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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's a no brainer, with external headsets being much less common and ZS/IS headsets being so prevalent the CC 40 is my go-to headset. It's affordable, good quality, no frills, and gets the job done. Until recently.

The new bearings in the 40 are tight and notchy and feel like garbage. They changed the bearings from the "Black oxide" coating with a Blue seal to ZN40 bearings with a Zinc coating and a Green seal. They feel terrible.

Guess I'll have to upgrade to the Hellbender (which may be the whole idea) or look to Wolftooth or White Industries with an Enduro bearing as an alternative.

Just a bummer.

Edit: Perhaps with a little ride time they will loosen up? I'll report back once they're broken in but initial impression is not good.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I have a brand new one as of a few weeks ago. Feels awesome straight out of the box. And I am picky about this kind of thing. Plus I didn’t even want it in the first place but couldn’t get much else at the time. I am fine with it. It cost next to nothing and is performing well. So far, at least...
 

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I hope the bearings wear/settle in. The 40 is my "go-to" headset as well.

If the new generation 40 bearings turn out to be garbage, there's always the option of replacing them with aftermarket e.g.: Enduro or SKF bearings.


The Hellbender bearings are expensive, and one would need to keep a bike for a long time and/or ride it a lot, including in bad conditions for the business case to make sense to go with Hellbenders).

Also, from reading UK forums (Singletrack), when replacing e.g.: Hope hub bearings, they love the SKF bearings, rating them as much better than Enduro bearings. I'm pretty sure that SKF are more expensive than Enduro, but are WAY cheaper than Hellbender.
 

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I just installed a 40 in my Ripley...felt a bit tighter than normal when first installed, but I did use a thicker grease. After 1 ride it's loosened up considerably and feels excellent.
 

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Wanna ride bikes?
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting. I know many bearings need to settle in when new, and will break in a little, I'm just surprised how the feel when new. I hope mine break in and feel better once they get some ride time.

(I changed the thread title as it may have been misleading, no long term testing yet)
 

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Shortcutting Hikabiker
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I just got a set of these new green seal bearings as replacements for my 40 series. On initial inspection they look cheap and feel like absolute garbage. I'm debating on running them just to see what happens or return them and keep using the original black oxide blue seals that feel fine but probably need to be repacked.
 

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Shortcutting Hikabiker
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Follow up, I'm returning this junk. The lower bearing is ridiculously notchy. The upper feels ok. This is beyond "run it and it will smooth out"

If I need replacements I guess I'll just buy some other quality aftermarket bearings.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Maybe mine is old stock. Blue seal, not green seal on mine.

Smooth as silk.

I spent a small fortune on my frame and was intending to tear it out once I could get a good replacement. I think I will leave it in. I have lots of mileage in now and have zero complaints. And it cost me next to nothing.
 

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Replaced a buddies bottom headset bearing recently because it felt gritty. The bike is only 6 months old and we ride in dusty conditions. When we took the new bottom bearing out of the package it didn't feel smooth either. Not as bad as the one it replaced but I was surprised to find that it did not spin smoothly. The top bearing was smooth, both new and old so that was not replaced. Serviced my Cane Creek 40 and found the same thing. Bottom bearing felt gritty but the top bearing was fine. My bike is only 3 months old with 4-5 days of riding each week. Are the bottom bearing junk or not broken in?
 
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