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Old 11-25-08, 07:40 AM   #1
Cycle Snack
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Are all old threaded headsets equal?

I took apart my vintage Nishiki headset because it was rusted with the hopes of replacing the top cup and bearings. When I got it apart, the bearings were indeed pretty rusty. Can I replace the top cup with another top cup from an equally old bike? I can't seem to find any branding on the headset. Or, as I might fear, I would have to find another Nishiki?
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Old 11-25-08, 08:46 AM   #2
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i think its more dependent on the brand/ type of headset. So you would want to find out if its a tange, shimano or whatever type of headset and go from there i believe.
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Old 11-25-08, 08:48 AM   #3
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If you're just looking for something that works, and not too picky, I'm sure you can find another brand that's close enough. Your LBS may have extra parts in a bin and can find something close enough.
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Old 11-25-08, 08:52 AM   #4
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Head set bearing cages come in different sizes. Make sure you take the old ones to the LBS to match them up. Take the cups too.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:07 AM   #5
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Short answer: no.

Long answer: many were pretty close to one another, but there were small and large differences depending on the match up.

check out Loosescrews.com as well for possible replacement parts.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:22 AM   #6
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Or you can do loose bearings if you can't find a retainer to fit. Maybe the top cup just needs a little scrubbing with a kitchen scrub pad. Remember, headset bearings never actually do any spinning, they just sit there. So you can get away with more than you might want to with hubs and BBs to make a bike serviceable.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:29 AM   #7
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If the headset is rusted, the races worn etc. I'd just get a new Tange Levin HS. They're relatively
inexpensive (less than $50) and replace the whole thing.
One thing you have to take into consideration when putting together a headset piecemeal is
the stack height, mixed parts may not work correctly on your nishiki.

Marty
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Old 11-25-08, 10:20 AM   #8
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There's some variation in crown race diameter too.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotek View Post
If the headset is rusted, the races worn etc. I'd just get a new Tange Levin HS. They're relatively
inexpensive (less than $50) and replace the whole thing.
One thing you have to take into consideration when putting together a headset piecemeal is
the stack height, mixed parts may not work correctly on your nishiki.

Marty
I would recommend replacing the entire headset. Loose Screws, if they have your part (better yet, if you can identify your part!!), often charges quite a bit for singleton parts. Complete headsets sell from $18 (I'm guessing here!) to $40, and I think the average quality has become quite high in the past few years. You need to understand stack height compatibility, and to verify that the relevant IDs and ODs of your new parts match your frame and fork.
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Old 11-25-08, 12:41 PM   #10
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I've seen the Tange Levin on sale for $20 recently. If you need a new headset, look around. The Tange Levin is a clone of older Campys - and excellent. Only problems I've seen is sometimes you'll need a spacer.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:49 PM   #11
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There are two Tange Levins, one (with the grooved race housings, like Campy) has a higher stack than the other (more plentiful, with plain radiused shape).

I have a Nishiki that has a headset that has o-ring seals. If I remember correctly, I've seen ones like this that were made by Hatta.

Personally, I'd try to get a top race replacement from a Tange set, and see if it fits OK; before having the pressed parts removed and replaced.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:41 PM   #12
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Not looking to dump alot of $$$ into this frame if I can help it. If there is a quick/roach-able fix I will see if that works, otherwise I may just slap it all back together with a copious amount of Phil Woods in the bearing cups and see what I can make out of it.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:46 PM   #13
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worst case I think I have some Tange Levin parts laying around. Let me know
if you need them, I don't think they have more than 100 miles on them.
I'm not using them nor do I see using them in the near future.
marty
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