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  1. #1
    MattSavage
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    Headset question... Zero Stack or Integrated..

    First off, I apologize for submitting to the "drivetrain" forum. I'm not sure where to ask about headsets.

    My bike came spec'd with a WTB Inner Peace headset. I emailed Cane Creek about a comparable replacement and they suggested a ZS-2 or ZS-6, the ZS line being their "Zero Stack" type of headset.

    My issue is, I thought that the WTB Inner Peace was an Integrated style headset. Am I wrong or missing something here? Because Cane Creek, obviously, manufactures integrated type headsets and I was surprised when they suggested zero stack.

    What is the WTB, a zero stack or integrated? Or are the two types interchangable, meaning, is the headtube machining the same for both types of headsets?

    I'm mildly confused. I am awaiting feedback from both companies, but in the meantime, any ideas?
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  2. #2
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    I think they're both called internal cup type headsets, different from integrated, although both take special headtubes.
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  3. #3
    Chrome Toaster
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    I don't know what type you need but they are not the same or compatible. Zero Stack is a conventional headset that sits entirely inside a winder headtube. This is perfectly fine an deven has some advantages over conventional types. An integrated headset means the headtube IS the headset. You just drop the bare bearing cartridge into the headtube. This is one of the most assanine ideas to hit the cycling industry. They work fairly well and have been becoming almost standard on road bikes because the abuse it much less but I make it a point to not even consider buying any MTB with one.

  4. #4
    I <3 29ers
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    I'm just as confused as you, Matt. ZS, integrated, internal - (sigh) Can NOTHING be left alone nowaday's?

    You can always get spacer's to reduce the ID of the headtube, if you have an internal or integrated or whatever the heck it's supposed to be. This allow's you to use a conventional heaset. If you already have a headset you want to re-use, for whatever reason, you can buy these and the confusion ends.

    Don't ask me where to buy them - I haven't started looking yet, but i'd assume your LBS should be able to get them for you. Again, IF that's what applies to what you have.

    That's the route i'll be taking - I just want a friggin' NORMAL headset.
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  5. #5
    MattSavage
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    Well, I got it figured out...

    The WTB Inner Peace is an INTERNAL (or zero stack) headset, meaning it has cups that are pressed into the headtube completely, like the Cane Creek ZS series, and are not compatible with INTEGRATED headset headtubes, which don't have cups, the bearings just sit directly in the headtube.

    I already knew all this, I was just thrown off, because I thought the WTB was an integrated, not an internal. Also, they call them "zero stack" yet each one comes in varying stack heights. Oh well.

    So now that that's all cleared up, I now know I need to spend more money than I want for a headset. Has King jumped on this bandwagon yet? May as well go all out!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage
    So now that that's all cleared up, I now know I need to spend more money than I want for a headset. Has King jumped on this bandwagon yet? May as well go all out!
    Yes, well sort of... CK made an internal headset but they weren't happy with the standard so they modified it a bit. Their internal headset known as the "Perdido" has a diameter thats about .5mm wider and a little deeper. A standard internal/zero stack can be reamed to accomodate it but you won't find many people with the quality tools or disposition to do this to their headtube. To be quite honest I don't know if they ever actually got very far manufacturing these or if they still do.

    http://www.chrisking.com/headsets/hds_perdido.html

  7. #7
    MattSavage
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    Are you kidding?

    Boy, that sounds like a joke. I'm sure it's overpriced to begin with, the shops would have to buy specific tools from King to modify your frame(which I'm sure aren't cheap) and to top it off, it may destroy your frame.

    Hmmm... Perplexing.

    I don't know if Kings argument against integrated headsets holds much water. Even with standard threadless headsets, the bearing just drops into the cups so there's still room for slop and play to develope and not coincidentally, ovalization. I bet they're just pissed because they've finally reached near perfection with their headsets and now the industry is on the move again.

    I don't know, I don't really care too much either. I can't afford to buy expensive bikes, if mine wears out, so be it. Just buy another frame.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage
    Boy, that sounds like a joke. I'm sure it's overpriced to begin with, the shops would have to buy specific tools from King to modify your frame(which I'm sure aren't cheap) and to top it off, it may destroy your frame.

    Hmmm... Perplexing.

    I don't know if Kings argument against integrated headsets holds much water. Even with standard threadless headsets, the bearing just drops into the cups so there's still room for slop and play to develope and not coincidentally, ovalization. I bet they're just pissed because they've finally reached near perfection with their headsets and now the industry is on the move again.

    I don't know, I don't really care too much either. I can't afford to buy expensive bikes, if mine wears out, so be it. Just buy another frame.
    In my experience and opinion King is 100% right. In integrated systems the bearing does not install firmly and snug as with a traditional system. Its quite literelly COMPLETELY loose in there because you need to be able to slip it in or out by hand. That means it shifts around slightly. They tend to cause endless creaking and binding and quite simply wear down very fast due to not staying correctly set. Beyond that they also require the headtube to be correctly faced and reamed at the factory. If they get it wrong your pretty screwed. With a traditional system you have a problem with it you can just buy another brand. I've had integrated headsets on two litespeed hardtails and they were a maintenance nightmare. I specifically got rid of them because of that. I still have one on my roadbike and its tolerable because the abuse is not as harsh there. They have the advantage here that you can make flush and smooth aerodynamic headtubes and fork joints. But still, about every 1.5 years or so it has to come off for service and possible replacement. If I had a CK or any standard set in there it would probably last 10 years or more with no problems or service. Incidentally, Litespeed and just about every manufacturer who implemented integrated headsets on their mountain bikes have now dropped them due to their terrible reputation. Its almost exclusively a road bike system now.

  9. #9
    MattSavage
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    Yeah, you're probably right. You'd think, though, that if they can forge or machine a headset cup to such specific tolerances, why couldn't it be done with the headtube itself? It's seems like a no brainer to me, but then again, I'm not by any means experienced in those lines.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  10. #10
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    Why specially shape a headtube any more than necessary, especially with the welding requirements required in those same areas. If you need to, to adjust spec for a certain frame, maybe, from a certain aesthetical viewpoint, maybe, aerodynamically really pushing it; simply an added complication unnecessary on a mountain bike from my view.
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  11. #11
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    FSA Orbit Z

    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage
    Yeah, you're probably right. You'd think, though, that if they can forge or machine a headset cup to such specific tolerances, why couldn't it be done with the headtube itself? It's seems like a no brainer to me, but then again, I'm not by any means experienced in those lines.
    I went through this with my Orbea 50 mm OD head tube , the lightest and working perfectly is a FSA Orbit Z ( 89 grams including the top cap & alum bolt)the top of there line is the ZR stainless steel race ,

    http://www.fullspeedahead.com/fly.as...xid=65&pid=190

  12. #12
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    Check out Chris King

    King has a good article explaining the difference between standard headsets and internal headsets and intigrated headsets. pretty good reading. They also offer an internal headset

    http://www.chrisking.com/pdfs/Int%20...0Explained.pdf

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage
    Yeah, you're probably right. You'd think, though, that if they can forge or machine a headset cup to such specific tolerances, why couldn't it be done with the headtube itself? It's seems like a no brainer to me, but then again, I'm not by any means experienced in those lines.
    If someone could develop a reliable standard for it there should be no problem. Part of the problem is the design of the integrated headset standard is lousy to say the least.

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