Headset life

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by DeF, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. DeF

    DeF Guest

    About 14 months ago, I replaced the stock steel
    forks on my roadie with some carbon forks. The
    new forks were threadless so I needed a new headset
    as well. The LBS installed a Ritchey Scuzzy Logic
    (or some similar lame marketing motived name).

    Over the last couple of months, the bike had
    developed a horrid crunch/groan/grind when I got
    out of the saddle. After much fiddling, I found
    the lower bearing of the headset was quite pitted.
    I've cleaned and greased it but will replace it
    when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    to be a challenge.

    DeF.


    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
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  2. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    Maybe the stem wasn't tightened appropriately or the cup thingys not installed on the fork and frame straight.

    Should last onger than you got.
     
  3. DeF

    DeF Guest

    sinus wrote:
    > DeF Wrote:
    >> About 14 months ago, I replaced the stock steel
    >> forks on my roadie with some carbon forks. The
    >> new forks were threadless so I needed a new headset
    >> as well. The LBS installed a Ritchey Scuzzy Logic
    >> (or some similar lame marketing motived name).
    >>
    >> Over the last couple of months, the bike had
    >> developed a horrid crunch/groan/grind when I got
    >> out of the saddle. After much fiddling, I found
    >> the lower bearing of the headset was quite pitted.
    >> I've cleaned and greased it but will replace it
    >> when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    >> surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    >> The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    >> to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    >> Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    >> to be a challenge.
    >>
    >> DeF.
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >> e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    >> To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.

    > Maybe the stem wasn't tightened appropriately or the cup thingys not
    > installed on the fork and frame straight.
    >
    > Should last onger than you got.
    >
    >


    I agree. I did have to tighten the headset down a bit not
    long after I got it. I'm guessing the parts where not properly
    pressed into the frame and fork. Still, that was ages ago,
    long before the horrid noise started. I'll be more careful
    after I've installed the new one.

    DeF.


    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.
     
  4. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher Guest

    I have averaged approx 20,000km per headset (standard 1 inch with quill
    stems). Have yet to put that much mileage into my one aheadset stem,
    which has both wider bearings and a stiffer steerer tube.

    PiledHigher
     
  5. Gemma_k

    Gemma_k Guest

    "DeF" <""d.farrow\"@your finger.murdoch.edu.au"> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    > surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    > The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    > to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    > Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    > to be a challenge.
    >

    Poor tensioning of the bearings greatly shortens the bearing life. Too
    loose or too tight - either way is bad news. Same goes for head tubes where
    the faces aren't exactly parallel.
    The bottom race tends to go the first in my experience, usually because it
    also suffers the most amount of crap getting in there sprayed up from the
    front wheel, as well as any moisture and crap getting in from the top
    bearing can run down the steerer and get into the bottom bearing. If it
    didn't have much grease in there to begin with it starts life behind the
    8-ball, especially if it's got a cartdrige bearing installed 'dry'.

    Getting the cone off the top of the forks is easy if you want to throw away
    the cone- hammer it off with a screwdriver, working your way around.
    Getting the new one on is must more difficult, a special tool is important
    to not damage the new one's face, and getting it to start on square.......
    whacking it with a bit of tubular pipe isn't recommended :)

    Gemm
     
  6. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Gemma_k wrote:
    > "DeF" <""d.farrow\"@your finger.murdoch.edu.au"> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    > > when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    > > surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    > > The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    > > to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    > > Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    > > to be a challenge.
    > >

    > Poor tensioning of the bearings greatly shortens the bearing life. Too
    > loose or too tight - either way is bad news. Same goes for head tubes where
    > the faces aren't exactly parallel.


    Additionally, there's some doubt as to the longevity of integrated
    headsets. Chris King has some interesting things to say about them
    here :

    http://www.chrisking.com/tech/int_headsets_explained/int_hds_explain_1.html

    Bearing in mind (no pun intended) that CK doesn't make integrated
    headsets and that IH's tend to be specially manufactured for each
    frame, so that article has some bias built in.


    > The bottom race tends to go the first in my experience, usually because it
    > also suffers the most amount of crap getting in there sprayed up from the
    > front wheel, as well as any moisture and crap getting in from the top
    > bearing can run down the steerer and get into the bottom bearing. If it
    > didn't have much grease in there to begin with it starts life behind the
    > 8-ball, especially if it's got a cartdrige bearing installed 'dry'.
    >
    > Getting the cone off the top of the forks is easy if you want to throw away
    > the cone- hammer it off with a screwdriver, working your way around.
    > Getting the new one on is must more difficult, a special tool is important
    > to not damage the new one's face, and getting it to start on square.......
    > whacking it with a bit of tubular pipe isn't recommended :)


    It can be done with the frame and a wooden block quite safely though -
    not sure about an integrated headset though .. but probably the same
    ....
     
