I tested the EC44-EC49/40 AngleSet on my Ibis Mojo HD, which has a tapered headset, using a variety of forks, with both straight and tapered steerer’s. The kit comes with a captured compression ring, a bearing cover and two cups (0° and 1.0° offset), and two gimbals, are made with premium 7075 T-6 aluminum construction, two stainless steels angular contact bearings with split lip seals, crown race, top cap, bolt and star nut. The split compression ring which is captured inside of the bearing cover, helps sets preload, and locks the headset down solidly, ensuring no rocking nor creaking. The design acts as a tapered wedge for a secure hold and interface between the steerer and bearings, so nothing will come loose. The split lip bearing uses 5/32″ Balls, and incorporates a dual lip design, so the bearings get twice the protection, and are user replaceable. This design keeps grease in, and contaminants out, while still retaining low friction. The bearing cover has an o-ring, which prevents contaminant entry, and insures a tight and precise fit to the steerer tube.
Measured Specs (EC44-EC49/40):
- Bearings – Top 19.7 gram, Bottom 25.4 grams
- Gimbals – Top 7.6 grams, Bottom 7.9 grams
- Bearing Cover – 6.4 grams
- Crown race – 15.4 grams
- Top 1.0° offset cup – 35.2 grams
- Bottom 0° cup – 29.7 grams
- Top Cap – 8.6 grams
- Bolt – 7.9 grams
- Compression Ring – 1.7 grams
- Total Weight – 165.5 grams
The AngleSet installs very much like a normal traditional headset, outside of the special requirement for the proper alignment of the offset cup. Depending on the specific version being used, the offset cup will be installed on the bottom or top, and the offset itself will arc forward or backward, whether a slack or steep angle is desired. For my test EC44-EC49, the offset cup goes on top, and the 0° cup goes on the bottom. I was testing with a Fox TALAS 180 fork, so I wanted to steepen the head angle to match the bike’s default head tube of 67°, and this meant the 1° offset tilts to the front. The offset cup has a notch on either end, which must be aligned to the center of the frame. Cane Creek has two installation videos, and the latter should alleviate gimbal knock issues (not verified): Installation and AngleSet Installation Part 2
Install and Tuning Steps:
- Install the 0° cup on the bottom, which doesn’t require any orientation with a headset press.
- Carefully align the 1° offset cup with the frame center, with the fatter portion towards the rear (steeper head angle), and press it into place. If a slacker angle is required, just reverse the direction of the offset by 180 degrees.
- Install the crown race and bottom bearing with the beveled edge upwards on the fork, then grease both sides of the lower gimbal, drop it onto the bearing, grease the inner curved portion of the lower cup, and push the fork up into the headtube.
- Grease the inner curved portion of the upper cup and both sides of the gimbal, place the gimbal into the cup, drop in the bearing with the bevel edge down, slide on compression ring, bearing cap, any required spacers, the stem, and then bolt on the top cap.
- Tighten with a more torque than usual, so that the gimbals and bearing will get pushed into the cups, and are seated properly.
- Roll the front wheel straight into a wall or bounce it with sufficient force to help the front end settle down. You may hear a ‘gimbal knock’ sound, and re-tighten if required.
- Take the bike out on the trail, and do some hard riding, which might include doing big hits, riding in rough rocky terrain, so that the bearing, gimbals and cups all get settled in with each other. You may hear a ‘gimbal knock’ sound on occasion, and re-tighten if required. This initial break-in cycle might take a couple of rides before things quiet down?
Note: The ‘gimbal knock’ is a quick sharp snap sound, and although the noise sounds like something broke, it’s just play in the system, where everything isn’t quite lined up and in perfect synchronicity. Aligning the offset cup, liberal lubrication, proper tightening and letting the system settle in are the keys for quiet operation. It doesn’t cause any degradation to the system, and it’s perfectly safe, as it’s a robust entity.