Threadless headset maintenance



N

Nick

Guest
I bought a new bike (Trek 5000) about a year ago. Recently I noticed
brown gunk oozing from the bottom cup of the headset, which is of the
Aheadset threadless variety.

I took the headset off, but it looks as if the bottom bearing ring has
rusted and seized. It also appears that this bearing bearing ring is
sealed and doesn't come out of the headset cup.

So do I have to buy a whole new headset? Or can I replace the bearings.

I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
threadless headsets is.
 
B

big_one

Guest
Nick <[email protected]> wrote:

>I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
>threadless headsets is.


i think they are just cheaper to produce
 
P

Paul Boyd

Guest
On 15/07/2007 12:20, Nick said,

> So do I have to buy a whole new headset? Or can I replace the bearings.


It sounds like you might be able to just replace a cartridge bearing,
but if it was me I'd change the whole lot for something that's sealed.
This should be an LBS job, but it's amazing what you can do with hammers
and screwdrivers ;-) (Like wreck your frame - before anyone else says it!!)

> I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
> threadless headsets is.


New? Not exactly :) One benefit is the ability to chop and change
stems. That benefit kind of disappears when you've find the "right" one :)

--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk/
 
R

Rob Morley

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Nick
[email protected] says...
> I bought a new bike (Trek 5000) about a year ago. Recently I noticed
> brown gunk oozing from the bottom cup of the headset, which is of the
> Aheadset threadless variety.
>
> I took the headset off, but it looks as if the bottom bearing ring has
> rusted and seized. It also appears that this bearing bearing ring is
> sealed and doesn't come out of the headset cup.
>
> So do I have to buy a whole new headset? Or can I replace the bearings.


I don't know what headset is fitted to this bike, but are you sure the
bit that doesn't come out isn't just a plastic washer wedged in to
provide some sealing? I think ther's a fair chance that if you gently
pry it out with a screwdriver you'll find ordinary bearings inside.
>
> I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
> threadless headsets is.
>

Lighter/stiffer, cheaper, doesn't need headset spanners, no threads to
strip on the steerer, stems don't seize in the steerer, one length fits
all ...
 
P

Phil Cook

Guest
Paul Boyd wrote:

>On 15/07/2007 12:20, Nick said,


>> I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
>> threadless headsets is.

>
>New? Not exactly :) One benefit is the ability to chop and change
>stems. That benefit kind of disappears when you've find the "right" one :)


Um, couldn't you do that with quill stems and threaded headsets? OK it
might have been a bit of a faff taking the tape and brake levers off
to change it without the advantage of modern front loading handlebar
clamp design but you usually did it with a bare bar before you decided
which length felt best.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
 
P

Paul Boyd

Guest
On 15/07/2007 17:59, Phil Cook said,

> Um, couldn't you do that with quill stems and threaded headsets?


I just *knew* I should have inserted the word "easier" in there. I
spotted that omission after I hit the Send button :)

--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.co.uk/
 
N

Nick

Guest
Rob Morley wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, Nick
> [email protected] says...
>> I bought a new bike (Trek 5000) about a year ago. Recently I noticed
>> brown gunk oozing from the bottom cup of the headset, which is of the
>> Aheadset threadless variety.
>>
>> I took the headset off, but it looks as if the bottom bearing ring has
>> rusted and seized. It also appears that this bearing bearing ring is
>> sealed and doesn't come out of the headset cup.
>>
>> So do I have to buy a whole new headset? Or can I replace the bearings.

>
> I don't know what headset is fitted to this bike, but are you sure the
> bit that doesn't come out isn't just a plastic washer wedged in to
> provide some sealing? I think ther's a fair chance that if you gently
> pry it out with a screwdriver you'll find ordinary bearings inside.


Yep this was the case. I was a bit scared of breaking something but I
managed to prize the washer off. The bottom bearings and cage were
totally rusted. Pretty crappy for only a year old and only 6 months
daily use.

Thanks for your help.

>> I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
>> threadless headsets is.
>>

> Lighter/stiffer, cheaper, doesn't need headset spanners, no threads to
> strip on the steerer, stems don't seize in the steerer, one length fits
> all ...


I was getting annoyed because I thought it was unmaintainable.
Now I need to find a place that sells a matching ball cage and bearings
or maybe I'll just get a new headset.
 
B

big_one

Guest
On Sun, 15 Jul 2007 20:08:25 +0100, Nick <[email protected]> wrote:

>I was getting annoyed because I thought it was unmaintainable.
>Now I need to find a place that sells a matching ball cage and bearings
>or maybe I'll just get a new headset.


how about just the balls + grease & forget about the cage
 
R

Rob Morley

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Nick
[email protected] says...

> Yep this was the case. I was a bit scared of breaking something but I
> managed to prize the washer off. The bottom bearings and cage were
> totally rusted. Pretty crappy for only a year old and only 6 months
> daily use.


They are in a vulnerable position - lots of water gets thrown up by the
front wheel. You used to be able to get little strips of neoprene that
velcro around the bottom of the headset to provide more protection, but
now you know how to do it won't be hard to service it more often.

> I was getting annoyed because I thought it was unmaintainable.
> Now I need to find a place that sells a matching ball cage and bearings
> or maybe I'll just get a new headset.
>

Loose balls work better (more contact area) - caged balls are generally
only used because they're easier to fit in the factory. Just make sure
you don't put too many in (one too few shouldn't be a problem - you'll
still have more than were in there to start with).
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Rob Morley wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, Nick
> [email protected] says...
>
>> Yep this was the case. I was a bit scared of breaking something but I
>> managed to prize the washer off. The bottom bearings and cage were
>> totally rusted. Pretty crappy for only a year old and only 6 months
>> daily use.

>
> They are in a vulnerable position - lots of water gets thrown up by the
> front wheel. You used to be able to get little strips of neoprene that
> velcro around the bottom of the headset to provide more protection, but
> now you know how to do it won't be hard to service it more often.
>


If possible find a chandlers and get some marine waterproof grease. Its
designed to stay put in much wetter operating environments than a bike
sees whereas I find bike grease often washes out rather too easily.

Tony
 
A

Ace

Guest
On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 08:28:08 +0100, Tony Raven <[email protected]>
wrote:

>If possible find a chandlers and get some marine waterproof grease. Its
>designed to stay put in much wetter operating environments than a bike
>sees whereas I find bike grease often washes out rather too easily.


I always use a silicone grease for this reason, and you need so little
of it that a tube can last for years. ISTR that my current tube was
bought in... Shock! an LBS in Milton Keynes, which must make it eight
years old at least. But surely you can get the stuff in most bike
shops?
 
A

Alan Braggins

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Phil Cook wrote:
>Paul Boyd wrote:
>>On 15/07/2007 12:20, Nick said,

>
>>> I'm having a little difficulty seeing what the benefit of these new
>>> threadless headsets is.

>>
>>New? Not exactly :) One benefit is the ability to chop and change
>>stems. That benefit kind of disappears when you've find the "right" one :)

>
>Um, couldn't you do that with quill stems and threaded headsets? OK it
>might have been a bit of a faff taking the tape and brake levers off
>to change it without the advantage of modern front loading handlebar
>clamp design but you usually did it with a bare bar before you decided
>which length felt best.


Or you could use a quill stem with two-bolt front loading clamp
making it just as easy as with a threadless type, since the
front-loadingness and the threadlessness are different things.