When I think about buying a quality headset for one of my bikes there are only three or four companies that come to mind, and nearly all of my rides use a headset from Cane Creek. Cane Creek is the company that started the whole threadless revolution with the introduction of the Aheadset way back in 1991.
The 40 series headset replaces the successful “S” series. There are a few refinements to the design, such as a different top cap that holds the upper seal while securing the compression ring. This modification addresses the complaint that there were too many loose parts lying around when it came time for servicing.
The 40 series cups are made from 6061-T6, but in my case, I have an internal headset with no cups–just a top cover. I opted for the very aesthetically pleasing tall UD carbon cover.
One major advantage of the internal-style headset is the very low weight and simplicity of installation (no cups to press). The tall carbon cover integrated headset version that I have comes in at 75 grams. As a comparison, the AngleSet that is installed on my DH bike, comes in at 132 grams. Not too shabby.
The bottom and top bearings are black oxide-coated for greater corrosion resistance with a total stack height of 15mm. I still needed to add an additional 15mm to get the perfect height, which made for a clean looking installation.
Installation is very simple:
- Install the lower race.
- Slide the lower bearing on.
- Install the fork.
- Slide on the top bearing and top cap.
- Follow that with your spacers and stem, then mark it.
- Remove everything then cut 3mm below that mark.
- Clean up the cut.
- Install the star nut.
Check out the excellent installation video from Cane Creek for yourself. Cane Creek offers interlocking spacers to finish off the install, but I opted to use what I had on hand.
Real World Testing
Having installed Cane Creek’s headsets on nearly all of my bikes, with this one specifically installed on my Banshee AMP, I am happy to say that I have had no issues so far. Despite the constant pounding from jumps and skinnies, the 40 is still buttery smooth.
Now I haven’t seen much mud yet with this bike, so I can’t say how well the seals hold up. But thus far, I haven’t had any issues with any crunchiness from contamination. I really appreciate the durability of the cartridge bearings and haven’t seen any pitting of the races.
I did experience a bit of creaking after the headset was installed, but that was because I didn’t use the Cane Creek headset spacers and my personal spacers ended up moving a little. The remedy: a set of Cane Creek spacers on order, and in the meantime a bit more preload in the stem.
Stay tuned for more information on Cane Creek, specifically a review of the durability of the headset bearings when I get my V-10 C out on the slopes. While the V-10 C has the AngleSet installed, it still uses the exact same bearings as the Cane Creek 40.
The Cane Creek 40 Integrated Headset is available for $52 MSRP with replacement races at only $21 a set.
I would like to thank the folks at Cane Creek for providing the headset for review.