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cane creek integrated headset(19 posts)

cane creek integrated headsetEric Liu
Jan 1, 2002 8:49 PM
Can anyone give me some feedback on their experience with Cane Creeks IS intergrated headset. Mine came with my custom Merlin Extralite and seems to have problems being properly adjusted. It's either too tight, or too loose, never just right. Is the ZS-5 any better? Thanks!
yup.... same issue hereCT1
Jan 1, 2002 9:43 PM
I've got the ZS-5 HS on my home-brew TCR.

The CC HS's are a PAIN to adjust.... just buck up and set it a little tight. They do require a couple of adjustments during the "break-in" period. Eventually they "break-in" and hold an nice adjustment.

Oh, I have a ZS-? on my NRS and it was the same in terms of initial adjustment.

re: cane creek integrated headsetBikeUSA
Jan 1, 2002 11:07 PM
I got a Ti Lemond Victoire with a Cane Crap integrated headset. I ordered a Campy Record hiddenset to replace that piece of crap. I work at a bike shop and we won't even let people trade in the Cane Creek stuff for credit towards better stuff.
re: cane creek integrated headsetDWI
Jan 2, 2002 6:06 AM
Please educate us on how you can switch to Campy's hiddenset from a CC headset.They are not compatible and can not be exchanged.The CC creek IS2 has a 41mm O.D. and the campy has a 42mm O.D.. This stuff is not rocket science.. the problem is with the individual who installs the fork,starnut/compression plug, and stem.As long as you do as CT1 explains and tighten the components to spec.. all is well. The contact bearings are not going to loosen on their own..they can't. It is often a procedural problem with the installation.
Merlin redesigned...PsyDoc
Jan 2, 2002 6:44 AM
...the headtube to be compatible with either the Cane Creek headset or the Campy hiddenset. I do not know how they made this happen, but Chris at Merlin mentioned something about changing the pitch of the races.
all is not wellgrandemamou
Jan 2, 2002 10:34 AM
I have the cane creek integrated headset on my Bianchi and the thing is junk. It will not stay tight. Unless myself and two LBS are idiots (may be a possibility) it will not stay tight at least not for long.

All the I require of a headset is that I never have to think about the thing. It's just a headset for cryin out loud. I have a 15 y/o stronglight and 5 y/o campy headset that I have never had to touch since I installed them. Sorry if I sound a little upset but any time anyone mentions Cane Creek I get irritated all over again.
Jan 2, 2002 2:50 PM
How many times have you had to tighten it??

I think I had to tighten mine 3-4(?) times before it finally "took a set". Eventually, it does seem to be doing the job.

good luck
on the 4th timegrandemamou
Jan 2, 2002 3:08 PM
I haven't been riding the bike much since I tightened it several months back. I prefer riding my heavy steel bike in the winter. I hope it is an issue of settling in. I had begun to think it was the frame until I read this.

If I still have a problem I guess I will begin exploring replacements.Even when it feels tight I get a nasty clunking noise any time I go over RR tracks. Also there is a visible gap around the top. Like it does not seat properly. I can close the gap but not close it completely.
"clunking noise".... hmmmm ...... :-(CT1
Jan 2, 2002 3:34 PM
Clunking noise from a HS is not right or good. ????

I too have a tiny gap at the top of my HS but I never really thought much about it.

Have you contacted CC??? I recall seeing a short thread about a CC ZS HS that had adjustment problems. Turned out there was a 'run' of lower races that were machined improperly. Perhaps you have one of these????

It's definately worth an email to CC.

