Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

‘74 Raleigh headset servicing

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

‘74 Raleigh headset servicing

Old 07-07-20, 10:19 AM
  #1  
jpjpjp
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
‘74 Raleigh headset servicing

Hello all,

I noticed when riding the other day that my headset on my ‘74 Raleigh Gran Sport was shifting and giving me a single noticeable ‘click’ when using the front brake. I checked for play with the bike stationary and the front brake applied and, indeed, there was some noticeable play at the top of the headset only.

i disassembled the cockpit, got ball bearings all over the floor (collected them... 22 on top and 22 on the bottom? Will have to check) and noticed that the upper race wasn’t properly seated in the frame and came out with the adjustable race. Now, I haven’t taken it to a shop yet because I’m dreading wait times, so I’ve come here for advice. Is there a way to press-fit the upper race into the frame with some home-spun tools? When I insert the upper race into the head tube and exert downward pressure on it I notice a bit of play - is this normal and will go away once it is press fitted? It looks like it is in pretty good condition, so I would be surprised if it is worn - is this ever a problem with older headsets/head tubes?

I can supply pictures if necessary.

I really love this bike and already just went through a whole ordeal with the bb, so I’m hoping to just get this solved quickly so that I can hop back on it!

Thanks in advance for the help.
jpjpjp is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 10:34 AM
  #2  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hardy, VA
Posts: 16,929

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1035 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 213 Posts
A picture would help. I've not heard of headsets just coming out on their own - which would indicate a serious problem. If the last person to own the bike just never got it properly seated, it is possible to press it in using a threaded rod, nuts and washers. Once in, there should be no movement at all.

22 bearings top and bottom sounds right.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 10:48 AM
  #3  
jpjpjp
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Upon closer inspection it looks like the top race, when sitting on the head tube and a little loose, can’t actually move any further down into the headtube. Could it be too small? There is equal play in seemingly all directions. Maybe of about a 1/2 mm.

jpjpjp is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 10:51 AM
  #4  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hardy, VA
Posts: 16,929

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1035 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 213 Posts
Have it measured. Races come in 26.4 and 27.0. I have to wonder if someone needed a 26.4 and only had a 27.0. It might be a very simple fix.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 10:59 AM
  #5  
jpjpjp
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Have it measured. Races come in 26.4 and 27.0. I have to wonder if someone needed a 26.4 and only had a 27.0. It might be a very simple fix.
wouldn’t that mean that it wouldn’t be able to sit inside the head tube at all?

i guess ill have to take it to a shop after all... would most shops sell an upper race independently or does this look like I’ll have to get a new headset?
jpjpjp is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 11:15 AM
  #6  
Unca_Sam
The dropped
 
Unca_Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,033

Bikes: Pake C'Mute Touring/Commuter Build, 1989 Kona Cinder Cone, 1995 Trek 5200, 1973 Raleigh Super Course FG, 1966 Schwinn Deluxe Racer, 1960/61 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne "thrift" 3 speed, by Hercules

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1470 Post(s)
Liked 756 Times in 523 Posts
Originally Posted by jpjpjp View Post
wouldn’t that mean that it wouldn’t be able to sit inside the head tube at all?

i guess ill have to take it to a shop after all... would most shops sell an upper race independently or does this look like I’ll have to get a new headset?
Let the shop figure out if it's the head tube or the top race that's out of spec. Generally, the headset is sold as a complete kit, so crown race up through the locknut at the top. You might be able to source an upper race from a bike co op, but that doesn't address why your upper race has lost its fit in the head tube.

Word of caution (and you might want to remind the shop, depending on how many English-built Raleighs from the 70's they service), your fork's steerer tube may be threaded with Raleigh's proprietary 26tpi threading. The only part you'll need to reuse is the locknut, the rest of the headset is interference fit in standardized diameters.
Unca_Sam is online now  
Old 07-07-20, 12:18 PM
  #7  
juvela
Senior Member
 
juvela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Posts: 10,712
Mentioned: 302 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2501 Post(s)
Liked 800 Times in 631 Posts
-----

happily, the 1970's era Gran Sport came with a 24TPI steerer and HS.

