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Old 09-20-08, 02:55 PM   #1
Trouble
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2002 Trek 5200 Cane Creek Headset

My wife has a Trek 5500 2001 or 2002 with a Cane Creek S6 headset.
During a ride she was saying the steering was tight. After the standard headset test (front brake, move fore and aft) it was wobblin.
I could not get it tight enough to stop that rocking and lose enough to steer easily.
Get home and pull fork...the bottom bearings are clearly shot.
The big question is;
Is the bottom cup removed from the headtube on these 5200? Because it sure looks like it's all molded in there when looking down from the top. There is no defined ledge for the cup removal tool to attach to.
Is the top cup removed and replaced? It on the other hand has a defined ledge and could easily be removed.
...or, can you just buy bearings and pop them in and be on your way?

The S6 comes complete with the top and bottom cups/bearings/race (I think) and is only $35, so I'm not sweating it, I just want to know so my wife doesn't get hosed at the lbs.
...and, if it's just a matter of replacing the bearings then I can do that at home...I don't have the cup removal or press in tools though.

Edit: I went to Cane Creeks website and looked at the exploded view of the S6. My wife's bike is missing the bottom crown race and lower seal, which would explain the trashed lower bearings and not being able to tighten. She said she took it in a couple years ago and had it fixed at some bike shop (way to go).
So, I'm thinking I'll just replace bearings and seals and lower crown race???

Last edited by Trouble; 09-20-08 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-20-08, 03:26 PM   #2
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I have no idea what the problem is without looking at it, but I can tell you that you can just replace the sealed cartridge bearings if sealed cartridge bearings are what you have.

Good luck.
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Old 09-20-08, 03:39 PM   #3
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As I edited above.
Edit: I went to Cane Creeks website and looked at the exploded view of the S6. My wife's bike is missing the bottom crown race and lower seal, which would explain the trashed lower bearings and not being able to tighten. She said she took it in a couple years ago and had it fixed at some bike shop (way to go).
So, I'm thinking I'll just replace bearings, compression ring, seals and lower crown race???
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Old 09-20-08, 04:01 PM   #4
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I have no idea what the problem is without looking at it, but I can tell you that you can just replace the sealed cartridge bearings if sealed cartridge bearings are what you have.

Good luck.
No need to see the bike, I'm wanting to know this:
Is the bottom cup removed from the headtube on these 5200? Because it sure looks like it's all molded in there when looking down from the top. There is no defined ledge for the cup removal tool to attach to.
Is the top cup removed and replaced? It on the other hand has a defined ledge and could easily be removed.

I'm shopping for bearings and replacement parts now. Just need to find an answer about the cups.
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Old 09-20-08, 04:15 PM   #5
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The crown race should be on the fork crown.

The cups are definitely removable from the headtube. It sounds like you have the fork out so stick a screwdriver in there and run it along the side - there should be a ledge. I have not seen a bike where it fits so perfectly that you cannot see a seam but I suppose it is possible

I do not remember my S-6 (there could be more than one generation of this headset) coming with any lower seals not built into the cartridge. From bottom to top from memory: crown race, cartridge bearing w/ blue seals (red for the S-3), bottom cup with logos, [headtube], top cup, cartridge bearing w/ blue seals, compression ring, a thin brass disc with neoprene outer that I suppose is a seal but looked horribly designed, an upper cup w/ no logos, and a bearing cover with all the logos.

BTW lower bearings are generally going to be more worn that upper bearings from what I hear.

Last edited by z415; 09-20-08 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 09-20-08, 04:19 PM   #6
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If you are not sure, I would take it into a LBS and have them take a look. I know of no headsets in which the headset cups cannot or should not be removed. I took my bike with a stubborn lower cup in to a shop and they pounded it out for $2.

And if you are just replacing the bearings, why would you need to remove the cups or are you just curious?
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Old 09-20-08, 04:25 PM   #7
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Ok, well I just looked at the manual I have for the S-6 and it seems that there is a lower seal - I guess Nashbar never shipped me that.

Try here
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Old 09-20-08, 04:53 PM   #8
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Trouble, is this a flush mount style headset and head tube? Or perhaps the same wise shop forgot the lower cup as well....
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Old 09-21-08, 06:16 AM   #9
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Trouble, is this a flush mount style headset and head tube? Or perhaps the same wise shop forgot the lower cup as well....
No. In my OP I clearly describe the lower cup.

It turns out that Trek had a standard upper 1-1/8 and a proprietary lower integrated 1-1/4 which doesn't even use the S6 lower.
There is and was never a lower crown race.
I'll contact Trek on Monday.
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Old 09-21-08, 06:34 AM   #10
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what is the O.D. of that bearing? 1.75"??
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Old 09-22-08, 03:59 PM   #11
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what is the O.D. of that bearing? 1.75"??

No, more like 42 or 43 mm (without my glasses) 1.65"
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