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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Couldn't figure any other forum for this so here it is.......As the title says I am looking at getting a new headset for my Trance which uses the Internal headsets (comes with an OEM FSA as far as I know that lacks a bottom seal so crap gets in the bottom of the HT. Also it has the blue seals bearings, so I want something better) and these are the options I can find............

Cane Creek ZS-6
FSA ZR, ZS or Z1

Somehow there don't seem to be many companies making internal headsets so this is my selection I have to choose from and that I can get from my fav E-tailer. I'm leaning more towards either the CC ZS-6 or FSA ZR for having stainless Steel bearings - the FSA also has SS bearing race. Any help from someone woh's been around for a while and seen and used some of these brands would be very helpful.
 

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I have an FSA that came with my Reign frame on my STP now. I have run CC ZS-2s on all of my bikes with IS headsets. I prefer them hands down to FSA. FSA is fine, but the CC keeps more funk out. Still not great, but better. FWIW - I have never had a problem with using non-stainless bearings. I have S2s or ZS2s on 4 bikes.
 

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Your Trance uses a Zero Stack headset.

I'd suggest an FSA Orbit Z (specifically, not the Orbit ZS) over any of the Cane Creek ZS headsets, only because of the greater cup depth.

The Cane Creek ZS headsets, along with the FSA Orbit ZS, conform strictly to Zero Stack standards and have a relatively shallow cup.

The FSA Orbit Z makes a slight modification to the standard, and nearly doubles the cup depth.

While I haven't heard much in the way of problems with the shallower cups, any extra insertion can give you that much more insurance against problems with headtube ovalization.

For that reason alone, I've stuck with the FSA Orbit Z on my Zero Stack bikes -- with the exception of my '01 NRS, the last year Giant reamed their head tubes too shallow to take the deeper cups.

For your viewing pleasure, that's an FSA Orbit Z on the left and a Cane Creek ZS-2 on the right.

 

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Prolly about the same

LyNx said:
Couldn't figure any other forum for this so here it is.......As the title says I am looking at getting a new headset for my Trance which uses the Internal headsets (comes with an OEM FSA as far as I know that lacks a bottom seal so crap gets in the bottom of the HT. Also it has the blue seals bearings, so I want something better) and these are the options I can find............

Cane Creek ZS-6
FSA ZR, ZS or Z1

Somehow there don't seem to be many companies making internal headsets so this is my selection I have to choose from and that I can get from my fav E-tailer. I'm leaning more towards either the CC ZS-6 or FSA ZR for having stainless Steel bearings - the FSA also has SS bearing race. Any help from someone woh's been around for a while and seen and used some of these brands would be very helpful.
I typically get Cane Creek headsets, and they tend to last okay. FSA are probably the same in quality. They are prolly all about the same until you fet to the top end stuff, like a Cane Creek Solos or the mother of all headsets, the Chris King.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies, especially you Nate (once again) and thanks for the photo and suggestion, having a deeper cup makes loads of sense and the price is just about right so I think I'll be giving that FSA Orbit Z a go. Man is that a major difference in cup depth or what :eekster:

For some reason those big boys don't seem to think people who have bikes that require internal headsets want something fancy like the rest of the biking community :confused: Their loos as I think there's a lot of frames going this way and a lot of people who really like their rides and would pimp them out w/ a CK headset if it were available.

Nate if you wouldn't mind, I get my stuff off JensonUSA would you check the link and tell me if that's the Orbit Z, as they have it labelled as a Orbit Z 1? I'd call them, but it isn't toll free from here, maybe I'll try to shoot them an e-mail and see if they reposnd with some knowledge.
 

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LyNx said:
For some reason those big boys don't seem to think people who have bikes that require internal headsets want something fancy like the rest of the biking community :confused: Their loos as I think there's a lot of frames going this way and a lot of people who really like their rides and would pimp them out w/ a CK headset if it were available.
If you read the the Chris King website you'll why they don't make internal bearing headsets and will never make them. At the bottom of that page is a PDF file where they explain the differences between the headset designs and their reasoning behind backing one over the other.
 

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If reading the Chris King website, it's important to distinguish between non-cup "Integrated" headsets (which King blasts) and Internal headsets (aka Zero Stack aka semi-Integrated, which King admits is far superior to Integrated).

King almost jumped in to the Zero Stack market with their Perdido, but made it incompatible without re-reaming of the head tube. Too bad, because the standard is living on, and there is surely a market primed to buy their goods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks Nate, one last question is exactlyhow tall is the cup to where it tapers off? I just looked at the Trance HT and noticed that it's not actually very deep and when I measured it looked around 12mm before it started to taper. From your pic the FSA Orbit Z looks to be deeper than that :(

[edit] I think I took your ruler for a non-metric/inch ruler, but now I look at it it seems it's a metric ruler and that 1 represents 1cm. If so then those other headset do have super shallow cups and the OrbitZ should work in my HT. Thanks for any more help you can give.

Speedub.Nate said:
Yeah, that's likely it. FSA doesn't list a 'Z1' on their website, but that Jenson link shows the right photo and the description mentions "Deep Cups".
As for the CK dribble- I read that and similar to their pricing "structure" and "contracts" it doesn't impress me - bullying doesn't work, this is a democratic world so when the majority decides they like something, you'd better listen up.
 

