Headset Maintenance



sculler

New Member
Mar 9, 2004
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Hi,

I want to grease my headset on my old commuter bike. It is the old fashioned type with the 2 nuts at the top.

If I undo these nuts and drop the forks, am I likely to get ball bearings falling out?

Any advice appreciated.
 

531Aussie

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2004
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They shouldn't, because they'll most likely be in a cage like this:

fork24.jpg


However, if the headset is really old and has been bashed around, some of the balls could fall out, but they're easy to slip back in.
thumb.gif



the old headsets have a bad habit of pitting the race, which results in the steering feeling like it locks in certain spots. Is that why you're taking it apart?

EDIT: I stole Calvin Jones' picture off his link :p
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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sculler said:
I want to grease my headset on my old commuter bike. It is the old fashioned type with the 2 nuts at the top.

If I undo these nuts and drop the forks, am I likely to get ball bearings falling out?
If the bike's headset pre-dates 1980, then I think there is a good chance that some of the bearings will fall out -- often, on older bikes, while the LOWER bearings may be caged, the UPPER are often not.
 

meehs

New Member
Nov 7, 2003
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alfeng said:
If the bike's headset pre-dates 1980, then I think there is a good chance that some of the bearings will fall out -- often, on older bikes, while the LOWER bearings may be caged, the UPPER are often not.

That's true! If the headset is old enough there's a chance that it has loose bearings. Although like 531Aussie said, there's a very good chance that it has caged beairngs. Just be careful when you're removing the fork and go slowly. You'll be able to see whether or not the baerings are caged before you've completely pulled the headset apart.
 

sculler

New Member
Mar 9, 2004
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Thanks all for your help.

The bike dats back to the mid 90s so hopefully they should be caged.

Cheers