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Old 07-22-08, 03:48 PM   #1
ironhorse3
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Headset replacement

I am considering doing the headset replacement on my son's Trek 820. I would have to get the tools (fork crown race setter, headset press, and the bearing removal tool). I found instructions on the net for how do do this. Should I attempt it? I am trying to become better at bike tune up and repair as a hobby. Thanks for your input.

Last edited by ironhorse3; 07-23-08 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 07-22-08, 03:57 PM   #2
Gonzo Bob
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Those tools are pricey (unless you're talking about homemade versions). I'd just take it to a shop.
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Old 07-22-08, 05:42 PM   #3
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for a crown race setter you can use a appropriate size piece of steel piping with a copper sleeve to fit on the race. for 1" steerer tubes, I use a 1" piece of steel pipe that just barely fits over the steerer tube. rest a piece of copper tubing of the same size on the the race. put the whole thing together and hold the fork as you tap it into the steel tube. The copper protects the race because it is softer than the steel race.

for a cup press you can use a 3/4" piece of all thread, two big nuts, two big washers, and two brass bushings. You can find all this stuff at a local hardware store for about $20. make sure everything is flush and carefully press away.

in order to remove the cups, I use a piece of copper tubing with a loooong slit cut into it. I use the handle of a round hammer as a mandrel and deform it so its larger than the head tube. slip it in the head tube, hear that click, and a couple hard whacks with a hammer will pop the old cups right out.

remove the crown race with a screwdriver, hammer, and a couple careful whacks.

Good luck!
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Old 07-22-08, 07:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestion. The main worn part is the lock nut and the LBS said the whole headset has to be replaced. I'd like to find a lock nut and try that first. Anyone know where to get one?
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Old 07-23-08, 04:42 AM   #5
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Now another question. I cannot find a lock nut for the headset on the net or elsewhere. Does anyone know why these are not sold? Is it assumed that the headset is defective by the time this wears out, or is it a gimmick to get you to buy more than you need? I think mine needs to be overhauled which amounts to cleaning / greasing and adjusting, but is not worn out. Just the lock nut.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:33 AM   #6
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No idea why locknuts don't come separately. Sorry to hear that.

Tradtimbo, nice suggestions for low-cost tools!

If the bike isn't so expensive and you're careful, you can get even more primitive. I recently did my first press-fit work on a headset, my roommate's bike (found abandoned for free in a neighbor's apartment basement). The headset seized up and died on a moist ride recently, and it's a Schwinn with one-piece crank dimensions, so about the nicest headset you can find for it is an $8 BMX unit. I did all of the press-fit work with a rubber mallet, a claw hammer, and a punch, using some care to avoid deforming or misaligning the races. I did all of the adjustment work with a big fat adjustable wrench (it's a threaded headset). The latter was hard because the washer wasn't even keyed, but now the headset works flawlessly.

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Old 07-23-08, 11:01 AM   #7
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Headsets are pretty cheap. You can get a decent Tange for ~$20. Removal and reinstall seems like it's tough, but it's really not. Do a search for the homemade tools, and try it out.
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Old 07-23-08, 04:59 PM   #8
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That's true, the LBS quoted about $15. for the headset I need. With the home made tools I think I can make it an at home job, and if it goes bad I'll take it in to LBS (assuming I don't damage the frameset). thanks for the suggestions.
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