I decided to overhaul my old bridgestone 400 which I use as an around-town/commuter. I stripped it down and had the frame powder coated. The headset was shot so I went to buy a new one. Doing a little research online I learned that my bike had the J.I.S. sized headset, which requires a 27.0mm crown race I.D. The local bike shop only sold one, an inexpensive Tange Passage headset, so I bought it, and had a friend with the proper press install the cups. This seems about the level of headset that the bike came with when it was new, and for my purposes, should be fine.
This is where my headset woes began. No amount of adjusting could really get rid of all of the binding. I had followed some advice and opted to use loose bearings rather than the bearing retainers that came with the headset. In theory, more loose bearings should be smoother than the bearing retainers, or at least this is what I gather. Anyway, I started reading around more and learned that J.I.S. measurements specify not only a 27.0mm crown race, but also a 30.0 mm internal diameter on the head tubes. THe more common, modern ISO headset dimensions are 26.4mm crown race and 30.2mm cup ID. Looking at my Tange Passage headset box, I discovered that this unit has a 27.0mm crown race (which I needed) and a **30.2 mm** diameter cup.
Now this explains why it was hard to press the fixed cups into my headtube. My bike was probably the JIS measurements, rather than the ISO size. Why on earth would Tange sell a headset that combines a JIS crown race with an ISO headtube diameter? In any event, my questions are: 1) is it likely that I screwed up my freshly painted frame's headtube by pressing in the slightly larger cups? THey are both made of steel. 2) Could this explain why I'm having trouble adjusting the headset, or is that more likely a facing issue? 3) Should I remove the headset and re-face the headtubes and ream them out to the proper ID for a 30.2 ISO headset, and then either re-install the Tange unit or get another ISO one? Any thoughts would be appreciated. thanks!