange. Fits all of our bikes and most but not all bikes that require a one-inch threaded headset. (Detail: Fork crown race 26.4, head cup 30.2. Most pre-'87 Asiatic bikes are 27/30, so no go. It is hard to imagine it ever wearing out. There are steel floating races, the bearings are replaceable, it’s just---really, really good.