A fork with a tapered steerer adds stiffness to the front end of the bike to improve tracking and steering control through rough terrain. It's a real benefit for long travel trail bikes bridging that gap between cross-country light and all-mountain capable. This Cane Creek 40-Series Mixed Tapered ZS44 EC49/40 Headset is a great choice to mate your tapered fork to a tapered head tube since it's nearly as high tech as their 110-Series headsets, but it costs a good bit less. Money for more parts? You bet.
Where the 110 headset has cups machined from 7075 T6 aluminum, this 40-Series Headset is crafted from 6061 T6 alloy. 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 -- 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 backwards.
The Cane Creek 40-Series Mixed Tapered Headset is anodized Black. Cane Creek adds laser etched graphics including their Skink logo. This is a mixed tapered headset that will mate a fork with a 1-1/8" - 1.5" tapered steerer tube to a tapered head tube having a 44mm i.d. top and a 49mm I.D. bottom. The top bearing cover is compatible with Cane Creek Interlok spacers.