HS is a product called the Aletet (also spelt Alatet) from Brampton of Birmingham, England.

ball size is 5/32"; a full complement is 26 balls per race.

the outside diameter of the pressed-in head cups is 30.0mm.

the inside diameter for the fork crown race is 26.9mm, intended for a seat of 27.0mm diameter

---

steps -

the first thing i would do would be to mill, or have milled, the ends of the head tube and the fork crown to make sure everything is square.

if the head cups are slightly loose in the head tube that is the fault of Raleigh and can be remedied by shimming. aluminum beverage can material is adequate, brass is better. when shimming one must take care that the shim material does not get between the race and its seat. shim material must all be in vertical plane.

when reassembling use all new grade 25 balls.

-----

Last edited by juvela; 07-07-20 at 12:37 PM.
juvela is offline  
Likes For juvela:
Old 07-07-20, 12:19 PM
  #8  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hardy, VA
Posts: 16,929

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1035 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 213 Posts
Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Let the shop figure out if it's the head tube or the top race that's out of spec. Generally, the headset is sold as a complete kit, so crown race up through the locknut at the top. You might be able to source an upper race from a bike co op, but that doesn't address why your upper race has lost its fit in the head tube.

Word of caution (and you might want to remind the shop, depending on how many English-built Raleighs from the 70's they service), your fork's steerer tube may be threaded with Raleigh's proprietary 26tpi threading. The only part you'll need to reuse is the locknut, the rest of the headset is interference fit in standardized diameters.
Agree with the first part - though I suspect someone put on a headset with a 27.0 crown race and put the imperfect fitting race on rather than bothering to get a properly fitting 26.4.

Rather doubtful that this has 26 tpi threading. This model would have been made in Worksop - which was using 24 tpi threading.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 12:46 PM
  #9  
Unca_Sam
The dropped
 
Unca_Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,033

Bikes: Pake C'Mute Touring/Commuter Build, 1989 Kona Cinder Cone, 1995 Trek 5200, 1973 Raleigh Super Course FG, 1966 Schwinn Deluxe Racer, 1960/61 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne "thrift" 3 speed, by Hercules

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1470 Post(s)
Liked 756 Times in 523 Posts
Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Agree with the first part - though I suspect someone put on a headset with a 27.0 crown race and put the imperfect fitting race on rather than bothering to get a properly fitting 26.4.

Rather doubtful that this has 26 tpi threading. This model would have been made in Worksop - which was using 24 tpi threading.
This doesn't look like a crown race, but more like the pressed race into the head tube. I'm not sure how a too large crown race at the bottom of assembly contributes to a poor fit at the top of the head tube. Am I seeing things wrong?

Conceded that the steerer threading is likely 24tpi standard. It's messy in the early 70's for Raleighs.
Unca_Sam is online now  
Old 07-07-20, 01:07 PM
  #10  
jpjpjp
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

happily, the 1970's era Gran Sport came with a 24TPI steerer and HS.

HS is a product called the Aletet (also spelt Alatet) from Brampton of Birmingham, England.

ball size is 5/32"; a full complement is 26 balls per race.

the outside diameter of the pressed-in head cups is 30.0mm.

the inside diameter for the fork crown race is 26.9mm, intended for a seat of 27.0mm diameter

---

steps -

the first thing i would do would be to mill, or have milled, the ends of the head tube and the fork crown to make sure everything is square.

if the head cups are slightly loose in the head tube that is the fault of Raleigh and can be remedied by shimming. aluminum beverage can material is adequate, brass is better. when shimming one must take care that the shim material does not get between the race and its seat. shim material must all be in vertical plane.

when reassembling use all new grade 25 balls.

-----
This is promising - if only because it seems like I could do all of this on my own instead of waiting the 3 weeks that most shops predict for repair time.

Just to confirm that i understand - Raleigh likely made the head tube slightly too wide? And i have to shim the upper race to the head tube to ensure a snug press fit?

As far as fork crown and race go, they fit snugly and are in excellent condition. The play was only coming from the upper race against the head tube.

