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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Headset Bearing size for Japanese Headsets

    I need to know what size are the headest Bearings for an early 70's Nishiki International. This is I.S.O not J.I.S standard. I believe they're supposed to be 3/16" not 5/32 but don't have a cailper to verify. Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Thanks.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  2. #2
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    MOST headsets, whether Japanese or European will take 5/32" balls...the big exception to this is Campy NR and SR that use 3/16" balls. Occasionally you'll come across old French or US units that use 1/8". In my experience almost every JP headset that used a retainer needed either 16 or 20 5/32" balls...but remember I'm going senile.

  3. #3
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    My International used 5/32nds in the stock headset.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  4. #4
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    5/32" is what I recall for Tange and older Shimano (pre-cartridge bearing) headsets too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Guys thanks for the help but now I have another issue. After removing the top part of the headset with my headset wrench, I can't get this 3 notched locking off. I'm sure there was a tool like the a bottom bracket lockring spanner but I don't have one. Any suggestions? Channel Locks? Thanks.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  6. #6
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Yeah I have a couple lockring spanners for that problem, but you might have luck by: jamming the fork blades against something soft but fixed, I use the 2x4 legs of a handy workbench. Take a nail set or something like it, say a small drift or dull tipped small chisel and, with a hammer, tap that lockring CCW alternating on all three slots until it turns. It should work...

  7. #7
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
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    If you have this:


    you can apparently file the tips to fit the slots. It'll work for bottom bracket lockrings too then. I don't think channel locks would work very well, and even if they did get it off they'd mar up the outside of the ring pretty good. If you do try channel locks, be careful of them slipping off and smahing the threads on the steerer. And Hozan lockring spanners are fabulous. That is all.
    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes
    Road bikes seem to live in packs. Even if they don't have riders, they do gather in groups. They spend a lot of time standing around, looking for $$ to be thrown at them

  8. #8
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1
    Yeah I have a couple lockring spanners for that problem, but you might have luck by: jamming the fork blades against something soft but fixed, I use the 2x4 legs of a handy workbench. Take a nail set or something like it, say a small drift or dull tipped small chisel and, with a hammer, tap that lockring CCW alternating on all three slots until it turns. It should work...
    You should ask for one of those Hozan spanners for Easter. Unless your birthday comes before that.
    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes
    Road bikes seem to live in packs. Even if they don't have riders, they do gather in groups. They spend a lot of time standing around, looking for $$ to be thrown at them

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