Wolf Tooth Headsets
What You Need To Know.
28 OCTOber 2021
By Rob Borek
What sets Wolf Tooth’s Performance and Premium headsets apart? Here’s the lowdown from Saddleback wheelbuilder and mechanic Rob Borek on these essential components.
The headset is an easily overlooked workhorse component of your bike, often being treated to an onslaught of dirt, moisture, and salt, and required to handle the constant vibrations and impacts of the road or trail. To the untrained eye you would be forgiven for assuming they are all the same, but there are several features which set Wolf Tooth’s offerings apart from the rest to ensure smooth and precise handling long after some alternatives would be creaking and grinding.
Wolf Tooth offers its headsets in ‘Premium’ or ‘Performance’ versions. The main differentiator is that the Premium offering uses Stainless Steel Enduro Bearings, whereas the Performance uses a Black Oxide bearing, the latter being ideal if you’re a fair-weather rider or looking for a great-value option. Both headset types are available in the same nine anodised colours. The Premium Headset has three options for upper stack height, and a lifetime warranty, whereas the performance has one stack height available, and a one-year limited warranty.
Many headsets have little or no additional sealing beyond the bearing seal itself. All Wolf Tooth Headsets feature a triple-sealed system to protect the bearings from the elements by using a Dual-Lip seal between the crown race and the lower cup, Silicone Dual-Lip bearing seals, a precision fitting labyrinth seal on the upper cup, and O-ring between upper cup and steerer tube. This extensive sealing ensures that your bearings remain smooth and contaminant free.
Stem cap and preload bolt:
With the vast majority of stem/fork manufacturers recommending a 5mm spacer above the stem, the Wolf Tooth team has chosen to integrate this into the stem cap for a super clean and light weight solution. Why should you buy a headset, and then need to find an additional 5mm colour matched spacer to sit above the stem? Wolf Tooth doesn’t think you should. To top this off the designers have included a lightweight Black anodised aluminium preload bolt. It’s worth mentioning that these headsets ship with a star nut, which is intended for use in steel or aluminium steerer tubes only. Consult your carbon fork manufacturer for guidelines on their recommended steerer tube bung.
Mix and Match:
Wolf Tooth offer headsets in all common standards and sizes, with External Cup, Zero Stack, and Integrated options, Five-, Ten-, and Fifteen-millimetre Top Covers, and diameters to fit all common head tubes. Headsets are sold in upper and lower separately, allowing you to find the perfect match for your frame. Further to the usual fit options, there are 10 and 20mm extended lower cups available to adjust the effective fork Axle-Crown length. These allow you the option of running a fork with a shorter Axle-Crown measurement than the frame was designed to use (for example switching from a suspension fork to a shorter rigid fork) and can also be used to increase BB height and reduce head tube angle where desired.
And as if all of the aforementioned features and options didn’t give you enough choice, Wolf Tooth also offer a ‘Geoshift’ headset which allows a one-degree adjustment in head tube angle to fine tune your bikes geometry. Got an older mountain bike you’d like to give the slacker treatment? No problem!
All the above features combine to bring you a thoroughly well considered and high performing headset which is light weight, strong, durable, and will keep out the elements. The Team at Wolf Tooth have really thought these through, allowing you to focus on enjoying your ride!
If you need help or advice on which Wolf-Tooth headset is right for your bike, or have questions on any of their other products, please contact us at email@example.com, and we will be happy to assist.
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