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  1. #1
    Officially Foul Mouthed
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    buy tools vs LBS service - headsets

    i'm getting a new frame that uses a CK press-in headset; i have another fork replacement project too

    i've been paying LBS for headset on/off service; any thoughts about buying a Park headset press and crown race setter? about $210 investment vs paying LBS; if use them for 10-15 years and then sell them maybe i'll break even? press in headsets are getting more rare, yes? so maybe i wouldn't use it all that often? maybe if i have the tools i'll seek out frames that use press in headsets - funny how that might happen

    anybody else gone through this buy tool vs use LBS question that can offer direction?

    are there such things as too coops?

    tx

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    How much does the LBS charge? How many times would you need to use the tool to pay for it?

    Do the math.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  3. #3
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I've pressed CK cups using my $5 homemade press. No special CK bushings required to press these cups.

    I've been using this homemade press for over 15 years now:
    Last edited by roadfix; 01-06-10 at 01:41 PM.
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  4. #4
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    You can build a home press from Home Depot parts or buy one on eBay for $30, it has properly sized/machined washers/bushings that fit properly so the headset cups don't skew during pressing:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=260411392035

    It works just fine, you just need big adjustable wrench to use it as it doesn't have it's own levers.

    Headset crown removal tool:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=250490071602

    Headset crown setting tool, essentially a PVC pipe and a metal ring:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=260387603229

    I bought these above tools and used them on my first build with great results. The above are closed actions so just check out the sellers items or click the "Buy Another" button.

    He also has a cheap headset removal tool.

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 01-06-10 at 01:51 PM.

  5. #5
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    I've pressed CK cups using my $5 homemade press. No special CK bushings required to press these cups.
    +1. I've used a large bolt, washers, and nut as a press to install this CK headset on three different mountain bikes (the headset outlasted the bikes).


  6. #6
    cab horn
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    It's a CK headset. It deserves to be put in with the correct tool, or your ownership of that item should be revoked.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cnnrmccloskey's Avatar
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    Come on now operator, using ghetto tools with nice components runs its own risk, if someone chooses to press a CK headset with a homemade press they should do it, I saw someone ruin a frame using a homemade press, works most of the time though, but the cost of replacing the frame was ~= to how much a real press would cost.

  8. #8
    Officially Foul Mouthed
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    i've got the homemade press; used it on a cane creek headset; worked

    my first CK headset was installed by the LBS; i've probably spent $50 on headset work at LBS so far

    for the race setter, i went to the grand-hardware-box looking for the pipe that would fit closely over a 1-1/8 steer tube; no luck or too stupid

    the new ck headset is going into a Ti frame; so taking risks is out; it's either a Park press or the LBS on this job; was even thinking about getting the CK adapters for the Park tool

    re. doing the math, i'll need a crystal ball; i was hoping such a thing was to be found here

    after reading the replies, i'm leaning 90-10 in favor of buying the tools:

    - i'll have the tools available
    - each time i use them the cost per procedure will decline
    - i have no investment alternatives for the money
    - i can be an alpha tool collector and win admiration of peers
    - Park tools should have pretty good resale value
    - i'll check the usual secondary mkts (ebay/craigslist) and maybe get a price break

  9. #9
    Officially Foul Mouthed
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    i think that's the finest crown race remover i've ever seen; i'm in for that

  10. #10
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerhymeswith View Post
    the new ck headset is going into a Ti frame; so taking risks is out; it's either a Park press or the LBS on this job; was even thinking about getting the CK adapters for the Park tool
    I did not see any difference installing headsets in steel, alu, or ti frames using the homemade press. A little abuse (if any) shouldn't affect the bomb-proof CK headset when using a homemade press.
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  11. #11
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerhymeswith View Post
    i think that's the finest crown race remover i've ever seen; i'm in for that
    I'll agree to that.
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  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 I have used that ebay headset cup setting tool referenced above. I have used it on about 100 bikes so far. I also bought one of his cup removal tools and his derailleur hanger tool.

    I'll be buying one of his crown race removal tools next (in fact, I just ordered one).
    Last edited by wrk101; 01-06-10 at 03:35 PM.

  13. #13
    Officially Foul Mouthed
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    I did not see any difference installing headsets in steel, alu, or ti frames using the homemade press. A little abuse (if any) shouldn't affect the bomb-proof CK headset when using a homemade press.
    you've probably done the procedure dozens of times but with my homemade press and my experience (1 time) there is some risk; i was sure of myself and my homemade press with a $100 steel frame and $50 can creek h/s; with a new Ti frame and CK h/s I loose my confidence

  14. #14
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    The above are closed actions so just check out the sellers items or click the "Buy Another" button.

    Adam
    Only you get the "buyer's view".

  15. #15
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    Only you get the "buyer's view".
    These links are the same that you get from entering the number into the search field on eBay. They should work, I've just tried them in another web browser that I never used to login to eBay and they worked. If they still don't work for you then copy the item number at the end of the link and paste it into the search box on eBay.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerhymeswith View Post
    i think that's the finest crown race remover i've ever seen; i'm in for that
    I believe this tool is made for something else and it has its own name but it just happens to work fine as headset crown remover. You just need to be careful not to tighten the bolts too much or you may damage the steerer tube.

    Adam

  16. #16
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 I have used that ebay headset cup setting tool referenced above. I have used it on about 100 bikes so far. I also bought one of his cup removal tools and his derailleur hanger tool.

    I'll be buying one of his crown race removal tools next (in fact, I just ordered one).
    Yup. I bought few more tools from him. I only referenced those related to this thread. He has lots of specialized bike tools at low prices and he's a friendly and responsive seller too.

    A.

