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Facing Headtube and BB?

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by Spunger, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Here's my dilema.

    I bought a 05 Specialized P1 frame. The frame was stripped of parts (meaning the headset and BB were installed, and removed). The mating surfaces on the headtube and BB have a touch of the P1's coating on them, but they are indeed flat. I know that when a frame's faced that it's just shiny metal right?

    I was told that if I was to use loose ball stuff it makes a difference but if using cartridge bearings it doesn't make such a difference. I know everything else was done to the frame because you can see where the headtube was reamed and the BB's shells threads are all perfect. I'm using a FSA Plat. BB and a FSA PIG DH Pro headset (both cartridge bearings).

    I was even told by the person who sold me the frame that some old timers will say face it, others would say it's fine. Clearly the bike had parts on it which is what makes me wonder why specialized out of all companies would still leave some of their finish on the headtube and BB mating surfaces. So what should I do? I dunno how much my LBS charges for facing the BB and the headtube. I've never had a LBS here really do much but press in a headset.

    Just wondering what other's feel is on this.
     
    #1 -   Dec 9, 2005

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  2. thejames

    thejames Monkey

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    i have been a mechanic for 15 years and i face and ream the headtubes and face and tap the bb on every bike i own when i first build it up. it is actually more important to face things when there are cartridge bearings going in because of the tolerances. the better the headset or bb gets the tighter the tolerances are, so facing becomes more important. it makes the bearings last much longer and you almost never have to worry about the bearings wearing out because the only load they are getting is the way the were designed to be used, not trying to make up for paint or slightly off machining. you would probably be surprised to find out how many high end companies do not face the headtubes(many assume that the shop will do it as part of the bike assembly) one other thing you may want to think about is that many stems are not perfectly flat on the bottom surface, this can cause binding in an otherwise perfectly face and installed headset. a lot of shops don't have stem facers, but it can make a difference.
     
  3. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Do you have any idea how much shops tend to charge to face the BB area and headtube? I also need a wheel re-dished and the headset installed and steer tube cut. I just don't want to get gouged badly.

    I know some shops will charge you like $50-70 an hour and be able to do most of that in an hour, but others like to nickle and dime you to death on fees. They charge you for removal and install (in this case there's nothing to remove).
     
  4. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    I got a quote from my preferred shop the other day. Face and ream the head tube: $18 including installation of headset cups. Face and chase the BB: $50.
     
  5. need2ski9

    need2ski9 Chimp

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    just got my heckler head and bb faced and chaced...took all of 20 mins and was $20. Had to install the headset myself though
     
  6. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Well the headtube doesn't sound so bad, but by god the BB area is expensive! I know the tools cost a arm and a leg. I might have to make my way around town to a couple shops and see exactly what they charge for this stuff.

    Thank god though christmas is around the corner, he comes gift certificates :)
     
  7. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    I know. I should have asked why. I guess it's because it takes more precision and care to chase the threads.
     
  8. SuPaFlY

    SuPaFlY Chimp

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    Personally, you can get away with not facing the headtube and bb. Casing the threads on the BB is useless, you're just spending money you can hold on to. The only reason I say that you can get away with not facing the headtube is because a pig has already been desinged to be installed without the facing done. The B.B. isnt as important because the amount of paint there will be on the shell. the lower race moves slightly to allow for this. Sayng this, If you want to spend the bling and get it done, give er. I suggest it all the time to customers building up bikes. It depends on your cash flow tho. Reaming headtubes is not my slice of pizza tho. Some bits take to much material out (A thou can mean a lot) and with headsets like kings, wont offer enough friction to stay in place. You can ream it, and then use locker sealant but then what was the point to spending the 25 bucks to do it? Not to mention, you arent applying any pressure to the bearings by not reaming it
     
  9. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    Agree. Most companies face them before painting. All that's needed in most cases is a good look to make sure the paint isn't uneven on the faces. If it is, it can usually be cleaned up with a knife or sandpaper.
    I've heard that BBs with outboard bearings are real sensitive to unparallel faces. No experience, just what I've read. I'd assume that the shell is faced before painting too and probably only get it faced if I had problems.
    Except when no effort was made to protect the threads while painting. If that's the case I'd definitely get it chased before attempting to install a BB.
    Don't know much about reaming a new frame or how reamers work. I had an old steel frame with a slightly ovalized headtube done to make the inside round again. Of course I was pressing in a cup custom made for the new inner diameter. If you choose a bit with the same diameter as the cup, is there still a chance to take out too much?
     
  10. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    That's the spot I'm in. The frame has good looking BB threads. The headtube is already reamed. So why would they ream the headtube and tap the bottom bracket without facing them? That doesn't make much sense if you ask me (to ream it but not face it, or to tap it and not face it). That's almost why I'm tempted to just do that above, take a little bit of sand paper and wipe away the paint that's there. Hell it's not even paint, it's super thin coating of some sort.

    I emailed specialized and asked them. We'll see what they say :)
     
  11. Arsbars

    Arsbars "Finger Lickin' Good"

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    Headtube facing is very important, as is BB chasing. In the industry world there seems to be a huge issue about facing BB's. Maybe someone can actually give their opinons as well.

    Back in the old days you faced BB's before cups came into play. Then there were the standard threaded cups which because they thread in as long as the surface is flat it does not need to have the paint removed from the outside of the BB shell. Now thanks to outboard bearings everyone is going back to facing the BB shell.

    Opinons?
     
  12. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Well after a visit with my LBS....

    I think it's ok to get it done :) I asked about their fees and it was possibly because I was charged to have a part removed and then replaced (for like a headset). In this case I just need things faced, headset installed, fork steer cut, and crown race pushed on. They quoted me $50 to do it all so I was stoked to say the least. That was way less than I was expecting.

    So for $50 I think it's a good idea to get it done. If you figure that if I didn't have a headset pressed in or the rest of that stuff it is probably $25-35 which ain't bad. I have to have my rear wheel dished for the frame too but that's no big deal. I can do the rest of the install though myself thank god!

    So.....I think it's definately a good idea to get this done for that price. I looked around online and some places were like $50 just for the bottom bracket, $30 for the headtube and that wasn't with things pressed in or anything. Talk about expensive!

    I'll post the finished pics probably late next week.
     
  13. thejames

    thejames Monkey

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    headtube facing is fairly important no matter what headset you use. you would be very surprised to know that most frames that come to the shop without paint in the bb shell or on the faces of the bb and headtube were faced and reamed before welding and paint, including many very high end frames(we have had at least 15 this year that were over 2500$ that needed this work done)in my opinion the bb should only really be done if there is paint on the threads, the bb and headtube facing will make both parts last much longer and you will have fewer problems when you move parts from bike to bike later on(you know you will do this eventually).
    my 2 $