The Pros Trust Hellbender 70

For more than two decades, Cane Creek has set the standard for bicycle headsets. By introducing the world to threadless technology, Cane Creek helped redefine modern bicycles; making possible the introduction of suspension forks, shaped head-tubes, carbon steerer tubes and other innovations that continue today. We don’t stop at designing and manufacturing the world’s best headsets. Cane Creek is also committed to providing the resources you need to guide you through the increasingly complex headset landscape. As always, all of our headsets are backed by our unsurpassed commitment to customer service.

In fall 2018, Cane Creek launched the Hellbender 70 headset series to help bridge the gap between the premium, best-in-class 110-series headset and the economical 40-series headset.

“There is so much value and performance packed into this headset. With most of the major features of the 110 – including the Hellbender bearing – at a more accessible price-point, the Hellbender 70 is going to allow more riders to have better quality headsets on their bike. That’s a big win for everyone” – Sam Anderson, Product Manager (to Pinkbike)

Put simply, the Hellbender 70 is designed for abuse. But what really makes it a great headset? It’s all in the bearings. Our Hellbender bearings are made from high quality stainless steel with a higher ball bearing count and housed in a stainless steel cartridge. It’s 40-series ZN40 counterpart is made from bearing grade steel and housed in a steel cartridge with zinc coating. The Hellbender bearing has more durable, robust, and tight sealing and a more viscous grease. What does this mean for you? A longer-lasting, high-quality bearing that will withstand the dirt, sand, grime, sweat, and water that covers your bike ride after ride. But you don’t have to take our word for it… Find out why the pros choose Hellbender 70.

We chatted with three pros running the Hellbender 70 headset to find out how they really feel about premium headsets, why an upgrade is worth it (or not!), and why they trust Hellbender 70 and Cane Creek.

 

Caroline Washam, Pro DH

Caroline Washam on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Photo by @burkelawrencephoto
Photo by @burkelawrencephoto

1. Hometown? Mooresville, NC, USA
2. Who are your sponsors? SRAM, RockShox, Liv Racing, Industry Nine, Schwalbe, TLD, Flat Tire Defender, Joes No Flats, Fryer Performance, Thunder Huck Bikes
3. What is your favorite trail/where is your favorite place to ride? I love riding anywhere in Western NC! Wilson’s Creek, Dupont, Pisgah…it’s all so good.
4. What do you do when you aren’t racing bicycles? Riding bicycles, teaching other people how to ride bicycles better, and working on content about bicycles! Life doesn’t suck.
5. What do you know about headsets? What’s your opinion on what makes a good headset and what makes a bad headset? I know that on my DH bike, the headset usually requires a ton of maintenance. With all the mud, power washing, and pressure the headset is under racing downhill, I usually have to take my headset apart, clean and regrease pretty often. A good headset stays smooth under pressure with seals that resist abuse.
6. You’ve been riding Hellbender 70 this season… how’s it been going? What do you like? What do you not like? Switching over to the Hellbender from the stock headset this year has been awesome. Even after some of the muddiest racing I have ever done earlier this year (and lots of power washing to clean all that mud off after each run), I didn’t hear that all-to-familiar crunching sound coming from my headset, so I could get more runs before having to perform any maintenance!
7. Why would someone upgrade from a 10-series or 40-series headset to a Hellbender 70? Who is a candidate for a premium headset? Why does it make a difference? If you’re rough on your bikes, ride rough terrain, or just want a headset that’s going to last, the Hellbender 70 is the one!
8. Why Cane Creek? Because Cane Creek creates a top-quality product, they’re a great group of humans, and they do a lot of good for our local MTB community. I couldn’t think of any better reasons to support a company.
9. Anything else? I also run the Cane Creek AngleSet on my dual slalom bike to get slacker head angle for steeper courses with technical turns. It has been one of the most beneficial upgrades to my dual slalom bike for increased performance.

You can find Caroline at @caroline.washam | @carolinewashamMTB | @carolinewasham | Be sure to wish Caroline luck as she races Fort William UCI DHI World Cup this weekend! Go Caroline!

