Cane Creek claims new headset cures speed wobble

Prototype damped headsets said to have wide-ranging road potential

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.

Related: Check out more news from Eurobike at our Eurobike homepage

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 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.

Check out more news from Eurobike at our Eurobike homepage.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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