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  1. #1
    Senior Member guaps's Avatar
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    Problem with head tube. Is there a fix?

    I just took a frame I'm restoring into a local shop to have the headset pressed on. The mechanic pushed the cups in with his fingers and said that's really bad. He said the head tube was too loose by about .2 mm. He said over time the head tube gets a little wider and there is no fix.

    Is there anything I can do to fix this? I've spent the last several weeks painting it and I've already bought all the other parts i need for this bike (wheels, crank, handle bars, etc, etc).

    The mechanic said it's not safe to ride. Why not? I can see it being annoying because of the play/knocking in the head tube, but how would it fail?

    I'm pretty bummed about this right now...

  2. #2
    six too eight zerosiah's Avatar
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    even if it's rattling, there's not any "major" safety hazards. Sometimes a local shop would rather sell you a new bike than fix up your old one (not all shops). My recommendation is to use some aluminum cans as shims. However, a can isn't a permanent fix. In all reality you do need to replace the frame.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Shim it, you'll be fine. The other problem you might run into is that you may not be able to get the headset adjusted properly. In which case you might want to look for a new frame.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lukewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zerosiah View Post
    even if it's rattling, there's not any "major" safety hazards. Sometimes a local shop would rather sell you a new bike than fix up your old one (not all shops). My recommendation is to use some aluminum cans as shims. However, a can isn't a permanent fix. In all reality you do need to replace the frame.
    Play in the headset cups and the headtube isn't going to be a "major" safety hazard?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
    And I can't help but lol at the "heavier-set" riders I see on the trails riding around on $5000 speed machines. Nothing funnier than someone paying $4000 to shave 5 lbs when they're packing an extra 50...

  5. #5
    partly metal, partly real sp00ki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Shim it, you'll be fine. The other problem you might run into is that you may not be able to get the headset adjusted properly. In which case you might want to look for a new frame.
    ^
    ^
    my friend had a similar issue. shimmed it for about 1k miles while he looked for a good deal, never had an issue.
    it was one of those "used to belong to a racer" njs frames, but i guess it saw one too many headset swaps.
    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Road [racing] is one of the only sports where adult men can compete in a non-scholastic setting, so inevitably 8/10 racers are fiercely-competitive nobodies. It's fun as hell, but it's also the foremost refuge of defeated and aging jocks, turned middle-management types.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    What headset are you using?...Are you using a JIS standard headset?

    assuming you have a 1" headtube, there are two headset standards.. JIS and standard 1"...

    JIS has 30mm cups while standard 1" headsets have 30.2mm cups

    there is a good chance there is nothing wrong with the frame at all..It might be you are using the wrong headset

    a lot of Tange headsets are JIS...
    Last edited by Dave Hickey; 03-28-09 at 08:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    The fine folks at King make oversize ones! from .02 to .10! only in silver. at least they did in the past back in the Santa Barbara days.

  8. #8
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    Super surprised to see Operator recommend a hack. But if you think about it, the fork and stem assembly (threadless or threaded) will just be pushing on it all the time. You might have better luck gluing or JB welding the pop can to the headset and then trying to press that in.

  9. #9
    Senior Member guaps's Avatar
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    You guys are awesome, thanks! I'm going to look into a couple of things you all mentioned and see what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey View Post
    What headset are you using?...Are you using a JIS standard headset? assuming you have a 1" headtube, there are two headset standards.. JIS and standard 1"... JIS has 30mm cups while standard 1" headsets have 30.2mm cups. there is a good chance there is nothing wrong with the frame at all..It might be you are using the wrong headset. a lot of Tange headsets are JIS...
    It is an Origin 8 headset. It says Standard 1" on the box, and the guy at the shop said the head tube measured 30.4mm so those numbers all add up. So I think I have the right headset, but I'll double check anyways. If i do have the right one, I'll probably try the aluminum can shim.

    Quote Originally Posted by lukewall View Post
    Play in the headset cups and the headtube isn't going to be a "major" safety hazard?
    So what is the safety concern here? Speed wobbles? I don't understand how this would "fail" if it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by beer slayer View Post
    The fine folks at King make oversize ones! from .02 to .10! only in silver. at least they did in the past back in the Santa Barbara days.
    This is a last resort, because it will cost me more $$, but a very good option. Thanks!

  10. #10
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    I have a headset thats been jb welded in. its been about 2 years and no problems. its not ideal, but its been holding up okay.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sunburst's Avatar
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    you might want to post this issue in the mechanic's forum also. Lots of expertise over there.

  12. #12
    I step on puppies kringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
    I have a headset thats been jb welded in. its been about 2 years and no problems. its not ideal, but its been holding up okay.
    I have done the same.

  13. #13
    six too eight zerosiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukewall View Post
    Play in the headset cups and the headtube isn't going to be a "major" safety hazard?
    Essentially the bike will not fall apart while riding. That's about all I'm saying.

  14. #14
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    Green loctite should be all you'll need. Me and all my trials riders do it on your bikes when the head tube ovalizes.

  15. #15
    Gone Tarcking. Back Later
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    You need to get rid of play ASAP in the headtube. Over time, it will ovalize faster and faster. And then you're out a frame. I can't suggest any methods though. All of the headtubes with play that I've worked on were totalled by the time they took them into the shop.
    It's bad when you're 19 and people consider you an "old geezer" in the current FG community.

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