Tech Tuesday - Cane Creek Angleset Installation

Mar 8, 2011 at 0:07
Mar 8, 2011
by Fraser Britton  
 
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Today's Tech Tuesday takes a closer look at Cane Creek's AngleSet and the steps needed to correctly perform the installation. Inside you'll find a photo how-to, as well as audio from Cane Creek's own Josh Coaplen to guide you through the process.

The Cane Creek Angleset is a relatively new product, and has been a godsend for the serious riding community. No longer are riders stuck with a bike designer's idea of
The Cane Creek Angleset is a relatively new product, and has been a godsend for the serious riding community. No longer are riders stuck with a bike designer's idea of "the perfect geometry", or with adjustments to change multiple things at once. The CC Angleset allows a rider to adjust their head angle to suit their own riding style, without changing BB height or any other important geometry areas. As it's a bit different to a normal headset, it can be slightly tricky to install. Josh Coaplen shares the installation know-how in the audio clip below. Listen, learn, install.

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After installing the headset cups in the correct orientation, apply a thin layer of thick grease in the cups where the gimble will sit. This allows the gold colored gimble to articulate properly within the headset cup. Do this to both the upper...
After installing the headset cups in the correct orientation, apply a thin layer of thick grease in the cups where the gimble will sit. This allows the gold colored gimble to articulate properly within the headset cup. Do this to both the upper...
... and lower cups.
... and lower cups.
Install the crown race onto the fork's crown (<I>making sure that it is fully seated</I>) and then place the bearing and lower gimble on top. Once again, make sure that the bearing is fully seated onto the crown race.
Install the crown race onto the fork's crown (making sure that it is fully seated) and then place the bearing and lower gimble on top. Once again, make sure that the bearing is fully seated onto the crown race.
The next step is to completely put together the entire upper assembly. This includes the upper gold gimble, bearing, compression ring, and headset top cover.
The next step is to completely put together the entire upper assembly. This includes the upper gold gimble, bearing, compression ring, and headset top cover.
Slide the fork's steerer tube into the head tube, then slide the upper headset assembly onto the steerer tube. Do not press things together yet.
Slide the fork's steerer tube into the head tube, then slide the upper headset assembly onto the steerer tube. Do not press things together yet.
Now you can seat the entire upper headset assembly into the cup, and then, and only then, slide the lower crown up and seat the lower gimble.
Now you can seat the entire upper headset assembly into the cup, and then, and only then, slide the lower crown up and seat the lower gimble.
Make sure to keep the upper part's snug while you slide everything together, keeping anything from shifting. A friend may be helpful if you have a tight top crown.
Make sure to keep the upper part's snug while you slide everything together, keeping anything from shifting. A friend may be helpful if you have a tight top crown.
Slide the crown down, install your stem and any headset spacers that your bike uses, and snug the headset up to take any slack out of the system. You may be required to tighten the headset slightly more than usual to fully seat the gimbles into the headset cups. Once those are fully seated check the system for any play or to be sure that it isn't too tight. Finish up by tightening your stem and crown bolts, double checking to be certain that everything is torqued to the correct amount before hitting the trails.
Slide the crown down, install your stem and any headset spacers that your bike uses, and snug the headset up to take any slack out of the system. You may be required to tighten the headset slightly more than usual to fully seat the gimbles into the headset cups. Once those are fully seated check the system for any play or to be sure that it isn't too tight. Finish up by tightening your stem and crown bolts, double checking to be certain that everything is torqued to the correct amount before hitting the trails.

• Something that caught me during install was that the different cups have different effective stack heights: 0 Degree, .5 and 1 degree and 1.5 degree have the gimble sit at different depths, meaning that the stack height is slightly different. This can cause a steerer tube to be too short if it was cut precisely, or can cause your top cap to bottom out on the steer tube without really noticing it, thus preventing you from fully tightening your headset if you don't add a thin headset spacer.

• Also note that the gimbles will lock into the cups after a little bit of tightening and can be a tad tricky to get out. Use a flat bladed screwdriver and gently pop it out.

• The bearings are beveled and meant to go in one way. They do fit the other way, but simply won't tighten down - make sure you have the bearings in there the correct way!
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72 Comments

  • + 17
 I think that thing is a Godsend for bike designers more than for "serious" riders. They have a less chance to be mocked because their bike's geometry sucks. Now dear customer if your bike's geometry sucks - it's your fault! You picked the wrong angle , wrong drop out position, wrong shock mounting hole... it's your turn to make mistakes, don't blame us, we gave you possibilities to achieve the perfect geometry... dance puppets dance
  • + 2
 well a lot of people are incapable of setting up suspension properly so they end up bashing a perfectly good fork/bike/shock, but yeah, these angle sets sure do add a bigger margin for error.
  • + 0
 I think about it this way: you go to the surgeon with a terribly injured knee - he does what he does, eventualy your knee does not come out that well, ayou go for rehabs, finaly you meet some other doc that tells you: well the first guy screwed up a bit, if you came to me it would have been better. He should have done this and that. So you are really angry at the first doc.

