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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    home made headset presses

    Who has made one?

    Do they work?

    Any special tips or concerns?

    Should it contact the races or the top of the cup?

    Also, should I sand the paint off the top of the head tube before I install the cups?

  2. #2
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    You don't want it to press on the races. I used a brass/copper (I forget) fitting from Home Depot and about 16 inches of thread all.

    I have one that I'll give you next time you are in Sac. Now that I have a professional one at the Bike Kitchen, I never use it.

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  3. #3
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I use a very large bolt, two very large and thick washers, and a large nut. Different frames will require a different length bolt, due to the length of the head tube, make sure you get the right length for the frame you're working on, taking into consideration how far up the bolt the threads go. All-thread would be a way, I suppose, to have one threaded rod to use on all sizes. I ususally take some fine steel wool and clean up the inside of the head tube in the area where the cups will press in. See if you can get the cups to stay put by pushing them into place by hand, if they'll stay put it makes it easier to get the bolt, washers, and nut into place. A little smear of grease inside the headtube where the cups press in is a good idea, too. The large washers have to be larger than the cups, the washer simply lays flat against the outer edge of the cups. The key thing as you begin to tighten the nut is to watch and make sure the cups are going in straight, once they get started straight they should stay that way but keep an eye on them. Once the cups are nearly pressed in (one cup may hit bottom before the other), watch carefully to see when the cups are fully pressed in, snug it securely but don't put a huge amount of torque on it, you don't want to damage anything. That's pretty much all there is to it. I've done everything from inexpensive caged bearing headsets to Chris Kings this way, it's always worked fine for me. I do own a Park headset cup removal tool, but even that can be fudged with homeade remedies-

  4. #4
    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    i'd just add that it's easiest to press the cups in one at a time

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom808's Avatar
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    I tried using a homemade type press when I was setting a steel threadless headset into an aluminum frame. I could not keep it going in straight. I finally ended up using the block of wood/hammer technique. This ended up working fine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Get a long piece of threaded rod and some matching nuts. When you press the races into the frame you never want to push on the bearing surfaces or the inner race of a cartridge bearing. Use either large diameter washers that contact the outside of the cups, or on the inside if the cups have an inner ledge. A slight chamfer on the inside of the frame, and some grease, will help get things going. Oh, and yes, remove the paint on the top and bottom of the head tube where the cups will seat. Of course, having the head tube faced first is best if the builder did not do it already.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  7. #7
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom808
    I tried using a homemade type press when I was setting a steel threadless headset into an aluminum frame. I could not keep it going in straight. I finally ended up using the block of wood/hammer technique. This ended up working fine.
    The block of wood/hammer method has worked well for me also. Just have to be careful and take your time, as you should with any method of installation.

  8. #8
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    Here's a link that someone gave a while back:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/E4FN...6CNS/?ALLSTEPS

    I haven't tried it myself.
    No car. No TV. Three bikes.

  9. #9
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    A little smear of grease inside the headtube where the cups press in is a good idea, too.
    Is that really okay? I mean, I guess it is, since you've obviously been very successful at this, but logically it seems like blue Loctite might be a better choice, or something that wouldn't be a lubricant?
    No car. No TV. Three bikes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    Is that really okay? I mean, I guess it is, since you've obviously been very successful at this, but logically it seems like blue Loctite might be a better choice, or something that wouldn't be a lubricant?
    Grease makes the cups easier to install. No need for loctite unless the cups are loose in the frame.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  11. #11
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    Is that really okay? I mean, I guess it is, since you've obviously been very successful at this, but logically it seems like blue Loctite might be a better choice, or something that wouldn't be a lubricant?
    I use a little grease on almost all metal-to-metal contact areas when assembling bike parts, I can hardly force myself not to. Assuming the interference fit of the cups into the head tube is as tight as it should be, I don't think the grease will hurt a thing, at least it never has for me. I think if a headset cup is a little looser than ideal, it would be a good idea to use the type of loctite that's for assembling metal-to-metal parts (where threads aren't involved) instead of grease. But in my experience, I've never felt the need to use loctite, and a little grease hasn't hurt a thing-

  12. #12
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    Hammer and 2X4 for the win.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  13. #13
    Your mom
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    Threaded rod and nuts. Take the headset cups with you and find two sets of washers - one which just fits inside the cups, and one which is larger than the cups. This will keep things nice and centered as you're cranking the whole thing together. I've always used grease, and I think the press-fit of a headset is tight enough not to worry about things moving around. Same thing as the seatpost - you don't want it moving around when clamped, but you sure as hell want to be able to get it out when necessary.

