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Mongoose Maneuver Headset Bearings?

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Mongoose Maneuver Headset Bearings?

Old 04-14-17, 09:37 PM
Cantankerous Old Fart
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Mongoose Maneuver Headset Bearings?

Wouldn't you know it. My 1st "paying" customer and what does he bring me? A 20 year old Mongoose Maneuver in need of some TLC.

This guy has had the bike since he was 15 yo, bought it new, so it has some sentimental value. It's not in all that bad of shape. He had broken a skewer on the front hub and brought it to me to see if I could fix that & do a tune up. As I gave it the once over, it looked like a good candidate for a good cleanup and servicing the hub bearing etc. I quoted him $50 to do the hubs and clean up the freewheel cogs. He handed me $70 and said have at it & let me know if I needed more.

I noticed a little play in the steering head so I told him I would check it out. Well, I had the hubs and freewheel cogs cleaned and the bearings packed with new grease in less than an hour so everything seemed to be going great. I popped the handle bars out of the stem and removed the crown nut to find the bearings looking great., coated with nice clean grease and no grit or grime so I decided to just set a little pre-load on them & lock it all down.

I could not adjust the play out of the top of the stem without causing a bind! Upon closer examination, it seems that there is no inner cone race (crown race?) at the top. Since the bearings seemed to have been serviced more recently than anything else on the bike, I suspect someone has been there before me and perhaps they left something out.

I don't have much experience with "middle aged" bikes. I'm having a hard time finding any sort of spec's on the steering head bearings. I have found similar looking bearings for very reasonable prices, but I'm kind of going in blind. Can anyone tell me what I should be looking for? These are not sealed bearings. They are cup and cone with the balls being caged, not loose. I just got back into bicycles about 7 years ago so I'm only familiar with the more modern stuff. I'm having to learn some of this last generation stuff as I go.

Last edited by XCSKIBUM; 04-14-17 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 04-15-17, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by XCSKIBUM View Post
I could not adjust the play out of the top of the stem without causing a bind!
Inability to adjust the bearings without either play or binding is usually a sign that the head tube ends and/or fork crown race seat are not perfectly parallel and need to be milled.

Upon closer examination, it seems that there is no inner cone race (crown race?) at the top.
No crown race on the fork? What were the bearings riding on? Can you provide a picture?
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Old 04-15-17, 09:13 PM
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This thread will be interesting to track... As is often the case, more data needed. fFirst it seems the OP is dealing with a threaded headset. true? If so then what is under the top/lock nut besides the lock washer? There's usually the threaded cone, often with a male cone and a surrounding cup like shield continuing to the outside of the headtube cup (and acting as a seal of sorts). So was this threaded cone missing? If so then the balls would shift all over the place and the headset would have far more then a little play.

I wonder if a couple of common issues instead were going on. The first is replacing the bearing retainer (and most of these low cost units use retainered balls) is in upside down. Another possibility is that a ball has gotten out of place, very likely if the balls were unretainered or free/loose. One more is that the number of free balls are too many, some of the same effect as a ball out of place. Other possibilities are, as John mentioned, non parallel head tube end faces, a bent steerer, an ovalized cup, wrong ball diameters. Andy.
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