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  1. #1
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Sealed vs Unsealed (Headset)???

    I understand the difference between "threaded" and "threadless" (headset), but what is meant by "sealed" and "unsealed"???

    Sorry for the dumb question, but I'm just now trying to teach myself more about bicycle mechanics.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Headsets are made with two types of bearings, loose ball (often in a retainer cage) or cartridge bearings.

    The "seals" in loose ball headsets are just rubber gaskets or O-rings that make a half-hearted attempt to keep out water and dirt.

    Cartridge bearings can be fully sealed or shielded which is a semi-seal. A big advantage to cartridge bearing headsets is that the bearings contain the races in the same unit so a worn out bearing can be replaced without pressing out the cups or crown race.

  3. #3
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    A sealed headset looks like this:



  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    A big advantage to cartridge bearing headsets is that the bearings contain the races in the same unit so a worn out bearing can be replaced without pressing out the cups or crown race.
    Eh? With loose ball, you don't need to press out the cups or crown race either.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabaika View Post
    A sealed headset looks like this:

    Never seen a King?



    That's sealed
    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Never seen a King?

    That's sealed
    My solution to seal the headset costs $3, what about yours?

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabaika View Post
    My solution to seal the headset costs $3, what about yours?
    Oh, much more. But they are very smooth, last forever and are very pretty. Already transfered some of the 4 I own from other bikes...some more then once
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Eh? With loose ball, you don't need to press out the cups or crown race either.
    You do after the crown race and/or lower cup are "brinelled" (i.e. pock marked) after some use and it WILL happen sooner or later. With cheap headsets it's sooner.

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