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EMRG “Virtual Pivot Headset” lets you adjust fork offset, not head angle

emrg virtual pivot headset sketches show fork offset adjustment
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We’ve seen a lot of angle-adjust headsets of the years, giving riders the ability to tweak their head angle slightly. But German upstart EMGR is taking a different approach – making the bearing seats on your fork’s steerer tube eccentric, not offset or eccentric headset cups in your frame.

Their new Virtual Pivot Headset allows you to change your fork’s effective Offset by +/-4mm, for a total range of 8mm. The benefit is that you can now adjust your fork’s Trail without affecting the head angle, which gives you a more precise way to fine-tune your bike’s handling.

The video above shows how it works… in English and it’s still a little tricky to comprehend, but the visuals make it clear(er).

Rather than use angled upper and lower cups at opposing positions (the AngleSet way) or two offset eccentric headset cups (the ReachSet way), the EMRG Virtual Pivot Headset either moves the steerer tube forward or backward inside the head tube. This moves the axle in relation to the tire’s contact patch, and that difference in space is the “Trail” figure in a bike’s geometry.

It also means that your fork now rotates around a virtual axis, not concentric with the fork’s steerer tube. That also results in an effective change to frame reach, as well. But since the bearing seat on the steerer is eccentric, even that changes a bit as you turn.

Fork Offset is the distance the axle sits in front of the steering axis. It has an inverse relationship with Trail – the longer the Offset, the shorter the Trail.

emrg virtual pivot headset parts for fork offset adjustment

Move the steerer forward and you have less Trail, which will make it turn more sharply but be slightly less stable at high speed. Good for tight courses where quick maneuvering is important. Move it backward and Trail increases, making the bike more stable in a straight line and subtle, sweeping corners. But steering will feel a bit slower.

EMRG admits the changes in handling will be subtle and the effect decreases the harder you turn (it would effectively zero out when the bar is turned 90°), but for the rider who wants that extra bit of tuning, it’s a simple solution.

Which bikes will fit the EMRG headset?

emrg virtual pivot headset bike fit chart

It’s worth noting that this is intended for longer travel bikes, with 150mm travel being the minimum recommended application. And it also results in thinner bearings with smaller diameter balls, so the bearings themselves will likely need replacing more often.

They offer three upper and three lower headset cups to fit a wide variety of frames, with some combinations compatible with the straight steerers found on dual crown DH forks and standard tapered 1-1/8″ to 1.5″ steerers. Options include:

UPPER

  • EC44
  • EC49
  • ZS56

LOWER

  • EC49
  • ZS56
  • EC56

MSRP is 159.00, available now.

EMRG.bike

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15 Comments
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Fred
Fred
5 months ago

I fail to see how this differs from a reachset?

Johann
Johann
5 months ago
Reply to  Fred

The difference is that here, the excentric is between the fork shaft and the bearing, It took me a bit of time to get it!

I wonder what the effect will feel like as, during the rotation, there will be a change in the offset (at 90° it would be back to 0 mm added offset, would you be able to ride at 90° of course).

Richard
Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann

Its just like the difference between a 44mm and 51mm offset fork, some folk love it, others hate it, most cant tell HA! Offset is measured from the centreline of the headset, often most easilly visualised at the dropout but its is also done at the crown or even with fork angle (as you see with rigid forks, not so much suspension as it would change offset with sag)

All forks have 0mm offset at 90deg if you talk about forward offset, not sure why they needed to clarify that bit as no fork has sideways offset!!! eek.

EMRG
5 months ago
Reply to  Fred

The most important thing you need to realize is that with this headset, the steering axis and the steerer tube axis are not on the same line. With normal headsets, anglesets and reachsets, the steerer tube axis and the steering axis are always co-centric, i.e. on one axis.

Mike P
Mike P
5 months ago

Unless I’m missing something, this isn’t adjusting fork offset, it’s adjusting the “reach” dimension of the frame. This shouldn’t effect handling other than having a slight effect on weight distribution. This is a fit tool, as has been used by Chris King’s Buzzworks components on the Santa Cruz Syndicate DH bikes for years.

Cory Benson
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike P

@Mike & @Fred, the difference is:

  • Reach-adjust headsets use an offset cup pressed into your frame, effectively moving the steerer tube forward or back, while still rotating concentrically around the steerer. Only Frame Reach is changed.
  • This Offset-adjust headset uses concentric round cups and round bearings pressed into the frame, but the steerer tube is no longer concentric with the headset. Offset eccentric bearing races are clamped onto the steerer tube of your fork to change the relative distance between the centerline of rotation of your headset and the forward offset of the axle. It does affect Reach as well, but the key take-away feature is that the fork no longer rotates concentric to its own steerer tube.
Richard
Richard
5 months ago
Reply to  Cory Benson

Good clarification Cory. Can see these appearing on a few WC DH bikes in the future as a simpler way to adjust offset than multiple sets of fork crowns.

Justin
Justin
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

This is definitely not simpler than multiple crowns, especially for DH bikes with dual-crowns. 6 pieces that need to be precisely aligned, versus 2 pieces that are aligned automatically.

It’ll be way better for someone to try offsets on a single-crown before shelling out for a whole new CSU and then dropping the lowers and disassembling the air spring to install it.

EMRG
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin

Only 2 pieces must be aligned – the upper and lower eccentric. If you want to swap from +4mm to -4mm offset, it’s an 5 minute job.

Mickey
Mickey
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike P

Yes, you are missing something. Look at it again, it may be a bit hard to wrap your head around at first glance.

Ed
Ed
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike P

You might be missing something. whereas it does change the reach by a few mm but what it is really doing is moving the whole fork ahead or behind the steering center. THAT is how it is effectively changing the offset. It took a minute for me to get it, and now I find it’s quite intersting and may buy it. What a great way to either adjust the bike for your style or change the bie omr CC rides to Bike park rides.

Jason D West
Jason D West
5 months ago

Cool! I’m glad things like this exist for those who want it.

Justin
Justin
5 months ago

moves the steerer tube forward or backward inside the head tube”

Not just inside the head tube, angle-sets do this too. More importantly, this moves the steerer inside the bearings, so the steering axis remains static relative to the frame.

“your fork now rotates around a virtual axis, not concentric with the fork’s steerer tube”

Not really a “virtual axis”, just an offset, non-concentric, axis, but only relative to the steerer. It’s still concentric with the headtube.

Justin
Justin
5 months ago

Why only intended for long travel? If it’s actually about travel, that makes no sense. If they’re trying to imply that the headset sizes needed are more common on long travel bikes, then that might have some sense. But still pretty silly to artificially limit it to long travel frames when the real limit (maybe?) is that it might not fit on as many short travel frames.

EMRG
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin

No, its not only intended for long travel forks. You could use it on a gravel bike too, if the headtube diameter fits.

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