NC-17 Imperator S-Pro headset review
German component brand NC-17 have a broad range of gear on the go, but this headset needs some TLC to get the best from it.
It’s nicely put together, with CNC-machined 7075-T6 alloy cups giving a relatively low stack height and low weight. Replacement alloy crown races are available if you damage the original.
Black, silver, gold, blue and red anodised options all get laser etched detailing too, although the “it’s the law” slogan is a classic dollop of euro nonsense.
While the bearings are impressively smooth to start with, they don’t stay that way for long. This is mainly due to the lack of soft seals to protect them from gunk coming in through the gaps.
As a result we’ve had less than six months’ use out of the S-Pro on our 29er long-termer before persistent loosening meant it was removed and replaced. Certainly not the kind of lifespan we expect from a £70 headset.