If you've got a bike frame with a tapered head tube designed for a ZeroStack headset, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal than with this Cane Creek 40-Series ZeroStack Tapered Headset. It's modeled after their 110 headset, with the most recognizable difference being the finish of the cups. The 40-Series headsets aren't as polished and shiny as the 110-Series units. But on a ZeroStack headset like this, the cups are hidden inside the top and bottom of the head tube so the aesthetic value takes on less importance than the cost difference.Looks aside, the 40-Series Headset is crafted from 6061 T6 alloy where the 110 headset has cups machined from 7075 T6 aluminum. The functional difference is one of a few grams, with the higher tech alloy of the 110 headset allowing a lighter overall part. This 40-Series Headset spins on Cane Creek's black oxide bearings. The races and balls start out as 52100 steel and are then given an acid bath to make them more corrosion resistant, while still being porous enough to retain grease. They are angular contact bearings (ACB), which resist both axial and radial loads equally well. The cartridges are sealed with what Cane Creek likes to call a Split Lip Seal, which has two contact seals per side to better keep out contaminants and hold in grease. To augment the seals on the cartridge bearings, Cane Creek adds face seals to the crown race and top assembly. So what if the bearings aren't stainless like the 110 Headset -- grease kept in and muddy goop kept out keeps 'em running like new for a long time. In the event that you might wreck the bearings through normal use or abuse, you should know that all the internal parts in this 40-Series Headset are compatible with their top-of-the-line 110-Series Headset. So you could always upgrade to the 110 headset's stainless steel bearings. The Clip-Seal in the upper assembly holds all the parts together, including the compression ring. This makes assembly a cinch, since there are no loose parts to misplace or install backwards.The Cane Creek 40-Series ZeroStack Tapered Headset is anodized Black, and Cane Creek adds laser etched graphics including their Skink logo. This is a ZeroStack tapered headset that will mate a fork with a 1-1/8" - 1.5" tapered steerer tube to a tapered head tube having a 44mm ID top and 56mm ID bottom. Of course, you could adapt it to work with a straight 1-1/8" steerer tube by using a Cane Creek Conversion Crown Race (sold separately). The top bearing cover is compatible with Cane Creek Interlok spacers.
Strengths: None for my fork.
Maybe it will fit yours? Maybe it won't.
Weaknesses: Incompatible with some common forks.
Buyer Beware: New design has compatibility issues.
I ordered this to be installed with my Easton EC fork. I got a call from the shop that they were having problems. Four days later, Cane Creek admitted to the shop that they were aware of compatibility issues with the Easton EC forks. They do not have a fix for this, and suggested that my shop do some grinding on my fork so it would fit.
I'm disappointed that they are selling this product without telling consumers about these potential problems. I also worry about how many people are riding carbon forks that have been compromised due to Cane Creek's suggestion.