Now consider the 2nd situation: you come to the first doc and he tells you: you have these and these options, I know this and this guy, they can do this and this thing better than me but I'm not sure if they are that good in other things. You have to take a decision - it's your knee! So a chance that you might end up as screwed up as in first situation are high - your knee is really bad after all. The difference is, it is you blaming yourself for a long time (probably for the rest of your life whenever it hurts or limits something you want to do, like biking?) and thinking what could you have done better. Questions about options you were never able to check. At the end of the day, you couldn't do anything, your knee would never be back to normal, it was pure chance whether your knee ended up better or worse. And if it is someone elses fault, it's way easier to get on with it.

As an ultimate example why it is not good to have an opportunity to adjust bikes geo, and trust designers, please see this:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/6018569
  • + 5
 Im torn on these. On the one hand I think that the fact they exist is awesome. There are more than a few "confused" frame designs out there that could benefit from a tweak in head angle to suit your particular need.

On the other hand, I think to some degree people are on this quest to rake out the front of the bike beyond what might be for the best. There is something to be said for the engineers and racers and designers that put alot of R&D into these designs. Take the Demo featured here. These bikes are dialed, Specialzed is one of those brands that really knows what they are doing and there is alot of things that go into choosing the angles that you may not fully understand. A simple example would be the fact that these published angles are static. As the bike sits, things change once underway- sag, for example affects your head angle once you start down the mountain. All that aside- the Demo is 64 degrees in its "low setting" .........you put of these in and take it out to 62.5? Thats really slack, I would think it would make the bike completely lethargic. Now, keep in mind, ive not ridden a Demo at all, and I have not tried a angleset, this is all purely thought aloud for discussion, but the point Im making is to be careful with these things especially if you are not the most experianced of riders. Slacker isnt always better.
  • + 1
 Pretty pointless tech tuesday in my opinion. I mean most of us don't have a headset press. And if I had to take it to the shop anyway to get the cups pressed in, then I would just let the shop install the whole thing.....
  • - 5
flag z-man (Mar 8, 2011 at 8:23) (Below Threshold)
 There's ways to do it with no press. you just have to be delicate with a hammer. Im not a fan of the angle set. I think you should get the right frame in the first place. Cause adjusting the angles only has the ability to compromise other angles and ratios on your ride. A Certain frame was made to handle a certain way, and the ha is made to work with other angles, like BB height, and your axle path.
  • + 1
 I don't want anyone to take the wrong impression of what I meant - I'm not into any conspiracy theory that industry is throwing another thing at us. All of that innovation works great, no doubt about it but it also another mean to enslave ourselves.

Yesterday I had a huge internal struggle whether to buy new shifters or not. My shifters are 2000 XTRs, lightweight, reliable, they are perfectly fine after 10 years! Yet I was sitting in front of the screen with CRC on, and looking at new XTs and XTRs just because these old XTRs of mine don't fit on my bars that well, coming into conflict with the brake lever. Should I go for SRAM the voice said... Wink


I mean there's so many people I know saying: I got the get rid of this XTR, Deemax wheels because I want something better - Am I the only one to whom it sounds ridiculous?!
  • + 4
 what about the fact that the angleset allows riders to improve the geo on their bike rather than having to buy a new frame? A perfect example is the new glory, it's an amazing bike, but it's HA is a tiny bit too steep to handle as well for some of the faster tracks. the angleset allows them to slacken the bike a little in order to improve the bike for those tracks.

Your argument about it being an unnecessary expense is invalid, because it allows you to improve the geo of whatever bike you currently have so that you dont have to shell out $2000+ for a new frame.
  • + 3
 From the point of view of bike set up it's ideal. I'm not an advocate of changing bike set up to suit each course, I'd far rather modify my riding to suit - that way the bike is always going to be reacting and handling in a consistent manner. However, when you're trying to get a bike built into your ballpark handling range it's a fantastic tool to have in your box. Many riders are now riding super slack head angles but, for me at least, this angleset is great as it allows me to set the bike up steeper than many riders will prefer to run. It's not so much that you'll be chopping and changing every month but playing about with it in the first month or so to try out different setups. Frame designs that use pinch bolts for the top cup like the M9 is certainly the easiest way to go about doing this as it saves having to knock and repress the cups each time. Really it means that you can more readily tailor your bike to suit the trail conditions you normally ride - there's a big difference between Whistler and your average UK race track yet riders in both locations are using similar equipment.
  • + 3
 Agreed, i wasnt suggesting changimg it for every set of trails, but rather to allow you to tune your bime for whatever you ride most.
  • + 1
 WAKIdesigns, what point are you proving with the picture of the Nicolai?
  • + 1
 Duh, like, that if you leave it up to designers, you'll like end up with a horrible orange paint job? (sorry, I neg propped you by mistake)
  • + 1
 great help
  • + 0
 reading a perfectly good discussion.. suddenly in the middle..
SuperShoreMedia (20 hours ago)
Pretty pointless tech tuesday in my opinion. I mean most of us don't have a headset press. And if I had to take it to the shop anyway to get the cups pressed in, then I would just let the shop install the whole thing.....
Show- 5 z-man (20 hours ago) (Below Threshold) show comment
There's ways to do it with no press. you just have to be delicate with a hammer.

