Newbie headset question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jerry, Dec 23, 2003.

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  1. Jerry

    Jerry Guest

    I have a Giant Alu Boulder Shock (1999 vintage) and I think the headset needs attention (feels
    "notchy" when I turn the handle bars). The headset has no brand name on it as far as I can see but
    displays "Cartridge System Inside" on the front. The bike was not that expensive (approx £250 in the
    UK) and I think is unlikely to have a very high quality headset unit. I have unscrewed the top race
    and fork race but cannot get at the actual bearings as they are covered by a seemingly immovable
    circular section. I have loosened the adjustment of the headset slightly and as far as I dare - this
    has reduced the notchiness but not got rid of it.

    Does anyone know if I have missed something and this unit is likely to be servicable or should I
    just bite the bullet and get a new headset before it gets much worse?

    All help appreciated.

    Thanks Jerry
     
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  2. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Jerry wrote:

    > I have a Giant Alu Boulder Shock (1999 vintage) and I think the headset needs attention (feels
    > "notchy" when I turn the handle bars). The headset has no brand name on it as far as I can see but
    > displays "Cartridge System Inside" on the front. The bike was not that expensive (approx £250 in
    > the UK) and I think is unlikely to have a very high quality headset unit. I have unscrewed the top
    > race and fork race but cannot get at the actual bearings as they are covered by a seemingly
    > immovable circular section. I have loosened the adjustment of the headset slightly and as far as I
    > dare - this has reduced the notchiness but not got rid of it.
    >
    > Does anyone know if I have missed something and this unit is likely to be servicable or should I
    > just bite the bullet and get a new headset before it gets much worse?

    Open it enough to see the bearing. If it is a pressed cartridge, those are available separately and
    if you are threadless the whole job can be done with an allen key in a few minutes.

    Cartridges often show a small opening through which you can force grease when new. Do so if at
    all possible.

    If it's a loose-ball headset then you just need a new one.
    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  3. Jerry wrote:

    > I have a Giant Alu Boulder Shock (1999 vintage) and I think the headset needs attention (feels
    > "notchy" when I turn the handle bars). The headset has no brand name on it as far as I can see but
    > displays "Cartridge System Inside" on the front. The bike was not that expensive (approx £250 in
    > the UK) and I think is unlikely to have a very high quality headset unit. I have unscrewed the top
    > race and fork race but cannot get at the actual bearings as they are covered by a seemingly
    > immovable circular section. I have loosened the adjustment of the headset slightly and as far as I
    > dare - this has reduced the notchiness but not got rid of it.
    >
    > Does anyone know if I have missed something and this unit is likely to be servicable or should I
    > just bite the bullet and get a new headset before it gets much worse?

    If the headset is notchy then the whole thing really needs to be replaced, and this is a bike shop
    job unless you have the big tools needed to remove and fit the cups and crown race.

    From the sound of it you may have one of the new "integrated" headsets, which are technically a
    bit dubious.
     
  4. Jerry

    Jerry Guest

    Thanks very much for the help, much appreciated!

    Jerry
     
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