Cane Creek (under its original Dia Compe name) was the first to license the Aheadset design in 1990 and it still makes some of the best sets around.
Even this most basic offering from the range is a belter that came up regularly on recommended lists from our contacts in the field. For a start, it’s better sealed than a lot of units costing twice the price.
The crown race benefits from a built-in lip seal and there are steerer O-ring seals and a floating neoprene and metal cap seal above the top bearing.
The stepped (as opposed to being merely chamfered) cup flanges make straight and accurate fitting a breeze too.
If you take the time to clean them and dab some fresh grease on them occasionally, the bearings will regularly run for well over a year before you need to cough up for a new set.
The only thing you need to be careful of is damaging the crown race steel if you need to swap forks – but again, there are spares available if you knacker it.
There’s even an ‘S3 Plus’ (5mm greater stack height) version, which comes equipped with a 5mm deeper lower cup to give extra fork clearance. A handful of resin steerer spacers in the box put its top value status beyond doubt.