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FSA Headset Install?

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by Spunger, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Hey guys,

    So I figured if I can press bearings into my frame I should be able to press a headset into my frame. Everything is setup right. I have a FSA PIG DH PRO headset. The top bearing comes out, the bottom one is in there like it'll never come out.

    My question is for a home mechanic, I imagine the top one is easy because you can remove the bearing, but can I press the lower up in with the bearing still in the cup? I'd be using a ghetto way with washers and nuts/threaded rod to do so but it seems like a good way to get even pressure and such. I know th grease the cups/inside of the headtube really well before doing this.

    And the crown race, can I just take a PVC pipe or something and smack it until it hits the bottom of the steer. I know to be careful of the dropouts and such, as it's got like 1/2" to go to fit onto the taper. Seems like it'd be easy enough with a pipe and hammer. :)

    And steertube, can you use a pipe cutter to cut it down?

    If I can't figure it out I imagine a shop wouldn't charge more than $25 to cut the steer and install the headset. Hell everythings taken apart anyways. I don't need them to adjust anything, just install and cut. But I'd like to try this myself as I'm pretty confident it's not that difficult. Everything is reamed/faced and ready for the headset.

    Any help would be great!
     

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  2. jimmyjammoto

    jimmyjammoto Chimp

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    You just described the exact way I install my headsets!

    The only different thing is I use some specific bearing cup installers instead of washers because you can usually find a set that fits. You should be able to get the bottom bearing out; it may just be a tight fit. In any case you can still press the cup in with the sealed bearing in it.

    I don't know if all FSA headsets are the same, but my fork crown race was a TIGHT fit. Just keep slamming that PVC pipe down over the steerer tube and it'll seat nice and flush. I wouldn't use a hammer though as it may break chunks of PVC off and get in yer eye or something.

    Some people use a hacksaw to cut the steerer tube to length, but a hacksaw is like ball$ on a heifer...it's good for nothing unless you need to make a crooked ass cut. The pipe cutter is the best way to go IMO; it makes for a clean install. Be careful on an aluminum steerer tube because they are softer than steel and can dull a cutting wheel if used with a heavy hand. I'm sure you know to leave a little extra tube on there just in case:oink:

    Other than that you really can't screw up it up if you just take your time. Good luck!
     
  3. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    There's been a lot of discussion on cutting steerers with a pipe cutter vs. a hacksaw.

    I'm never going to say that using a pipe cutter is the best method. Using a fairly fine toothed hacksaw, a guide and then giving the edges a little bit of a de-burring is the best, most accurate way to cut a steerer tube. An old stem, or two if you want to get crazy, make a fine hacksaw guide.

    Pipe cutters deform the metal a bit and certain headsets, especially King headsets, are a very tight fit as it is. A little bit of deformation and all of a sudden you need a hammer to get the top cap on. Yes, you can use them. No, it probably won't hurt it. Yes, it makes it easier to get a perfectly straight cut. But it's still not the best way.

    Everything else is good, though. Yes, you can do it with the bearing in the cup, just make sure you're not putting direct pressure on the bearing - if your washers are big enough, the pressure should be going on the outside of the lower cup, not the bearing.

    jimmyjam has good advice with the hammer. Never bang hammers on PVC, 'cause if it breaks you're going to get a faceful of jagged plastic. If you must use a hammer, wear safety glasses - it doesn't matter how nicely your fork install goes if you're blind and can't ride the bike :p

    Measure twice. Then once more to be sure. Then make sure you've got the spacers, races, top caps, etc. all where you want them. Then measure again. THEN cut. You can't add steerer back on ;)
     
  4. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    Question, what if I don't use the pipe cutter heavy handed? meaning gently apply presure while scoring the steerer?

    I know it would take longer, but I could be just watching TV or something while doin it...
     
  5. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    The pipe cutter will probably work fine, especially since you're not going with a King headset. I was just noting that, contrary to what jimmy said, a hacksaw actually is the preferred method.

    Just go slow with it and you'll be okay.
     
  6. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    Thanks. However, I end up thinking that if I have to take my bike in to have the races pressed, and the star-fangled nut inserted, then why not have them cut the steerer tube if they have the tools?

    Makes more sense then saving 5 bucks right?

    I am coming to the distinct conclusion, based on past projects, that if I do not have the proper tools, to have it done.

    If the LBS screw it up, they become liable for any ensuing damages...but with the proper tools, it can be pretty tough to screw up. (famous last words…:rolleyes: ;) )
     
  7. Spunger

    Spunger Git yer dumb questions here

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    Well pressing the headset it doesn't seem that difficult, especially if everything is setup for it already.

    But on the steer tube cutting it wise, I just figured a pipe cutter would do the trick as it'd also make a stright cut. You know what I mean? I could probably try a hacksaw and a guide of some sorts but then I'd need 2 stems and a stright cut. LOL I'm not good with "stright" cutting things.

    If all else fails I don't think a shop should charge much to cut the steer tube, install the headset, and the crown race. But I will try myself, since you never learn until you try it. But if I can press bearings into a frame this shouldn't be much harder.
     
  8. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    For all headsets, I use a piece of 1 1/4" pvc as a slide hammer to drive the race on. You can use a hammer, but like BV says, be careful. I actually use a rubber mallet. For the cups - it won't hurt anything to have bearings in them. The bearing will be recessed, or flush. If it is not, I wouldn't use that headset. For the steerer - the park guide and a vice works best. I never thought of two old stems, but that is brilliant. I use a tubing cutter and then carefully file the flared tube from the top down to remove the flare. I have no trouble installing King caps after doing this, but you must be thorough, or you will. Make damn sure you measure right. Good luck, Chris.

    *I install star nuts with a top cap and a bolt, but nashbar has cheap tools for this for like $10 or so. For a consumer, I am sure they are fine. I wish I had that tool, but I can always go to the shop and use their tools.
     
    #8 -   Dec 3, 2005
  9. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Works fine, and you should always go slowly. That said, you still need a mill file to do it right.
     
    #9 -   Dec 3, 2005
  10. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    The better part of reason tells me that the LBS for me is the best approach...:thumb:

    Thanks Loco.