From Dirt Issue 113 – July 2011
Words by Ed H. Photos by Ed H.I don’t know if it’s just me, but I had the impression that Cane Creek were some kind of global giant. I think it all stems from the fact that there seem to be more Cane Creek headsets in the world than you can shake a stick at. Being a strong supporter of the underdog I normally try and steer clear of such corporations, but with products like their Double Barrel rear shock and the Angleset adjustable headset there was no way I could avoid Cane Creek. It turns out though that I had nothing whatsoever to worry about, my conscience was clear.
The realisation that Cane Creek were nothing like I imagined all started when I met Josh Coaplen, the head of R&D. Actually that’s not quite true because when I first met him and heard his title my mind ran wild again and imagined that he headed up some vast team of engineers who all sat in some fancy design office dreaming up the next great invention. It turns out that he pretty much is Mr R&D, but more about that later.
Anyway, fast forward some more false imagination and we get to a point where I’m discussing the ever expanding range of fitments for Anglesets with Josh, and during that conversation I say something along the lines of, ‘I just wish you could make one for old skool 1 1/8” headsets, but I suppose it isn’t possible?’ Josh then said, in his typical ‘not wanting to give too much away/should I be saying this’ way, ‘well actually it is possible and I might possibly have made one…but I don’t think it’ll ever make it into production.’ Feeling as strongly as I do that an 1 1/8” Angleset would be the saviour of many older frames, and in many cases more useful than ones designed to fit bikes that already have more up to date geometry, I then launched into a bit of a tirade along the lines of ‘why the hell not?’.
The answer that came back actually infuriated me even more because it was essentially purely down to aesthetics. Basically to make it possible the cups have to be a bit bigger than a regular 1 1/8” headset, and Cane Creek had decided that the end result wouldn’t be pretty enough to bear their name. Well, that’s the way I read it anyway, and as I just said that made me mad because there’s nothing that annoys more than style over substance. Personally I think if you can make a truly great product I don’t care that much what it looks like. Yes by all means make it pretty too if you can, but if you can’t then as far as I am concerned it’s no hard loss. Anyway, the conversation ended with me asking how I could convince Cane Creek to make it, and how many they’d need to sell to make it viable. Josh simply said ‘if you can prove that 100 people would want one then we will at least start to consider it.’>>