  14. #14
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Another wood block and hammer person here. Hasn't hurt anything yet. I used two blocks btw, one on the bottom and one on the top to be struck by the hammer (8 ln rubber mallet actually). I know it's not recommended but I haven't damaged anything yet.

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by wethepeople
    Hammer and 2X4 for the win.
    +1

    Just make sure you do it slow. Of course I have access to a shop tool but it's pretty annoying to have to get it there in the first place.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  16. #16
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I'll post my $5 headset press again..
    I've pressed dozens of cups over the years with this home made press. The secret to the cups pressing straight into the headtube is to get the thickest bolt you can find with fine threads. No fancy brass step-washers required.
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  17. #17
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    I'll post my $5 headset press again..
    I've pressed dozens of cups over the years with this home made press. The secret to the cups pressing straight into the headtube is to get the thickest bolt you can find with fine threads. No fancy brass step-washers required.
    That's exactly what mine looks like. The bigger the better as far as the diameter of the bolt (as long as it fits into the headtube), and the thicker the better as far as the washers. Makes for a very stable press. Cost: something in the neighborhood of $5-
    Last edited by well biked; 12-29-06 at 12:02 PM.

  18. #18
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I had problems with presses that press on the outside edge of the cup. I had one damage the edge once so I stopped using washers. local hardware store had brass fitting that press on the same area that the professional ones use. Never had a problem since.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  19. #19
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    I had problems with presses that press on the outside edge of the cup. I had one damage the edge once so I stopped using washers. local hardware store had brass fitting that press on the same area that the professional ones use. Never had a problem since.
    I never had a problem pressing on the outside edge of cups as long as you use big a$$ thick heavy washers.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  20. #20
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    It was most likely my mistake. The washer slipper and dented the cup. The headset functioned normally just looked kinda crappy and to top it off it was my buddy's bike.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    Is that really okay? I mean, I guess it is, since you've obviously been very successful at this, but logically it seems like blue Loctite might be a better choice, or something that wouldn't be a lubricant?

    Grease is the way to go, it makes the intallation and removal easier for you and it also prevents damage to the inside of the headtube. I wouldn't use locktite, just makes it more difficult to remove next time (and believe me, there will be a next time). Even if the cups were loose in the frame, I wouldn't locktite them, I'd have them knurled.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    Is that really okay? I mean, I guess it is, since you've obviously been very successful at this, but logically it seems like blue Loctite might be a better choice, or something that wouldn't be a lubricant?
    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=256595

  23. #23
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    and for what it's worth, I didn't have to press the headset into the headtube, but I did have to install a fork crown race last night, and a short steel pipe fit over the steerer tube and and a piece of 2x4 used as a hammer got that sucker on just about perfect. If i could do it again i would try and find a rubber washer or o-ring or something to put over thetop of the race, but there wasn't any damage/scratching I could see anyway.

  24. #24
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    I had problems with presses that press on the outside edge of the cup. I had one damage the edge once so I stopped using washers. local hardware store had brass fitting that press on the same area that the professional ones use. Never had a problem since.
    I don't understand. Don't "real" presses press on the edges of the cup? What's the difference between the fitting you got and a big washer?
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  25. #25
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunts
    and for what it's worth, I didn't have to press the headset into the headtube, but I did have to install a fork crown race last night, and a short steel pipe fit over the steerer tube and and a piece of 2x4 used as a hammer got that sucker on just about perfect. If i could do it again i would try and find a rubber washer or o-ring or something to put over thetop of the race, but there wasn't any damage/scratching I could see anyway.
    A piece of PVC pipe works great for this-

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