I've been doing a great deal of work to my Cannondale Quick 6 and I am doing the final upgrade to it -- replacing the fork. The fork I have ordered for the bike is this Nashbar Carbon Fiber Cyclocross Fork:
The problem is that I am not 100% sure if it is 100% compatible with my current bike's headset. It says that it's a VP semi-integrated threadless, 30 mm top cover headset, and the model number on it is VP-A48E. I couldn't find any stats on this anywhere other than this from an eBay auction:
1 1 / 8 "aluminum (steel crown race), semi-integrated
Internal diameter 44.0 mm, outer diameter 50.0 mm,
Anyways, I would like to upgrade the headset because it is a bit hard to find information on it and I don't like how "tall" the headset is. I want to be able to pick up something that has more information on it and something that seems a bit more common place, plus something a bit better looking. My concern is that I want it to be compatible with my headtube and new fork.
The headset I was considering was this Cane Creek ZS-3 zero stack headset. I read up on headsets and apparently "semi-integrated" is the same as "internal" and Cane Creek and Chris King make headsets for these types of headtubes:
Anyways, you probably want a picture of the bike itself, so here it is. One thing I noticed about the headtube is that it has a wider "flange" at the top and the bottom of the headtube:
And an older picture of my bike in case it helps any:
Sorry for such a long post! Any help is greatly appreciated.
The fork you linked comes in 1" & 1-1/8" options; you'll want the latter to match your 1-1/8" threadless headset.
You stated that you're not happy with the appearance of your present headset. You describe the headset as "tall," but I take that to mean you don't care for the tall cone-shaped "top cover" on it. The VP Products site shows the same series headset with what appears to be a shorter top cover:
Perhaps you can get a replacement top cover instead of replacing an otherwise functional headset. I believe other mfrs (Specialized comes to mind) offer a selection of top covers for their headsets to achieve different stack heights. Remember though, unless you intend to cut the steerer tube, you'll be adding spacers to the headset.
I recently installed that same Nashbar fork, 1 1/8, on my Giant FCR3 hybrid and am pleased with the results. I replaced my headset and the one I needed was an odd-size headset also made by VP, a Taiwanese licensee of Cane Creek. If you contact CC with your VP part number they will probably know exactly what replacement you need and maybe even have it in stock, as they did mine.
I ended up calling Cane Creek and they told me that the ZS-3 would fit. I placed an order for the ZS-3 and it already shipped, but I'm still waiting on the fork. How do you like the fork so far? Is it considerably lighter than an alloy fork?
It took 6 days for the fork to arrive which is consistent with the time it took for my previous orders from Nashbar. I was very impressed with the appearance of the fork; very nicely made. The Nashbar fork weighs 14 ounces less than the original Giant fork. I think the rake is somewhat different than the original fork as I find my bike's handling a little twitchier. Overall, I am very pleased with the fork and think it was a great value, particularly with the 20% off deal that Nashbar offered when I bought it. Incidentally, I bought a 3 meter piece of 6mm threaded rod from Fastenal for about 3 bucks and used it to "pull" the star fangled nut into the steerer tube; easier, I think, than hammering it in.
Apparently the fork is backordered indefinitely, so I ended up changing my order to a Ritchey Comp Cross fork and got free expedited shipping, so hopefully that Cane Creek headset and the fork will be here by Tuesday! I can't wait to have them put on and see/feel the results.
So I got the fork put on and it must weigh at least a pound or more less than the old fork! The bad news is that the headset was not compatible, as the inside of the headtube was machined to a depth of only 7.2mm vs the standard 8mm.
I returned the ZS-3 headset, but am now interested in swapping out the cone to a shorter cone (like with the VP-A48A). The problem is that I can't find anyone that sells replacement VP parts. I also need the plastic seal that goes underneath the cone and no one seems to stock those either.
So I'm revisiting this and am wondering if anyone has any experience with Cane Creek's AER headset. It's an expensive piece of equipment, but it looks like the headtube ream depth will be at or below the 7.2mm I need to make this work. What are everyone's thoughts?