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Old 02-21-12, 08:18 AM   #1
Cliver
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Chris King Headset help

Hi everyone,

Just purchased a Santa Cruz Blur. The bike arrived almost completely assembled, with just the stem/bars removed (and the front wheel, of course). The CK headset is in place, but I don't know how to remove the bearing cap so that I can get the stem in place. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance, and if I haven't provided enough information, just let me know.
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Old 02-21-12, 08:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cliver View Post
Hi everyone,

Just purchased a Santa Cruz Blur. The bike arrived almost completely assembled, with just the stem/bars removed (and the front wheel, of course). The CK headset is in place, but I don't know how to remove the bearing cap so that I can get the stem in place. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance, and if I haven't provided enough information, just let me know.
There's a bolt in the middle. Unscrew it.

If you don't understand how a threadless system works, you should get a grip on that before you kill your headset.
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Old 02-21-12, 08:29 AM   #3
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There's a bolt in the middle. Unscrew it.

If you don't understand how a threadless system works, you should get a grip on that before you kill your headset.
Not the piece I'm talking about. I thought the piece with the bolt was referred to as the "top cap"? I'm talking about the bearing cap or "seal" that's located beneath the top cap but above the bearing that fits on the top of the headtube.

(In the link you provided it looks most like the "adjusting race.")
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Old 02-21-12, 08:48 AM   #4
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Picture of your headset?
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Old 02-21-12, 08:48 AM   #5
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That "bearing cap" just sits on the top of the bearing and isn't fastened in any way. Just use your finger nails to pry it loose. It does have an O-ring inside (see below) so it will be a snug fit.

BTW, two things about CK headsets;

1) There is no inverted split cone centering ring. The steerer is centered with an O-ring in the bearing cap so be sure the steerer's top edge is slightly beveled on the outside so as not to damage this O-ring.
2) The bearing cartridges are not removable from their cups by the owner. They must be relubed in place if you choose to do so.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:29 AM   #6
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He shouldn't need to remove the bearing cap to install his stem.

And HillRider, King changed the design. There is now a split ring.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:45 AM   #7
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Will post a pic shortly. Waiting for wireless to cooperate.

EDIT: Pic should be available. If too small, I'll resize.

All right, if that pic is large enough for you guys to see what I'm talking about, the piece in question is the ring/cap currently below the spacers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg headset 2.jpg (94.0 KB, 54 views)

Last edited by Cliver; 02-21-12 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:28 AM   #8
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That ring is a friction fit. If it's the older design, it has an O-ring inside; if it's the newer design, it has a captive split ring. In any case, that part goes below the stem, so as BikeWise1 says, there's no need to remove it at all. Slide it down until it meets the upper headset cup & bearing, and put your stem amongst the spacer stack wherever you want it.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:36 AM   #9
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And HillRider, King changed the design. There is now a split ring.
That's interesting and thanks for the update. My CK is from '06 and has only the O-ring. I guess it wasn't enough for some forks but it works very well on mine.
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Old 02-21-12, 11:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info, everyone. You guys have confirmed what I thought I needed to do, but the ring didn't want to budge the first time I messed with it and it made me paranoid enough to wonder if there was more to the process than I realized.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:40 AM   #11
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That's interesting and thanks for the update. My CK is from '06 and has only the O-ring. I guess it wasn't enough for some forks but it works very well on mine.
Matt at King tells me it is due to the prevalence of carbon steerers.
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Old 02-22-12, 09:51 AM   #12
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Matt at King tells me it is due to the prevalence of carbon steerers.
Even more interesting. My CK is installed on an Easton EC90SLX fork with a carbon steerer and has had no problems in nearly 20,000 miles.
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Old 02-22-12, 10:00 AM   #13
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Even more interesting. My CK is installed on an Easton EC90SLX fork with a carbon steerer and has had no problems in nearly 20,000 miles.
Minor variances in size tolerances meant a slightly small steerer would result in a loose headset. Naturally, people were overtightening them to no avail, so the split ring offers the ability to effectively cope with slightly mis-sized steerers.
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Old 02-22-12, 10:36 AM   #14
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Minor variances in size tolerances meant a slightly small steerer would result in a loose headset. Naturally, people were overtightening them to no avail, so the split ring offers the ability to effectively cope with slightly mis-sized steerers.
Yeah and mine happened to be a good fit. I was aware of CK's former design's potential problems but I hadn't heard they redesigned it with the more conventional split ring.
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Old 02-22-12, 11:18 AM   #15
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Interesting,, neither of my 2 CK headsets are for threadless forks,
so I absorb some of this info for regurgitating , later .

Got the collet fitted properly in my GripNut headset now..
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Old 02-24-12, 08:52 AM   #16
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Should there be any space between the bearing cap and the top bearing? After setting everything up I was left with the tiniest bit of space between the two; it's even all around and since the bearing is sealed, I'm assuming this is normal as to avoid friction between the parts when turning.
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Old 02-24-12, 09:08 AM   #17
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Mine has the top bearing cap and the upper cup nearly flush with each other and not even a fingernail's worth of clearance. But, mine is the older O-ring design and the inverted cone split ring probably defines the clearance for yours. Be aware that CK recommends a modest (single digit inch-pounds) preload on the bearings when adjusting the top cap bolt.
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Old 02-24-12, 09:17 AM   #18
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Mine has the top bearing cap and the upper cup nearly flush with each other and not even a fingernail's worth of clearance. But, mine is the older O-ring design and the inverted cone split ring probably defines the clearance for yours. Be aware that CK recommends a modest (single digit inch-pounds) preload on the bearings when adjusting the top cap bolt.
Yeah, I backed off on the preload after setting everything up - just enough to eliminate play in the fork/headtube.
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Old 02-24-12, 09:33 AM   #19
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Yeah, I backed off on the preload after setting everything up - just enough to eliminate play in the fork/headtube.
Well, the instructions with my CK say to leave the preload in place when you tighten the stem clamp bolts so the headset remains under slight compression.
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Old 02-24-12, 09:45 AM   #20
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Well, the instructions with my CK say to leave the preload in place when you tighten the stem clamp bolts so the headset remains under slight compression.
That's what I did. I just meant that I made adjustments to the pressure on the headset afterwards, just to make sure I didn't have anything too tight.
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Old 02-24-12, 10:59 AM   #21
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After you tighten the stem clamp bolts on your stem you are done
the pre load on the cap presses down on the stem, spacers and the top ring of the headset.
the stem gripping the fork steerer keeps that adjustment.
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