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So I decided to take apart my headset...

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
This morning, hopped up on coffee and delusions of grandeur, I decided to take apart, clean, and put back together my headset. I watched a
of it being done and since it only took the dude 5 minutes to do it, I figured it would only take me 20 minutes.

[This is the part in the movie where the camera shows a clock, with its hands rotating madly as hours pass by]

When removing the front forks however, things got a little sloppy and I didn't get to properly inspect how things were before I removed them and now I've got four loose parts and I can't figure out how to put them back together in the right order.

The parts:

  1. Metal ring that I'm guessing is the crown race
  2. Very thin metal band - when I discovered it it was sitting on the middle of my steerer tube
  3. Flexible plastic o-ring
  4. Ball bearing assembly

I suppose the race slides down the steerer tube first. But then what? Also, which way should the ball bearings be oriented? Does the more closed-side face up, or does the more open-side face up?

I'm in over my head :(
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,745
13
SoCal
What make/model headset is it? Maybe I (or someone here) can find a schematic for it.
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,164
154
Six Shooter Junction
Post some pics.


The more open side usually faces up.


The crown race shouldn't come off easily as in it requires a special tool or prying off with hammer and screwdriver.
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,164
154
Six Shooter Junction
That does look like a crown race. It should not just slip on. If it does, it is time for a new one.

The bearing is upside down if it the bottom one.

If you flip the black ring, does it fit nicely over the crown race.

edit --Crown race, black ring, bearing, insert fork...

I think the metal ring goes on the top, put bearing in, then the thin metal ring, then a metal ring with a split in it(???) then the top ring(cover).
 

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
That does look like a crown race. It should not just slip on. If it does, it is time for a new one.

The bearing is upside down if it the bottom one.

If you flip the black ring, does it fit nicely over the crown race.

edit --Crown race, black ring, bearing, insert fork...

I think the metal ring goes on the top, put bearing in, then the thin metal ring, then a metal ring with a split in it(???) then the top ring(cover).
That's disappointing about the crown race needing a shop to service it. What would happen if I just slid it on top of the fork? I'm not saying that's my plan - I'm just wondering.
 

w00dy

In heaven there is no beer
Jun 18, 2004
3,412
28
that's why we drink it here
That looks like the bottom end.
This should not have just slipped off. Please say that you had to use a screwdriver to remove these parts.

Anywho, the black plastic seal goes on after the race and should seat neatly around the edge. The bearing goes on next. I don't know what that other bit is, might be cause for concern if it came off your fork.
 

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
That looks like the bottom end.
This should not have just slipped off. Please say that you had to use a screwdriver to remove these parts.

Anywho, the black plastic seal goes on after the race and should seat neatly around the edge. The bearing goes on next. I don't know what that other bit is, might be cause for concern if it came off your fork.
It all came off the fork by hand - this is not developing in a good way :(

Well, my bike is out of commission for a bit anyway while I have a new freehub body on order so at least I'm not missing any good rides. Plus, the weather sucks rightnow.
 

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
Yeah that is pretty close. I guess the idea is to lay the race on the crown, slide the PVC over the steerer, and hit it with a mallet? When I set the race on there yesterday, it was pretty tight on the crown - what's the difference in setting it by hand and driving it on there?

My bike is thankfully put back together at this point. Now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing, I might take the headset apart again next weekend so I can better familiarize myself with the process.
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,164
154
Six Shooter Junction
Yeah that is pretty close. I guess the idea is to lay the race on the crown, slide the PVC over the steerer, and hit it with a mallet? When I set the race on there yesterday, it was pretty tight on the crown - what's the difference in setting it by hand and driving it on there?

My bike is thankfully put back together at this point. Now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing, I might take the headset apart again next weekend so I can better familiarize myself with the process.

You shouldn't be able to set it by hand. You can hit the pvc with a mallet, but you should be able to just bash it(slide hammer) on with the pvc. The PVC will bust if you smack it directly with a hammer. The most important thing is that the PVC end is square.






.
 

loco-gringo

Crusading Clamp Monkey
Sep 27, 2006
8,887
5
Deep in the heart of TEXAS
$35 will get you a new headset with sealed bearings. Perhaps a little less. I wouldn't spend any more dough on that headset. With a sealed set, you'll just need to open it up and lightly grease the outside of your bearings on occasion. If the race came off by hand, it's likely because the headset was loose and knocks wiggled it off. I would move away from that. I don't know if Cane Creek owns VP but they are the guys that did the headset. I would just get like an S2 or something that Cane Creek does. Or an FSA Pig sealed headset.

Here's VP's site, for a reference.

http://www.vpcomponents.com/default.asp
 

Del

Monkey
Feb 20, 2004
366
0
Alexandria, VA
Thanks - I guess I'll pick up a new headset with my next paycheck. I found this Cane Creek S-2 on sale at Pricepoint for $30.00.

What's a fair price to expect a bike shop to press my headset cups and set the race if I do the rest of the work myself? Or is it even worth doing it myself if they've already got the front end dismantled?
 

Wumpus

makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
8,164
154
Six Shooter Junction
I got charged $5 for the shop to press my last headset, but I bought the headset from the mechanic doing the work. I also bring only the frame in so all they need to do is press the cups.

It really depends on the shop. If you bought the headset from them, they might do it for free. You'll also need your fork to set the race unless you plan on doing that yourself.


One thing, when I get/remove a headset, I'll ziptie the bearings and other parts together in order so I don't have to worry about what goes where.



Edit --
What's a fair price to expect a bike shop to press my headset cups and set the race if I do the rest of the work myself? Or is it even worth doing it myself if they've already got the front end dismantled?
If you take the complete bike, just let them put it back together.
 

loco-gringo

Crusading Clamp Monkey
Sep 27, 2006
8,887
5
Deep in the heart of TEXAS
Thanks - I guess I'll pick up a new headset with my next paycheck. I found this Cane Creek S-2 on sale at Pricepoint for $30.00.

What's a fair price to expect a bike shop to press my headset cups and set the race if I do the rest of the work myself? Or is it even worth doing it myself if they've already got the front end dismantled?
If the old headset it out, I'd do it for $10. I may have $15 on the chart, but if you're not an impatient douche, I'd do it for $10.