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Old 06-08-09, 01:36 PM   #1
Tunnelrat81
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Cracked Headset Crown Race...Replace?

I pulled my heaset apart the other day to wipe down and regrease everything as part of a tune-up and noticed that the crown race (first item that slides onto the fork and rides against the lower sealed bearing) has a crack in it, almost as if the diameter of the steering tube is too large for it's inside diameter and was 'stretched' into place and thus became cracked with use.

The headset is a Cane Creek IS Headset and is installed on an '05 Trek 2300.

Now the question that i have is whether or not this is something in need of replacement since, it's still seating well against the ramped bottom side of the actual bearing (which is sealed and still has solid support all around from that lower race except for the 1/32" crack). I regreased everything, wiped down all the sealed bearings and relubed all the contact points before reinstalling and readjusting it all.

Some experienced/professional advice would be really appreciated.

http://www.canecreek.com/manuals/Hea...structions.pdf

This is the exploded view of the headset, and the ring with the crack is #10. Right at the bottom.

Thanks.

-Jeremy
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Old 06-08-09, 02:20 PM   #2
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Chances are the race was split at the factory for easier installation. Also, that type of race would be nearly impossible to remove without destroying it unless it was split as yours is. I used a similar cartridge bearing Cane Creek headset on a bike I built and split the race myself. FSA sells their cartridge bearing headset races already split.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:33 PM   #3
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The .pdf you referenced doesn't say anything about it but there are several model headsets that come with intentionally "split" crown races that install with only finger pressure. Of course, these are cartridge bearing headsets so the "crown race" is just a support platform for the self-contained lower bearing.

I have FSA Orbit X and Orbit XLII headsets that came with split crown races but the instruction sheets do specifically mention it as a feature.
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Old 06-08-09, 03:14 PM   #4
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The .pdf you referenced doesn't say anything about it but there are several model headsets that come with intentionally "split" crown races that install with only finger pressure. Of course, these are cartridge bearing headsets so the "crown race" is just a support platform for the self-contained lower bearing.
Race as defined by Webster is "a track or channel in which something rolls or slides". The description of this part the Cane Creek site as a "crown race" is incorrect as the race is a part of the cartridge item 9. This is a centering platform, which keeps the cartridge concentric with the steerer, by means of the tapered neck.
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Old 06-08-09, 03:33 PM   #5
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Old 06-08-09, 04:25 PM   #6
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I would leave it, since the bearings are sealed in a unit inside the cup, and that race only makes contact with the inside edge of the cartridge to spin. If it were the kind of race that the bearings actually ride on the race itself, (like a big headset cone) they I would replace since you dont want bearings rolling over a crack damaging the bearings and race. Long story short: +1 leave it.
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Old 06-08-09, 04:57 PM   #7
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Thanks...Will do guys.
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Old 06-08-09, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
Race as defined by Webster is "a track or channel in which something rolls or slides". The description of this part the Cane Creek site as a "crown race" is incorrect as the race is a part of the cartridge item 9. This is a centering platform, which keeps the cartridge concentric with the steerer, by means of the tapered neck.
Technically, you are absolutely correct. Note in my posting I put the term crown race in quotations and describe it as a "support platform".

However, you are fighting a linguistic up-hill-and-against-the-wind battle.

Nearly everyone refers to it as a crown race even for headsets with cartridge bearings. In fact, FSA's own installation sheet refers to the "crown race" for their cartridge bearing headsets.
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