 

Caroline Washam on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Photo by @caroline.washam
The AngleSet is right at home on Caroline’s Liv slalom bike

 

Caroline Washam on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Photo by @jackiericecakes
Photo by @jackiericecakes

 


Brice Shirbach, Pro Enduro

Brice Shirbach on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 photo by @bricycles
Hellbender 70 is perfect for single-crown hard-chargers

1. Hometown? Wilmington, DE, USA
2. Who are your sponsors? Pivot Cycles, Pearl Izumi, Maxxis, MRP, Julbo, Shimano, 9point8, Deity Components, Leatt Protectives, Stans No Tubes, Evoc, Topeak, Dialed Health, Cane Creek
3. What is your favorite trail/where is your favorite place to ride? Sunshine Coast of BC!
4. What do you do when you aren’t racing bicycles? I don’t race much as it is. Most of what I focus on is content these days. But off the bike I’m focused on parenting like a mofo!
5. What do you know about headsets? What’s your opinion on what makes a good headset and what makes a bad headset? I know that almost everything I do with my upper body while riding is transmitted to the bike via the headset. A good headset needs to have quality bearings, is well sealed, and will can hold up to the rigors of of the elements.
6. You’ve been riding Hellbender 70 this season… how’s it been going? What do you like? What do you not like? It’s been flawless so far.
7. Why would someone upgrade from a 10-series or 40-series headset to a Hellbender 70? Who is a candidate for a premium headset? Why does it make a difference? If you are intent on progressing as a rider, then you have to accept that you will be putting greater stresses on your bike. The more aggressive you are, the more you tend to start putting more down force on the front end, which makes the headset design and quality all the more important.
8. Why Cane Creek? Because the products are top notch, and the people are as well.

You can find Brice at @bricycles | Pinkbike

Brice Shirbach on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 photo by @bricycles

Jon Hanson, Pro DH & Enduro

Jon Hanson on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 photo by @shoot.fred
Photo by @shoot.fred

1. Hometown? Vernon, NJ, USA
2. Who are your sponsors? Spoke Apparel, Mountain Creek Bike Park, Cane Creek, Shimano, Onyx Racing, Santa Cruz, Boa Technology
3. What is your favorite trail/where is your favorite place to ride? Favorite trail is a tough choice; favorite place to ride would have to be Mountain Creek Bike Park.
4. What do you do when you aren’t racing bicycles? I weld dirt midfield race car chassis
5. What do you know about headsets? What’s your opinion on what makes a good headset and what makes a bad headset? I know good amount about headsets. What makes good headset is quality seals, cups, and bearings.
6. You’ve been riding Hellbender 70 this season… how’s it been going? What do you like? What do you not like? The Hellbender 70 is great! I used to run a 110. So when I got the Hellbender 70 I was amazed by the quality. It’s pretty much on the same level as 110, [but] at a affordable price.
7. Why would someone upgrade from a 10-series or 40-series headset to a Hellbender 70? Who is a candidate for a premium headset? Why does it make a difference? The Hellbender 70 has smoother higher quality bearings along with better seals to keep things clean. Anyone can be prime candidate for the Hellbender. As this headset comes such an affordable price for amazing quality.
8. Why Cane Creek? Cane Creek right here in the USA with quick knowledgeable staff that can help you out, whether it’s warranties, finding out what size headset you need, or servicing your suspension.
9. Anything else? I also ride Cane Creek HELM Fork and DBCoil CS suspension #HELMYeah!

You can find Jon at @JonHans8n
Jon Hanson on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 photo by @shoot.fred
Photo by @shoot.fred
Jon Hanson on Cane Creek Hellbender 70 photo by @shoot.fred
Photo by @shoot.fred

Hellbender 70 Specifications

Cups and Covers
6061 T-6 Aluminum, Internally contoured and relieved to minimize weight and maximize strength
Covers
Low-friction upper bearing seal completely seals cup from contaminants and is fully captured by the top cover with no loose parts
Crown Race
Alloy Dual-Seal crown race provides excellent seal efficiency with low friction
Bearings
Premium, sealed stainless-steel Hellbender bearings
Interlok®
Interlok® spacer compatible
Color and Finish
Bright – Dip anodized Black finish
Warranty
2 years
Stack Heights
  • External Cup (EC) — 12mm bottom
  • ZeroStack (ZS) — 8mm top, 4mm bottom
  • Integrated (IS) — 9mm top, 1mm bottom