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What changes will I see to my bikes geometry if I fit an angle headset?

The head angle of your bike will have a large effect upon how it rides, in simple terms a 'slacker' head angle will give your bike a more stable feeling than a bike with a 'steeper' head angle. Over time the head angle of bikes has reduced, with the slackest bikes being around 62° and the steepest around 70°.

Downhill bikes will usually have the slackest head angle of all types of bike, with XC bikes being steepest due to the quite specific type of riding they have been designed for. Trail and Enduro bikes usually sit somewhere in the middle as they are designed to work well for various different riders and terrain. 

Fitting an angle headset will make various changes to your bikes geometry; a 1.0 degree headset will lengthen your wheelbase by around 10mm, lower your bottom bracket by 2mm and change what is referred to as your bikes 'trail', all of which will alter the way your bike feels. Just like we are not all the same size, we don't all ride in the same places and with the same style. Angle and Geometry Adjust Headsets gives you the opportunity to tailor your bikes geometry to suit your own preferences. 

What do all of the numbers and letters used to label different headsets mean and how do I find the correct size?

We use the 'SHIS' standard to label our headsets - the numbers refer to the internal diameter of the headtube and the letters the type of headcup: EC = 'External Cup' and ZS = 'Zero Stack'  - For more SHIS info please refer to the Park Tools information page  - Standardized Headset Identification System | Park Tool

Your bicycle manufacturer will often list the size of headset on its webpage - if this is not the case you will need to first identify if your frame uses a headcup or is an IS / Integrated model (see below) - If a headcup is used you need to find the internal diameter of the upper and lower part of the headtube, if you are not able to access this information please send us an email where we will do our best to help.

My frame uses an (IS) integrated headset - Do you have a headset that will fit?

With the IS or Integrated headset the bearing drops directly into the frames headtube and a headcup is not used - we do not currently have a headset that will work with this type of headtube.

My frame comes fitted with a ZS44 upper cup, can I fit the EC44 option?

As standard most frames with a 44/56 headtube will come fitted with a ZS44/ZS56 headset. You will however be able to fit the EC44/ZS56 headset as it has the same diameter. The difference between the two will be the upper cup stack height - the height of each of our headsets is listed on the items page.

What is the 1 1/8" Reducer Crown and do I need it?

The reducer crown allows you to fit a 1 1/8" straight steerer tube fork to a headset designed to work directly with a tapered fork - for example our ZS44/ZS56 Tapered headset will work with a straight steerer 1 1/8" Fox 40 by fitting the reducer crown.

Are any other parts needed to fit my headset and do I need special tools to install it?

All headsets are provided complete and ready to fit, including headcups, bearings, crown race and topcap and starnut.

You do not require any special tools to install one of our angle or reach adjust headsets other than a headset press, we advise taking the bike to a good local bike shop if you are not a confident home mechanic.

Why do I need to know the bikes headtube length and why does it matter?

Our angle headsets are designed to work within a range of headtube lengths as our bearings are fixed in position (unlike adjustable headsets) at a given offset and angle - This means our headsets are reliable and creak-free in use, just like any good standard headset. As the headtube length increases so does the amount of bearing offset required to give that change in angle; the longer the headtube the greater the offset.

The easiest way to find your bikes headtube length is in the geometry chart provided by the manufacturer, if this is not possible simply measure the headtube (not including existing headcups)

What to do if between headtube sizes?

If you find you are between sizes or right at the upper limit of a size and want to be sure you gain the full change in geometry we always advise sizing up to the next set.

Are your products well tested and are they used by any pro riders?

We have been manufacturing angle and geometry adjust headsets for almost 10 years  - We work and have worked with many manufacturers helping them to alter geometry for the next generation of bikes.

Our headsets are used by some of the fastest riders in the world. You will see them fitted to many World Cup DH and EWS riders bikes who we are proud to support where riders use them to tailor their bikes to their personal preference and track conditions - Our headsets are race proven at the very highest level.

Where are your headsets made?

We manufacture as much of each headset as possible in-house, in Staffordshire, UK - Items such as rubber seals, bearings and bolts are manufactured for us in Taiwan. Our raw material is sourced locally and manufactured in Europe and our parts are anodised at one of our two partners in the UK. Our headsets are manufactured with pride by a small team using modern CNC machinery - We are continually investing to improve our manufacturing processes.

What about the sustainbility?

We all have a responsibility to protect the places we love to ride our bikes and environment beyond so we recognise we need to do what we can to minimise the impact of our business.

We try wherever possible to reduce the length of the supply chain used to manufacture our products. Our raw material is sourced locally from European mills and anodised at one of two local partners. We recycle all metallic offcuts and swarf and use recycled and recyclable packaging wherever possible to get our products to you. We try to make products that last and are serviceable and will continue to provide support long into the future.

We strive to continue to improve our business sustainability and reduce our impact on the world around us.