Thanks for the info regarding ball bearings. So grateful for the BF vault of knowledge.

Last edited by jpjpjp; 07-07-20 at 01:10 PM.
jpjpjp is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 02:14 PM
  #11  
juvela
Senior Member
 
juvela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alta California
Posts: 10,712
Mentioned: 302 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2501 Post(s)
Liked 800 Times in 631 Posts
-----

regarding the fit of the two head tube races -

the manufacturer would have likely employed the same tool to ream and face both ends of the head tube
of course, if both ends were done simultaneously the cutters would have been different for the top and for the bottom
it may be that one was "loose on its moorings" and made an oversize ream...

-----
juvela is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 02:53 PM
  #12  
Pars 
Senior Member
 
Pars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 2,461

Bikes: '73 Raleigh RRA, 1986 Trek 500 commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
This doesn't look like a crown race, but more like the pressed race into the head tube. I'm not sure how a too large crown race at the bottom of assembly contributes to a poor fit at the top of the head tube. Am I seeing things wrong?

Conceded that the steerer threading is likely 24tpi standard. It's messy in the early 70's for Raleighs.
Not sure on the threading, but agree, this is the top cup or race, not the crown race. Standards were 30.2mm (for ISO) and 30mm (for JIS). I wonder if a 30.2mm race would fit the frame? And the lower?
Pars is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 03:02 PM
  #13  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,920

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

Mentioned: 485 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6871 Post(s)
Liked 1,502 Times in 950 Posts
Do we understand the problem? If I'm following correctly, the race that presses into the TOP of the head tube is too loose, but others seem to be addressing something else.

If I am right about the problem, the cause could be that the inside diameter of the head tube somehow got too large. I don't know of a proper fix for that, but there are some improper fixes that might be good enough such as using a piece of a soda can as a shim.
__________________
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 07-07-20, 03:38 PM
  #14  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,919
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 366 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 116 Posts
Can one knurl an inside diameter (or make a reasonable facsimile thereof using a hammer and punch with care and alacrity)? I know that this is sometimes done with the outside of the fork crown interference fit area on the base of the steerer tube when people find that race is loose -- I have one of those that just came right off the fork, from Hilary Stone no less.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 03:54 PM
  #15  
jpjpjp
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Do we understand the problem? If I'm following correctly, the race that presses into the TOP of the head tube is too loose, but others seem to be addressing something else.

If I am right about the problem, the cause could be that the inside diameter of the head tube somehow got too large. I don't know of a proper fix for that, but there are some improper fixes that might be good enough such as using a piece of a soda can as a shim.
This exactly is the problem. The TOP race at the TOP of the head tube has the slightest bit of play.

Going to try a soda can shim tomorrow and will report back.
jpjpjp is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 04:01 PM
  #16  
blamester
Blamester
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 887

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by jpjpjp View Post
This exactly is the problem. The TOP race at the TOP of the head tube has the slightest bit of play.

Going to try a soda can shim tomorrow and will report back.
If soda can is too thick I have the cups on my bike shimmed with tinfoil and plenty of rough miles with no problems.
blamester is offline  
Likes For blamester:
Old 07-07-20, 04:11 PM
  #17  
branko_76 
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,323

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .....Raleigh "Super GP"...... ........................................

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked 418 Times in 268 Posts
Originally Posted by jpjpjp View Post
This exactly is the problem. The TOP race at the TOP of the head tube has the slightest bit of play.

Going to try a soda can shim tomorrow and will report back.
Can you post photos of all of the parts of your headset?

If you use a shim, it would need to be thin enough so that the entire circumfrence is shimmed, or at least equally spaced so the race remains centered in the head-tube.

...

