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  1. #1
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    headset wrench access

    Hi,

    I'm taking apart a bike for the first time and I'm expanding my tool kit to accomplish some of the tasks. I managed to get my threaded headset apart using a pipe wrench on the locknut and a 2x4 to anchor the fork. I couldn't find any flats on the threaded race, so I didn't bother to pick up a headset wrench. Anyway, now that I've got the thing apart and removed the reflector and front brake hanger (which act as spacers on the headset), I can see the two flats on the race. It appears to be designed for a 32mm headset wrench, but when I re-assemble I don't know how I'm going to tighten against the locknut with the reflector and brake hanger in the way. (I suppose I could get rid of the reflector, but I'd like a front brake). Anybody have any advice either on technique or on a specific headset wrench that might be able to squeeze in there? Sorry, no pics.

    Thanks!
    Jean

  2. #2
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    There's usually a groove cut into the threaded part of the steerer tube on the fork, and a washer with a "tooth" that fits in that groove... The washer goes right under the top nut, and the "tooth" keeps it from spinning. You can then tighten the top nut without having to keep the top cone from spinning.

  3. #3
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kramnnim View Post
    There's usually a groove cut into the threaded part of the steerer tube on the fork, and a washer with a "tooth" that fits in that groove... The washer goes right under the top nut, and the "tooth" keeps it from spinning. You can then tighten the top nut without having to keep the top cone from spinning.
    Except if you've actually tried this you know the tooth either jams onto the threads or strips off completely the minute you apply any pressure to the top nut.

    There are headset-specific wrenches available for this; they are thin enough to fit onto the narrow areas of those flats much like a cone wrench.

    Less-expensive models can be had for home use from Nashbar and/or Performance (who are actually the same entity now).
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  4. #4
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    Right. I figured a headset wrench was the standard tool for headset tightening... and I don't mind buying tools. I just hate finding out that the specific model I've purchased doesn't work for my particular application. I just don't think any wrench is going to fit on the adjustable race in behind the brake hanger. I suppose I could use a spacer to raise the brake hanger; but I don't think I'll have enough fork... and somebody had to tighten this "once upon a time". Maybe they did just use the locking action of the top lock washer.

  5. #5
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    Hm...I don't remember having that many problems with the tooth stripping... Although Murphy's law is usually in effect, heh.

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