Kevin Johnson spoiled us with yet another incredible review! This time we read about the Cane Creek 110-Series Headset. Let's take a look at what he had to say.
Cane Creek 110 ZS44/28.6 EC49/40 Headset Review
I recently purchased Cane Creek’s 110-series headset for my new Ibis Mojo 3 mountain bike. On my other bikes, all of which are equipped with 110-series headsets, I immediately noticed a smoother feel in steering and a lack of the headset becoming loose, which occurred frequently with other headsets. I ride very rocky trails that tests a bike’s components with the constant jarring one experiences and fail-safe parts are a must.
What do all those bewildering letter and number designates mean???? Is it alien, Neanderthalic gobily-gook? Cane Creek utilizes the “Standardized Headset Identification System” (SIHS) to eliminate confusion relative to manufacturers using varied proprietary nomenclature for their headset offerings. This makes sense as it simplifies the decision-making process for buyers as it allows for precise comparison across brands of different headset manufacturers. (YES, to buyer-driven components and marketing.) For this headset, the SIHS upper is ZS44, which refers to the upper stack being an internal headset; other types include EC (External cup) and IS (Integrated headset). ZS is also known as Zero-stack because the bearings are flush or below the headtube. After ZS are the numbers 28.6 that indicate the inside diameter (bore) of the headtube, which in this example is 28.6mm. This number also means the fork’s upper, outer diameter is 28.6mm or 1-1/8” threadless version.
The SIHS lower stack EC (External cup) is a press-fit cup (threadless) with its bearing race situated outside the headtube. However, this designation may also refer to threaded-type headsets. EC49 indicates an external cup with a 1.5” diameter pressed cup. EC49/50 represents a tapered stem. Cane Creek, and other manufacturers’ may employ the nomenclature, stack height (H), which means the overall height of the upper and lower portions of the headset in mm. This, put simply, is the length of fork column the upper and lower headset will occupy. In summary, ZS44/28.6 EC49/40 indicates a headset compatible with 1-1/8” to 1-1/2” tapered steerer tubes. Additionally, Cane Creek offers a “conversion crown race” for 1-1/8” straight steerer tubes.
The 110-series differs from the 40-series in that the body is made from 70-75 T6 aluminum versus 6061 T6 aluminum in the 40-series. The 7000-series is stronger and handles higher stress versus 6000-series. Both types contain the same metals, only different ratios. Generally, 6000-series aluminum is easier to machine, weld, and form as it’s softer, and more corrosion resistant than 7000-series. High-end bicycle component manufacturers like 7000 series as its tensile strength is rated at 83,000 psi versus 45,000 psi for 6000-series, yield point of 74,000 psi versus 40,000 for 6000-series, hardness 150 versus 95 for 6000-series, shear strength 48,000 psi versus 31,000 psi for 6000-series, and strength-to-weight ratio of 196kN versus 115kN for 6000-series. Both series will work but 7000, overall, is stronger and tougher. In addition, the 110-series employs sealed stainless steel bearings while the 40-series uses carbon steel. My headset, including the star nut, top cap, and bolt weighed 119.9 grams. However, I tossed the star nut in favor of one made by Extralite (Italy), which is ultralight and works great. I use them on all my bikes.
110-series headsets are compatible with Cane Creek’s superb “Inter-lok” aluminum spacers, available in 5mm and 10mm thicknesses, in black, blue, gold, silver, and red. Cane Creek offers full inter-compatibility between its entire line (10-40-110) of headsets. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the meaning of 110. Cane Creek offers a 110-year warranty on their 110-series headsets. Please contact Cane Creek if questions surrounding “inheritance warranties” are applicable.
Worldwide Cyclery has all of Cane Creek’s headsets in many colors. They ship quickly and offer competitive pricing with return-buyer incentives and expert advice.