Cane Creek S-3 Headset Headset

3.95/5 (20 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2012

Strengths:    This headset came stock on my Santa Cruz Blur LT in 2003. It has only now worn out (2012). Durable? I think so.
It does what it needs to do. It holds my fork and stem to my bike. And I did not have to think about it until now. I'll go for another one and save some dough.


Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
I dont think there is such thing as a wear-proof product. Even if I had gone with a serviceable type product, I would still have spent more money. All the good servicable headsets are $100+ to buy. And you need to spend $30-$40 on replacement parts when needed. So any way you slice it, the Cane Creek S3 is a more cost effective and viable option.

Worked for me for nine years!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Subaru_Nation555 a Weekend Warrior from Arlington, VA

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2011

Strengths:    Smooth, well built, attractive, performs well, cartridge bearings, starnut and spacers were included

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
I have only ever used cheap, loose-bearing headsets and needless to day I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the S-3 headset is. If you're on a budget and want a good, reasonably priced headset, the S-3 is worth checking out. No word on durability but it should be fine.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $32.00

Purchased At:   Pricepoint.com

Similar Products Used:   Various cheapo headsets


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mmmatt a Downhiller from London Ontario Canada

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2010

Strengths:    This headset is Smooth! Strong too, i never double think anything like i did with my old headset.

Weaknesses:    Not a chris King, but for the price i paid, i'm more then happy about this headset.

Bottom Line:   
Great inexpensive headset period.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   some fsa ball bearing

Bike Setup:   06 kona scrap SS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ericmopar a Weekend Warrior from Henderson NV

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2010

Strengths:    Lasts forever... in brutal desert conditions.
It's over 4yrs old and now on a second bike.


Weaknesses:    None for all mountain / XC riding.

Bottom Line:   
It's tough.
I've never had to replace the bearings in over 4yrs and 8000 miles of riding at Bootleg. That's saying a lot folks.
I've just readjusted it once in awhile, and took it apart to clean the built up dust and grease out once a year.
I was going to replace the bearings during the new bike build a couple of weeks ago, but they are still sealed and turning smooth.

I'd recommend it to anyone, except maybe downhill riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bootleg Canyon

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek S-2, others so long ago I can't remember.

Bike Setup:   It was on my San Andreas for a little over 4yrs.
Now it's on my Mountain Cycle Fury.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 10speedbiopacefreewheel a Cross Country Rider from colorado

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2010

Strengths:    Great value, works perfect, clean and classy, comes in the only 2 colors that matter, black and polished(no gimmicky 20 colors) easy install. never had one fail on me.

Weaknesses:    ??? the snobs won't talk to me cause I don't have a Chris King

I wish it was made in the USA or some first world country.


Bottom Line:   
Cane Creek INVENTED THE THREADLESS HEADSET!!!! what else do you want to know? most every other company pays them to use their patent. I had a million problems with my Chris King, which I got with a used bike I bought. I worked at a bike shop, no one there could get the P.O.S. setup, and when I called CK they were very rude and insisted that we didn't know how to install it, and that their product wasn't faulty. The best they would do was offer that I pay to ship it to them and they would inspect it and send it back. Chris King has terrible customer service.
but back to the S-3. I have always loved it. A shop favorite. works perfect and never had an issue with one yet. I have owned about 6, and installed probably 25. No regrets, get one.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Similar Products Used:   VP, FSA, Chris King, Aheadset

Bike Setup:   um... I have run this headset on commuters, geared mtb, SS mtbs, fixed-gear mtb, and my trials bike

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BokorSolo a Weekend Warrior from Prince William, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2009

Strengths:    Strong enough for my purposes, set it an forget it. Good price.

Weaknesses:    Not sealed as well as I had thought.

Bottom Line:   
This is a pretty good product for the price that is for sure. When I was switching forks on my hard tail I noticed that the bottom cartridge had a bit of rust beginning for form on it. After about a year then cartridge was completely brown from rust and whatever was happening from riding through water, mud and whatever. I guess that it served it purposes. Luckily, the cartridges were replaceable through Cane Creek and Performance did all the work for me. I can;t really remember what I paid for new cartridges, but it must have been like $10 or so.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Performance


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rabidchicken a Weekend Warrior from Florida

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2009

Strengths:    Inexpensive, Cane Creek name, sealed bearings, easy to install.

Weaknesses:    No problems as of yet. I haven't had to adjust anything.

