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Old 12-31-04, 01:13 AM   #1
dustinlikewhat
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threaded headset issue...

ok, I just tore out the old loose ball head set, and installed a shimano 105 theaded headset. now here's the issue, once I have the "upper head cone housing" screwed on, I don't have enough threads to put on the keyed washer and lock nut, yeargh! so my question is, could I survive without the lock nut? Maybe if I were to put some lock tite on the "upper head cone housing"? or maybe there's a headset that isn't as tall that would work? and if it helps above the "upper head cone housing" there's about 2.5 threads showing about the height of the keyed washer.
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Old 12-31-04, 03:57 AM   #2
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The keyed washer makes adjustment a whole lot easier but you can (just about) live without it. The locknut is not an option, you need it.
You really need a headset with a low stack height to fit your short threaded steerer. The lowest one I could find was a Tange Levin . It is steel but not junk.
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Old 12-31-04, 10:02 AM   #3
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yeah, that's what I was afraid of... I'll check out the tange, hopefuly I can find one in my area today so I can get my bike going tonight. Thanks!
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Old 12-31-04, 11:22 AM   #4
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Rule of thumb for the locknut is that it must have a minimum of three full turns of engagement. It sounds like you are just shy of that. Rather than replacing the headset, the most cost effective option is to search out a thinner lockwasher. A lockwasher that is one millimetre thinner than your current lockwasher should gain you about an extra full turn. The most drastic solution would be to mill a half millimetre off of the top and bottom of your headtube.

Good luck in finding a headset with a smaller stack height. My experience with the relatively modern Shimano headsets is that they have the smallest stack heights. This crafty engineering trick pretty much forces the owner to use Shimano when it's time for replacement. It also means that a Shimano headset can usually be fitted as a replacement for any other headset by shortening the steerer tube, which is a rerlatively simple operation. Once you've done that, your are tied to Shimano. They pretty much tied tied up the aftermarket headsets for a while with this approach. Hopefully, the other manufacturers have caught on and matched their stack heights.
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Old 12-31-04, 11:35 AM   #5
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Rule of thumb for the locknut is that it must have a minimum of three full turns of engagement. It sounds like you are just shy of that. Rather than replacing the headset, the most cost effective option is to search out a thinner lockwasher. A lockwasher that is one millimetre thinner than your current lockwasher should gain you about an extra full turn. The most drastic solution would be to mill a half millimetre off of the top and bottom of your headtube.

Good luck in finding a headset with a smaller stack height. My experience with the relatively modern Shimano headsets is that they have the smallest stack heights. This crafty engineering trick pretty much forces the owner to use Shimano when it's time for replacement. It also means that a Shimano headset can usually be fitted as a replacement for any other headset by shortening the steerer tube, which is a rerlatively simple operation. Once you've done that, your are tied to Shimano. They pretty much tied tied up the aftermarket headsets for a while with this approach. Hopefully, the other manufacturers have caught on and matched their stack heights.
A HS can be assembled without the washer between the locknuts. It just takes two good HS wrenches. I suppose one could even mill some off the top of the adjusting cup rather than the headtube, depending on how much there is to work with.The current shimanos have a 37.5 stack height.Ritchey and Trange are among current ones inthe QBP with a lower stack.There use to be alot more options. I just hate it when threaded steerers are cut to exactly fit the HS being used. No harm in using a 5mm spacer to make life easier, in case that HS goes out of print.
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Old 12-31-04, 11:52 AM   #6
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Mill the frame? Just a little drastic. Why not simply add a little steer tube length. Its a very simple operation if you know a welder.
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Old 12-31-04, 11:58 AM   #7
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Mill the frame? Just a little drastic. Why not simply add a little steer tube length. Its a very simple operation if you know a welder.
Not really that simple. And a bit off the HT isn't that drastic.
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Old 12-31-04, 12:03 PM   #8
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I'd rather reduce the head tube length (which has exactly zero impact apart from being shorter) rather than try to get an extension welded to the steer tube and hope that it's strong and in line with the rest of the steer tube. It's just a matter of getting at the top of the tube with a facer.
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Old 12-31-04, 12:06 PM   #9
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The Shimano 105 headset has 32.7mm to 33.3mm stack height, depending on the model. The headset with the smallest stack height is the Tange Passage headset, which has a stack height of 30.2mm, including keyed lock washer. You get ~1 full turn of the locknut for every 1.5mm of stack height you eliminate. The Tange headset is available online for ~$15.00 from Harris Cyclery or Branford Bike.