Good luck and good rides
my thoughts exactlygrandemamou
Jan 2, 2002 5:49 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll drop them a line. The only reason that the gap bothers me is that it will allow moisture and dirt in. If the weather is bad I usually use one of my other bikes. I did get caught for about 2 hrs in a driving rainstorm once and I immediately took it all apart and regreased. Kind of a pain but I'm glad I did there was alot of water in it.
That gap at the top HAS to be there.High Gear
Jan 2, 2002 7:06 PM
Think about it. The top cap sits/rides on top of the top bearing. If it contacts the top of the head tube you will lose tention on the whole setup. Thats why shims are supplied with the CC integrated headsets. CC makes a quality headset. I can see people pointing the finger at the headset to be the culprit for a loosening problem but if you really think about it, it's the stem moving up the fork that is detentioning the whole setup, especially the carbon steerer tubed forks. I had this same problem and solved it by roughing up the carbon with sand paper for so the stem had a better grip. I'm a machinist, so I made a thin aluminum sleeve and bonded to the inside of the carbon steerer (1-1/8 steerer) then used a star nut. The sleeve gave the carbon more rigidity and made it less apt to crush under the pressure of the stem, not allowing it to work it's way upward. The star nut is not intended to keep everything tight, nor was it ever designed to. I think AME uses this same approach. So people, it's not the headset. If anyone has this loosening headset problem and it has to do with a carbon steerer tubed fork try roughing up the carbon with some sand paper first. If that doesn't work then the sleeve trick will and I thing most machine shops could turn up a sleeve for you for under $50.
good comments!CT1
Jan 2, 2002 7:40 PM
I should have mentioned (I forgot... doah) that I did something similar to what you mentioned. Part of my CC HS problem was a semi-loose stem spacer. I sifted around in my pile of parts and came up with a sleeve spacer that was REAL tight.... tight enough that I had a hard time getting it on. Between that and cleaning the bejebers out of it with alcohol my "slippage" problem (and HS loosening issue) went away. I'm not sure how much was a slippage problem and how much was the HS "breaking in"..... although it was a rather significant coincidence that the HS loosening problem went away right after I installed the TIGHT sleeve.

Kudos...... I also really like your sleeve solution because it seems like a good way to increase the integrity of the whole front end also. I've never really liked those cheesy adjustable bungs that come with carbon steerer tubbed forks.

ride on
It is the headsetKrill
Jan 2, 2002 10:49 PM
The Cane Creeks are notorious for lousy feel, not just on cf steerers, but even on steel steerers and on MTB forks. The basic problem is one of preloading the bearings and the CC design is exceptionally finicky to preload. A hair too tight and you get indexed steering, a hair too loose and you get lots of play. In your case it may well have been stem related, but in most cases, its just due to the poor design. Simply look at the number of people who have responded having problems and it is not from slipping stems. It is a shame that so many manufacturers elected to use the CC design for their internal headset head tubes.
Jan 2, 2002 10:55 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Campy Hiddenset intergrated HS? Do they have similar problems or are they trouble free? If trouble free, I would be inclined to blame the CC headsets rather than the fork or frame.
Jan 3, 2002 6:54 AM
I had the Campy "hidden HS" on my Cadd5 Dale frame. It worked fine and I don't recall having problems with adjusting it or have it loosen up on me.

FWIW, I still think the CC HS is OK and I wouldn't bail on it.

what am i missing heregrandemamou
Jan 3, 2002 6:13 AM
Several people responded that CC is an excellent product and will work fine if you make some modifications to it.

Maybe I'm a little strange but shouldn't a well designed product work as intended without consumer modifications? Would you be satisfied if the new car you bought had the same problems? A loosening steering linkage that could be corrected by placing a shim to correct the problem.
Nothing wrong with headset itselfBipedZed
Jan 3, 2002 8:28 AM
The Cane Creek IS headset is a solid product in itself. I have one in a 2001 Merlin Extralight that has held perfect adjustment with over 7000 miles. Integrated headsets rely on the frame headtube being manufactured to exacting tolerances since the headtube is essentially the bearing seat. Bicycling Magazine is correct in that the integrated headset CONCEPT is subject to external factors (headtube manufacturing) beyond the control of the headset manufacturer. If the head tube is manufactured to spec and with a proper front-end installation the CC IS headset performs fine. In your situation I would look at the headtube first.

The modification mentioned by another poster regarding the steerer sleeve is again not to solve a problem caused by the CC headset but a connection between the steerer OD and the stem clamp which is critical in maintaining proper headset adjustment.

In short, the integrated headset design which is really just a subset of the whole threadless headset assembly relies on the proper manufacturing and installation of numerous components from various manufacturers (fork crown/race, steerer OD, headset, stem clamp, star nut or other pre-load system) to function as an entire system. Compare that to a threaded headset in which the headset manufacturer has more control, i.e., the stem and steerer OD are not a factor in headset adjustment.
Stop! I did not mean ,sleeve-High Gear
Jan 4, 2002 2:35 AM
between the stem and steerer. I made a sleeve and bonded it inside the steerer tube, then used a stat nut. This made the steerer more stout and less apt to flex and let the stem ride up, in turn keeping tention on the bearings.
contact CCericliu23
Jan 3, 2002 6:16 PM
I think it would be in our best interest, as well as CC's to notify them of our problems with their integrated headset. I'm sure that any concerned company would be looking for problems to solve so that they can improve upon their product and make it the best in the business. However, if they are unaware of these problems..., oh well.
Therefore it is our responsibility to politely inform them of this apparently widespread problem so that a solution can be found.