Bicycle Mechanics - headset wrench substitute
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10-24-10, 08:25 PM
i need to tighten my headset and its threadless. It has one of those weird wrenches with 2 notches (its like a C with 2 nubs on the end)
the issue is there arent any bike shops near me and I would much prefer to do this at home... is there any way i can just use a makeshift tool for this job?
anyone done this?
you mean threaded headset?
use some lock grip pliers.
10-26-10, 05:10 PM
you mean use that lockgrip on the lock nut?
then what is that wierd spacer like thing for? i figured it was a handle to lock the top race
The top race itself is textured but has no wrench grips.
you can sort of make it out in this picture.
so that we have the same nomenclature
10-26-10, 05:33 PM
I think your right and you need to use a wrench on those rings. you need to get one of these
10-26-10, 08:35 PM
yeah that looks like what i would need.... but do i need it? i was pictureing using a hammer and punch to turn it a bit... but then i wouldnt know how to tighten it
10-26-10, 08:50 PM
Would a Channellock 209 work without damaging the headset?
If it's a 2 notch version of this type of lock ring, see if you can't get rid of it entirely.
you only need two threaded nuts to lock them into each other.
but if you want to keep it, use a locking plier on it.
10-26-10, 11:14 PM
yeah that looks like what i would need.... but do i need it? i was pictureing using a hammer and punch to turn it a bit... but then i wouldnt know how to tighten itIf the part in between the adjustable-race and locknut looks like this:
It's not really needed. You can replace it with any number of these keyed-washers:
So that the locknut doesn't bottom out on the steerer-tube.
To properly lock the headset, you really need two wrenches. One to loosen the adjustable-race UP while you tighten the lock nut DOWN. The keyed-washer tends to spin and lock itself into the edge of the threads on the groove of the steerer. So it's possible to tighten the locknut down into the trapped washer, but the threads on the adjustable-race may still be loose underneath. The locknut & washer will tend to wiggle loose due to vibration over time and the headset will go out of adjustment. So it's best to spin both to ensure the threads on top and below the washer is locked.
Without a simple $1.70 headset wrench (http://www.mtnbikes.net/tiogatake-along32mmheadsetwrench.aspx):
you can use two channel-lock pliers to hold the adjustable-race and locknut. Or use a big adjustable Crescent wrench on the locknut.
If you have a big shifter that's not quite big enough, you can often get the thumbwheel out... then you can just grind like 45 degrees of thread off the end to make it fit. That way you only need one headset wrench.
Nicer threaded headsets have a shoulder on the cup that surrounds the keyed washer and prevents the tab riding up over the threads, BTW... works well (you'd space such a headset between the locknut and washer). If I'm working on a headset without that, I'll often file the tab out of the washer to protect the threads and make adjustment easier. If the tab actually does its job, you only need a tool on the locknut, and you just adjust the cup by hand.
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