There’s nothing unique about using offset bearing cups to change the head angle of a bike. Pro mechanics have been knocking them up in machine shops for years to adapt bikes to different courses or riding styles, or to simply ‘correct’ the manufacturer’s chosen geometry.
What’s special about the Cane Creek design is that it’s one-size-fits-all. Thanks to the brass ‘gimbles’ that cradle the bearings, the Angleset self-adjusts to accommodate different head tube lengths. This clever, well-executed solution means that Cane Creek doesn’t have to machine unique cups for every tube — but this approach does have its drawbacks. If dirt or dust gets between the gimbles and the cups the headset starts to creak, and the additional component parts make it around 30 per cent heavier than a pair of dedicated offset cups.
The shallow insertion depth of the Cane Creek cups makes them easy to install and prevents them from bottoming out on relieved head tubes. Keyways on the cups also help with alignment. All the offset is in the bottom cup (tapered head tubes only), with the choice of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5° cups. And one of the key advantages of an Angleset over offset shock bushings is that you can make these adjustments without dramatically changing the BB height. Bearing quality of the headset is second to none, but the blue seal on the steel crown race is easy to damage during installation or removal.
Beautifully engineered, easy to install and transferable between different bikes, the Cane Creek Angleset is a great component. It is, however, more than twice the price of dedicated offset cups from the likes of Works Components, and it’s heavier too. So the key sticking point for us isn’t that it creaks… it’s the price. Alan Muldoon
MBR rating: 7
Adjustment: +/- 0.5°, +/- 1.0°, +/- 1.5°
Head tube size: Tapered 44 upper, 56mm lower
Steerer size: 1 1/8in
Stack height: 13mm
This review first appeared in the September issue of MBR.