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  1. #1
    eat my pantaloons
    Reputation: erol's Avatar
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well help...headset cup loose

    I bought a cheap ss frame. I put a nice Chris King headset on it, but the headset went in very easily. Now when I clamp the front brake and rock the bike back and forth or just push down on the fork the lower headset cup creaks. If I put my hand over it I can feel slight movement there. It's loose now, but I don't think the headtube is ovalized, just poorly toleranced. What can I do to tighten things up? I don't want to have to buy a CK Steelset because that's $141. Should I try using a lot of grease? Tape? Wack the headtube with a hammer? Fuggitaboutit and just keep ridin'?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brant's Avatar
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    and I certainly wouldn't "Fuggitaboutit" as that would "fuggitup"

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brant's Avatar
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    I've always found King headsets to be amongst the smallest diameter headsets around. It's certainly not a "tolerance" issue - as they're all the same - it just seems like Chris likes his headsets to push in easier than others.

    Couple of solutions:-

    1) Use some sort of loctite bearing fit type stuff. Or 2 part glue. Or something.
    2) Change the headset - FSA PIG headsets are heavy and basic, but very strong and the largest interference fit I've found and work in even quite "baggy" head tubes. Other FSA headsets are less oversize, but certainly bigger than a King.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: the Inbred's Avatar
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    can you shim headsets with a small piece of alu from a beer can?

  5. #5
    Medium?
    Reputation: Fast Eddy's Avatar
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    What do you like better, the frame or the King HS?

    If you like the headset, you're pretty screwed.

    If you like the frame, you could go with an FSA Pig, like was mentioned, and hope it fits tight. If not, you could JBWeld it in, and it will probably last in there forever, but you'll likely never get it out in any shape to be reuseful (Is that a word?). You could do this with the King too, with the same caveat.

  6. #6
    Contrarian
    Reputation: AndyArmstrong's Avatar
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    I rode a bike for six months with the upper cup wedged in with a bit of card from a cereal packet

    I'd get a cheapo FSA headset and, if necessary, glue it in. Save the King for another project or ebay it and have a great night out

    I have FSA Orbit XL IIs on all but one bike and I love them. The exception is a King and that's lovely too but, for practical purposes, the FSA headsets are just as good and the split crown race makes changing forks much easier.

  7. #7
    ...
    Reputation: (Tom)'s Avatar
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    possible solution to your problem

    Any chance that your head tube is ovalized. Is this a new frame?

    I ran the wife's bike into the overhead grating heading into a parking garage - it wasn't a complete disaster but the headtube was ovalized as a result of my screw up. Baiscally you could put the headset in by hand, and of course the cups would fall right out. (good thing this is a cheap GT avalanche frame used mostly for commuting).

    To fix it I clamped the headset into the frame with a c-clamp and a block of wood. I placed some vice grips over each headset cup and wacked them sideways with a mallet until they were in tight. Then I installed the fork and adjusted the headset. It''s been fine ever since.

    Before trying this I would first verify that your headtube is actually ovalized - then use a cheap headset, not the King.

    A few more things - make sure you're actually adjusting the headset. Make sure the top cap isn't bottoming out on the top of the steerer tube and that the stem is able to slide up and down somewhat freely on the steerer tube. It's unlikely but make sure the cartridge bearnings aren't in upside down.

    Good luck !
    Last edited by (Tom); 01-15-2004 at 12:58 PM.

  8. #8
    nachos rule!
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    loctite 609 retaining compound

    degrease all parts very well with your favorite environmentally unfriendly solvent (brake cleaner works quite well here), slather all surfaces with 609, re-press the parts, reassemble the headset and adjust normally (if it's a really sloppy fit this will help ensure everything ends up parallel), then let 'er sit for a day or so to set up. unlike jb-weld this is a bond that can be undone down the road without resorting to heroic measures. not that jb-weld wouldn't work, mind you...

  9. #9
    singlespeed smash brother
    Reputation: shwinboy's Avatar
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    Same thing happened to me and my Imbread. Brand new frame and the my FSA headset could be pushed in by hand but was a good fit initially. It took about 5 months for the creaking to start. I swaped head sets , a ritchie this time and it had the same play so I used a beer can shimm top and bottom and sems to work ok. No creaking for the past couple of months. The glue sounds like a better idea but I couldn't find any one who had done it and could recomend what to use. Plenty of beer can shimmers out there tho.

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