Wolf Tooth Premium Headset [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for

Here at Worldwide, we have grown to love Wolf Tooth components, and we were stoked when they dropped their Premium Headset. They thought of everything from very high end aluminum cups to dual lip seals to make sure debris stays out. See what our customers think of the headsets after some testing!

Wolf Tooth Premium Headset


I purchased the Wolf Tooth Premium Headset for a recent bike build. The bike is a 2023 Canfield Yelli Screamy, an alloy hardtail trail bike. My plan for this bike is to be multi purpose, a part time trail shredder, part time gravel bike…for a mountain biker. To achieve this, I’ll have two different fork options to choose from, a 140mm Rockshox Pike Ultimate, and a suspension corrected Whisky Mtn fork. Also, a couple sets of wheels, one with some knobby trail meats, one with some gravelish cross country tires.

So I’m building this sweet bike in my head, and starting to purchase all the sweet blingy parts that seem important (wheels, bars, cranks, etc.). What doesn’t come to mind as blingy or important… the headset. But you kinda gotta have one, so why not get a good one? After battling though lots of creaky headsets and bottom brackets in the past, I’ve gotten to the point of buying good stuff that lasts a while. So I wanted something solid, low maintenance and serviceable. I looked into many of the big brands, and landed on the Wolf Tooth Premium Headset. Wolf Tooth has an excellent track record for making solid products, and I’ve had no complaints with other products from them in the past.

Their headsets are sold top and bottom individually which is easy due to the numerous different standards out there nowadays. I got the ZS44 upper with 6mm stack and ZS56 lower. You can also purchase additional crown races which I did for my second fork, so it’s one less thing for me to swap over when changing forks. The double rubber seals on the crown race and top cap are the best I’ve seen in a headset, which will be excellent to keep dirt and moisture out, leading to less removals for cleaning.

Install was a breeze, as expected, with a proper headset press. The bearings sit into the cups nicely with no play, but are able to be removed without pry tools. It’s got a pretty premium feeling star nut, if that’s a thing. It holds in place like a normal star nut. It comes with a nice raised top cap that’s got a bit of a spacer built in, maybe 2-3mm so it you didn’t cut the fork exactly right, you’ll probably be okay. Crown race install was also straight forward. I didn’t purchase the race install too from Wolf Tooth, which is an option. For me, it’s a piece of 2 ½” PVC rounded over on the edge that does the trick.

Wolf Tooth Premium Headset

And what do ya know, the thing turns. Like, really well. Not much more to ask for…except for looking cool. Which it also does. I went with black, but there are loads of colors to choose from.

No creaking yet with a few hundred miles on it thus far. I liked it so much, that I purchased a second headset for my YT Izzo. The Izzo had an obnoxiously creaky Acros headset, with bearings that couldn’t really be removed. I don’t like creaky bikes. It drives me nuts. So this warranted an upgrade for me. It happens to use the same ZS44/ ZS56 sizing. It’s a carbon frame, rather than alloy, so I used carbon prep and the green Park Tool retaining compound. So far, after a hundred or so trail miles, no gripes, no noise. Just buttery smooth turning.

Final Thoughts

So if you are looking for a headset for a new build or as a replacement, look into the Wolf Tooth Premium Headset. With replaceable to bearings, lots of sizes, and great customer service, it was an easy choice for me. It’s a headset that you forget about after you install it. And for me, that’s perfect.

 Wolf Tooth Premium Headset

February 26, 2024

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