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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a new headset for my new custom Ti 29er, and cannot make up my mind. I have ruled out King, as I do not like the whole O-ring deal and feel it lets the fork move around too much on a rigid singlespeed. I want something in the $100 price range and seem to have narrowed it down to the new Hope or one of the Crank Brothers models. I will be using Hope hubs and brakes, so the Hope headset would obviosly match very well. But I really like the design and look of the new Crank Brothers offerings, I would probably opt for the Iodine SL model (all mountain, Stainless steel). It looks great and is a bit cheaper than the Hope.

The real problem is I have not seem much in the way of reviews for either of these. If anyone has any experience with either of these, I would appreciate and feedback, or if there is something else I should be looking at, let me know.

TIA,
Mark
 

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Hope headset is a nice addition. I have no experience w/ the Crank Brothers.

Why not look at the Cane Creek 110? It will not match your hubs, but it is one of the finest headsets to be built. All other companies pay royalties to Cane Creek (even Hope, King, and Crank Brothers) so it would make sense to buy from the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
woods360 said:
Hope headset is a nice addition. I have no experience w/ the Crank Brothers.

Why not look at the Cane Creek 110? It will not match your hubs, but it is one of the finest headsets to be built. All other companies pay royalties to Cane Creek (even Hope, King, and Crank Brothers) so it would make sense to buy from the best.
Just because they hold the patent does NOT mean they make the best! And I thought King uses that O-ring deal in order not to pay royalties to CC?

Mark
 

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I have the CB cobalt, it is nice and smooth plus it is very light. Can't go wrong with either, imo.
 

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No Clue Crew
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I run a Cobalt on my 26er. It's nice. Really, it's a headset; every one I've ever had has been about the same far as I can tell.
 

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I don't think the average rider could tell the difference in performance (assuming a blind test) between a King and Cane Creek (higher end) headset. I run a CC SOLOS on my Sultan and a King on my Flight - I can't tell. IMO, build quality is comparable between the two and I would bet that w/ proper care, both will last equally as long. That being said, unless I had a compelling reason to choose the King over my CC, I'd stick with CC for the fiscal reason.
 

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The hope is really nice, but requires shims too adjust it properly. I like it a lot though. I loved the fact that the crown race requires no tools to remove or install. Can't say anything for longterm durability though. No experience with the crank brothers headset. Their tools are nice, but their pedals randomly fall apart quarterly.
 
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i have had the CB headset on my bike for a while now. i was very excited about the low stack height and weight. off the bike, it looks like it would be great...

i have to say that i am not very happy with it on the bike. mine has had all kinds of issues. at Sea Otter i had the guys at Crank Brothers take a look at it and they couldn't fix it. IMO, there is a design flaw in how they use an o-ring between the bearing and steerer tube. the o-ring allows the head tube to move front-back inside the bearing. when using aluminum spacers this makes a very annoying creak, the creak mostly goes away by using carbon spacers but the movement is still there...

i have king headsets on most of my other bikes and have been very happy with them. i think my next headset purchase will be a cane creek.
 

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coconinocycles said:
the cane creek S3 is one of the best headsets out there! if you want some bling and keep your $$ in the states check out profile racing and crupi. steve.
+1 for the S3. I have always run S3s and have not had a single problem with any of them. Best value/performance ratio IMO.
 

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I've run multiple CK headsets over the years and never had a problem. They are remarkably tolerant to misuse. I've recently decided to change things up and put a Cane Creek 110 on my Sultan and it's been flawless. Seems to be smoother than a CK.

I believe that the benefit of an expensive HS is in the durability/longevity area. Not sure I could really notice the difference in "performance" between different headsets if they are properly adjusted. Oh yeah, and I think having a nice headset shows an attention to detail when you're building up a bike..
 

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Bodhisattva
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GreenLightGo said:
I don't think the average rider could tell the difference in performance (assuming a blind test) between a King and Cane Creek (higher end) headset.
I'll go one step further...I don't think any rider could tell the difference in any headset - provided they are properly sealed, greased & adjusted.

To the OP: I've had a Hope headset on my Sultan for the past year and have no had any problems.

I've had Kings for many years without any problems.
 
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