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Headset troubles......

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Old 05-19-09, 11:28 AM
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Headset troubles......

Well, a re-occurring problem I've had ever since I got the Trek, is my headset comes loose.

I replaced it with a Cane creek - it's been inspected by a LBS Mechanic between when I put it on and now, so it was correctly installed- and then today i noticed, after tightening it again only 2 days ago, it is again loose.

I decided to take the bars off and investigate... When I did this, the bearings dumped everywhere... SO now... My bike is again in-operable...

does anyone have any reasonable, logical explanation/solutions?

I really don't know where I can go to get a new headset, as the only real bikeshop is a ways off, in a German town, that is notoriously difficult to find and navigate around...(my GPS is not working yet... waiting for the chip to come in from Garmin)
I believe its a CC C-1 headset.
what do you look for/at when buying headsets, mind you I need one that will hold and work, but I dont need a King or anything like that.... its only a Trek 3900 lol
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Old 05-19-09, 11:49 AM
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You ARE adjusting your headset in the right order? Start with the stem binder bolts loose. First, preload (adjust) the bearings for no play by turning the nut in the headset cap. Then, when bearings smooth with no play, tighten binder bolts on the stem.

Right?
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Old 05-19-09, 12:34 PM
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And greasing the bearings appropriately? The grease usually holds my bearings in.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
You ARE adjusting your headset in the right order? Start with the stem binder bolts loose. First, preload (adjust) the bearings for no play by turning the nut in the headset cap. Then, when bearings smooth with no play, tighten binder bolts on the stem.

Right?
Yes, I am doing exactly that.

Ill admit, now that I look, they could of used a bit of grease, but now they're all over my garage floor
-_-

This has been a problem since I got this bike lol.
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Old 05-19-09, 01:01 PM
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Get a sealed cartridge bearing CC next time. The Tank Hit will do ya good.


(I think I should change the title of this thread to Cheetoed headset)
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Old 05-19-09, 02:05 PM
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Really Chelboed... DO we honestly have to go back then?

This was an honest innocent, and not the result of a newbish mistake.

But, the Tank Hit looks nice, and the price is right, haha

I like the review ratings also.

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Old 05-19-09, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_- View Post
I need one that will hold and work, but I dont need a King or anything like that.... its only a Trek 3900 lol
why not buy a king...hell your 3900 has a thomson post
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Old 05-19-09, 02:34 PM
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Thomson post, BB7 front,
LX RD
those are my token items for that bike lol
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Old 05-19-09, 02:40 PM
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I agree re: the sealed bearing headset, but the loose balls didn't cause your problem. Being that you installed the headset in proper order, i'm wondering if your headtube needs to be faced? I don't think you can get a 3900 frameset, new from the factory, without the factory build. And, someone along the line should've faced the headtube, but maybe they forgot? Or, maybe there's a flaw in the headtube? Ovalized or something?

This is, to be honest, not a problem I'd ever had. But, I like to think that it's b/c i always face my headtube before a build. Plus, all of my frames are steel, so the tube is less likely to be knocked out of whack (still possible, though.).

HTH,
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Old 05-19-09, 02:57 PM
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Yup, could be a Cheetoed headtube. Maybe even a crack in it.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:46 PM
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You may not be tightening the stem's binder bolts enough to keep it from slipping.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:55 PM
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If you're really desperate, you could pick up all the ball bearings and stick it all back in (until you can get a replacement). You'll need some grease tho...

Headset loosening on a A-head style headset is rather unusual, btw. Makes me wonder...

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Old 05-20-09, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_- View Post
DO we honestly have to go back then?
What you see as a negative...I see as a signature quirk that will let you live in infamy. It's a positive, man To have something named after you that people just readily throw out there. I wish people would say "My ride is Special Ed'd'...it just doesn't work like Cheeto.

Remember man, half full.
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Old 05-20-09, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
If you're really desperate, you could pick up all the ball bearings and stick it all back in (until you can get a replacement). You'll need some grease tho...

