Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Headset.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    54
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Headset.

    I've never really missed around with headsets, so I decided to take mine apart just to see what it's like. (Threaded)

    I loosened the big nut type thing(?) and lifted it up.

    I got everything loose enough to the point where I could lift the frame off the fork so being the curious guy that I am, I did.

    I quickly noticed some of the ball bearings fell out! So I dropped the frame back down onto the fork before more fell out.

    A total of around 3 fell out.

    I tightened everything back up and made sure the fork still span without any problems.

    Is it still safe to ride? Luckily I just ordered a bunch of new parts, including a headset.

    PLEASE RESPOND, my bike is my only mean of transportation.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,692
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    did you get the balls back in there?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  3. #3
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,014
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's probably safe temporarily, but will wear out faster. Loose ball bottom brackets can use 11 ball bearings, but only use 8 or 9 (can't remember which) when held in place with a retainer.

    Watch those bearings, they always run away! Buy extras too, you'll thank yourself when you lose one.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,692
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    It's probably safe temporarily, but will wear out faster. Loose ball bottom brackets can use 11 ball bearings, but only use 8 or 9 (can't remember which) when held in place with a retainer.

    Watch those bearings, they always run away! Buy extras too, you'll thank yourself when you lose one.

    Did you mean headset? that is what the OP was talking about.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    54
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No, I'm not sure how?
    I don't want to open it up again and have even more fall out.

  6. #6
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,014
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    Did you mean headset? that is what the OP was talking about.
    No, I meant bottom bracket. The point I was trying to make (which must have been unclear) is that if a bottom bracket, which supports the weight of the entire rider pushing down on the pedals can be ok with less than the maximum amount of ball bearings, than surely a headset will also be ok with a few missing.

    I wouldn't worry about trying to put the 3 loose balls back in. Just coat everything with grease when you install your new headset. That way the bearings will stay in place during assembly.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    35,702
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ???

    add: Good time to re do the job with fresh balls, and new grease.
    the grease sticks the balls in place while you put the fork back in ..

    Job goes better with frame upside down.


    clean and inspect 1st. if the race has potholes in it , buy a new headset.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-08-11 at 09:12 AM. Reason: ,

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Up
    My Bikes
    Masi (retired), Giant TCR, Eisentraut, Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo (trainer bike), Cannondale, Stumpjumper, Waterford(N+1), Tern D8 (N+1)
    Posts
    2,692
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    ???
    yeah, me too

    1. I would never ride a bike that was short a few ball bearings in the bottom bracket especially if I were planning on using the bottom bracket again.

    2. If the OP were short a couple of bearings, had ordered a new headset, I would ride it since the old one is now disposable.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  9. #9
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,014
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    1. I would never ride a bike that was short a few ball bearings in the bottom bracket especially if I were planning on using the bottom bracket again.
    Are you sure you never have? Virtually all the loose ball bottom brackets I've disassembled used bearing retainers with 8 or 9 balls per side. I did not reinstall the retainers and replaced with 11 balls per side. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/bbadj.html Scroll down to "use loose balls."

    Does anyone else get my point?
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    18,060
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If only 3 or four balls fell out it's absolutely 100% safe to ride. the wear may be marginally greater, but not enough to worry about.

    The key issue is stability in the fork
    . and you can easily check. Lock the front brake and rock the bike forward and back. No play is a pass so enjoy the bike. If you have play, adjust it out, but if you can't it probably means you dropped as many as 15 or more balls, and need to deal with replacing them ASAP.


    The increased wear from a few missing balls is so minor that it would only become noticeable over months or more likely years.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 04-08-11 at 08:24 AM.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  11. #11
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    11,841
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    No, I meant bottom bracket. The point I was trying to make (which must have been unclear) is that if a bottom bracket, which supports the weight of the entire rider pushing down on the pedals can be ok with less than the maximum amount of ball bearings, than surely a headset will also be ok with a few missing.
    Bottom bracket bearings are 1/4"; headset bearings are 5/32" or (for better quality units) 3/16" -- this makes a significant difference in their ability to carry load.

    Headsets and bottom brackets are also loaded differently. Headsets take thrust loads, while bottom brackets take radial loads.

  12. #12
    Senior Member justadude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Miami, FL
    My Bikes
    excellent road bike
    Posts
    298
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pandita, I once had the same experience. No doubt thousands or even tens of thousands of people have been horrified, seeing the lower headset bearings fall out.

    Now you know that next time you're taking the fork off, you'll have the frame upside-down, with fork pointed up to the ceiling. If you have new grease, should clean everything and put all the bearings back in place with plenty of new grease. If the bearings are not perfectly shiny, smooth and fitting, it's time for new ones. Good luck with your repairs and better biking.

  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Camp Hill, PA
    My Bikes
    Too many to list here check my signature.
    Posts
    18,997
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    actually I think if you are unsure what you are doing you need to take it to a professional or find a friend who actually knows what he is doing to teach you.

    there are great videos on the park tool website to checkout too
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,073
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Its probably OK to ride with a few balls short esp if you are getting a new headset.
    Note that changing the headset is about the most difficult thing to do on the bike. You can do it at home with some home-made tools but bikeshops have a headset press to make sure it is well seated and aligned. For many of us home mechanics, it is the one thing we leave to the bike shop.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •