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Cane Creek 40 Series ZS Tapered ZS44 ZS56/40 Headset


Item # CNE0041

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Item # CNE0041

It comes down to priorities.

The Cane Creek 40 Series ZeroStack headset is modeled after Cane Creek’s 110-series headset. The most noticeable difference is the finish. Where the 110 is a gloss black, the 40 opts for a satin look. There are a couple of internal differences, as well. Whether they are worth the difference in price is the question.

Looks aside, the 40-Series Headset is crafted from 6061 T6 alloy where the 110 headset has cups machined from 7075 T6 aluminum. The functional difference is one of a few grams, with the higher tech alloy of the 110 headset allowing a lighter overall part. This 40-Series Headset spins on Cane Creek's black oxide bearings. The races and balls start out as 52100 steel and are then given an acid bath to make them more corrosion resistant, while still being porous enough to retain grease. They are angular contact bearings (ACB), which resist both axial and radial loads equally well. The cartridges are sealed with what Cane Creek likes to call a Split Lip Seal, which has two contact seals per side to better keep out contaminants and hold in grease.

To augment the seals on the cartridge bearings, Cane Creek adds face seals to the crown race and top assembly. So what if the bearings aren't stainless like the 110 Headset — grease kept in and muddy goop kept out keeps 'em running like new for a long time. In the event that you might wreck the bearings through normal use or abuse, you should know that all the internal parts in this 40-Series Headset are compatible with their top-of-the-line 110-Series Headset. So you could always upgrade to the 110 headset's stainless steel bearings. The Clip-Seal in the upper assembly holds all the parts together, including the compression ring. This makes assembly a cinch, since there are no loose parts to misplace or install backward.

Tech Specs

[cups and covers] 6061 T6 aluminum, [crown race] steel
Steer Tube Diameter:
1-1/8 - 1-1/2 in tapered
Cup Type:
Compatible Components:
Interlok spacer, 10,40,110 series components
tapered forks
Recommended Use:
cycling, mountain bike
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Reviews & Community


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Avg. ride time: 3h 49m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Save here, spend more on beer later

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've run Chris King for nearly a decade. I decided to switch it up to Cane Creek 40 this time to save some money. I only have a few hundred miles on it thus far but things are seated nicely and there is zero play. Install was very easy. The parts feel well-made, not some OE junk you might find elsewhere. As Kevin also mentioned, upgrade to the Cane Creek 110 if you or your trail conditions are really rough. However, for all around XC/Trail, this should do you just fine and dandy.

Avg. ride time: 1h 57m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Great value for the money

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Cane Creek 40 series headsets are a great bang for the buck. Just holding them you can tell they are made well and have good tolerances. The seals keep moisture and gunk out of the bearings so they should provide years of smooth turns. I usually take apart my headsets at least once a year to get some fresh grease in anyways. If you do a bunch of wet rides or live in the PNW, you may want to bump up to the 110 series to provide a bit more piece of mind since the moisture will get through even the best seals and destroy bearings. That is not to say this headset isn't up for it, you may just need to show it some love more often.

Unanswered Question

Is this the headset I need for a Niner RIP...

Is this the headset I need for a Niner RIP RDO?

Cane Creek 40 Series ZS Tapered Headset 44/56