Bottom Line:   
Good bang for the buck.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   online retailer

Bike Setup:   Haro Sonix Werx

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by brian a Downhiller from san rafael, ca

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2009

Strengths:    smooooooth, solid, clean looking

Weaknesses:    none


Bottom Line:   
I love this headset. its cheap, reliable, and super smooth. i have never had any problems with it and i am not nice to my bikes. to those who have had trouble with it, there seems to be a recurring theme: getting it free with a fork? maybe they throw it in because they couldnt sell it. just a thought

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   trek fuel ex8 set up slopestyle

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by D1PHAM a Cross Country Rider from Santa Clara, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2009

Strengths:    -Light
-Nice finish
-Sealed Cartridge bearings
-Interloc Spacers
-Smooth functionality
-Does a great job of keeping contaminants away from the bearings.
-Low MSRP $60.00


Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Great bang for the buck headset. Looks great, cartridge bearings are replaceable and is very smooth. A can't lose purchase.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Skeggs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   FSA Orb


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by krazychowmein a Weekend Warrior from San Jose, CA

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2009

Strengths:    Sturdy and installed easily

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
The product fitment is great and seems to be a quality product regardless of what others may have said this headset seems to be doing great so far.... again it's only been a month but it's working well!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Everywhere

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Other headsets

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz SL

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by OctoCog a Cross Country Rider from Royersford PA

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2008

Strengths:    stays properly adjusted, smooth, inexpensive

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
works great - does what it needs to do and stays adjusted; no problems or issues with it

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   other cane creek headsets


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ja-red a Cross Country Rider from Greenville

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2008

Strengths:    cheap, ease of install

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This is the best bang for buck headset I have ever ridden or installed period. I worked at a bike shop and installed many different headsets and had this on my personal bike that my dad is now riding and has been running great for 2+ years. I have also installed this on several friends bikes, one using only the star nut tightening the top cap on the stem/fork to press in the cups. If you can't install this correctly with the proper tools you should probably shouldn't be working on your own bike!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   pricepoint

Similar Products Used:   many including other cane creek and king

Bike Setup:   kona kula custom build xt shifters & der , avid disc and manitou black

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Julius a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2008

Strengths:    Cheap, robust, nice looking and no frills

Weaknesses:    Not Chris King quality & performance

Bottom Line:   
I have beaten the snot out of this headset and it's very solid for the price. I can't complain. For $30 it has done it's job and more. It's definitely useful for your "beater" bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Noble Canyon, CA

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Price Point

Similar Products Used:   Aheadset, FSA ZS

Bike Setup:   Soma Juice 1x9 w/ Reba SL 29er

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stephen a Weekend Warrior from Morehead City, NC, USA

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2008

Strengths:    Quiet, solid construction, smooth as butter.

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
I bought this headset to replace the lousy one that came with the bike after the lower bearings gave up the ghost. Old headset creaked and groaned despite adjustment from day one. Installed it myself with no difficulty. Fit the headtube like a glove and works flawlessly. The day I put it on I put 11 miles on it through a very rooty, somewhat technical trail. No adjustments required afterward and the bike tracks much better. I'd recommend it for X-ctry and all mountain use. Probably not beefy enough for freeride or DH use.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything singletrack

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Pricepoint

Similar Products Used:   Crappy Aheadset that came stock on my bike.

Bike Setup:   Trek 4300 with Panaracer Fire XC pro tires and Shimano SPD pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Harriieee a Weekend Warrior from United Kingdon

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2007

Strengths:    + It has given me no trouble whatsoever throughout the past year that I have ridden it. No sticky steering, no noise, no internals failing, nothing. Pretty cheap too.

Weaknesses:    Lots of people have slated this headset, but I have had no negative experiences whatsoever from it.

Bottom Line:   
The biggest compliment that I can give this headset is that I didn't even know what type I was running until I was planning on building up a new hardtail and thought about what headset to put on that. I checked my SX Trail and found it to be running an S-3. I hadn't thought about the headset once in that time, and why should I have? it ran so smoothly and silently that it might just as well not have existed.

I see that this evidently isn't everyone's opinion, but I'm not meant to give an overview of the general opinion, I'm meant to give my own personal experience of this component - and my experience has been completely flawless. All the same, I won't be buying this headset again. I'm going NoThreadSet on my newest build, for safety's sake. But on my SX - I'll run it until it becomes a problem, and the way things are going, that may well still be a while. 5/5 (6/5 when it comes to value, if you ask me).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   FF Trails

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Came on my bike

Bike Setup:   '06 SX Trail, Marzo 66, SRAM groupset, Fox DHX 4.

Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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