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Old 04-10-13, 08:37 AM   #1
teamtrinity
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Headset problem...won't fit. What to do?

I have a semi-integrated headset for a 28.6 steerer. And my fork is indeed a an alloy 28.6 steerer.

The problem is the compression ring/centering sleeve that is supposed to fit over the steerer and and into the top bearing. It won't fit into the top bearing at all!!!! WTF?

What can I do? The sleeve is plastic...so I COULD in theory just squish it in there...but I'm pretty sure it won't come out easy. I'll probably have to tear it back out. Or I could try to sand down the alloy steerer just a bit...but I'm sure that's not recommended.

I don't get it. Help?
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Old 04-10-13, 09:25 AM   #2
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Try fitting it into the top race off the fork just to confirm that it's the right part. If it fits, then it's probably designed to be "squished" into place in use. Unlike the aluminum conical center rings, many of the plastic ones get distorted in use.
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Old 04-10-13, 09:42 AM   #3
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As you haven't given any details of the frame, fork, headset or SHIS used, you really would be best to go to a good LBS who can identify the issue.

There are multiple different integrated headsets, unlike standard(external) where there was only one spec, you now need to have the correct sized parts specific to your frame, and sometimes fork as well; if your already looking at sanding down the steerer, your out of your depth with this.
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Old 04-10-13, 09:56 AM   #4
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As you haven't given any details of the frame, fork, headset or SHIS used, you really would be best to go to a good LBS who can identify the issue.

There are multiple different integrated headsets, unlike standard(external) where there was only one spec, you now need to have the correct sized parts specific to your frame, and sometimes fork as well; if your already looking at sanding down the steerer, your out of your depth with this.
Frame and Fork are Gaulzetti Corsa with stock fork (Edge). Headset is Tune Bubu.

Steerer is 28.6. Headset is for 28.6 steerer. Center ring fits perfect on steerer by itself. Center ring fits in bearing perfectly by itself. But when you try to mate all three together? No...effing...way. It's like the plastic lip is just way too thick. I COULD squish it...but it wouldn't squish easily at all. And it would require a rubber mallet to get the fork back out.

It's possible that the fork steerer is thick though...because some stems do NOT like to fit easily and requires a herculean effort to get them on...but others go on like butter. I don't know. I think bike part tolerances suck, that is the problem.

Last edited by teamtrinity; 04-10-13 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 04-10-13, 10:02 AM   #5
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Steerers are usually pretty well toleranced very close to the nominal so I doubt it's the steerer. I can't make a judgement call without seeing the fit, but maybe it's a matter of carefully shaving the forward edge so it'll start, but unlike split aluminum cones which constrict as they slide in, most plastic rings are made to actually compress (crush) to establish the tight fit and centering of the upper bearing.
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Old 04-10-13, 10:05 AM   #6
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Steerers are usually pretty well toleranced very close to the nominal so I doubt it's the steerer. I can't make a judgement call without seeing the fit, but maybe it's a matter of carefully shaving the forward edge so it'll start, but unlike split aluminum cones which constrict as they slide in, most plastic rings are made to actually compress (crush) to establish the tight fit and centering of the upper bearing.
Here's more interesting info for you to consider. The center ring is plastic...AND split.

I could use a Dremel and shave a bit of the plastic back on the ring...hmmm. Not a ton...but just so it's easier to squish. Because the squish job I'm talking about right now will take a huge effort.
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Old 04-10-13, 10:12 AM   #7
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Here's more interesting info for you to consider. The center ring is plastic...AND split.

I could use a Dremel and shave a bit of the plastic back on the ring...hmmm. Not a ton...but just so it's easier to squish. Because the squish job I'm talking about right now will take a huge effort.
I tried to look up info about the headset, and didn't find much except a warning about fitting the top cap, which seems to be delicate. I couldn't see an exploded view of the headset, but is it at all possible that the top cap has an integrated centering cone, and the ring you're trying to use is a crown centering cone?

Otherwise I suggest speaking to tech support at the seller.
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Old 04-10-13, 10:15 AM   #8
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I tried to look up info about the headset, and didn't find much except a warning about fitting the top cap, which seems to be delicate. I couldn't see an exploded view of the headset, but is it at all possible that the top cap has an integrated centering cone, and the ring you're trying to use is a crown centering cone?

Otherwise I suggest speaking to tech support at the seller.
Here's a pic. It's the black plastic piece that is just NOT fitting nicely.

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Old 04-10-13, 10:17 AM   #9
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Here are all the pieces:

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Old 04-10-13, 10:25 AM   #10
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OK, I can't advise with any assurance, and don't want to cause you to damage your headset.

But I see 2 split rings. I assume one is for the fork crown and one for the top. Are you sure you have these two right?

The crown ring will have a slightly larger ID to match the crown seat ring or bulge in the fork.

At this point, I can't advise with confidence, since I'm operating blind with only photos to guide me. I repeat my suggestion to contact the seller for reliable advice from someone who knows (or should know) the headset.
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Old 04-10-13, 10:32 AM   #11
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OK, I can't advise with any assurance, and don't want to cause you to damage your headset.

But I see 2 split rings. I assume one is for the fork crown and one for the top. Are you sure you have these two right?

The crown ring will have a slightly larger ID to match the crown seat ring or bulge in the fork.

At this point, I can't advise with confidence, since I'm operating blind with only photos to guide me. I repeat my suggestion to contact the seller for reliable advice from someone who knows (or should know) the headset.
The silver alloy split ring is angled on one side and fits into the angled bearing...and acts as the crown race. I suppose it's possible that I installed the cups with bearings upside down. But would someone use a plastic crown race? Also...the black split ring does not completely cover the bearing...which is why it must be for the top, so that the dustcap will protect the bearing from debris. Thoughts?
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Old 04-10-13, 10:36 AM   #12
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I found some other pictures and the white ring appears to be both the bottom seal and a crown race. Wait, are you trying to install the the split ring through the top bearing cover? If so, the black split ring goes underneath the cover. This photo should help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg STI_TuBUB-il.jpg (45.4 KB, 43 views)

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Old 04-10-13, 10:39 AM   #13
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Yes that makes sense, now is it possible that the two bearings themselves are slightly different and you have those inverted?

Hint, don't knock them out of the frame yet, instead assemble the fork upside down and see if all fits better. If so, you have your answer.

BTW- judging from the photo, the centering cone seems to be one of hard plastic rather than squishable polypropylene so finesse, and not brute force isn't called for. If it isn't simply that you inverted a part or two, don't do anything until you have qualified advice from someone who knows exactly what the problem is.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 04-10-13 at 11:09 AM.
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