Friday, January 22, 2010

Workin’ It Out

Since I talked mostly about my training regimen on yesterday’s post, I thought that today I would cover the unfinished subject of my new Cane Creek 110 IS headset. I got this headset last week, and I was itching to put in on my bike. Also, I felt that it was time to make a commitment to proper steerer tube length on the Fox Fork I installed a month ago. I’ve been riding around with a “giant spacer stack”, as the Dirty Party Cycle told me on one of our rides. See for yourself:

Wow, talked about “jacked to the max.” I knew I was sitting too much in an upright position, but I also knew it was temporary. I haven’t ridden the bike much like that, but it wasn’t about to be a permanent thing. Rather than cut the steerer tube though, I decided to play around with the positions of the spacers first. The cutting will come after I am satisfied. I don’t want to cut too much off, since it can’t be put back on. Before I even thought about doing some wrenching, I needed to grab the most important accessory:

Anyway, it was time to replace my Cane Creek IS-3 headset with the far superior 110 IS. It has served me well in my mountain biking adventures, but it was time to get with the times. I’m no longer an entry-level rider, so I don’t need to be riding entry-level parts. Cane Creek 110 headsets have a warranty of 110 years, so I should have plenty of quality rides with it. As I was told by a friend at Cane Creek, “It will be buttery-smooth for years to come.” Mmmmmm, butter. So, goodbye Mr. IS-3:

Although the 110 IS came with a new top cap, I was a little partial to the one I was using. I got it at a race a few years ago from some Cane Creek reps, and I liked the fact that it was different than the one I was using (the standard Cane Creek to cap.) The top cap for the 110 looks classier, so I decided to part ways with my current one:

So, first things first, I had to install the new crown race on the fork. After disassembling everything, I wondered if the current crown race would be compatible. I decide against using the old one, since I wanted to use all new parts. So, with a little elbow grease, I got the new one installed:

The greasy fingerprints are not a feature of the Fox Fork. It has to be purchased separately.

The 110 IS came with brand new Interlok spacers, all pretty and shiny. The problem is though, I still wouldn't have enough even after I cut off the steerer tube, unless I cut it really short. I found that the composite Interlok spacers I had been using were compatible with the shiny new ones, so they would have to do for now. I will haveto try to get some more from my friends at Cane Creek. Look how pretty these are:

The headset installation was a breeze, mostly because an internal heaset doesn’t require any special tools. I just popped in the bearings, installed a couple of spacer rings, and put on the top of the headset. I threw on a couple of spacers to put the stem at what I think will be my desired height, and installed a few more spacers to cover up the yet to be cut steerer tube. Here is the finished product:

After a short test ride (and actually turning the handlebars rapidly), I was more than pleased. The difference was night and day from the old IS-3. Once I get a coupe of rides in on it, I will decide on the proper steerer tube length. I think I may actually have a good fit with the current configuration though. More to come at a later date on that one though. For now, I want to give a huge thanks to Cane Creek Cycling Components for hooking me up with such a quality product, made right here in the good ole U. S. of A. in their Fletcher, NC facility. I will be a “friend of the brand” for years to come. If you don’t have a Cane Creek headset on your bike, then you are missing out. Or, you just plain suck. Your choice.

As for the weekend, I have a full plate, so to speak. I plan on hitting up the Carolina Beer Company again this Saturday, since my growler is empty (did I mention that I like beer?). Sunday of course is race number two of the 2010 Winter Short Track Series, and I am ready again. I am off Monday, so there will be no posting on here for me until Tuesday. Lunchbox and I are going on a super-secret out of town mission that I won’t mention here until later. I have to keep you wanting more, right?

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