Old 06-24-11, 08:01 PM
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Location: Washington County, Vermont, USA
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Bikes: 1966 Dawes Double Blue, 1976 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1975 Raleigh Sprite 27, 1980 Univega Viva Sport, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1984 Lotus Classique, 1976 Motobecane Grand Record

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Campagnolo headset quality control inspector takes a holiday

I'd hoped to reuse the Campy headset on the Raleigh Gran Sport I'm slowly fixing up. It's apparently not original to the bike, but seems to be in very good shape--except for the fact that the upper fixed cup is very loose. It just sits there in the frame, and can easily be removed and reinserted by hand.
Oh-oh, I thought, this is trouble--probably an issue with the head tube. But no--the lower fixed cup (which fits normally) would be a press fit if moved to the top, and the upper fixed cup is equally loose at the bottom. Cups from another English headset also seem to indicate that the head tube sizing is correct. It almost made me wonder if a JIS upper cup had somehow been used by mistake, but I tried a JIS cup I had lying around and that was also a much tighter fit than the Campy cup. It looks to me as if the factory was having a bad day and just turned out a cup (or probably a bunch of them) that were way under spec.
The bike had apparently been ridden this way for years, with the fixed cup held in place by the pressure of the adjustable cup. I suppose I could glom it back in there with some green Loctite and call it good, but I think I'll probably just invest in a new headset and do it right. Or is Loctite in fact a reasonable solution to this problem?
Is this kind of grossly out-of-spec cup something that others have encountered also? It's hard for me to imagine that the mechanic who installed it didn't notice.
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