Walk through the production facility at Cane Creek, and you’ll see a lot of different products. Suspension forks, rear shocks, high end rim brakes, seat posts, etc. But for one of their longest running areas of expertise, look towards the humble headset. Going all the way back to the introduction of the first threadless ‘Aheadset’ in 1992, Cane Creek has been consistently improving this small, but vital component of your bike.

Cane Creek product line grows with Hellbender 70 premium headsets

When it comes to headset design, it’s hard to improve on the Cane Creek 110. Cane Creek’s top end headset is impeccably machined in the U.S. from 7075 T-6 aluminum and ships with premium sealed bearings with additional sealing provided by the low friction upper bearing seal, and a dual seal on the crown race.

Because of that solid design, the new Hellbender 70 doesn’t offer much in the way of differences – except for price. Essentially a good/better/best scenario with their 40/Hellbender 70/110 headsets, the Hellbender 70 steps in as the new ‘better’ option. Essentially, it gives riders a chance to add a significantly better headset to their bike without having to shell out for the top end 110.

Cane Creek product line grows with Hellbender 70 premium headsets

Inside the 70 headset, you’ll still find the same bearings as the 110, with their Hellbender premium stainless bearing. Like the name would imply, this bearing is made to thrive in muddy conditions with improved sealing to keep out the gunk. The Hellbender also happens to be a giant salamander that’s native to North Carolina, just like Cane Creek.

Cane Creek product line grows with Hellbender 70 premium headsets

The biggest change to the 70 headsets comes in the cups themselves. Rather than a U.S. made 7075 T-6 cup, the Hellbender 70 uses a Taiwanese made 6061 T-6 aluminum cup that allowed Cane Creek to drop the price. The headset will still provide the same sealing and bearing performance as the ultra-premium 110, just with a different level of production of the outer pieces. You’ll also find a standard starnut and top cap included with the headsets, rather than the premium cap and nut on the 110.

Cane Creek product line grows with Hellbender 70 premium headsets

Offered in four different fitments, the Hellbender 70 will initially be available in IS41 / IS52, IS42 / IS52, ZS44 / EC44, and ZS44 / ZS56 configurations all with black anodized cups or covers. Not sure what size your bike needs? Cane Creek has a Headset Fit Finder to help you know your SHIS. Pricing will range from $80-95, and the headset will include a 2 year warranty – not quite the 110 years from the next level up.



    • I have four Cane Creek headsets. One is roughly 18 years old and the other three are between three and 10 years old. I’ve never had a failure, and never had a reason to call Cane Creek.

    • I have emailed with them many times with little delay.

      The only Cane Creek product I have had an issue with was a hat I bought from them which they didn’t make. 5 headsets, 2 pairs of eeBrakes, a set of brake levers are all top notch! Probably going to end up with an eeSilk post and probably another headset soon enough. Staff is super friendly and their products are great.

    • You pretty much have to shame any company on Twitter now to have any chance of getting a response. I’m looking at you HED and Niterider.

    • Some personal feedback: had some issues with international shipping, had it sorted out by email within 24 hours including confirming the spec needed. I had great experiences with them.

  1. So what’s the difference between the 10, 40, 70, and 110 headsets besides price? I know the 10 has a plastic crown race, the 40 a steel crown race with 1 seal and 6061 alum, and 70/110 have 2 seals w/7075 alum. Anything else? Weight maybe? If I want the double seal, I could just get the 70 or 110 crown race as it’s all compatible right?

    • 10 is their basic headset, 40 have seals on both the crown race and upper part, 110 have double seals and a slightly stronger bearings (compared to 40). Hellbender bearings are supposed to be better sealed, since they use them in Slamset too.

      I have 2 sets of 40s and one slamset and no problems with them at all.

    • The 100 was a US-made cup with the same bearings as the 110. The only difference between the 100 and 110 was the finish quality – 110 got a high-polish finish instead of a more basic finish. This is a 40 with better bearings.

  2. I think this is great. I had a 40 series ZS headset and the bottom bearing quickly gave up. replaced with 110 and all fine for a long time. for my new bike I was going to do the same 40 top and 110 bottom. (to save a few bucks).

  3. I wish Cane Creek would make a 110 level bottom bracket. That way I could just run their product as opposed to having to use a Chris King bottom bracket and 110 headset. The grip lock design of Kings headset is s**thouse!

    • Have you tried Wheels Manufacturing, I have several of their BBs (two ceramic
      hybrids and one angular contact) and they are excellent and made in ‘Merica. Also you have Enduro, White Industries and Phil Wood for MUSA as well. While I love Cane Creek I am fine with them not making a BB, Wheels does a fine job.

    • Did the same thing going from chris king to the 110. I tried so hard to make the king work, but their patented and proud griplock will not sit down and stay tight in harsh conditions. The 110 looks as good and actually works which is not achieved on the CK.

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