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Old 03-24-11, 10:14 AM   #1
sonatageek
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Headset ball bearing size -- late 70's Raleigh Gran Prix

I am rebuilding an old Gran Prix and need to replace the headset bearings. All of the ones that were in there have been lost (short story -- was working on the bike about a year ago, dropped the fork to do some clean up and the bag with the bearings got lost).

So, what size would they most likely be?
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Old 03-24-11, 11:10 AM   #2
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Brand of headset known?
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Old 03-24-11, 12:36 PM   #3
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Ask over in the C&V forum. you will get an answer quickly.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:47 PM   #4
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2nding the C&V shout-out.

If I were you, I'd replace it with a Tange Levin headset. They're cheap, smooth, and will look era-appropriate on your older bike.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:17 PM   #5
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2nding the C&V shout-out.

If I were you, I'd replace it with a Tange Levin headset. They're cheap, smooth, and will look era-appropriate on your older bike.
If it's not a 26 TPI Raleigh threaded fork

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/raleigh26.html
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Old 03-24-11, 04:41 PM   #6
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Based on the vintage, and assuming a steel OEM quality headset, I'd expect them to be 5/32" balls. More modern or better quality headsets would use 3/16". Balls are cheap enough, that I'd make a calculated guess for one or the other, or splurge for a small package of each.

You can't mistakingly use the wrong size balls because it'll be obvious. If you're not sure load the top race and test it against the upper head cup/cone without the fork to see if the overlap looks and feels right.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:48 PM   #7
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Thanks.

I think I have both of those sizes and will see which one looks correct this weekend. I am trying to keep the investment as low as possible since the bike only cost $5.

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Based on the vintage, and assuming a steel OEM quality headset, I'd expect them to be 5/32" balls. More modern or better quality headsets would use 3/16". Balls are cheap enough, that I'd make a calculated guess for one or the other, or splurge for a small package of each.

You can't mistakingly use the wrong size balls because it'll be obvious. If you're not sure load the top race and test it against the upper head cup/cone without the fork to see if the overlap looks and feels right.
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