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CB Directset V KCNC R3

1708 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mikesnowdon
Both very similar designs. Both lightweight, and both very low in stack height.

But which is best?

Based on aesthetics the Crank Bros gets my vote. But reviews are mixed from awful to sublime. How does the KCNC fare in terms of reliability, functionality etc?

Debate away boys!

KCNC Radiant R3

Crank Bros Cobalt C Directset

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I have...

the CB Iodine. The Iodine is only a few grams heavier than the Cobalt, so a no brainer to get the extra bearings in the lower cup. I am using the stainless version. The headset is fine, perfect in fact. I cannot understand those who have problems with the Directsets, maybe they do not install them properly?
In any case, I am very satisfied with mine, and will use the Directsets from now on.
The KCNC has a 5 year warranty which is a lot more than the 2 year KCNC normally offers for their other parts. The built quality of these headsets is superb
If you did have a problem with either, I'm sure the crank bros would be taken care of by the company without batting an eyelash. KCNC? I'm not as certain. Perhaps they have good CS as well, but my experience with dealing with Crank Bros keeps me buying there products in case something does go wrong. Oh, and I do have a Cobalt SL, with a lot of miles on it and no problems.
Thanks russya.

From what I have read on the net it seems to me that those having problems with the CB headsets probably didn't follow the install procedure to the letter. Many mechanics would possibly assume they know better and maybe some home fettlers also, so would be likely to ignore the CB recommendations. Or a hasty person exited to get their new bling headset on might similarly fail to follow the instruction completely. I would even place a bet that there's an unhappy CB directset customer out there who put his in with the old block of wood and mallet trick.

I'd also bet that 99.5% of Directset failures could be traced back to a incomplete and/or 'not followed to the letter' install based on the manufacturers guidelines.

After all, the outer cup is in fact the outer race of the bearing. Even the slightest deformation will cause it not to rotate freely. That's why they take so much care and attention to install. Simple engineering sense.

At the end of the day they look better than the KCNC so I'm going to take a punt.
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Funny you should mention it, mine was installed with a block of wood and a mallet. Had a ride to get to and someone stole my press, so I just whacked it in there. No problems:)
I don't recommend that install method, I just did it because I had no choice.
I guess you were lucky then? Or you've got the technique down! Can you do mine please? :)
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