If you’re thinking of getting a Wolf Tooth premium zero stack headset, these are my first impressions and initial ride quality. This is not an in-depth review, nor is it technical. This is a basic look at a high quality headset for the rider who has either worn out their stock headset, or wants to upgrade to a new one.
As a Sasquatch Mountain Biker, headsets have always caused issues for me. The stock headset on my current bike, the Rocky Mountain Growler, left much to be desired. Within a month of riding it was already starting to grind. By the end of the season it was janky and needed replacing.
I had heard of Wolf Tooth before, seen their products, and they looked to be high quality and exactly what I needed. Now that I’ve installed and ridden the Wolf Tooth premium zero stack headset, I am extremely impressed by its silky smoothness and robust build.
Wolf Tooth Headset Initial Impressions
Unfortunately, I was so pumped to install my first legit after-market headset, that I didn’t stop to take any pictures!
Maybe I’ll take some next time I service it, but in the meantime, you can check out the product page here.
Keep in mind that the upper and lower headsets are sold separately.
It is obvious how well machined these parts are. And the blue aluminum finish is killer. Giving the cartridge bearings a quick spin, they felt smooth and solid. All the pieces in the kit looked great and are high quality. Given the price (about $130 all together) this, so far, has been a cost effective option for a headset that will last. We’ll see at the end of summer, but I suspect it’ll perform well.
Wolf Tooth Headset Install
This headset installed quickly and easily. Just punch out the old cups, press the new ones in, grease everything and put it back together.
This can be a technical process, so if you are unsure, or don’t want to buy the tools (around $200 for the bearing punch and bearing press) your local bike shop should be able to quickly install it for you.
If none of this makes sense to you, I plan on producing a Headset Install tutorial sometime in the future. It is definitely worth its own post, as you don’t want to mess up your head tube, or headset cups, when you press them together!
Maybe I’ve hit new levels of mountain bike nerdiness, or I couldn’t believe the difference of a proper headset, but I was pumped when I gave the new headset its first spin.
Lifting the front wheel and rotating the bars back and forth: the glide was buttery smooth. Right away, I knew the investment was worth it and should have done the swap when I bought the bike the summer before. I’m sure many other after-market headsets have the same feel, but I can say for sure the Wolf Tooth headset impressed me right off the get go.
The first ride was more of the same: smooth, zero resistance, and light as a cloud. And the fact the blue matches the top caps on my Fox 36 didn’t hurt either!
If you are looking for a technical comparison to other headsets, I don’t have anything for you. I’m sure there are hardcore riders out there with more info to offer than me. But if you’re a regular biker that is struggling with a poor performing headset that grinds, groans, and isn’t confidence inspiring, I can tell you that the Wolf Tooth premium zero stack headset is a big step in the right direction.
I look forward to providing readers with some meaningful, longer term feedback as I put this headset through its paces for the rest of this season. I have no doubt it will be able to withstand the rigours of enduro hardtail riding from a 220 lb. rider, but time will tell.
If you’re keen to browse the Wolf Tooth premium zero stack headset for yourself, click the button below! If you have any details to provide, or experiences you want to share with readers, then feel free to leave a comment.
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