Headset loosening on a A-head style headset is rather unusual, btw. Makes me wonder...

.


I did just that today.

With the help of my girlfriend and a few magnets, we picked up all the loose bearings.
I took a closer look at the casings of the bearings and noticed they were full of metal fragments and there was a very fine metallic powder in it..... they essentially were grinding away..

I cleaned it all up, took the bottom one out and did the same.
I didn't have any bearing lube or anything, But I have this Silcone Lube I used for paintball, so I used that, and it seems to be working fine.
I was able to re-assemble the headset, correctly, and everything seems to fit nicely and the bars still turn smooth (smoother than before)
However, I would still like to get a replacement, as IDK how long this will last haha.

I checked the headtube, no cracks, and it doesnt appear to be "cheetoed..." but it could be thats its off ever so slightly that I cant see.

I completely cleaned the drivetrain, I rotated the rear brake pads (put left on right and right on left) because they had some serious uneven wear.
Squelch and crappy braking... fixed.

re-adjusted everything, re-lubed..... hopefully ready to ride.
I'm going to a German Fest tomorrow, so cant ride, and Friday I' leaving to go to Normandy France for the weekend.... tuesday I'll test it out.
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Old 05-20-09, 12:38 PM
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Had something similar happen to my Cane Creek headset (although the bearings stayed in their cages)... lots of slop, wouldn't tighten up... metal crap and stuff everywhere... cleaned, greased, re-installed, and it was totally dead two days later. Installed a new S-3 with sealed bearings and is awesome. I don't know... I've never had a headset that was "fixable" once it started to go south.
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Old 05-20-09, 12:58 PM
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oh... ouch...
thanks for the....... headsup lol.

I think I'll lay off the stairs now, haha.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_- View Post
oh... ouch...
thanks for the....... headsup lol.

I think I'll lay off the stairs now, haha.
Smart thinking. If you have something going on headset-wise, stair riding will probably bring things to an earlier demise. Just get a new headset and be done with it.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_- View Post
I did just that today.

With the help of my girlfriend and a few magnets, we picked up all the loose bearings...
Hang on a sec... you just transfered to Germany right... so you already have this girl friend? Looks like you sorted that one out pretty fast... faster than sorting out you bike?!?? Tsk, tsk, I don't know...





BTW the term "cheetoed" sounds cool!

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Old 05-21-09, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
Hang on a sec... you just transfered to Germany right... so you already have this girl friend? Looks like you sorted that one out pretty fast... faster than sorting out you bike?!?? Tsk, tsk, I don't know...





BTW the term "cheetoed" sounds cool!

.

LOLO

Yea, she came to me for prom, and i finished the deal..
I dont have troubles in that department..
but now shes moving, cause her dad retired =/

guess I'm left to go back to the back.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_- View Post
LOLO

Yea, she came to me for prom, and i finished the deal..
I dont have troubles in that department..
but now shes moving, cause her dad retired =/

guess I'm left to go back to the back.
Dude, you need to hook up with a German babe who works at a good bike shop.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:55 PM
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+1 ... or better yet, a German babe who owns the bike shop...
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Old 05-22-09, 08:30 AM
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lol...

Need to find one who shaves, and doesnt stink, or smoke...
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Old 05-22-09, 11:13 AM
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I thought King headsets had a lifetime warranty. If you've gone through two heasets this quickly, maybe investing in a King is worth the extra money.
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Old 05-22-09, 11:23 AM
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I went for a ride today, (had to get a quickie before I left for Normandy, France) Went off some stairs and that dirt jump, the Headset is holding good after the rebuild. It turns a lot smoother also, before it was sticky and rough, I couldn't ride with no-hands because it would stick and grind, now its fixed.... for now


--- Im walking out the door now to get on the bus...

I'll take pictures of Normandy, If the Mods will let me Post it here (because its not Related to biking) I'll be more than happy to share.

Ill also be taking part in the Military memorial there on Monday, Ill be in the formations and in uniform as well.
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