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Killer of Chains
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1,800 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a new headset, so I've done a fair amount of research on my options. Currently I like the inexpensive yet quality Cane Creek S-3. The Crank Brother Cobalt are also very nice, mostly for their low stack height. And of course people rave about Stainless Steel headsets as well.

I figure if I am going to spend decent money on a headset, stack height and warranties are valid sale points that should be considered. For instance the Cane Creek models have excellent construction, but all of their traditional headsets are 27+mm stack height. The Crank Brother headsets aren't quite as popular or well constructed, but have a low stack height at 20mm and offer a 5 year warranty.

Are there other headsets I should consider? Are warranty and stack height not as important as overall build quality?
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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8,847 Posts
Get another Cane Creek S-3 (or above model) and you'll likely not have to worry about a warranty.

IMO, with Crank Bros. you'll eventually be using that warranty.

As well, ask yourself this; have you ever broken a headseat/needed to warranty one?
 

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Killer of Chains
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1,800 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
But the Cane Creek models aren't making any progress toward a low stack height traditional headset. I know it's 7mm, but that still means the headset could last through multiple bikes (provided you use the warranty before 5 years are up).
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
I've never used, or needed to use, stack height as a criteria for my threadless headsets. Have had the issue with threaded ones, though. Never had a warranty claim on any headset; I've got a variety of headsets, mostly Kings, but have an S-3 as well. Any headset that isn't defective from the start and is installed properly should be fine with regular maintenance IMHO.
 

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Derailleurless
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9,122 Posts
Yeah, I'm not sure where you're going with the stack height criteria. Is there a specific problem you're trying to address?

I've shopped for increased stack height to avoid a fork crown / downtube interference issue on one bike, and on another to try to steepen my steering angle (10mm = 1/2 degree). If you're trying to fit a used fork with a short steerer tube, minimizing stack height might be a goal.

But in general, there's no cause to rate one headset over the other based on this measurement.

BTW, I've had good luck with the Crank Bros headset on my RIP9 and am installing another one on a cargo bike.
 
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