Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Upgrade headset bearings?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Upgrade headset bearings?

Old 11-28-20, 01:11 AM
  #1  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Upgrade headset bearings to fully sealed?

I did my first headset service on my 2019 Jamis Renegade which came with a FSA Orbit ITA Headset.

One of the bearings was notchy and i tried to clean it/regrease it which helped a bit but it's still not super smooth. While I may be able to do a better job (I foind removing seals tricky), the bearings only have one seal which seems like a poor design.


I could buy FSA replacements for $40 but am thinking I should look for fully sealed bearings. I've found Enduro in the upper bearing size but haven't had much luck with the lower size.

Is it worth trying to upgrade the bearings or should I stick with the OEM?
If so, where should I be looking? Any recommended retailers or brands?

The upper bearing is 30.2mm ID 41mm OD 6.5mm thick ACB 36 45
The lower bearing is 40mm ID 52mm OD 8mm thick ACB 36 45
Thanks!

Last edited by loheiman; 11-28-20 at 02:10 PM.
loheiman is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 10:13 AM
  #2  
DaveSSS 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 6,381

Bikes: TWO Cinelli superstar disc with SRAM Force AXS

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 650 Post(s)
Liked 299 Times in 239 Posts
It makes sense to only seal the side exposed to the elements. If you ride in the wet a lot, use plenty of marine grease on the sealed side. If you're actually getting water in the head tube, use marine grease on the side without seals. It can't hurt. I headset should last many years, if properly adjusted. A common mistake is not applying enough preload tension. Too little preload can result in vibration beating up the bearings. The preload is only too much if the front wheel doesn't center itself, after a turn.
DaveSSS is offline  
Likes For DaveSSS:
Old 11-28-20, 10:41 AM
  #3  
mpetry912 
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 469

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 97 Posts
do any of these look like what you need ?

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...riong&_sacat=0

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA
mpetry912 is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 11:03 AM
  #4  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
It makes sense to only seal the side exposed to the elements. If you ride in the wet a lot, use plenty of marine grease on the sealed side. If you're actually getting water in the head tube, use marine grease on the side without seals. It can't hurt. I headset should last many years, if properly adjusted. A common mistake is not applying enough preload tension. Too little preload can result in vibration beating up the bearings. The preload is only too much if the front wheel doesn't center itself, after a turn.
Grease on the side without seals is a good tip, thanks. I don't ride in the wet often but whatever it was, it was enough to get to crud in the bearings. Understood on the the headset tightness.
loheiman is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 11:04 AM
  #5  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
do any of these look like what you need ?

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...riong&_sacat=0

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA
Those are the right size for upper but not the lower which is what I couldn't find.
loheiman is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 11:14 AM
  #6  
wgscott
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: CZU
Posts: 7,130
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,225 Times in 1,106 Posts
Chris King. I finally took a look at mine 5 years after I got it, and it was like new. No intrusion or anything.
wgscott is offline  
Likes For wgscott:
Old 11-28-20, 11:15 AM
  #7  
mpetry912 
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 469

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 97 Posts
the lower bearing is the important one !

Give Enduro Bearings a call and ask for Matt. He'll sort you out.

he should at least be able to get you an orderable part number.

they are in Oakland. (510) 613-8200

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA
mpetry912 is offline  
Likes For mpetry912:
Old 11-28-20, 11:27 AM
  #8  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Chris King. I finally took a look at mine 5 years after I got it, and it was like new. No intrusion or anything.
Yea I was thinking that a better headset would do a better job keeping crud out to begin with.

If I went down the route of replacing the headset I think I might go with Wolftooth Premium which include stainless Enduro bearings. The nice thing is that the upper and lower are sold separately ($65 and $55 respectively). Anyone have experience with them?
loheiman is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 11:32 AM
  #9  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
the lower bearing is the important one !

Give Enduro Bearings a call and ask for Matt. He'll sort you out.

he should at least be able to get you an orderable part number.

they are in Oakland. (510) 613-8200

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA
Thanks for the suggestion. I sent them an email. I did look closely through their catalog and it didn't appear they had the right size but maybe it's not listed https://www.endurobearings.com/wp-co...et-catalog.pdf
loheiman is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 01:53 PM
  #10  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 8,391

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2283 Post(s)
Liked 1,238 Times in 849 Posts
My favored headsets are Cane Creek for most of my stuff and Chris King for my vintage 1" threaded stuff or when I need some other colors like violet. However White Industries, Phil Wood, and Wolf Tooth makes some great headsets in the U.S. as well if you want or need other options. Phil Wood is nice if you want super high quality without being as flashy and logo'd.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 11-28-20, 02:39 PM
  #11  
deacon mark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,765

Bikes: Habanero Titanium Team Nuevo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 307 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 72 Posts
Originally Posted by loheiman View Post
I did my first headset service on my 2019 Jamis Renegade which came with a FSA Orbit ITA Headset.

One of the bearings was notchy and i tried to clean it/regrease it which helped a bit but it's still not super smooth. While I may be able to do a better job (I foind removing seals tricky), the bearings only have one seal which seems like a poor design.


I could buy FSA replacements for $40 but am thinking I should look for fully sealed bearings. I've found Enduro in the upper bearing size but haven't had much luck with the lower size.

Is it worth trying to upgrade the bearings or should I stick with the OEM?
If so, where should I be looking? Any recommended retailers or brands?

The upper bearing is 30.2mm ID 41mm OD 6.5mm thick ACB 36 45
The lower bearing is 40mm ID 52mm OD 8mm thick ACB 36 45
Thanks!
I would buy a a whole new headset and get the premium ones with fully sealed bearings. I don't know about the Enduro and need more information about your headtube and steering folk to make the proper headset to get. I just replaced my Ritchey WSC after 3 years and 20,000 miles. t was there premium headset and I don't ride in rain at least on purpose. Mine the lower bearing went bad the upper was fine. Mine is external cup bearings and the lower was bad. The race was pitted and I could feel in in the steering. For $59 it is a no brainer the bearings themselves cost as much as the whole headset separate. I just knock out the old cups and pressed in new cups and put bearings in with marine grease. I used anitseize on the cups to press in and wow what a difference. Completely new and beautiful handling now. Without question go completely new and get the sealed bearings. Headsets are cheap even good ones. What is the specs on your folk and headtube? That will give better information. I would go with the standard 45 45 degree stuff now the 36 45 is older and really not used from what I can read.
deacon mark is offline  
Old 11-28-20, 06:08 PM
  #12  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,792

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1644 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 498 Times in 375 Posts
From those bearing dimensions it seems you have a fork with a tapered steerer (1-1/8" x 1-1/2") so you need separate cups of the appropriate size. Cane Creek sells their upper and lower cups individually if you order through them.
HillRider is offline  
Likes For HillRider:
Old 11-30-20, 06:02 PM
  #13  
loheiman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
I got a response back to my inquiry from Enduro and learned that their 6.5mm thick model (ACB 6808 CC SS) will indeed work in as a lower headset bearing (the original was 8mm thick). The reason being is that the taper is in the same place, thus the difference is only how much further the bearing extends into the head tube. They also provided me the below photo to illustrate.

Thus i do not need to replace the headset and can simply replace with Enduro bearings for ~$50 total. Thanks all for your help.



ACB 6808 CC SS (left) vs single sided 8mm thick bearing
loheiman is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.