Bicycle Mechanics - Grease Leaking from my headset-->>
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01-06-04, 06:08 AM
I noticed a little play in my handlebars if I lifted them up and down... after looking around I noticed it wasn't the handlebars at all but instead everything that goes down into my headtube had a little play in it and would noticably shift when I lifted my handlebars up and down.
Also, each time I do this a little line of grease appears on the rounded areas of the headset(rounded meaning under the top area with the nuts and where there is a slightly rounded ring that goes around the entire headset).
LBS time or can I do this, and how?
01-06-04, 07:52 AM
I'm just a shade tree bicycle mechanic, but it sounds like you just need to tighten the headset adjustment. Assuming this is an older threaded headset there are two big nuts on top. The lower one may have flats for a wrench or be knurled for finger tightening. Turn that one until it contacts the bearings. You don't want it tight, just enough contact to get out any play. You then have to hold that one still and tighten the locknut against it. This takes some large wrenches, 32-36 mm. If you are not clear on this stop by your LBS, and let them do it. Some places will do something like this free because it only takes about 5-10 seconds if you have the tools and know what to do. The grease is just a symptom. If you do take it to your LBS you might want to go ahead and service the headset (clean, replace bearings, repack), especially if the bike is old. They probably don't charge much. This is not a bad job to get your feet wet in bike mechanics, but if you decide to, please get a book for a complete description. To avoid potential damage, if you don't have appropriate wrenches you can actually just hand tighten the nuts as described to lessen the amount of play immediately.
If your headset is threadless the procedure it different.
01-06-04, 06:37 PM
Sounds like the headset is loose and needs to be adjusted. You might as well just tear it down and clean and regrease the bearings if you feel comfortable doing so. A good way to test the headset is with the wheels on the ground, hold the front brake firmly and rock the bike back and forth. You will feel a knock if it is loose.
When setting the headset, just barely hand snug the bearing race (first large nut that touches the cup), replace the washer (if using a threaded headset) and while using two wrenches, snug the top locknut to set the headset. Use the method above to test for any play. If there is no play lift the bike off the ground and the weight of the handlebars (wheel removed) should allow the steering to move freely. If it is sticky or just too tight, back off the locknut and turn the race nut just a hair or two and start the test over.
01-13-04, 11:24 AM
Tight then back off 1/8 of a turn then try again , too tight and you can┤t ride hands off .
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