  17. #17
    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerhymeswith View Post
    i've got the homemade press; used it on a cane creek headset; worked

    my first CK headset was installed by the LBS; i've probably spent $50 on headset work at LBS so far

    for the race setter, i went to the grand-hardware-box looking for the pipe that would fit closely over a 1-1/8 steer tube; no luck or too stupid

    the new ck headset is going into a Ti frame; so taking risks is out; it's either a Park press or the LBS on this job; was even thinking about getting the CK adapters for the Park tool

    re. doing the math, i'll need a crystal ball; i was hoping such a thing was to be found here

    after reading the replies, i'm leaning 90-10 in favor of buying the tools:

    - i'll have the tools available
    - each time i use them the cost per procedure will decline
    - i have no investment alternatives for the money
    - i can be an alpha tool collector and win admiration of peers
    - Park tools should have pretty good resale value
    - i'll check the usual secondary mkts (ebay/craigslist) and maybe get a price break
    You're definitely going to get a +1 from most of the people here in favor of using your own headset tools. I don't think you can go wrong on Park Tools as far as them keeping their value, especially on the more expensive items. I just bought the Park fork crown setter from Treefort bikes at a decent price (~60 I think). I previously bought a Cyclus Czech made headset press from ebay seller Banana Brain (I think their ebay store is under a different name now, I'm not sure why and they no longer seem to carry the Cyclus line). I bought the Nashbar fork crown remover on sale but have yet to use it. I'm speaking as a motivated amateur who is a bit timid to do the installations I am planning. I plan to start on my daughter's Schwinn mountain bike by installing a new 1-1/8 threaded Deore XT cartridge bearing headset. Then I plan to install a Stronglight 1" threaded needle bearing headset on my Puch Marco Polo in place of the classic Nuovo Record one that is on there (I've heard roller bearing headsets are a little less skittish and can neutralize a shimmy problem which this bike has). A successful install will not only cement your alpha male (or female which ever the case may be ) & DIY inventiveness genes; but I think you'll also get a type of knowledge of your steed that entrusting this important task to your LBS wouldn't afford. Purchasing the Chris King bushing sounds like a good idea as well. I would think that having a working knowledge of some of the dimensions of the fork crown, the head tube I.D., the stack height, and so forth are all pluses. If you are like me, you might encounter an aberration or two. You might find the fork crown too tight for your crown race (or too loose), you might find out your head tube is not parallel and wind up back at the LBS spending more money on getting the headtube faced and reamed. I suspect after completing phase 1 of this learning curve, you might be on the prowl next for a full set of crown race cutters, head tube facers and reamers.
    Last edited by masi61; 01-06-10 at 06:13 PM. Reason: punctuation

  18. #18
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I didn't find any cheap alternatives to cutters and facers and those tools are expensive

    Adam

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    I've pressed CK cups using my $5 homemade press. No special CK bushings required to press these cups.

    I've been using this homemade press for over 15 years now:
    I have used this fine tool and it does a good job. Fiber washers would protect the finish.
    For a crown press you can use a 1&1/4" extension tube for sink drains found in the plumbing dept of a hardware store.
    Removing the crown race can be dicey. I use a small screwdriver to start and then fox wedges to finish.

  20. #20
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikerhymeswith View Post
    you've probably done the procedure dozens of times but with my homemade press and my experience (1 time) there is some risk; i was sure of myself and my homemade press with a $100 steel frame and $50 can creek h/s; with a new Ti frame and CK h/s I loose my confidence
    I've asked the guys at the LBS to let me see the Park press tool. It works exactly as the $30 one from eBay does. The bushing goes into the cup to keep it centered and leveled. I could not justify spending $150 on the Park tool. I think the only major difference is that the Park tool can accommodate few more, rare sizes. The cheaper Park tool ($70) doesn't have the bushings, just flat washers so it'd be easy to mess up the headtube and cups with it.

    For the price of one Park tool I got a cup press, a headset remover, a crown race remover, a crown race setter and few other tools. I would not be able to buy the same tools from Park.

    Adam

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I like the Cyclus headset-press:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=CU-HP

    But the Park Tool model has other functions, such as installing fixed-cups for one-piece cranksets - Ashtabula:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...tem_id=PA-HHP2
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    These links are the same that you get from entering the number into the search field on eBay. They should work, I've just tried them in another web browser that I never used to login to eBay and they worked. If they still don't work for you then copy the item number at the end of the link and paste it into the search box on eBay.

    Adam
    They work just fine for me. I didn't say they didn't. I'm telling you that they don't link to closed auctions for anyone but you because only you get the "buyer view".

  23. #23
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    I built up a Tom Kellogg Spectrum Ti from scratch last Spring, my first frame-up build. I wasn't real happy about buying the Park Press and Crown Race Setting tool, not to mention the expensive CK bottom bracket tools and Headset setting adapters. In the end, they are great tools that you will enjoy using and owning. The downside is my friends are always asking to borrow them. I'm getting tired of weighing down my pannier with the headset press especially;-)

  24. #24
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    They work just fine for me. I didn't say they didn't. I'm telling you that they don't link to closed auctions for anyone but you because only you get the "buyer view".
    Ah, OK

    Adam

  25. #25
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    For what it costs and how many times I have to do it, I used to just pay the LBS to do it. Didn't want to mess up my frame, didn't want to make a trip to the Despot (actually have a length of 1" threaded rod w/ washers and nuts that would have worked fine). Also wanted to have the headtube faced (came covered with paint), BB chased and faced at the same time, and there's no cheap cutting tools out there. Aside from a hand file... and while I'm sure skilled machinists could keep things level and square, hand-filing the HT and BB just to knock off the paint, I didn't trust my skills.

    I bought the headset through the shop, installation was cheap; no headset issues with the bike, no fretting about getting something unfamiliar to me done right.

    Of course now I work in a shop with full access to all the Park tools. That's another way to do it...

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