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  1. #1
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    Too much grease in sealed cartridge bearings/headset?

    Hi,

    I just recently repacked my sealed cartridge bearings with grease and my headset with grease but the fork isn't moving smoothly. I am not sure if I put way too much grease in them and it is causing everything to move poorly. Could there be any other reasons? Thanks.

    EDIT: Also I am using this grease for everything http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

  2. #2
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    Also I'd like to note that it's a threaded headset and upper cone isn't too tight because if I loosen the cone anymore there will be upwards play with the fork.

  3. #3
    I let the dogs out AlphaDogg's Avatar
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    Did you put the cartridges in upside down?
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  4. #4
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    The cartridges were placed in the correct orientation.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Another blind guess , [going to a shop is better]
    did you dislodge the frame cups getting the bearings out?

    they may not be back in the frame, squarely..

  6. #6
    Kitten Legion Master
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    You can't put too much grease in those, unless it just spills out and goes where it isn't suppose to. Unless you are working on your bike below freezing temps (the grease you have isn't rated for that) it should be a problem.
    Try disassemble it again and re-do it. Perhaps there is something you missed.

  7. #7
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    As said before, any extra grease will simply seep out and not affect the working of the headset. The simple answer is you did not put it together correctly. Maybe if we knew the headset we could give you some things to check..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    As said before, any extra grease will simply seep out and not affect the working of the headset. The simple answer is you did not put it together correctly. Maybe if we knew the headset we could give you some things to check..
    +1. I always "overpack" even cartridge bearing headsets, both threaded and threadless, to let the excess grease act as a water and dirt seal to supliment whatever seals the manufacturer provides. All the excess does is ooze out and gets wiped away with a paper towel. It never causes any binding or lack of smooth rotation.

  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    When I repack headsets, after I clean the bearings I dry fit them, esp. caged ones, to make sure they are oreinted correctly prior to greasing and repacking.
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  10. #10
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    The headset I currently have is an Shimano Ultegra HP-6500 headset. This is the link to the headset specifications:

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830605230.PDF

    I have it assembled in the following order from ground up:

    fork-->cartridge bearing ---> bottom cup ---> frame ---> top cup --->cartridge bearing ---> cone ---> spacers ---> locknut

    In terms of orientation of the cartridge bearing orientation, I have the silver metal tapered side facing towards the cups.

    http://www.treefortbikes.com/images/raw/BB7520.jpg

    Note: Currently I only have the threaded fork in the headset and when I say it doesn't feel smooth I mean that it doesn't spin freely like my other bike (i.e. I tap the handle bars and it freely rotates to the other side of the frame).

  11. #11
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    Replace bearings.
    If the brand-new ones do the same thing, then you know it's something you did, and you have a spare set.
    If the brand-new ones spin like they should, then the old ones were munched anyway.

    [edit added]--before that, you could try cleaning all the grease out again, and trying them with just oil in there. The grease can cause some drag, depending on what kind it is and the ambient temperature...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RookDroid View Post
    The headset I currently have is an Shimano Ultegra HP-6500 headset. This is the link to the headset specifications:

    I have it assembled in the following order from ground up:

    fork-->cartridge bearing ---> bottom cup ---> frame ---> top cup --->cartridge bearing ---> cone ---> spacers ---> locknut
    I assume it was an oversight in your assembly order list but between the "fork" and "cartridge bearing" there should be a "crown race". Did you by any any chance leave it out?

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    Ya, sorry I left out that there is crown race between the fork and the cartridge bearing.

    Doug5150: I can't replace the bearings as shimano no longer distributes them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RookDroid View Post
    I can't replace the bearings as shimano no longer distributes them.
    Yes, that's unfortunate as it was one of the best threaded headsets ever made. I still have one on one of my bikes.

    As a test, remove your current cartridges and see if there is any noticable play between the inner and outer races. If the play is noticable, the bearings are worn out. At that point, your only choice is a new headset or finding an NOS HP-6500 and just using the bearing cartridges.

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    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Did the headset move smoothly before you serviced it?

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    Really stupid question but maybe this might answer something. When adjusting or testing a headset should I put on the wheel and handlebars or can I just check with the fork on.

  17. #17
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    You only need the fork in, but any roughness or stiffness will seem like a bigger deal than in practice.

    IOW, don't freak out if it feels a bit crappy; wait until it's all together. If it doesn't rattle and you can ride it no hands, it's fine.

  18. #18
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    First, it might be worth loosening the headset so there is some movement just to see if the roughness goes away.

    I have an Ultegra 6500 headset in my parts box. As I'm looking at it, I am reminded that the cartridge bearings are pressed onto the upper and lower races. Perhaps one or both are not completely seated. You might want to tighten the the upper cone housing a little tighter than normal,to seat the bearings in the cones, then loosen and adjust as you normally would.
    Last edited by onespeedbiker; 11-03-12 at 12:23 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    I have an Ultegra 6500 headset in my parts box. As I'm looking at it, I am reminded that the cartridge bearings are pressed onto the upper and lower races. Perhaps one or both are not completely seated. You might want to tighten the the upper cone housing a little tighter than normal,to seat the bearings in the cones, then loosen and adjust as you normally would.
    Those cartridges are a snug fit but are easily removable with your fingers. They are not spun in nearly permanantly like a Chris King headset. They would be owner replacable if you could find replacements.

  20. #20
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Those cartridges are a snug fit but are easily removable with your fingers. They are not spun in nearly permanantly like a Chris King headset. They would be owner replacable if you could find replacements.
    I agree except with mine the bearings where a little more than finger tight; certainly they are meant to be R&R but I have had to use a small screwdriver to separate the bearings from their seat and a few taps with a rubber hammer to re-seat them. Certainly nothing that would approach a truly "pressed" bearing, but it did need some effort as explained..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    I agree except with mine the bearings where a little more than finger tight; certainly they are meant to be R&R but I have had to use a small screwdriver to separate the bearings from their seat and a few taps with a rubber hammer to re-seat them. Certainly nothing that would approach a truly "pressed" bearing, but it did need some effort as explained..
    I guess they varied a bit. I have two of them and I can take the cartridges out of both sets of cups without tools. Snug fit but not that tight.

  22. #22
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned it was only the bearing pressed on the crown race that was that tight..

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