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Roller Bearing Headset adjustment

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Roller Bearing Headset adjustment

Old 08-08-20, 05:56 PM
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Mr. Spadoni 
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Roller Bearing Headset adjustment

Just about to get a bike on the road that has a Galli headset that I just discovered has roller bearings.
I like the idea of roller bearings, and have had one on another bike BUT
before I screw this one up, is there anything different about adjustment/tightness/etc. that I should keep in mind before I take it on the road?
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Old 08-08-20, 06:09 PM
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They pretty much adjust the same. They can usually handle a little more preload than round bearings but I wouldn't put it in if not needed. There is nothing really different about them. I am not familiar with the Galli but on the Stronglights (aluminum & plastic versions) they had metal races (top & bottom of the bearing) that when left out would ruin the headset.
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Old 08-08-20, 07:03 PM
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I've been using the Stronglight Delta and A9 headsets for 30 years now, so I may have forgotten what is most surprising when first fiddling with this style of headset. Still, I'd say that the big difference is that there is more rotational drag with roller bearings. This can lead you to think the bearings are tight when they are still a hair loose. You'll want to rely more on the method of applying the front brake and rocking the bike fore and aft to look for play.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-08-20, 07:17 PM
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I remember them from decades ago. Adjust normally to as loose as it goes, but with no play at all. They'll feel subjectively a little tight. +1 to what steelbikeguy says. In addition, I'd do the bounce the front wheel on the floor trick. You'll hear and/or feel a bit of a rattle if it's loose. Sometimes the front brake trick will miss the final last bit of looseness.
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Old 08-09-20, 08:57 AM
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Thanks. Glad I asked. I was feeling a little bit more bind than I expected but am at the point that I am not getting any fork rocking so I think I am good to go.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:32 AM
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...I can't add much. Just that they are similar in design to an automotive wheel bearing, thus require a slight pre-load in order to function as designed. Not certain if it is specified anywhere in the literature. I adjust them to where the wheel in the fork will just flop over under its own weight.
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Old 08-09-20, 01:47 PM
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And probable that your Galli is either a rebranded Stronglight A-9 (all alloy) or B-10 (plastic cups) so exactly like a Stronglight!
But Galli DID have one unique model with rollers that's entirely different, has thicker rollers in metal cages at a more "upright" angle than the Stronglight resin cages with smaller rollers.
Here's a link to that rare bird from velobase: VeloBase.com - Component: Galli (tapered roller bearing, cuscinetto di rulli conici)
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Old 08-09-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
And probable that your Galli is either a rebranded Stronglight A-9 (all alloy) or B-10 (plastic cups) so exactly like a Stronglight!
But Galli DID have one unique model with rollers that's entirely different, has thicker rollers in metal cages at a more "upright" angle than the Stronglight resin cages with smaller rollers.
Here's a link to that rare bird from velobase: VeloBase.com - Component: Galli (tapered roller bearing, cuscinetto di rulli conici)
I was just poking through an old Bike Warehouse catalog and saw that they sold that headset. The illustration leaves a bit to be desired, but the angle of the bearing really looks better suited to an axle bearing than something like a headset that is carrying a thrust load.




Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-09-20, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
And probable that your Galli is either a rebranded Stronglight A-9 (all alloy) or B-10 (plastic cups) so exactly like a Stronglight!
But Galli DID have one unique model with rollers that's entirely different, has thicker rollers in metal cages at a more "upright" angle than the Stronglight resin cages with smaller rollers.
Here's a link to that rare bird from velobase: VeloBase.com - Component: Galli (tapered roller bearing, cuscinetto di rulli conici)
The tapered roller bearing unit has less inherent friction than the Stronglight cylindrical roller bearing units since there is no sliding contact on the tapered rollers. IMO, the slight drag of sliding contact with the Stronglight units is not a concern, since headsets are not in constant rotation in use. The tapered roller bearings are also much fussier about frame prep than the Stronglight units with their floating races.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I was just poking through an old Bike Warehouse catalog and saw that they sold that headset. The illustration leaves a bit to be desired, but the angle of the bearing really looks better suited to an axle bearing than something like a headset that is carrying a thrust load.
I suspect Galli used a standard bearing for that headset. A less acute angle would have required far more taper on the rollers to eliminate the sliding contact as the bearing rotates. The Stronglight is probably more suited for thrust loads, but does have more inherent friction than the tapered rollers.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:55 PM
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Well now I am going to have to open it up to see which type it us. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a few days.
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Old 08-15-20, 05:01 PM
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Turns out I do have the Galli as pictured in the ad. As a I do have the SL on another bike, the internal difference is obvious. Might have to drop out the spacer. Locknut is only engaging on about three threads with spacer in place and it is all alloy. Genuflecting towards the nearest aluminum smelter now.....
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