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  1. #1
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    Smile Need Help Identifying Component

    Hey all,
    I have a 2005 Trek 7200FX, purchased and have been riding it since 2006. I think I have a problem with the headset. A little backstory, I rode it in the 2009 NYC 5 boro bike tour, and it was a really, really rainy ride. Afterwards when I got home, I decided to tune up the bike a little, did some somewhat basic maintenance, cleaned and lubed the chain, repacked and regreased the hubs, and then I tried to do the headset/fork/steerer tube. I saw that some liquid rust was coming out of the seams between the bottom cup? and the fork. I took it apart, cleaned it up and checked it out. I'm not sure what everything is called in there, but one of the bushings? bearings? was cracked and was heavily corroded. I figured I'd just clean it up, grease it up, put it all back together and worry about it later. After that incident I've noticed some play in my handlebar/steering. If I hold the brakes at a stop I can move the bike back and forth a bit, and I see a bit of movement forward/backward movement between the bottom of the headset and the fork. I'm pretty sure at this point I need to replace something http://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

    So my questions are:

    1) I would like to know what size headset I would need to replace it
    2) Is it hard? Would I be able to do it on my own? I think I have some basic mechanical skills, been able to do maintenance on my hubs, and biggest bicycle related project was conversion of my handlebar from flat to drops.
    3) Do I need any special tools to put in a new headset? Starnut?
    4) What part/brand would you recommend? I prefer something cheap and durable. Weight and fancy materials is not an issue.

    Thanks!

    Oh Yea, didn't post this in the Mech forum because I have no idea what parts I needed, figure i'd get some stuff Identified first.

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Questions like this are best answered in the mechanics forum but I'm here now...

    It sounds like the bearing retainer in the lower race packed it in because of water contamination (fenders are your friend).

    Did I mention we need pictures ?

    When you rebuild a headset it is always preferable to lose the bearing retainer and add a few bearings and the movement you are feeling is because the headset hasn't been properly set.

    So... take it all apart and replace the bearings, put it back together and make sure the pre load is correct and then see how the headset feels as there should be no play and it should not be stiff or offer any resistance when you turn the bars.

    If you feel a dead spot or indexing this is called brinelling and this will mean that the headset has suffered greater damage and will need to be replaced.

    Hopefully...you dodged a bullet and your existing headset is still okay.

    If you don't get fenders, put a wine cork in the bottom of the steerer when you are done as this will prevent water from entering and washing out the grease... this is what kills headsets and fendered bikes tend to have their headsets last forever.

  3. #3
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    ok, wow, thanks for the great reply!
    I followed some of your advice, took apart the entire headset, did a search in the mech forum on headsets and stumbled onto a Cane Creek Link. I think I have an integrated headset. Now onto the problem, it looks like it really was the lower bearing cartridge, i've included some pictures and it looks like the holster? for the ball bearings was destroyed. I have a few other questions though, there was a piece on the upper that had something inscribed in it, 25.4 x 45*, i'm assuming that's the size of the steering tube. Now onto the bottom, it looks like the crown race and bearing cartridge need to be replaced, you suggested that I remove the cartridge and repack with some more bearings? i'm assuming this means to get new ball bearings, a couple more, and just have them in there 'loosely' like how it is in the hub? Another question is, how do I go about getting these parts from a LBS? do they usually have it in stock, and for sale as loose parts, or am I most likely going to be forced to purchase a whole set of parts. I have another issue, it looks like the damaged cartridge actually damaged my fork steerer tube a bit, there's a big of scoring where the bottom crown race sits, it's a steel fork, is this a major problem?

    I think that's all for now, thanks for any input! and if it's more appropriate, should this be moved to the mech forum?




  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    It looks like your bearing cage bought the farm and took out the crown race with it... I can see what looks like rust on the steerer so water contamination and washout seems to be the likely cause.

    The retainer is very thin and unlike ball bearings will succumb to rust very quickly, break, and will likely cause damage to the race and cup.

    You will need a new headset and unless you have the right tools to remove and press in a new crown race and bottom cup you will need to get your lbs to install it... make sure you request loose bearings and if they can't understand that find another shop.

    Once that is all done... go shopping for fenders and you won't have to worry about that headset for a very long time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    65er got it covered pretty good.

    At this point, that headset is shot. Take it to an LBS that has the tools and get it changed. Much easier than changing it yourself, even with some home made tools.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bikes: 2008 Globe City 7 | 1972ish Peugeot UO-18 (in progress)

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