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Diagnosing Headset Issue

Old 05-31-18, 02:39 PM
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Classtime 
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Diagnosing Headset Issue

This is a Tange Falcon (Alloy) on a 1987 Schwinn Circuit that has had at least 2 owners before me. When I picked it up, the HS was loose and I don't know for how many miles it was ridden like that. So I get home and discover that the upper bearing retainer is not retaining about 5 of the balls because of broken and/ or bent little claw thingys. So, I put 25 loose balls in place of the retainer and I am unsuccessful adjusting it. In order to take all the play out, it needs to be so tight that it won't turn freely. A steel Tange Levin is on the way but I am reluctant to toss this old Falcon in the trash. Can anyone tell me which part might be the cause of the problem? Might it just be the upper adjustable cup out of round from being ridden while the HS was so loose? And maybe with a replacement upper cup I can reuse the reset of the HS?
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Old 05-31-18, 02:47 PM
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CliffordK
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Did you pull the fork and look at all the races?

In particular, look at the lower crown race on the fork, and the lower cup. Do you see a regular pitting/denting spaced out with one pit for every bearing?

If so, those races are mostly toast, although some people have successfully used them by replacing the retainer balls with loose balls, and adding 1 extra ball.

How many balls were supposed to be in the retainer?
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Old 05-31-18, 02:49 PM
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Try larger balls. It sounds like it may have play radially since axially is surely taken by the adjusting nut. So larger balls take up more space radially and might resolve the issue. Also a larger ball will seat on a different part of the track that will likely be unused.

Just find the right ball next size up. Grab some calipers to know what to look for. I suggest increasing ball diameter by about 0.2mm
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Old 05-31-18, 04:28 PM
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I think the retainers hold 20 and I put in 25 loose 5/32. The races look and feel smooth until I tighten enough to take out the slop.
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Old 05-31-18, 04:36 PM
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Check both cups and replace the retainers with loss bearing minus one ball in each . Check the race for pitting , found mostly in the bottom cup / race .
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