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  1. #1
    Pastafarian Prophet All1NTao's Avatar
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    Do I grease a Cane Creek S2 Headset during installation?

    On the Cane Creek website instructions it does not state I need to grease the headset during install, but I did out of habit and concern for rust/seize. Now when turning I can fell some friction and almost a grinding feel. Is this the nature of the headset or should I remove the grease and re-install?
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  2. #2
    Your mom
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    What you describe sounds to me like a headset that's overtightened. I assume when you say you greased it, you mean the bearings, and not the cup surface that mates with the headtube. For a new headset, you should feel nothing except silky smoothness.

  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Unless your headset has sealed bearings, you better pack grease in it! Don't be skimpy on the grease either.

    If the headset doesn't turn smoothly then you need to either readjust it, or find out what you installed incorrectly. Upside down bearing retainers is a common error.

  4. #4
    Pastafarian Prophet All1NTao's Avatar
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    This is a sealed bearing headset so no I didn't grease the bearings. It is not overtightened. There is some friction even when tightened just to the point where play is gone. The question then do I need to grease the bearing races where they fit into the cups even though the bearings themselves are sealed?
    Abandon the search for truth, settle for a good fantasy.

  5. #5
    Pastafarian Prophet All1NTao's Avatar
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    The retainers are aligned correctly. I tripled checked.
    Abandon the search for truth, settle for a good fantasy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by All1NTao
    This is a sealed bearing headset so no I didn't grease the bearings. It is not overtightened. There is some friction even when tightened just to the point where play is gone. The question then do I need to grease the bearing races where they fit into the cups even though the bearings themselves are sealed?
    I would like to know the answer to that question also. One LBS mechanic I know says yes and I have heard others say no.

  7. #7
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    It is a good idea to apply a light coating of grease on sealed bearing cartridges.

  8. #8
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    When I build a bicycle, I grease/lube every contacting surface - except brake pads...

  9. #9
    Pastafarian Prophet All1NTao's Avatar
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    I flipped the cartridge bearings last night (putting the one that was on the bottom on the top) and that eliminated most of the problem. i suspect one of the cartridges is a little deformed. So the bottom one bears more weight and I put the good one down there. So much for going a little cheaper with the Cane Creek S2 v. their better model or a Chris King. It still is pretty smooth just not buttery. I did end up using a lighter coat of grease. I tried it without grease and it seemed the same, I was just worried about the long term rust/seize issue. Thanks for everyone's input.
    Abandon the search for truth, settle for a good fantasy.

  10. #10
    Banned.
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    I've had an S2 on my mountain bike for many years and thousands of care free miles.

  11. #11
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider the S2 to a low end headset. Mine has been flawless since 2003. Like others have said, grease isn't necessary for the function of the headset, only to protect the bare metal it is seated against.

  12. #12
    road rash/tree burn
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    Second (third?) the S2 being a very good and still inexpensive headset. I usually put a little grease on metal-to-metal contact points, so that's certainly a fine idea. I have S2s on at least three bikes, and all of them work great. You shouldn't feel any grinding at all. Maybe see if you can get a different S2 since this one doesn't seem to work well?

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