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.

Pitted?

Old 10-04-10, 08:40 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 812
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Pitted?

I have a 2000 Litespeed Classic with look fork and Profile Stem.The Headset is threaded and it seems to bind when the wheel is exactly straight ahead,rather its llike a notch,or indentation the headset falls into.The rest of the headset movement is completely smooth.When I received the bike the headset was very stiff and I loosened it so it is much smoother now however this little "notch"remains.In no way does it impair bike function when riding and I'm sure that even if it is an imperfection or defect I can ignore it I"d just like to know if it's normal or indeed a defect.Perhaps the previous owner overtightened so the headset is pitted?Thanks.
trek330 is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 08:43 AM
  #2  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,787

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Liked 2,728 Times in 1,584 Posts
It is pitted, or brinelled, to use the correct term. Running it too tight caused it. It will probably get worse and become intolerable.

No big deal, though, because you can replace the headset, and you'll be happy when you do.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 08:55 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,656

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

Likes: 0
Liked 1,099 Times in 745 Posts
It is not normal and indicates a damaged headset. Usually the crown race and lower cup are the pitted parts since they take the brunt of the shock loads.

As an expedient, if the headset is a loose ball bearing type and lower race has the balls in a retainer, you can discard the retainer and add a couple of additional bearing balls. That changes the spacing so the balls no longer align with the pits and buys you maybe an extra riding season.

The real cure is a new headest.
HillRider is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 10:53 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 812
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Any suggestions for a good new headset for the bike?I just saw a Richey for $19.95 on Nashbar.Good enough for a Litespeed?
trek330 is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 11:21 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,656

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

Likes: 0
Liked 1,099 Times in 745 Posts
One thing to watch for is stack height. The new headset must have a short enough stack height that the top race and lock nut have enough steerer threads to fit properly. If the new headset has less stack heigth, the difference can be made up with spacers. If the new headset has too much stack height and there are no current spacers to remove, it won't work.

I had an early 90's Trek with the threaded fork factory cut to EXACTLY match the OEM Tange headset's 32 mm stack height. By the time I needed a replacement, most better headsets had stack heights of about 37 mm and wouldn't fit.

Chris King (read $$$) does make a 1" threaded "Gripnut" headset with a stack height as short as 33 mm so there is one, if expensive, possibility. Since Litespeed frames should last forever (mine is 15 years and 70,000 miles old), a good headset is probably a wise investment.

If your frame/ fork will take a 37 mm stack height, look for an NOS Shimano Ultegra (HP-6500) cartridge bearing headset. These are very smooth and durable and reasonably priced if you can find one.

Last edited by HillRider; 10-04-10 at 11:30 AM.
HillRider is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 06:59 PM
  #6  
Used to be Conspiratemus
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hamilton ON Canada
Posts: 1,512
Liked 247 Times in 165 Posts
If you can't find a new headset that'll fit, and if adding a couple of extra balls (as Hillrider suggests) doesn't get rid of the notch, you could try removing the crown race and the lower head race and reinstalling them each rotated 90 degrees in opposite directions away from their original positions. I wouldn't bother doing this if you are able to obtain a new headset of good quality but if you are stuck, it's worth a try. The argument is that because of the head angle, the load on those lower races is concentrated in the six o'clock position. This is also where water thrown up by the front tire tends to most effectively wash out the grease allowing metal-to-metal contact under load. Re-installing with fresh metal at six o'clock might give it a new lease on life. (I haven't tried this, therefore all the waffle words. Could just be wasted work that will only postpone the inevitable at best. If anyone has tried this, do chime in.)

Once you get things working, consider trying to keep water out of the headset. If you don't use fenders, try tying a vinyl condom (made for latex-allergic folks) around the bottom end of the headset so it covers the interface between the crown race and the bottom head race. If you can find one without a reservoir end, it will make it just a little less obvious to casual observers exactly what it is (if you care.)
conspiratemus1 is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 07:53 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 812
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
I'm going to keep my eyes open for a new replacement.Checked e-bay for suitable dura ace and saw nothing.There is presently an Ultegra HP-6500 up for auction and I'm keeping an eye on that.Meanwhile the bike rides great and the defect is almost unnoticeable on the road so I'm on no rush.Thank you all for your feedback!!
trek330 is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 08:40 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
cracker7213's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I had this problem. I just re lubed the headset and adjusted it properly. It's fine now. You may not need to get a whole new headset. Just don't tighten it down so hard.
cracker7213 is offline  
Old 10-04-10, 08:47 PM
  #9  
John Wayne Toilet Paper
 
nhluhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Roanoke
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: BH carbon, Ritchey steel, Kona aluminum

Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you say it does not affect your riding but I bet if you were to try riding no-hands, you'll feel it. Just don't crash.
nhluhr is offline  
Old 10-05-10, 10:03 AM
  #10  
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,926

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Liked 3,539 Times in 2,003 Posts
As noted above, sometimes replacing retained bearings in the lower race with loose bearings will mitigate the problem. Another cheap fix is to pop off the crown race or lower cup and rotate it slightly before reinstalling it so the indentations don't line up top and bottom any more. Both these are at best temporary fixes, but you could go many years before the problem reappears.

If you want to replace the headset you need to either find a new one of the same brand/model, or one with the same or lower stack height. If you have 38mm or more of stack height you should have at least a few choices.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 10-05-10, 11:13 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,464
Liked 531 Times in 323 Posts
I find the Tange Levin to be a great value. It also has a pretty low stack height. https://www.ebikestop.com/tange_levin...ome-HD1001.php
due ruote is offline  
Old 10-05-10, 06:33 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York City
Posts: 812
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Wealth of info here and It gives me lots of options.Thanks so much for everyones input!
trek330 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jambon
Bicycle Mechanics
3
10-01-14 06:23 PM
trek330
Bicycle Mechanics
5
05-28-13 10:29 AM
thegrizz
Bicycle Mechanics
4
04-25-13 11:19 AM
RT
Bicycle Mechanics
6
10-04-11 12:50 PM
rousseau
Bicycle Mechanics
23
08-22-10 04:34 PM

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.