Adjusting headsets

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by PJay, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. PJay

    PJay Guest

    I'm keen to learn a bit of bike maintenace and have a few concerns around
    adjusting threadless headset. I've been flicking through some maintenance
    manuals in Waterstones (and have a copy of Zinn and the art ... myself).

    My main hangup around headsets is that I've picked up the idea somewhere
    that a loose headset can (or perhaps will) ovalise a headtube potentially
    ruining the frame, and yet in the manuals I looked through this wasn't even
    mentions,either as a risk in need of urgent addressing or a consequence; in
    fact one manual went so far as to reassure people not to worry about whether
    they got the adjustment "right first time". The only consequence that got a
    mention was premature bearing wear (from both overly tight or loose
    headsets).

    Am I being needlessly concerned? I've also been told that a loose headset
    won't harm the frame and at other times that it will.

    On a related train of thought I've come across manuals that sugguest
    adjusting the headset AND testing for play with the stem bolts loose and
    others (the Park website too I think) that say that the stem clamp bolts
    must be tightened in order to test for play. I realise that the stem bolts
    need to be loose to adjust the pre-load but should the be done up or loose
    when testing for play?

    Thanks for any help
    Paul
     
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  2. On Tue, 11 Apr 2006 20:59:41 +0100, PJay wrote:

    > My main hangup around headsets is that I've picked up the idea somewhere
    > that a loose headset can (or perhaps will) ovalise a headtube potentially
    > ruining the frame,


    I imagine some would have a concern about poor installation of the headset
    cups, which at least in theory might damage a frame, but a loose bearing
    is not going to have any discernible effect on the frame that I can
    imagine. It certainly could ruin the bearings, but you have the very hard
    bearing cup between the fork and the frame.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
    _`\(,_ | business.
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  3. On Tue, 11 Apr 2006 20:59:41 +0100, "PJay" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >My main hangup around headsets is that I've picked up the idea somewhere
    >that a loose headset can (or perhaps will) ovalise a headtube potentially
    >ruining the frame, and yet in the manuals I looked through this wasn't even
    >mentions,either as a risk in need of urgent addressing or a consequence; in


    Can't happen. All you can ruin is the headset. You can ovalise the
    headtube by putting a headset that's slightly too small in it (JIS instead
    of ISO, or vice versa, I forget which), which you'll notice by the cups
    falling out if you don't hold them in.

    You can also ovalise the headtube by doing Bad Stuff while (attempting to)
    replace the headset, as well, but never by simply misadjusting it. Headset
    replacement is best left to the LBS with the right equipment.

    Jasper
     
  4. PJay wrote:

    > My main hangup around headsets is that I've picked up the idea somewhere
    > that a loose headset can (or perhaps will) ovalise a headtube potentially
    > ruining the frame



    Only with those accursed integrated designs. If the bearings come loose
    in the frame due to wear (which could be exacerbated by poor adjustment)
    you are fairly well stuffed. Some shops can now recut *some* head tubes
    to the required seating angle if there is enough material there, but
    it's not an option I'd depend on.

    With conventional pressed-in cups, the frame doesn't suffer.
     
  5. Jasper Janssen <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Tue, 11 Apr 2006 20:59:41 +0100, "PJay" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:


    > >My main hangup around headsets is that I've picked up the idea somewhere
    > >that a loose headset can (or perhaps will) ovalise a headtube potentially
    > >ruining the frame, and yet in the manuals I looked through this wasn't even
    > >mentions,either as a risk in need of urgent addressing or a consequence; in


    > Can't happen. All you can ruin is the headset. You can ovalise the
    > headtube by putting a headset that's slightly too small in it (JIS instead
    > of ISO, or vice versa, I forget which), which you'll notice by the cups
    > falling out if you don't hold them in.


    > You can also ovalise the headtube by doing Bad Stuff while (attempting to)
    > replace the headset, as well, but never by simply misadjusting it. Headset
    > replacement is best left to the LBS with the right equipment.


    > Jasper



    Jobst Brandt
     
  6. i bought a spare headset!
    change lube - philwood or finishline trojaneze - and bearings every
    year: the lube wears out in a year from daily use.
    if you have an old style headset, filing the thin headnut down to the
    headset wrench measure - exactly - as a slip ughuhg fit - is a gross
    improvement over what's normal there.
    i use vicegrips (carefull on squeezing the nut out of shape) or 12"
    handle channelocks.
    total nut torque related to pressure to swing the fork?m without a tire
    on it?
    tighten the nuts down so the fork turn pressure gets into the stiff
    range. Not so you need to force the fork to turn but that you can feel
    resistance to turning the fork from the nut pressures
    no bearing rumble! an ideal situation is to get a friend to hold a
    pipe(stethescope) to the bearing area as you turn the fork back and
    forth?
    i haven't done this but its an interesting speculation.

    I blue locktite everyhting together in a very warm climate. all tools
    are in line and everything is production go.
    when i get to the how much pressure is needed i go to what i wrote and
    then say the hell with it - works ok!
     
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