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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Replacing Bearings in a Cage

    I am about to remove and replace the bearings from the cages in the wife's 87 Centurion Ironman headset.

    I want to keep the cages, since I feel that the benefits of going with individual bearings don't outweigh the ease of use of the caged bearings (see other threads on this topic). When I overhaul the headset next time, I want to be able to just remove, clean, and replace the entire cage, and not worry about bearings escaping.

    I want to replace the bearings in the cage because I think they've been in there for 21 years.

    Any trick for removing them from the cage and putting new ones in? The guy at the LBS thought it would be risky. Haven't tried it yet, I'm hoping they'll just pop out and in.

    Thanks,
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  2. #2
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    You do know that you just buy a new set of caged bearings don't you?

    Didn't the LBS shop staff recommend this or are you leaving that bit out?

    Just buy a new set of caged bearings.

    Anthony

  3. #3
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    No, I didn't know that! The LBS guy should have said something. Instead he said "if you bend one of the tabs on the cage, it will be ruined."

    In any case, I just found that they pop in and out very easily, and it only took a few minutes.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  4. #4
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    No, I didn't know that! The LBS guy should have said something. Instead he said "if you bend one of the tabs on the cage, it will be ruined."

    In any case, I just found that they pop in and out very easily, and it only took a few minutes.
    Sorry but I just couldn't work out why the question was being asked after the point when you said you had a conversation with your LBS about it. Even though you have got them out I wouldn't worry about trying to get new bearings in them. Just go to another LBS and buy new caged bearings the right size.

    Anthony

  5. #5
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    I'd think disassembling and reassembling a cage would take longer than putting lose bearings in.

  6. #6
    Slow mechanic ryker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    You do know that you just buy a new set of caged bearings don't you?
    I know that I tried four local bike shops looking for caged bearings. Nobody in my town stocks them it sems.

  7. #7
    Free wheel Ganzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    In any case, I just found that they pop in and out very easily, and it only took a few minutes.
    You did fine. I do this all the time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with reusing cages so long as they have not been mangled.

    The puritans on this site will always recommend rushing out to the LBS to pay (literally $) homage to the resident guru there for every little item you might need.

    Ride on brother!
    78 Schwinn Traveler III
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  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I am about to remove and replace the bearings from the cages in the wife's 87 Centurion Ironman headset.

    I want to keep the cages, since I feel that the benefits of going with individual bearings don't outweigh the ease of use of the caged bearings (see other threads on this topic). When I overhaul the headset next time, I want to be able to just remove, clean, and replace the entire cage, and not worry about bearings escaping.

    I want to replace the bearings in the cage because I think they've been in there for 21 years.

    Any trick for removing them from the cage and putting new ones in? The guy at the LBS thought it would be risky. Haven't tried it yet, I'm hoping they'll just pop out and in.

    Thanks,
    I just pop 'em out. Usually with my fingers; sometimes a needle-nose pliers helps. Install new balls in a similar fashion -- just push 'em in.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Me three.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    A lot of bike shops don't like ordering really small stuff like that for some reason. There's one near me that went so far as to tell me that I would have to buy a beat up used cotter pin from them because they don't make them anymore. They weren't too pleased when I came back with the part number for their distributor (who had it in stock). Needless to say I ended up having to get the part at another store.

    On topic however, while the caged sets are cheap, you are ok reusing cages so long as you don't bend the little fingers down so far that they scrape the bearings.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Well, I'm all done, everything went fine. Thanks for the info.

    I really like dealing with caged bearings. When I'm in the garage, I don't have to worry about losing any loose ones. No counting, no bearings hiding in the grease. The uncaging and caging operation took place in the controlled environment of the kitchen table, with a towel spread out on it.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    For less than $.05/BB, I don't even mess around with cleaning & inspecting each individual BB.
    I PREFER to count the number of bearings I install. I just count them out on a marrgerine tub lid when I'm ready to install.

    http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=984954013449

  13. #13
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Only problem that people have is putting the cage in upside-down. Often they don't notice the funny steering. Until you open it up and see it. If I was very careful removing the old BB's for disposal, I might re-use the cage. But if it's my bike, then it's getting loose BB's. Grade 25. Chromium.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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