Bicycle Mechanics - Loose ball/retainer headset installation
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02-24-07, 05:43 PM
I bought a cheap Tange headset to install on a bike, and it came with retainer cages instead of loose balls. In the instructions, it says to install both retainers with the flat sides facing up into the cups. I'm used to repacking old headsets with loose balls, so I've never actually installed a retainer before, but it seems like the flat side should be down on the race. I tried assembling it very loosely without grease, and it seems like that should be right(opposite the instructions)....am I missing something , or are the instructions just wrong?
02-24-07, 06:40 PM
Buy balls the same size and install 1 more than there are in the retainer
02-24-07, 06:40 PM
Toss the retainers and use loose balls anyway! Better for the longevity of the headset. There's no reason to use retainers.
02-24-07, 06:45 PM
Like I said, I always use loose balls. The retainers came with it though, and I don't feel like going back to the shop. They'll be fine until the spring, and it's a $9 headset anyway.
Does anyone know which way the flat side of the retainer is supposed to face?
the royal 'we'
02-24-07, 06:55 PM
I've always had the flat/semi-open side facing the race, away from the cup. The curved side of the retainer seems to seat better in the curve of the cup... I gather this is the way the instructions say to do it, so unless it fits noticably better the other way, I'd go with the instructions to be safe.
02-24-07, 07:27 PM
Yeah, I'm saying I want to install them the way you do. The instructions say the opposite, and when I called the bike shop they said that they do it the way the instructions say. But I agree with you...it seems to fit much better the other way, and if I follow the instructions it seems like the balls wouldn't even be hitting the cup, and I'm sure the flat part would wear a groove in it mighty quick. Maybe that's why people say it wears out the headset quicker? I think I'm going to do it the way that I think is right...
Balls face race - retainer faces cup. When you press the race into the retainer it pushes the balls out to a wider circumference that contacts the cup on the sides, not the bottom. It looks wrong if you just put the retainer in the cup, put it on the race first and you can get a better idea how this system works.
02-24-07, 07:55 PM
When you press the race into the retainer it pushes the balls out to a wider circumference that contacts the cup on the sides, not the bottom. [/B]
Ok...that makes sense. Thanks.
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