  7. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Bleve wrote:
    > Gemma_k wrote:
    > > "DeF" <""d.farrow\"@your finger.murdoch.edu.au"> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > >
    > > > when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    > > > surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    > > > The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    > > > to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    > > > Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    > > > to be a challenge.
    > > >

    > > Poor tensioning of the bearings greatly shortens the bearing life. Too
    > > loose or too tight - either way is bad news. Same goes for head tubes where
    > > the faces aren't exactly parallel.

    >
    > Additionally, there's some doubt as to the longevity of integrated
    > headsets. Chris King has some interesting things to say about them
    > here :
    >
    > http://www.chrisking.com/tech/int_headsets_explained/int_hds_explain_1.html
    >
    > Bearing in mind (no pun intended) that CK doesn't make integrated
    > headsets and that IH's tend to be specially manufactured for each
    > frame, so that article has some bias built in.


    My mistake, DeF's not talking about an integrated headset! 18 months
    out of a cheap headset that gets used in all weather isn't too bad.
    Water kills them dead as does having them incorrectly tensioned or
    greased.
     
  8. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    Not bad for the LBS maybe. Personally I think it is bad.

    What sort of price point do you need to go to get a headset that will last?
     
  9. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    sinus wrote:
    > Bleve Wrote:
    > > Bleve wrote:
    > > 18 months out of a cheap headset that gets used in all weather isn't
    > > too bad.

    > Not bad for the LBS maybe. Personally I think it is bad.


    They're not expensive, and it's a reasonably quick job. BB's wear out
    too ... esp when ridden in the wet.

    > What sort of price point do you need to go to get a headset that will
    > last?


    I'm not sure, I got sick of replacing them, so splashed for a CK on the
    wanker-one.
    I've used scuzzi logic (ritchey) and it wore out, same with Token
    (expected, token are cheapy bits ...). My 1400 still has a Token
    headset, replacing it every year isn't such a big deal on that bike. I
    don't mind if it gets a few (more!) scratches.
     
  10. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    What tools are required to replace a headset? On my current assumptions, the difference between replacing a BB and a headset is I can do the BB but I have to pay a shop for a headset. That would be good incentive to get highest quality.

    PS. I struggle in my mind with the transition from threaded cup and cone ball bearings to threadless ahead.
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>,
    sinus <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I struggle in my mind with the transition from threaded cup and
    > cone ball bearings to threadless ahead.


    Conceptually, they're not much different. See here <http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/fix/?id=howfix_headtypes> and here <http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/fix/?id=howfix_threadless>, as well as Sheldon's site.

    --
    Shane Stanley
     
  12. sinus

    sinus New Member

    Joined:
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    so replacing (vs. adjusting) still requires the same sort of tools that are not generally in a home mechanics tool kit.
     
  13. DeF

    DeF Guest

    Gemma_k wrote:
    > "DeF" <""d.farrow\"@your finger.murdoch.edu.au"> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >> when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    >> surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.
    >> The horrid noise has gone but surely I'm not going
    >> to have replace a headset every 18 months or so.
    >> Getting the bracket of the top of the forks is going
    >> to be a challenge.
    >>

    > Poor tensioning of the bearings greatly shortens the bearing life. Too
    > loose or too tight - either way is bad news. Same goes for head tubes where
    > the faces aren't exactly parallel.
    > The bottom race tends to go the first in my experience, usually because it
    > also suffers the most amount of crap getting in there sprayed up from the
    > front wheel, as well as any moisture and crap getting in from the top
    > bearing can run down the steerer and get into the bottom bearing. If it
    > didn't have much grease in there to begin with it starts life behind the
    > 8-ball, especially if it's got a cartdrige bearing installed 'dry'.
    >
    > Getting the cone off the top of the forks is easy if you want to throw away
    > the cone- hammer it off with a screwdriver, working your way around.
    > Getting the new one on is must more difficult, a special tool is important
    > to not damage the new one's face, and getting it to start on square.......
    > whacking it with a bit of tubular pipe isn't recommended :)
    >
    > Gemm
    >
    >


    My guess is that the short life is partly due to poor tension
    early in its life. I did have to tighten it up not long after
    it was installed. There was certainly lots of road crap as well.

