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Headset issue do I need to replace it ?

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Headset issue do I need to replace it ?

Old 10-01-14, 01:12 PM
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Headset issue do I need to replace it ?

Hi there ,

I recently purchased a second hand all mountain bike , a commencal meta 5 2006 with a cane creek Aheadset . Its an external cup 34 headset . I think the headset may be worn and needs to be completely replaced but I`m not entirely sure .

The problem with the headset is that it seems impossible to find that sweet spot where the steering isn't stiff and where the headset isn't knocking and loose . The best I can manage is to tighten it to a point where there is just a little bit of play in the headset and a slight knocking when I hold the front brake and rock the bike If I tighten all the play out then the steering is very very stiff and grainy and Im working in small turns of the allen key each time .Is this normal ?or should I be able to tighten it right up and have normal steering ?

I've opened it up and put lots of grease in there . The bearings are held in steel cages that are themselves in bearing cups which can be pried open . I've considered replacing the bearings but have found them very hard to find anywhere as they are tiny , much smaller than those 5/32 bearings . Also there fork race , the ring that sits on the suspension fork seems a little worn but I wouldn't be an expert on that .

So hoping to get some advice , should I get a new headset in or should I experiment with bearings ?pretty sure Im doing the tightening of the headset correctly , Ive watched about 2 hours of youtube how to videos on it

Thanks in advance
jambon is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 01:31 PM
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Just get a new headset, easiest and quickest option, would look at getting a cartridge headset, as they are easier to work with and replace when they wear out. Add to that, if the crown race (what you called the fork race) is worn, the chances of getting a replacement for a headset which is almost 10 years old are limited.
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Old 10-01-14, 05:57 PM
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Usually when a headset can't be adjusted at all, either one of the bearings is upside down, a part is missing, or the top cap is dragging.
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Old 10-01-14, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5
Usually when a headset can't be adjusted at all, either one of the bearings is upside down, a part is missing, or the top cap is dragging.
Thanks ,Im pretty sure its all there and fitted together correctly , almost 90 per cent sure but I,m not a bike mechanic by any means .Its not that it cant be adjusted at all its just that tightening all the play out of it means stiff steering , then backing off the tightness to loosen the steering means play in the headset , cant get that balanced point . What is meant by the top cap dragging ?
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