BIKERUMOR.com 2009 SEA OTTER CLASSIC COVERAGE: Cane Creek launched AER, the world’s lightest headset.
Intended for road bikes only, the AER drops weight in two major ways. First, they machine the you-know-what out of the cups. Second, they get rid of bearings on the top, replaced by a Norglide “bearing” bonded to a metal ring. Total weight for the standard 1-1/8″ headset: 46 grams!
It’s available in regular 1-1/8″, Integrated (IS) and Zero Stack (ZS). Hit “more” to see close-up pics…
The top is where the bearing magic happens. The cup (A) is heavily machined, as is the bottom cup in the foreground. The Norglide bushing (B) is bonded to a metal ring and replaces the bearings. A wedge (C) rests between the bushing and the Cap (D) to keep things in place. Cane Creek says they’ve tested the bushing for wear of 450 hours in lab conditions. Depending on the conditions you ride in, it may wear the bushing quicker. There wasn’t much sealing it off from the elements, so it might be that you just plan on replacing the bushing every so often.
Here’s what they look like put together.
The different models, from left to right: Regular 1-1/8″, Integrated (IS) and Zero Stack (ZS) low profile headsets. All this lightness will set you back $125 for the 1-1/8″ model.