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LyNx said:
As for the CK dribble- I read that and similar to their pricing "structure" and "contracts" it doesn't impress me - bullying doesn't work, this is a democratic world so when the majority decides they like something, you'd better listen up.
Just because the majority decides on something doesn't make it right. CK feels it is an inferior way of designing a headset, it is their right to not want something they find inferior associated with their name. There are many products on the market where the lesser product won over the better product... Beta vs VHS for example.
 

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spdrcr5 said:
Just because the majority decides on something doesn't make it right. CK feels it is an inferior way of designing a headset, it is their right to not want something they find inferior associated with their name. There are many products on the market where the lesser product won over the better product... Beta vs VHS for example.
Sure, but in this case I don't really thing Z stacks are 'inferior'... I also think it's kings loss as I'm debating the VERY decision LyNx was. What did you end up with BTW?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haven't decided yet to be honest, as I haven't put m uch thought to it since. I'm not the most technical minded and don't own calipers etc so haven't double checked the HT but I'd say I'm going with the FSA OrbitZ as the measurements I took indicated it would fit.

Jwind said:
Sure, but in this case I don't really thing Z stacks are 'inferior'... I also think it's kings loss as I'm debating the VERY decision LyNx was. What did you end up with BTW?
 

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LyNx said:
Haven't decided yet to be honest, as I haven't put m uch thought to it since. I'm not the most technical minded and don't own calipers etc so haven't double checked the HT but I'd say I'm going with the FSA OrbitZ as the measurements I took indicated it would fit.
I'm not much of a wrench either -- It took me a WHILE to figure out I had a Zero Stack as opposed to intergrated. One things for sure, the WTB headset I have now gets FILTHY after a while.... Living in (wet) Maine doesn't help. 100bucks is peanuts IMO if you consider the time/energy/agrevation you spend on a dirty HS:madman:

With that being said the FSA Obit ZR has the SS bearings :thumbsup: while the 'Z' has "TH brand 36 degree Micro Angular Contact Bearings (red seal)" whatever that means:skep: and I'm not sure the cups will fit in my frame anyhow... I got some time to think about it but I'm leaning towards the CC Z-6.
 

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I used an FSA orbit a while back on my hardtail it was just a standard 1 1/8" headset and I had no issues with it (I beat the you know what out of that bike too), come to think of it its still in perfect working order its just sitting in the frame laying agaist a wall in the basement till I get around to ordering a a der hanger for the bike. I guess that'll happen whenever I get the hardtail itch again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Didn't say I wasn't a wrench I can fix pretty much anything on my bike, I just hate to have to engage the brain that much to figure out stuff like this. The RED sealed bearings are supposed to be a better quality. All that's really wrong with the headset that came on my Trance is for some reason it doesn't have abottom dust seal and crap gets in there frequently.
Jwind said:
I'm not much of a wrench either
 

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I just bought a Jamis Dakar XC Expert frame and it also uses an internal headset. I looked at FSA's online headset book and compared both the Orbit Z and Orbit ZR. It was interesting to note the that ZR says it uses a Chris King type bearing. This headset cost about $50 more than the Orbit Z.

I called FSA and asked them about the two headsets. The customer service rep said the Orbit Z model would actually be the better choice since it uses angular contact bearings instead of radial bearings. The angular contact bearings are supposed to have superior load handling and greater durability. Does anyone have any comments on the benefit of one design over the other?
 

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That's correct.

The ACB bearings transmit load 45° off vertical (meaning they have a half-vertical component, half radial component. Given that the headset bearings have to absorb primarily vertical loads (ex. rider weight and/or sharp impacts are transmitted in line with the head tube).

The radial bearings in the second example are better for a rotational application, such as a wheel bearing or pivot point, where loads are transmitted in the same plane that the inner and outer races are sitting in.

I am assuming by "Chris King style bearing" they are referring to a press-fit cartridge, versus the standard drop-in cartridges most other headsets use.
 

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On page 3 of FSA's headset book they list the different types of angular contact bearings they use. The high end one is made by Chris King and Tien Hsin Industries (TH Industries). The picture they use for this bearing is the same picture used on page 23 for the bearings in the Orbit ZR. Does the ZR use angular contract bearings after all?

I also noticed the Cane Creek ZS uses stainless steel bearings and the FSA Orbit ZR uses stainless steel bearings, but the FSA Orbit Z and ZS use chrome steel bearings.
 

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I went to the FSA Skypilot (a BMX style headset), I think only 20 grams heavier, but it has a much stronger bottom bearing that uses tapered roller bearings.

It also has a small grease hole so you can push in new grease and wash out the old grease.

This works fine for pushing out the dirt and salt so I'm hoping it will get through the winter.

I think it added maybe 3mm to the front end height, but then the new fork is a TALAS so I can just adjust it.
 

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The FSA Skypilot is designed for a headtube with an OD of 49.5mm. The FSA Orbit Z,ZR,ZS and Cane Creek ZS are designed for a headtube with an OD of 50mm. If you use the Skypilot in a 50mm OD headtube the headset will be slightly small and the loose play could damage your headtube.
 
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