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 Post subject: DIY headset installation
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:16 am 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm
Posts: 114
I've acquired a nice record headset and am pondering its instalation. I am very keen to build the whole bike myself but is it ill advised to attempt this?

I have read a couple of horror stories on various forums.

Using a long bolt and large washers to install the upper and lower head races sounds logical and low risk...

Famous last words.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:17 am 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm
Posts: 114
It's a threaded headset btw going on a steel frame


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:44 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
I've done the homemade headset press trick several times now and not had too many problems.

You just have to be a bit patient and make sure the races and cones go in straight. Be ready to start again if they start to go off centre when pressing them in. Having a decent workstand helps enormously as well.

I've also used a professional headset press, which is definitely easier - it's less difficult to keep the cups centred.

It's really a decision between the satisfaction of a full DIY job and the security of using proper materials. Up to you, really...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:18 am 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm
Posts: 114
Thanks. Is the homemade press broadly as I describe?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:05 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Mine looks more or less like this:

http://biketester.com/homemade-headset-press/

Length of threaded bar with a few large washers, some smaller washers and some bolts.
You'll probably need at least two-three large washers for each end of the press, a single washer is too thin and will bend under pressure.

Good luck,

Johnny


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:12 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 pm
Posts: 669
Image
They come in many forms. This looks flimsy compared to some with larger diameter 'bolt', but last time I used it I didn't even need a spanner on the nut- Just turning the wingnut was enough to persuade the top-race and bottom-cup home. (One at a time, not both at once). The holes in the blocks of hardwood are a loose fit on the thread. Small washer between the wood block and the nut at each end.

There's not much that can go wrong, once you understand that a cylinder of metal which is pressed into another cylinder of metal at an angle is an 'ovaliser', and to be avoided. You really shouldn't encounter that much resistance- if it's going in straight- not with a used headset on an old frame. Maybe there is more resistance with an unused headset on a new frame which has never had a headset installed before- I wouldn't know.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:23 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:08 am
Posts: 77
Location: Ayrshire
I have been changing headsets for 20 years with the same home-made tool comprising a screwed rod and two large washers. Never had any problems, you just need to be careful and I recommend installing one cup at a time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:56 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8247
Location: Cumbria
Headset press or a plank of wood / hammer ............either way it's a home job that doesn't really need an LBS. The crown race is trickier :)

Shaun


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:29 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2186
Location: Shrewsbury
If you want to make it even easier get your frame out in the sun and your cups in the freezer :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:40 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 523
Location: Ely. UK
I've installed quite a few now with a home made press as described above.
I always knock the fork race home with a hammer & piece of plastic pipe that just fits over the steerer tube.
The only other thing to think about is the size of headset.
JIS headsets have a 30.0mm frame cup & a 27.0mm crown race.
ISO (the most common) have a 30.2 frame cup & a 26.4 crown race.

torqueless & Shaun have given me excellent advice about this on another post :-)


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