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Old 04-04-06, 04:01 PM   #1
onetwentyeight 
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Gritty Headset

I just got a new track frame and it came with a tange headset installed already. While I havent built it up, I noticed when turning the fork it makes a quiet, gritty noise. Is there dirt in there somewhere? It still turns smoothly, is it worth opening up and messing with first? And are there instructions for repacking a headset online? I tried searching but I keep having bike forums time out on me.
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Old 04-04-06, 06:46 PM   #2
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Threaded or threadless? Sealed or loose ball?

Overhauling never hurts--should be done periodically anyway. If its a threaded headset, you'll need a headset wrench. If threadless, all you need is a 5mm allen key. Go to the "repair help" section of parktool.com for good instructions.
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Old 04-04-06, 06:46 PM   #3
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Dude, take that thing apart and see what's going on.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=68 might be of some help if you get lost.

Good luck, and lots of lube.
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Old 04-04-06, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
I just got a new track frame and it came with a tange headset installed already. While I havent built it up, I noticed when turning the fork it makes a quiet, gritty noise. Is there dirt in there somewhere? It still turns smoothly, is it worth opening up and messing with first? And are there instructions for repacking a headset online? I tried searching but I keep having bike forums time out on me.
Make sure you know how to overhaul a headset and adjust it properly before you go taking anything apart. Once you're confident you can do it (and have the proper tools to do so), I'd do an overhaul. Just be sure to check the bearings and races to make sure they aren't already damaged by whatever is causing the gritty sound.
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Old 04-05-06, 06:16 AM   #5
TallRider
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If it spins smoothly but you hear a grit sound, there's probably dirt somewhere other than the bearing races. So not currently a danger to trash the headset (assuming you have carefully felt how easily the fork turns, after removing your front wheel, because the mass of the wheel masks resistance when trying to turn the wheel), but grit could work its way into the bearing races. Open it up and take a look. As long as the bearings are loose balls. If there are sealed cartridges, you can brush some grit off them, but not get inside.
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Old 04-05-06, 06:57 AM   #6
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"Smooth" is such a subjective standard amongst novice mechanics that I think the key phrase here is "when turning the fork it makes a quiet, gritty noise." if the grit/noise is felt/heard when turning the fork, where else could the dirt be but inside? Follow timcupery's advise to inspect using Park's manual as a guide.
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Old 04-05-06, 07:12 AM   #7
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Yeah, maybe I got too nuanced or technical here. But I've seen instances with wheels, headsets and bottom brackets where there is grit on some part that contacts while rotating, but where there was still no grit in the bearing races. BUt I agree that the mention of the "grit sound" counts for a lot more than that "the front wheel turns smoothly."
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