and i was like OMFG Facepalm
  • + 1
 It's alright to be delicate with the hammer when speaking of a frame and headset that are cheaper alltogether than this angled headset alone. Otherwise it's like buying Enve rims and trying to learn wheelbuilding with them...

Antron, point I was making with that Nicolai: I don't know if you noticed the head angle on this thing. Seems like someone wanted to maximize the rear travel, and became more than fine with the fact that he got BB height of Karpiel Apocalypse and head angle of an old school XC bike.
  • + 1
 if you know what you're doing, its not hard at all, or damaging at all to anything if you use a hammer, and a flat head (slotted) screw driver. Not saying its the bust, but it does work
  • + 1
 I see your point now. My bike has a higher bb setting and I NEVER use it, in fact, I wish it had an even lower one. Those settings might be good for drops though. Just trying to look at it in a different POV.
  • + 8
 First step says "After installing the headset cups in the correct orientation.." I think the most difficult part is that one. Maybe some pointers there would have helped more
  • + 3
 I would agree with this. With the exception of "being careful" this doesn't seem too different of instructions compared to a regular headset. Mind you I've never used one of these but my feeling is that the cups need to be correctly oriented relative to each other as well as the frame to achieve the desired head angle. Wouldn't it be possible to angle your steer to to the left or right if done incorrectly?
  • + 6
 The headset is great, but the tech was terrible! They forgot the hardest step, finding the center line on the headtube... otherwise its the same as any other install... pointless tech IMO.
  • - 9
flag fraserbritton Plus (Mar 8, 2011 at 11:58) (Below Threshold)
 Try and install one the way you normally install a headset and then come back. Smile It won't work.

IS finding the centerline of the headtube that difficult for you? Do you need glasses?
  • + 2
 @fraserbritton I realize that you are bias because you wrote the article, however I agree with boomintrucker. You left out pressing the cups into the frame which is really the only main difference in installing an angleset over any other headset. Don't believe me? How about Cane Creek's headset engineer Jim Morrison in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrjgyu79sb0&feature=related . He spends over half of that video discussing the cups and aligning/installing them in the frame. The only reason I write a response to this is merely because you brushed of boomintrucker's valid point as stupid by suggesting he get glasses, then suggesting the "hardpart" is the rest of the installation that "won't work" if he tries it without watching your tech video. I thought you did a great job at explaining the rest of the installation, however anyone qualified to install a normal headset will already know those steps and could be left scratching their heads at the cups part. Just my 2 cents.
  • + 8
 Really pinkbike? The author of an article on the front page insulting the users over a matter of opinion? I mean yes, the users can be a*sholes quite often, but come on.
  • + 1
 @s4nt4cruz, he also says in the video to "not agonize over it too much, just get it as straight as you can," though it is important.
the gimbles take care of any bit f mis-alignment
  • - 2
 This is exactly right. As Josh said, it's not a huge deal as the gimbles will self-align to a certain extent. They don't have to be perfectly spot on at all. Which was entirely the point of the article. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, such as the alignment one and the "they install like a regular headset". No, they don't. If you read the article and listen to Josh, you'll see why.
  • + 0
 I'm a technically minded person but I completely agree with boomintrucker. Finding the centreline would be the biggest challenge.
  • + 4
 Pro's:
----------
Scott has or had a headtube shim that could be turned around to change the head angle. Cane Creek's angleset just makes that possible for more bikes.

Con's:
----------
Unnecessary (as far as I know, people always brag about gadgets and possibilities, while they can't ride properly)
  • + 8
 right on Josh ... send me a couple of those ...
  • + 1
 yes please
  • + 9
 why is he building a bike in the forest?
  • + 1
 Hahahaha
  • + 1
 Might be his back garden. You dont know whats behind him Smile
  • + 4
 why all the hate? This product give you the chance to have almost 2 bikes in one. When lifts open the geo goes slack, when they close and I have to actually... you know... ummm... pedal... the geo gets tightened up a bit..

rock on..
  • + 1
 Right, im slightly confused. How do you change the angle after it has been installed?