    I didn't mention it in my original post but when I took the headset
    apart, the race at the bottom had come apart. There are two races,
    the balls and a hard, ridged plastic clip that snaps the whole thing
    together. The plastic clip is a bit damaged. I cleaned it all up,
    generous grease and put it back together with (hopefully!) all the
    balls (may have lost one or two on the floor of the shed). Noise
    has gone but the races have some pitting and headset feels "lumpy"
    when rotated with wheel off the ground.

    I've replaced threaded headsets before with no dramas and this one
    doesn't seem much different. The only problem I'm anticipating is
    getting the bearing support off the forks. The carbon forks are
    nearly as wide as the support so there's not much room for getting
    a drifter and a hammer in there. Much care to be taken methinks.

    The new one I've ordered is this one: http://tinyurl.com/qhowf
    In my mind, needle bearings should stand up to higher loads
    than spherical bearings. Bit worried about alignment though.
    I've probably got enough crap kicking around the shed to make
    up any special stuff I might need.

    DeF.

    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.
     
  14. DeF

    DeF Guest

    sinus wrote:
    > Shane Stanley Wrote:
    >> In article <[email protected]>,
    >> sinus <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I struggle in my mind with the transition from threaded cup and
    >>> cone ball bearings to threadless ahead.

    >> Conceptually, they're not much different. See here
    >> <http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/fix/?id=howfix_headtypes> and here
    >> <http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/fix/?id=howfix_threadless>, as well as
    >> Sheldon's site.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Shane Stanley

    > so replacing (vs. adjusting) still requires the same sort of tools that
    > are not generally in a home mechanics tool kit.
    >
    >


    My experience has been that you don't need the fancy presses
    or tubular drifts.

    Old cones can be removed using a long flat bladed screwdriver
    and a mallet by gently tapping around the cone from the inside.

    New cones can be re-seated by using a piece of wood and a mallet.
    Care is required but it can be done.

    The only tricky bit is the race/support that sits on the forks.
    For that, I put it all together, go for a ride. My weight plus
    road buzz seats it nicely and I make sure tools for tightening
    any slack are in my back pocket.

    So far, the only headset failure I've had (besides wearing out
    after years of use) has been one put in by the LBS!

    All that being said, I would worry about doing some of the above
    with a modern carbon frame. Steel is more forgiving of slight
    errors.

    DeF.

    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>,
    sinus <[email protected]> wrote:

    > so replacing (vs. adjusting) still requires the same sort of tools that
    > are not generally in a home mechanics tool kit.


    It depends on the type. If it's really stuffed, you can get it out with
    a hammer and screwdriver -- doesn't matter if you break it. You can also
    buld a cheap press with a length of threaded steal, some large washers,
    and a couple of bolts. People have had success putting on crown races
    with suitable size plastic pipe.

    --
    Shane Stanley
     
  16. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "DeF" wrote

    > Over the last couple of months, the bike had
    > developed a horrid crunch/groan/grind when I got
    > out of the saddle. After much fiddling, I found
    > the lower bearing of the headset was quite pitted.
    > I've cleaned and greased it but will replace it
    > when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    > surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.


    My bike has a tapered roller bearing headset. It's a work of art and
    beautiful to behold. Cup and balls is just so primitive.

    Theo
     
  17. DeF

    DeF Guest

    Theo Bekkers wrote:
    > "DeF" wrote
    >
    >> Over the last couple of months, the bike had
    >> developed a horrid crunch/groan/grind when I got
    >> out of the saddle. After much fiddling, I found
    >> the lower bearing of the headset was quite pitted.
    >> I've cleaned and greased it but will replace it
    >> when the one I've ordered comes from OS. I'm a bit
    >> surprised that the headset has worn out so quickly.

    >
    > My bike has a tapered roller bearing headset. It's a work of art and
    > beautiful to behold. Cup and balls is just so primitive.
    >
    > Theo
    >
    >


    Funny you should mention that. The replacement I have on
    order uses roller bearings: http://tinyurl.com/qhowf

    Do you know what kind you have on your bike?

    DeF.


    --
    e-mail: [email protected] finger.murdoch.edu.au
    To reply, you'll have to remove your finger.
     
  18. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "DeF" wrote
    > Theo Bekkers wrote:


    > > My bike has a tapered roller bearing headset. It's a work of art

    and
    > > beautiful to behold. Cup and balls is just so primitive.


    > Funny you should mention that. The replacement I have on
    > order uses roller bearings: http://tinyurl.com/qhowf
    >
    > Do you know what kind you have on your bike?


    Mine came with the bike as standard equipment. A Conti Columbus frame
    with Galli-Pro gear. Came with singles but I've also got a pair of 32
    spoke clinchers with it.

    Theo
     
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