Crank Brothers Cobalt Headset

3.12/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $27.49


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Product Description

Crank Bros DirectSet Cobalt C Headset: Directset uses the cups as a bearing race to eliminate extra parts and minimize weight. Cobalts are designed for Cross Country use with 28-ball sealed cartridge bearings.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jose

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2013

Strengths:    It's a really strong component that makes me go faster.

Weaknesses:    It's silver and a silver bullet killed my dog.

Bottom Line:   
I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to own this product.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by draff007 a Cross Country Rider from UK

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2011

Strengths:    Low stack height

Weaknesses:    Trcky to install even with park press , rusty very quickly , fragile , anodising soft , bottom cup destroyed itself on 4th ride damaging fork crown.

Bottom Line:   
Only purchased because of low stack height due to forks with short steerer . The forks were going on my sons On One but decided against it , only used the Cobalt for Cotic build because it was in the spares cupboard . Feels very light but also a bit weak . Awful to install even with Park press . Bottom race shattered on fourth ride and broken pieces ground into fork crown removing large chunks of paint , not happy . Don't even want warranty replacement will fit C King.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hamstelrey

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $124.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Hope , Chris King

Bike Setup:   Cotic Soul , F120RLC etc

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by thor thorvaldurson a Cross Country Rider from cedar rapids iowa usa

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2011

Strengths:    looks nice, color is cool, stainless steel

Weaknesses:    It BROKE after only 3 months of use.

Bottom Line:   
I have used this headset for a scant 3 months, and it broke, it was definetely not an inexpensive component, I was generally happy with it up until the point it turned my bike ride into a very very long walk. I am truly dissapointed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sugar bottom

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $115.00

Purchased At:   pricepoint.com

Similar Products Used:   cane creek, ritchey

Bike Setup:   Titus moto lite, crank bros cobalt wheels, truvativ noir everything,

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by davek a Racer from pojoaque

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2011

Strengths:    looks nice

Weaknesses:    misleading advertisement and box labeling by crank bros shows weight of 65.5 grams - actual weight 95 grams

Bottom Line:   
crank bros should be ashamed of reporting the weight of this thing as 66.5 g; the headset is 30 grams heavier than that. over the phone, they clarified that was cups only and defended that by saying that is consistent with other manufacturers. in my experience, cane creek, race face, chris king, etc, all report full headset weight. there may be 10-15% discrepancy between real and advertised but nothing like crank bros 50%.

i'll see how it performs and post another review after a while but for now this gets the thumbs down based on their under reported weight.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $54.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   chris king, race face, FSA, etc.


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Picardaw a Cross Country Rider from Clifton Park, NY, USA

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2010

Strengths:    Light and looks good.

Weaknesses:    creaks

Bottom Line:   
Going back to Chris King!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Stables

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Chris King Aheadset

Bike Setup:   Stumpjumper w/ Full XTR

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by valleywine a Weekend Warrior from Fresno, Ca.

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2010

Strengths:    low stack height; appealing to the eye; light; serviceable

Bottom Line:   
Unit works well, but the cups are starting to rust. I have submitted to crank brothers. We'll see how they handle it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   chris king nothreadset

Bike Setup:   santa cruz superlight; xo components; noir cranks; american classic wheelset; ritchey carbon bars; syncros stem; manitou R7 fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lebikerboy a Weekend Warrior from North Vancouver

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2009

Strengths:    Low stack height, Stainless steel, 5 year warranty

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
I got an unbelievable deal on a Fox F100 fork which unfortunately had a fairly short steer tube. I removed the King headset and with the Crank Bros. in place it was just long enough. To be honest if feels just as good as the King
mind you it's only been three months...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Chris King, Syncros, WTB, Cane Creek, FSA, etc.

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Blizzard

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by jpzweifel a Weekend Warrior from Houston, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2009

Strengths:    Light, simple design, no problem with install

Weaknesses:    rust really fast

Bottom Line:   
I bought this headset after reading up about it and likeing what I read about the cup/race design. When I got it in the mail I opened the package and gave it a once over and agreed that it was a nice looking headset and the design did allow for a light weight simple product. I did not have any of the problems installing the headset that others mentioned. On my first ride I did not feel an overwhelming difference in the bike, which is good in my mind as the headset was not crapy. Bearings felt smooth and the connection with the frame/fork/headset felt snug and secure.

I have ridden with this headset for about six months and I was doing some work on the bike (cleaning chain, checking torque on bolts etc) when I felt something crusty on the headset cups. When I looked closer I saw that it was rust on the outside of the cups. I bought the Cobalt C and do recommend buying any of the crank bro headsets unless you are getting the stainless steel version. This product only made it thru 1/10th of its warranty life before rusting, better luck next time. I went back to tried and true Cane Creek S2, nothing fancy but I know that it works. If a product cannot make it to at least the warranty life then it does not deserve more than one flamin' chili poo.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   King, Cane Creek, Shimano, Tioga, etc...

Bike Setup:   XTR full suspension cross country bike

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by AustinBiker a Cross Country Rider from Austin, Tejas

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2009

Strengths:    Low stack height, light, innovative design, solid quality so far

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Suggested by my LBS, I'm very glad I went with this headset. I like a really aggressive riding position on my bikes, and with a 29er, the low stack height really helps. Not to mention shaving some weight. It has been solid to date, riding about 100 miles/week of aggressive xc/am. Others have mentioned trouble installing but my shop, which handles lots of 29ers, are really loving these headsets lately. I'll rewrite this review later if it is worn out in a few months, but I'm sold enough that I'm about to put the all mountain version on a new 120 mm Sultan.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Thumper

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek, King

Bike Setup:   Racer X 29er with Fox RL G2 80 mm, I9, SRAM drivetrain, Thomson stem/post, Syntace bar, Ergons

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sonyisdope a Cross Country Rider from Livonia

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2009

Strengths:    Lightweight, low stack height, clean looks.

