Cane Creek has unveiled a prototype viscous-damped headset at Eurobike this week, which it claims eliminates speed wobble.
It’s based around multi-plate friction clutch – a series of 0.15mm-thick plate rings that key into the headset housing in three positions – alternately keyed in place on the outside and inside ring (which sits over the steerer tube). As the headset rotates, the plates rotate against each other.
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The key to making this work (as in damping the steering) is a fluorocarbon gel that’s sandwiched between each plate. The gel is sheared by the rotating plates – the faster you try and shear the gel the more it resists movement by stiffening.
These superthin keyed plates are coated with a fluorocarbon gel that reacts by stiffneing under shear forces when the plates act against each other:
These superthin keyed plates are coated with a fluorocarbon gel that reacts by stiffening under shear forces when the plates act against each other
This action, Cane Creek claims, will damp out the dreaded speed wobble some riders experience on the road at high velocity. It was originally conceived to work with heavy step-through e-bike designs, but Cane Creek believes it has wide ranging possibilities for the road.
The headsets are in final testing for temperature resistance and overall high-tolerance sealing, but Cane Creek expects to launch them properly early in the new year. Currently the design is only for NC-IS internal standard head tubes (its fitted into the top-race only).
Cane Creek promised to get test samples to us just as soon as it’s finished, now we just need to get it on a bike that gets the wobbles to check out if it indeed cures it.
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