Cane Creek AER Headset
I've seen a couple of references to this uber-light headset in this forum, but nothing concrete. Yes, this is designed for road use, however many road components have been used in WW builds.
Does anyone have deeper input on this for MTB use?
In the meantime, I thought I'd share some shots and weights as it is very different from what I've seen in the past. This fits my road bike too, so no loss if I decide to avoid it for XC use.
First off, this is the "glamour shot" from Cane Creek, which seems to be a ZS44 top assembly. Note the light brown/tan coating on the "bearing" on the right side of the shot. I think the top cover looks sweet:
The next two shots show the Norglide "bearing" on my scale (doesn't even register) and it sitting in the bearing seal. This combination sits where a typical upper bearing would reside - 6g total. That tan coating is PTFE and is what the "bearing" slides on in the seal:
Here's a shot of that sexy top cover @ 10g. Very open to elements though:
Then finally the whole upper assembly, totaling 26g:
Would love your input if you have experience with this off-road.
Most of the previous posts here indicated that they were very sticky when tensioned properly and they only lasted a few rides in MTB conditions...
"Adding my experience - you have to be VERY careful when you place the top compression ring in. It will want to push the norglide ring off centre, which will trash it it a very short time, or put a kink in it (which is what happened to me). Ive put it in a few times to re-centre it and make sure its still running ok."
"Not recommended. At all. Currently running one on my Blur and it has been trouble since day 1. I'll be switching to a Extralite Scalhead or an KCNC Radiant soon."
"Sadly yes the Norglide composite bearing only lasted three rides before it developed slop.".
"Update: I cleaned everything and pulled it apart and the special, ultra think Norglide top bearing is trashed after one ride. I'm going to the LBS to see what they say."
Thanks Rocky. Very strange, but I didn't find most of those older posts.
I did read about the general theme of "stickiness" and wear. Both of these are to be expected as there is a break-in period and limited lifespan. It also seems like it is very easy to install it incorrectly, and if so you are done after a handful of rides.
On a related note, you can substitue a standard bearing instead of the Norglide + seal/housing.
Not sure if I'll take the plunge or not.
Hi phlegm -- since you mentioned it ...
Seems you've got caught up, but yeah -- the Norglide bearing is recommended road only. The abuse on a mountain bike, even with a suspension fork, is too much.
That said, yes, you can set up an AER with standard bearings and get the weight savings without the premature wear from the lightweight bearing. In fact, Michael Broderick and Mary McConneloug have been running that setup since last season on the World Cup circuit with no problems. You may get slightly faster wear due to the lack of an inner seal on the AER top cap, but otherwise you're good to go -- and those bearings are super easy to find and replace.
Give us a shout at 800-234-2725 if you want to talk about it with any of our customer service guys.
Director of Aftermarket Sales
and Customer Service
Cane Creek Cycling Components
I just put one on my Warbird Ti. It's a 60cm frame so the headtube is huge. Hopefully this will give it some more life. I'm going to be rough with the bike (it's a bike!) so we'll see. I should probably get a spare bearing and everything ready to go then. Of course I should have gotten this when we ordered the tall cover AER from Cane Creek on Monday since QBP only carries the short.
I played with it and have done a few rides on a mountain bike. It turned out just too finicky. I got a 2g headset spacer and custom made carbon conical headset lid instead and saved more grams. Still have it and i may give it another try one day.
From what I have read it works better for some and others are completly fed up with it. If you can get it cheap then go ahead and try yourself.
I've decided to run the AER with a standard bearing. It's still lighter than the other carbon combinations I've used in the past.
I was looking at these recently but don't think they'll fit my frame - from what i could see they are 36/45 degree bearings?
If you have a Specialized frame that uses an IS (integrated) style headset, you need 45 degree by 45 degree "campy style" bearings. Cane Creek typically makes the 36/45 that you mention.
Originally Posted by roaringboy
It's an exotic frame - 45/45 - didn't know it used same size headset as Spesh though. Went for a Token Omega III in the end.
Originally Posted by phlegm
Was interested in the Cane Creek for the weight and the Hope for the quality but alas, neither do 45/45.