Last edited by branko_76; 07-07-20 at 04:37 PM.
branko_76 is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 04:45 PM
  #18  
Unca_Sam
The dropped
 
Unca_Sam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,033

Bikes: Pake C'Mute Touring/Commuter Build, 1989 Kona Cinder Cone, 1995 Trek 5200, 1973 Raleigh Super Course FG, 1966 Schwinn Deluxe Racer, 1960/61 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne "thrift" 3 speed, by Hercules

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1470 Post(s)
Liked 756 Times in 523 Posts
Originally Posted by blamester View Post
If soda can is too thick I have the cups on my bike shimmed with tinfoil and plenty of rough miles with no problems.
How did you accomplish that? Wrap the top race, then press it in?
Unca_Sam is online now  
Old 07-07-20, 05:08 PM
  #19  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,920

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

Mentioned: 485 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6871 Post(s)
Liked 1,502 Times in 950 Posts
Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
How did you accomplish that? Wrap the top race, then press it in?
I don't think that would work. I think you have to drape the foil over the head tube's top in two to four strips and then insert the race.
__________________
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 07-07-20, 05:13 PM
  #20  
branko_76 
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,323

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .....Raleigh "Super GP"...... ........................................

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked 418 Times in 268 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't think that would work. I think you have to drape the foil over the head tube's top in two to four strips and then insert the race.
That make sense.
branko_76 is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 05:13 PM
  #21  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,919
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 366 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 116 Posts
Tinfoil sounds unsettlingly dubious to me. A shim needs to be thick enough that the material reliably won't bunch up or tear, and should provide more or less constant contact, if possible, all the way around the opening. IMO anyway -- but YMMV.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 07-07-20, 05:21 PM
  #22  
branko_76 
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,323

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .....Raleigh "Super GP"...... ........................................

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked 418 Times in 268 Posts
Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
Tinfoil sounds unsettlingly dubious to me. A shim needs to be thick enough that the material reliably won't bunch up or tear, and should provide more or less constant contact, if possible, all the way around the opening. IMO anyway -- but YMMV.
I would drape tin foil over the headtube as @noglider suggested and then form it into the tube by hand, ensuring the foil remains draped over the top. I would then coat the race with grease to reduce any friction between it and the foil. When the race is close to being seated, I would trim the foil before pressing it home.

...

Last edited by branko_76; 07-07-20 at 05:26 PM.
branko_76 is offline  
Likes For branko_76:
Old 07-07-20, 05:45 PM
  #23  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,920

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

Mentioned: 485 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6871 Post(s)
Liked 1,502 Times in 950 Posts
But the tiniest bit of soda can might be adequate and easier to use. I was impressed the first time I cut one up. Scissors go through the material as if it's paper.
__________________
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 07-07-20, 05:55 PM
  #24  
desconhecido 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 97 Posts
It's not a Raleigh 26 tpi headset, so that's good. Raleighs of the 70s are said to have been fitted with headsets with 30.0mm cups. Before shimming the cup, I'd get an accurate as possible measurement of the cup mating surface and see if it's less than 30.2 mm. If it is, and if the headtube is not out of round or larger than 30.2, I'd buy a modern iso headset and install that sucker. Although the Raleigh headtubes that I've measured have been about 30.0 mm, ISO headsets, like modern Tange Levin, press right in with the interference fit. If you do decide to replace the headset, pop the crown race off the fork and measure the fork surface that will hold the crown race. Lots of Raleighs had 27.0 mm while most would have been 26.4 mm. Headsets like the Tange Levin are available with either 26.4 mm or 27.0 mm crown race dimension. Cups are 30.2 mm (though there is a JIS version with 30.2 mm) with either crown race.

Personally, I heart the Tange Levin headsets. They are cheap but well made, look good on vintage steel, and have a short stack height so it's unlikely to find a fork/headtube that it won't work on. Just add some spacers to make everything happy.
desconhecido is offline  
Likes For desconhecido:
Old 07-07-20, 06:04 PM
  #25  
gugie 
Dilberteur at large
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,195

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1010 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3259 Post(s)
Liked 1,546 Times in 793 Posts
jpjpjp

Where do you live? One of the great benefits of this forum is that you may be very close to someone with lots of experience in the very problem you're trying to solve. If you were within driving distance of Portland, Oregon, for example, I'd be happy to take a look at your frame.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is online now  
Likes For gugie:

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.