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Old 12-04-11, 08:32 PM   #1
yummygooey
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Pressing in Headset Cups

Disclaimer: Dumb question below. I just don't want to mess up my frame.

I used a Park Tools headset press to press in headset cups into my Titanium frame one at a time. I just noticed that I didn't get the bottom cup all the way in. While there is no gap towards the front of the bike, there is a small gap ~0.75mm towards the back of the cup.

Do I need to remove the cup entirely to reseat the cup or should I just give the headset tool a couple more turns?

I think I know the answer... but I trust your guys' expertise more than my own intuition when it comes to bike fixin'!
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Old 12-04-11, 09:31 PM   #2
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You should be fine to just tighten it up until the gap is gone. No need to remove the cup. Just go slow and easy. Checking your progress often.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:07 AM   #3
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It might be as easy as pressing it in a bit more, but I wouldn't force it. If all is OK*, you could build the bike, adjust the headset, and road shock will drive it in if that's all it needs. Unseated cups and crown races are the most common cause of new headsets needing adjustment early on, but it's self curing once everything settles.

*I qualified the answer because normally a pressed cup would take the line of the tube, so there shouldn't be any uneven gap at the end. That's usually an indicator of a headtube that isn't faced square, which is something that needs to be corrected.
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Old 12-07-11, 04:53 PM   #4
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I tried to give it some more pressure (using a Park Tool HHP-2) but I got nowhere. I even pulled the cups out and got the same results. Here are some photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5772656...th/6473847713/

Time to get my head tube faced?
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Old 12-07-11, 05:10 PM   #5
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That doesn't look right, my home made bolt and washer setup sets the cups fine, so I would get it faced if it was mine. Ride it like that and the bearings will ruin the race.
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Old 12-07-11, 05:36 PM   #6
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Ah, bummer. I called my LBS and they said a facing would be about $40. Last time I went to a different LBS they only charged me $20 for a facing, but quite honestly I don't feel comfortable having them work on my bikes after the last experience.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:31 PM   #7
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Simply facing a head tube, should cost that much. Shop around, especially now that it's a lull in business for most shops. But do get it faced, unless it isn't a new frame with it's first headset.

Facing never changes, so if there used to be another headset, that didn't have this problem, then you need to look elsewhere. One possibility is that the pressed in portion of this headset is longer than it's predecessor. If the tube was only reamed deep enough for the shorter headset, this one might be bottoming out on the small ridge at the bottom of the reamed depth. Pull the headset, and take a look and feel inside the tube, and see if there's an end to the reamed portion. If so make a cardboard depth gauge and compare to your headset.

If this is the problem you have two choices - raise the bridge or lower the water. Either ream it deeper, or file or grind the lead taper of the pressed headset a bit shorter. The first id the same price as facing, the second free, and fairly easy to DIY. It doesn't have to be beautiful, just shorter.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:47 PM   #8
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First question; is this a brand new frame that has never had a headset installed? If so, it appears to need facing and/or reaming. If this headset is a replacement for another that was seated properly, then, as FBinNY noted, either the new headset in defective or the headtube reaming must be made deeper or the bearing cup trimmed shorter.

The $40 for facing may be due to the fact it's a Ti frame. Ti is harder on tooling than steel or aluminum and the LBS may charge more for that.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:48 PM   #9
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Sorry for the confusion.

This is a USED frame. It used to have a Chris King headset in it, but that headset is getting shipped (tomorrow) to CK for an overhaul. I don't even know if the previous headset was seated properly... I just assumed it was and didn't check before I removed the cups.

I want to reinstall the CK headset after I get it back, so the Cane Creek is just a temporary headset. By that point I will definitely have the head tube reamed and faced. Is it ok for me to ride this as is until then?

The problem with the charge is that I really hate going to the shop I went to last time, and the $40 shop is the only other equipped shop in the area that can do a ream/face. The charge does include removal/installation of the cups, too.

Taking a closer look at the frame, it looks like the head tube at the top cup also drops down a little at the rear of the cup, too, though not as much as the bottom cup/head tube interface. I have this theory that this happened due distortion from welding, and then the frame was never reamed/faced before the first headset was installed. Who knows.
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Old 12-08-11, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
Taking a closer look at the frame, it looks like the head tube at the top cup also drops down a little at the rear of the cup, too, though not as much as the bottom cup/head tube interface. I have this theory that this happened due distortion from welding, and then the frame was never reamed/faced before the first headset was installed. Who knows.
Pay the $40.
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Old 12-08-11, 09:15 AM   #11
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The $40 really isn't that big of a deal... I would much rather pay $40 now than have to replace a frame or a $120 headset later, haha!

Should I do it now or just wait until I get my CK back? I estimate about 200 miles on this bike before the CK gets put on. It seems silly for me to be removing and installing cups so often...

Edit: I just received confirmation from the seller that the frame was never faced. So that answers that, haha.

Last edited by yummygooey; 12-08-11 at 09:35 AM.
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