You can eliminate the keyed washer on your current headset, but you should use two headset spanners to tighten the upper cone securely against the locknut.

Milling the frame will cost you from $20.00 to $30.00, depending on the shop doing the work. It will also permanently alter the frame, which may mean something or nothing, depending on how it's done.

The steerer can be cut and an insert sleeve brazed into the steerer to extend the steerer, but that would be rather an extreme and expensive solution. It sounds like you're close enough for the Tange Passage HS to solve your problem.
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Old 12-31-04, 12:13 PM   #10
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The Shimano 105 headset has 32.7mm to 33.3mm stack height, depending on the model. The headset with the smallest stack height is the Tange Passage headset, which has a stack height of 30.2mm, including keyed lock washer. You get ~1 full turn of the locknut for every 1.5mm of stack height you eliminate. The Tange headset is available online for ~$15.00 from Harris Cyclery or Branford Bike.

You can eliminate the keyed washer on your current headset, but you should use two headset spanners to tighten the upper cone securely against the locknut.

Milling the frame will cost you from $20.00 to $30.00, depending on the shop doing the work. It will also permanently alter the frame, which may mean something or nothing, depending on how it's done.

The steerer can be cut and an insert sleeve brazed into the steerer to extend the steerer, but that would be rather an extreme and expensive solution. It sounds like you're close enough for the Tange Passage HS to solve your problem.
The new shimano 105 are 37.5 acording to the QBP and shimano catalogue.. There use to be some old shimano road and mtb 1" that were 30.2.
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Old 12-31-04, 12:40 PM   #11
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Here's an expensive but nice replacement:

http://www.chrisking.com/headsets/hds_gnut.html
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Old 12-31-04, 01:04 PM   #12
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As if its that hard to add a steer tube. I have done the operation several times with no hassles and it takes about 10 mins of prep and 10 mins of welding/smoothing. No question of integrity if its done right.
I am however leary of the head tube because it is a one way road. It would be very easy to get it misaligned then not have enough face to regrind, depending on the frame.
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Old 12-31-04, 01:12 PM   #13
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If you use the proper tool, the alignment is pretty simple. It's sort of like a cup press, there's a part that fits into the bottom of the head tube and a rod that passes through the tube around which goes the facer. Then you tighten it up and spin the facer a little to take it down. You only need to take off a mm or two. That would be the route I would go, but then I'm not a welder or brazer, so those things seem much more difficult to me.

Crap, facing a head tube is simple enough that Park recommends it prior to installing a new headset.
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Old 01-01-05, 12:39 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the tips! My solution became buying a tange fork with a longer stearer, and adding in a 5mm spacer from a threadless headset. the new fork is much sleaker, so not a bad trade off..

Once again thanks for all the responses!
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Old 09-20-11, 06:58 PM   #15
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Raising this 6 year old thread from the dead. How about 2 3/4 turns for the locknut? Fairly shallow lock nut, about 2 threads shy of full-on. Do I hear 2 and 3/4's? Going once....?

Last edited by tawlly; 09-20-11 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 12-01-14, 07:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
The keyed washer makes adjustment a whole lot easier but you can (just about) live without it. The locknut is not an option, you need it.
You really need a headset with a low stack height to fit your short threaded steerer. The lowest one I could find was a Tange Levin . It is steel but not junk.
What model is the lowest of a top quality alloy one?
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Old 12-01-14, 07:58 PM   #17
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What model is the lowest of a top quality alloy one?
Chris King
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