Weaknesses:    Installation can be tricky, kind of fragile, bearings are not the highest quality.

Bottom Line:   
I'm posting a followup review, I also posted the first review at the bottom of this page. I posted that up when I got my first Cobalt in April of '08. Well, after a year and a half of use, and purchasing 2 other Cobalts, I have to lower my reviews.

If you want a lightweight headset, that is a great value, this is it. It is kind of fragile, and in the end, I feel it is kind of a throw away headset. Sure, it has a 5 year warranty on it, and if you buy one, you will either utilize the warranty or throw it away within 5 years of owning it. The bearings are just cheap bearings, and nowhere near the quality of King bearings, or even the basic Cane Creek S-8 bearings.

Also, installation can be tricky. Either take it to a shop, or make darn sure that the cups go in PERFECTLY straight.

I have a Cobalt on my race bike, on my CX bike, and on my BMX bike, and they have all fared very well. On my singlespeed that I plan on keeping forever, I still rock a King, because it is a better headset. The King is just made of nicer materials and has nicer bearings. If you want the top of the line badboy headset, the King is still it. If you want to save a few bucks, AND want a lighter weight headset, the CB is the headset for you. If you can't understand why you would want a King, don't get a King, save a few bucks (and 1 ounce) and get this headset. I trash my CX bike, and this headset has stood up pretty well. On my race bike though, I noticed that the bottom cup is missing a small chunk of metal on the cup, but still works perfectly. I guess my big hangup is that when you decide to take one apart, you see how crappy it is, and the metal that they use on the cups is very fragile.

Sooooooo. . .If you want light and cheap, get the CB Cobalt. If it is something that you plan on keeping for a long time, step your game up to the King or Cane Creek 110. In the end, it's just a freaking headset.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   Cycle to Fitness

Similar Products Used:   Chris King, Cane Creek S8, and 110.

Bike Setup:   A really nice one :)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tj90 a Cross Country Rider from oceanside, ca

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2009

Strengths:    stack-height, colors

Weaknesses:    installation is key

Bottom Line:   
I got the iodine to get a beefier bottom bearing. When I opened the box, both races were 34 balls - so I essentially got the DH version with iodine (orange-red) cap. Its not that much of weight penalty for more balls in the bearings.

I used homemade tools to install the HS. Make sure your rod stock press only pushes on the inner radius of the bearing. I think people are cracking the headset, cause they put all the compressive force on the outer race that is cantilevered - BAD!! After reading threads on here about installation, I honestly was scared to install. It turned out to be easy, just take your time.

When I first installed, it was binding when moving the handlebars close to 90 degrees. I took a flashlight and found a small gap between bottom race and frame. I took a plastic mallet and fully seated bottom race into frame. Now no binding. The HS is sensitive to race parallelism - as are most good HSs with good bearings.

The headset has been performing well. I appreciate crank brothers novel approach to HS design. They saved a ton of weight and lowered stack height. I was able to salvage an awesome fork on a new, larger frame thanks to their reduced headset. Its very clean look and great Crank Brothers 5 year warranty!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   close

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   beyond bikes

Similar Products Used:   king, aheadsets, cane creek

Bike Setup:   XC

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by MDC a Weekend Warrior from Atlanta, GA USA

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2009

Strengths:    Weight

Weaknesses:    Stack heigth

Bottom Line:   
Don't throw away the box; It's not empty. Very light weight. No problems installing, with supplied tool, and it's always a pleasure to hang another tool on the wall. The only problem is that the stack height is shorter than headsets used in the past. Unmodified adjustment knobs on the Fox fork will hit the down tube on my Ellsworth. Sorry King, I will never stray again. The bearing feel is what I would expect from CB and the finish clean.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   King

Bike Setup:   Ellsworth Truth, Fox RLC- 23.5lb finished weight w/XTR

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hitek79 a Weekend Warrior from Littleton, CO

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2009

Strengths:    Lightweight, very smooth, machining is very nice

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
I'm fairly new to this upgrading parts game, so take my advice for what it is. My bike came with a cheapy WTB headset, and I saw the Cobalt SL headset pop up on Chainlove. Package arrived promptly, and I set out to attempt my first upgrade using MTBR as my guide. I removed the old headset and installed the new one using homemade tools I learned about here. I got everything done and back together pretty quickly. When I had the bike on the stand it didn't really feel any different, but the first time out on the trail I could notice a difference in smoothness. I guess I'll just see how it goes. If something catastrophic happens I'll update, but so far I'm extremely happy!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Apex

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $62.00

Purchased At:   Chainlove

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Titus Racer-X

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by chowsm a Cross Country Rider from NY, NY

Date Reviewed: November 2, 2008

Strengths:    Looks Great and it's light.

Weaknesses:    Extremely difficult to install. I'm using a Park headset press and it just won't go in straight. I've used several headsets from cane Creek and King without a single hiccup.

Bottom Line:   
If you get them, go through the LBS and have them install it. It's not worht the aggro.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Stony Brook

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek, WTB, Chris King, FSA

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Blur, Fox F100RLC XT/XTR Stuff

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by schmedly a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2008

Strengths:    light,looks good new

Weaknesses:    its summer and it has rust on bearing races,I thought stainless didnt rust,not happy with cust. service

Bottom Line:   
should have bought the lower priced one that I know last

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   ritchey,cane creek


Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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