• 07-29-2008
    FlippinSweet
    Headset for Bottlerocket: Zero-stack or non-zero stack?
    IT's getting about time to change out my headset. Right now I've got an FSA ORBIT 1.5 zero-stack headset (1.5-1 1/8th) reducer, but am considering non-zero stack.
    I'm wondering what the noticeable differences are between zero-stack and "regular" headsets are. The obvious difference is the change in overall stack height and what I guess is headtube angle. Are there strength differences?
    Stack height is not an issue for me since I have spacers that I can remove if I feel a little to much rise.
    Anyway, just trying to get an overall feel of what people's opinions/preferences are before I spend money.
  • 07-29-2008
    mjw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FlippinSweet
    IT's getting about time to change out my headset. Right now I've got an FSA ORBIT 1.5 zero-stack headset (1.5-1 1/8th) reducer, but am considering non-zero stack.
    I'm wondering what the noticeable differences are between zero-stack and "regular" headsets are. The obvious difference is the change in overall stack height and what I guess is headtube angle. Are there strength differences?
    Stack height is not an issue for me since I have spacers that I can remove if I feel a little to much rise.
    Anyway, just trying to get an overall feel of what people's opinions/preferences are before I spend money.

    save your cash and buy new bearings for your current headset. you can get them from fsa or direct from cane creek as i believe they are the same spec bearings (but double check!) for only a couple of bucks each. i love flush mount headsets - i like being as low as possible - flush with zero spacers. i prefer this to a slightly slacker HT angle.
  • 07-29-2008
    FlippinSweet
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjw
    save your cash and buy new bearings for your current headset. you can get them from fsa or direct from cane creek as i believe they are the same spec bearings (but double check!) for only a couple of bucks each. i love flush mount headsets - i like being as low as possible - flush with zero spacers. i prefer this to a slightly slacker HT angle.

    I think my problem is not just in the bearings but slop between the bearing and race (the part that presses into the HT). With the stem off and the headset dust cover off, looking directly at the bearing assembly, I can see play fore/aft between the race and the bearing.
    I blame myself because I think a while back I took my fork out and while the bike was in the stand I didn't apply the proper torque on the topcap to preload the bearings. I'm afraid this created the slop I'm seeing today.
    I do like the feel of the bike as it is, spacer and stack wise, but if there's a reliability/longevity difference between zero-stack and stack headsets I'll consider a change and just remove some spacers to compensate for the extra stack.
  • 07-29-2008
    mjw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FlippinSweet
    I think my problem is not just in the bearings but slop between the bearing and race (the part that presses into the HT). With the stem off and the headset dust cover off, looking directly at the bearing assembly, I can see play fore/aft between the race and the bearing.
    I blame myself because I think a while back I took my fork out and while the bike was in the stand I didn't apply the proper torque on the topcap to preload the bearings. I'm afraid this created the slop I'm seeing today.
    I do like the feel of the bike as it is, spacer and stack wise, but if there's a reliability/longevity difference between zero-stack and stack headsets I'll consider a change and just remove some spacers to compensate for the extra stack.

    I've run both cane creek 1.5 xc and 1.5 xc flush and i can't say i've had complaints about either when it comes to durability...
  • 07-29-2008
    unclekittykiller
    theres no difference between the two durability wise. the zero stack was created strictly for lowering the overall height of the handlebar setup. otherwise they are the same. i on the other hand don't have a choice in headset types cause i run a 1.5 steerer.
  • 08-03-2008
    SLX
    I have a cane creek xc flush on the bottom and a xc on top works well, no problems with either. Probably best to have it low and then add spacers, a tall stem or handlebar to taste.
  • 08-04-2008
    combatkimura
    More importantly, what fork are you running? If your running a 180mm fork I'd recommend the zero stack. If you're running 160mm it's personal preference IMO. If you do more DH on steep stuff you might like to have the regular style to slack things out. If you're doing more AM/FR on flatter ground you'd probably rather have the HTA a little steeper so go with the flush.

    I think the HTA is more important than the handlebar height when considering a headset since you can always use spacers or a different bar/stem combo but you can't change your HTA unless you have a travel adjust fork (but then you loose the extra travel as well).
  • 08-04-2008
    mjw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SLX
    I have a cane creek xc flush on the bottom and a xc on top works well, no problems with either. Probably best to have it low and then add spacers, a tall stem or handlebar to taste.

    I had always thougt the mix is good. But, I would have the XC on the bottom to get the slacker angle and flush on the top to lower centre of gravity.

    So...you are looking to steepen the headtube angle? And keep a higher stack height?

    ...why?
  • 08-04-2008
    SLX
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjw
    I had always thougt the mix is good. But, I would have the XC on the bottom to get the slacker angle and flush on the top to lower centre of gravity.

    So...you are looking to steepen the headtube angle? And keep a higher stack height?

    ...why?

    I like the sound of your setup.

    I have a 180mm travel totem so it feels slack. There are some nice local DH/fr trails around here that need climbing to get to them and I wanted as much travel as I could get in front and keeping it low for the climbing.

    But honestly the LBS had the two 1/2 headsets laying around and I just thought to myself its a deal and i am at least 1/2 way there.
  • 08-04-2008
    mjw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SLX
    I like the sound of your setup.

    I have a 180mm travel totem so it feels slack. There are some nice local DH/fr trails around here that need climbing to get to them and I wanted as much travel as I could get in front and keeping it low for the climbing.

    But honestly the LBS had the two 1/2 headsets laying around and I just thought to myself its a deal and i am at least 1/2 way there.

    Either way you'll get the same stack height and same height front end. One way will give you a slacker ride however.

    I know several people here who do it this way - xc on bottom, flush on top! It's kinda neat.

    Me, I'm 100% flush - I want the lowest front end possible. If I had your set up, I'd have the xc on the bottom, flush on the top, for sure.
  • 08-05-2008
    combatkimura
    The problem with Slacking out the BR with a regular headset and 180mm fork is that you're also raising the BB to a point where the bike rides noticeably different. IMO of course. With a 160mm fork and a regular headset the bike felt super nimble, cornered on rails and felt so stable on jumps. With the 180mm and regular HS it felt marginally better on rough DH stuff but didn't corner nearly as well and felt less stable when jumping.

    The BR has a sort of magical geo when the BB and the HTA are at the specified numbers. Many people run a 66 on them with a flush HS and more sag to keep the geo correct and a Totem would be the same. IMO one should try to stay as close to the specified geo as possible because that's where the bike comes alive. The exception to the rule would be if it's being used for DJing. I rode one with a lowered Pike on the DJs and it felt pretty awesome. You just have to be careful of where your pedals are so you so don't wind up digging your own DJs.