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Cane Creek 40-series IS headset and Specialized TriCross Elite

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Cane Creek 40-series IS headset and Specialized TriCross Elite

Old 04-05-20, 12:14 AM
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AndreyT
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Cane Creek 40-series IS headset and Specialized TriCross Elite

Cane Creek's "headset finder" tool suggests that my 2012 TriCross needs IS 41/28.6 upper and IS 41/30 lower headset. As far as the diameters are concerned, these sizes are indeed perfectly correct. So, I got a "Cane Creek 40-Series IS41/28.6/H15 | IS41/30 Tall" headset. However, there appears to be a problem with compatibility of this headset to the bicycle. The bottom part - crown race and the bottom cartridge - is fine. It is an exact fit, no problems there. (In fact, the Cane Creek cartridges themselves are essentially the same as my original ones). But the top part is a different story.

Here's how it is implemented originally. The top cartridge bearing sinks quite deep into the head tube. A split conical compression ring slides down the steerer to wedge itself into the center opening of the cartridge. It hugs the steerer and keeps it centered.



Then the whole thing is squeezed from the top by a tall Tange Seiki dust cover.



(I presume that my entire headset a Tange Seiki. Is it?)

---

And now to the Cane Creek headset. Here's top portion (dust cover? top cover?)



In this case the compression ring is integrated into the dust cover. It hugs the steerer, as it is supposed to, but the problem is that in this case that circular wedge simply cannot reach the top cartridge. The top cartridge on this bicycle is sunk too deeply in the head tube (see the first picture). Cane Creek compression ring does not reach that deep and does not engage the bearing. Because of this there's nothing to keep the steerer centered in the head tube: the top part just flops around laterally.

So, I presume that this Cane Creek headset is not immediately a proper fit for this bicycle. Apparently, Cane Creek headset expects the top cartridge to sit flush (or almost flush) with the top edge of head tube.

My question is: what headset parameter should I pay attention to in the future to determine whether a headset is compatible with a bicycle? The depth of the top cartridge seat - what's it officially called? Also, is there some sort of adapter that would allow one to use this headset with that bicycle?

Last edited by AndreyT; 04-05-20 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 01:22 AM
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Oh, I now see that the compression ring is not really "integrated" into the Cane Creek dust cover: it can be detached. Is there a "deeper" compression ring? Is there a way to shim it somehow?
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Old 04-05-20, 06:00 AM
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See how it works with the original compression ring and the Cane Creek top cap. If that doesn't work, you should be able to use both original parts on top to get you going again. You might also try using a 2.5 or 5mm headset spacer between the Cane Creek compression ring and the Cane Creek top cap to see how that fits.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
See how it works with the original compression ring and the Cane Creek top cap.
It doesn't. Not enough reach even with the original compression ring. If I remove Cane Creek compression ring and install Cane Creek top cover over the original compression ring, the top cover just rests on the head tube, which is incorrect.

Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
If that doesn't work, you should be able to use both original parts on top to get you going again.
Yes, that certainly works. But still...

Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
You might also try using a 2.5 or 5mm headset spacer between the Cane Creek compression ring and the Cane Creek top cap to see how that fits.
I see that they also sell 0.25mm and 0.5mm shims... Apparently that's what I need. But getting a bunch of thicker ones, as you suggested (1mm and 2.5mm, or even 5mm), is also a good idea. Thank you.

Last edited by AndreyT; 04-05-20 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:20 PM
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I had a similar (maybe not the exact same) problem with my Tricross Sport. I ended up getting a bunch of .25-.5mm spacers and was able to remedy it.

Last edited by tFUnK; 04-05-20 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 09:02 PM
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Don't really have anything to add in helping just want to say Specailzied headsets are garbage, especially the mindset but even newer stuff is not so good on some of the stuff. Why can't you just standardize with something I can easily get from Cane Creek. I have had issues as well as you have described on my new Langster I think we put some smaller spacers on top of the bearing below the top cap and that worked. I guess in the end I did have something to contribute.

It would be nice for companies to just put what headsets dimensions they use I have come across many thing where I have to measure on my own instead of them saying it is EC34 EC34 or IS42 IS52 or whatever. Just make it easy or just use high end sealed cartridge bearing headsets from the start.
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Old 04-05-20, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Why can't you just standardize with something I can easily get from Cane Creek.
Well, to be fair, when it comes to headsets of IS type, it is expected that there will be some variability in how deep the top cartridge bearing sinks into the head tube. As well as some variability in compression ring parameters. It is perfectly reasonable to expect the installers to fine-tune the position of the top cover by inserting shims between the top cover and the compression ring. We have to make sure that there is enough "squeeze" in the stack, and at the same time that the gap between the top cover and the head tube is minimal, but non-zero. Demanding that this "just works" out of the box is not very reasonable.

On the other hand, I'd expect the headset manufactures to supply a basic set of shims together with the headset. For some reason they don't.

Last edited by AndreyT; 04-06-20 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 04-06-20, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
Well, to be fair, when it comes to headsets of IS type, it is expected that there will be some variability in how deep the top cartridge bearing sinks into the top tube. As well as some variability in compression ring parameters. It is perfectly reasonable to expect the installers to fine-tune the position of the top cover by inserting shims between the top cover and the compression ring. We have to make sure that there is enough "squeeze" in the stack, and at the same time that the gap between the top cover and the head tube is minimal, but non-zero. Demanding that this "just works" out of the box is not very reasonable.

On the other hand, I'd expect the headset manufactures to supply a basic set of shims together with the headset. For some reason they don't.
No I get that but it would be nice if everyone played the same game. Make it easier on everyone.
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Old 04-08-20, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
I see that they also sell 0.25mm and 0.5mm shims... Apparently that's what I need. But getting a bunch of thicker ones, as you suggested (1mm and 2.5mm, or even 5mm), is also a good idea. Thank you.
Just received my spacers/shims... Yes, 4mm (2.5mm + 1.5mm) of extra spacers/shims between Cane Creek top cover and their compression ring resulted in a perfectly minimal gap between the top cover and upper face of the head tube.
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