Say you slacken the HA by 1.5 (ie by putting in the -1.5 cup). Am I right in thinking that this cup will make the HA either 1.5 degrees slacker (as it is already) and if rotated 180 degrees it would make the HA 1.5 steeper?

And if you decided you want to change to only 1 degree slacker, you would have to take the headset apart and replace the cups (top, bottom or both?) from the 1.5 cups to the 1 cups, and then re-install the whole thing?

If that is the case, how easy do the cups go in and come out? Because I have seen some headsets where the cups require quite a bit of persuasion to come out...

Cheers.
  • + 1
 you would have to tap out the top cup, reinstall the -1.0 cup and reassemble. Now if you have pinch bolts on your head tube this will make the change even that much easier. I have one on my bike right now, with the angleset the bikes geo is sitting very pretty.
  • + 1
 I am completely shocked that you have to un-install the head set to swap angles , it's gotta be a joke right? People are gonna be wearing out their head tubes or cups if they swap say once a month to suit different courses !!
  • + 2
 thats the thing. Its not good for that, its more of a permanant head angle change. if you want your bike to do that (change head angles to suit courses) there are frames on the market with rotating headtube sleeves and or pinch bolts. ( i.e. Scott Gambler, Commencal, I think the intense has pinch bolts)
  • + 1
 "The bearings are beveled and meant to go in one way. They do fit the other way, but simply won't tighten down - make sure you have the bearings in there the correct way! "

Thank you so much for that hint. It just took me hours to figure out why I couldn't tighten down my angle set right...
  • + 1
 Gave my Blur ltc new life... Now geo nearly matches the 5010 but with shorter stays. 650bs solved the low bb problem but felt like wheelbase was too tight. Angleset for the win!
  • + 1
 I know this is a bit old but I recently did this myself, didn't have a headset press, built my own out of some threaded rod, some nuts and large flat washers, cost me maybe $2 to buy the parts at HomeDepot.
  • + 1
 My LBS installed one on my 09 Glory making my h/a 64 degrees. The bike is more fun to ride. Good product and a lively comments section here! Had to read the whole thing.
  • + 1
 Hallo,

I have a 2010 Giant Glory M. I will now change the h/a to 64 degrees. What is your wheelbase now ?. Can this make a problem for the frame (crack)?.

Thank you in advance
  • + 1
 you can also use a dead blow hammer or a regular hammer and a block of wood, I suggest freezing the cups for an hour before hand to shirt the size so they go in easier.
  • + 1
 love my Angleset and Intense's pinch bolt design to make swapping cups super easy a video would have been better for the people who dont know what they are doing
  • + 1
 is it really that hard to record a video for this??? for some people a visual demonstration is much easier to understand
  • + 1
 Here is the video for it show you step by step way better then these pics.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrjgyu79sb0
  • + 1
 This is an awesome product. I will be sure to get a set and install on my own bike.
  • + 2
 htn dave y? do u not think they have been tested in the wet!!
  • + 1
 I live in North Vancouver and have been running one since November. The wet weather riding won't kill this headset but (like any headset) don't spray the hose at it when you're cleaning your bike after.
  • + 1
 just looking at it i took a assumption that they aint well sealed seeing as you can still see the gimbal when assembled. In hindsight ive realised the gimbal doesn't move and therefore shit wont get in there and the bearings look well sealed...might have to inquire about one :-)
  • + 1
 The only assemble news is the variation of steer tube height.
  • + 1
 still waiting for mine, should get it this week Smile
  • + 1
 so how exactly does this NOT affect BB height?
  • + 1
 I guess you have a point there - it does affect BB height, but only a very negligible amount.

I think the author was referring to two other methods of changing your fork angle : sliding the crowns up or down the stanchions of a dual crown fork or; changing the mounting of the shock (for those frames where that is possible).
  • + 1
 Iamamodel: correct. I'm sure this changes your BB 1 or 2 mm, but that's pretty negligible and I'd challenge anyone to actually notice a difference.
  • + 0
 still, the assertion that BB height remains unchanged is plainly false.
  • + 1
 Do we need only a 1.1/2 Head tube????
  • + 1
 Yes
  • + 2
 cane creek has been talking about making a 1 1/8" version
dirt.mpora.com/news/dirt-exclusive-1-18-angleset-campaign.html
  • + 1
 For sure, the angle change will be smaller.
  • + 1
 They are working on all sorts of variations, so you can expect something for pretty much everyone in the next while.
  • + 1
 Sweet Smile
  • + 0
 FYI it's called a gimbal not a gimble. Salute
  • + 1
 Nine out of ten slithy toves agree with you.
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