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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 01-31-07, 10:25 PM   #1
FlatFender
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pressing crown race at home?

any ideas?
for my mtb I used a piece of PVC Pipe that fit well, but now im installing a 1" one on a different bike....
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Old 01-31-07, 10:34 PM   #2
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Someone mentioned using soft copper plumbing pipe and a deadblow mallet. If in doubt, a LBS would do it for a couple of bucks.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:48 PM   #3
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I've always used the PVC pipe so I'd try to find one with a 1 1/8" inner diameter. However, it would probably be cheaper to have the LBS do it than to buy the pipe.
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Old 01-31-07, 11:48 PM   #4
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I always used 2 scrap pieces of 2x4 stud and a rubber mallet. Crude, but when done with finesse it works just fine.
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Old 02-01-07, 06:01 AM   #5
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1 1/8" diameter by 3" piece of pipe, usually found in the plumbing section of any hardware store. Lowe's wouldn't have that either.
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Old 02-01-07, 07:16 AM   #6
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Here's the explanation on making this:
http://www.mindspring.com/~d.g1/headset.html
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Old 02-01-07, 07:37 AM   #7
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The tool you pictured, which I've built for myself as well, is for pressing headset cups into the head tube, not for a crown race.

I've always pressed crown races on by using a flathead screwdriver and a hammer, tapping against thickest part of the crown race (the part that sits right against the fork).
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Old 02-01-07, 07:53 AM   #8
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Done it with the PVC, no problem, but I suspect the 1" inner diameter is your problem. Can PV be had with this diameter?
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Old 02-01-07, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcupery
The tool you pictured, which I've built for myself as well, is for pressing headset cups into the head tube, not for a crown race.
Oops, I misread that as well. For the crown race, I used a vice with plastic covers, rotating the fork as I tapped it on.
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Old 02-01-07, 09:21 AM   #10
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How about facing the head tube? Is this typically needed?
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Old 02-01-07, 10:21 AM   #11
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has anybody attempted the above methods to a fork with a carbon steerer tube?
I wouldn't mind trying these with an alloy steerer tube, but might be a costly experiment for carbon.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seriouslysilly
has anybody attempted the above methods to a fork with a carbon steerer tube?
I wouldn't mind trying these with an alloy steerer tube, but might be a costly experiment for carbon.
I've done it on a carbon steerer fork, although it doesn't make any difference as the fork crown itself is, in my experience, always aluminum. Grease the inside of the crown race and press it with your hand into position the crown. Then tap it in place with whatever method you want to use. Done right, you never touch the actual steerer.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximo
I've always used the PVC pipe so I'd try to find one with a 1 1/8" inner diameter. However, it would probably be cheaper to have the LBS do it than to buy the pipe.
Where do you buy your PVC tubing; Neiman Marcus? Here in L.A. it's about a buck a foot.

FWIW, a piece of copper pipe is best, and you don't need a mallet (rubber or otherwise); just put the race in position, slide the copper pipe over the steering tube, turn the whole thing upside down and tap the copper pipe against the floor or your bench or whatever.

Takes seconds and works every time, even on carbon fiber.
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Old 02-02-07, 11:12 AM   #14
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Couple 2x4's screwed to the bottom of a small chuck of 2x4. I put the ends of the long peices on the race and smack the top with a rubber mallet. Works fine, only takes one good whack. I was thinking of having my dad build a fancier version with some chunks of some hardwood inlaid at the bottom rather than just the soft pine.
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Old 02-02-07, 12:36 PM   #15
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for years I used this method at home:

Get a big adjustable wrench with jaws big enough for the steerer to pass through. Close the jaws enough that the edges of the wrench touch the top lip of the crown race. Place the crown itself (not the fork legs or dropouts) onto an upright board or the corner of a table. Gently tap the top of the wrench with a hammer, turn 90 degrees, tap turn 90, tap, and repeat until the race is perfectly seated.
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Old 02-02-07, 07:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
for years I used this method at home:

Get a big adjustable wrench with jaws big enough for the steerer to pass through. Close the jaws enough that the edges of the wrench touch the top lip of the crown race. Place the crown itself (not the fork legs or dropouts) onto an upright board or the corner of a table. Gently tap the top of the wrench with a hammer, turn 90 degrees, tap turn 90, tap, and repeat until the race is perfectly seated.
ooohhh...I like this, ill try it
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Old 02-02-07, 08:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmfnla
Where do you buy your PVC tubing; Neiman Marcus? Here in L.A. it's about a buck a foot.
Home Depot and they won't sell you just a foot. You buy it in 10' lengths.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximo
Home Depot and they won't sell you just a foot. You buy it in 10' lengths.
No Ace Hardware or True Value Hardware in Denver? 1 1 1/8" x 6" piece of galvinized steel pipe is only $1.32 at Ace Hardware on this side of the country. Heck of a lot stronger then PVC (plastic) pipe and does more damage when you throw it at a cager.
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Old 02-02-07, 10:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximo
Home Depot and they won't sell you just a foot. You buy it in 10' lengths.
Screw Home Depot.

Copper is still better.
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Old 02-02-07, 11:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximo
Home Depot and they won't sell you just a foot. You buy it in 10' lengths.
my HD has "cut offs" for about a dollar/foot.
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Old 02-02-07, 11:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatFender
my HD has "cut offs" for about a dollar/foot.
That's encouraging, but copper is still better.
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Old 02-02-07, 11:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmfnla
That's encouraging, but copper is still better.
...and keeps its value
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Old 02-03-07, 12:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatFender
my HD has "cut offs" for about a dollar/foot.
That depends on the store. I worked at a few HDs and only the really "stubborn" ones who get away with ignoring company policy use the old SKUs for cut pipe. After seeing the true priorities of that company, I am now a Lowe's shopper.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatFender
any ideas?
for my mtb I used a piece of PVC Pipe that fit well, but now im installing a 1" one on a different bike....
When I was a kid, I used the headset itself, just screwing the threaded race down hard to press the fully-assembled headset together. In some cases, if memory serves, I would then have to re-tighten it after a few miles, as it got seated into position by riding.

These days I have the correct tools...

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Old 02-03-07, 02:57 PM   #25
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Galvanized steel doesn't make any sense. You want something SOFTER than the crown race.
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