Crank Brothers Iodine SL Directset headset review£110.00

Super low stack headset

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Crank Brothers always come up with cunning ideas and this unique headset trades low stack and low weight for high price.

Extending the outer bearing shell to form the frame fit flange makes it a lot lighter than the competition. This tougher ‘all mountain’ Iodine version is only 1.5g heavier than the Cobalt cross-country set, despite using a 34-ball (rather than 28-ball) stainless steel lower race to handle impacts better.

At 10mm lower than most headsets, it might be just what you need if you find you’ve accidentally chopped your fork steerer slightly too short.

In terms of bearing performance we’ve had mixed results. A couple of sets we’ve been tracking have blown up very quickly, but we’ve had ours on the go in a Santa Cruz Blur LT for 20 months now.

Despite the fact that we lost the loose lower and upper seals after a couple of months, it’s still totally fine, and the five-year bearing warranty also helps sugar the high price pill.

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