Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 57
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hahdtail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    79

    so how hard is it really to put in a headset w/o the tool

    i have to put in a 1.5 headset into an aluminum frame, how badly could i finagle this up?

  2. #2
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,111
    It depends how much of a craftsman you are.

    I do it all the time, and have never bothered to make a tool for it.
    On the other hand, you can mess up pretty bad, even bad enough to damage your frame.

    Don't get this wrong, as no offense is intended, but if you have to ask, you should probably have somebody help you who are able, or have it done by your LBS.

    if you'd like a walk-through, drop me a mail, and I'll happily try to help you understand how to.

    Magura

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    159
    it's super easy to make your own headset/bearing press. I just did it on my bike. I am going to put up a post in my blog the next few days with some pics. I'll post again here for your reference.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy
    it's super easy to make your own headset/bearing press. I just did it on my bike. I am going to put up a post in my blog the next few days with some pics. I'll post again here for your reference.
    Make sure you post your link here. Thanks.

    To OP. I have never messed it up, I don't have a tool for it either.
    You can damage the frame or the headset or both if the cup goes in on an angle.
    Which gets damaged depends on which is tougher. XC frame and steel cup....
    DH frame and Alu cup....

    Make sure your headset uses alu cups, then at least you have a good chance of breaking just the headset and not the frame if it goes wrong.

    If your headset is weak alu, and you intend to bash it in with a mallet and piece of wood, then of course you could damage the cup just from bashing.

    So, the press is a good idea. But usually ends up costing to make. However, looks like coiler_guy is about to solve that problem for you. Worth making the press, as you'll use it again.
    If you mess this up, don't keep going in the hope it will be ok. Knock cup back out as soon as it goes off kilter and try again.

    The headset remover tools are cheap. Have one ready. Get one that does 11/8 and 1.5. You can make them work better by shoving a piece of cut steer-tube up inside them as you're using them. This keeps the ends of the arms on rim of the headset cup. Better to hit it a medium number of medium hits than a few big ones. Big hits can make sudden, major chances and those can break stuff if the result is not right.
    You will find that you need to hit things harder than you expect. But, better to build up to that level from below, and learn what it is, than to exceed from the get go.

    Use some good grease to install headset.
    Make sure you cleaned out any overspray inside your head tube first.

  5. #5
    Old Punk
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    529
    5/8 threaded rod longer than your head tube; 2 5/8 nuts and some hard washers . Use the nuts and washers to squeeze the races in. I also ground 2 flats on a 5/8 washer so it fits through the old races, but contacts when laid flat inside the headtube, then pound old races out. Has worked for me several times.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,235
    It is not difficult to press a headset, but you can damage the frame. You have to be willing to accept that risk. If not willing, then pay a bike shop to accept the risk.

    I use a threaded-rod setup that I bought from user "mtbtools" on eBay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mountain-Bike-Ro...#ht_500wt_1085

    Maybe I could buy all the same parts at the hardware store, but this guy has everything ready to go, and that's worth something to me. Plus, his aluminum press drivers fit perfectly inside the bearings on Cane Creek S-3 headsets, helping a lot to keep everything lined up.

    Be generous with the grease. Press one headset cup at a time. If a cup begins to go in cockeyed, then use the remover tool to knock it back out so you can try again. However, the cup will not necessarily stay 100% perfectly aligned during the pressing process either.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2,878
    Depends on your skills and how careful you are, some people have installed dozens of headsets with nothing more than a hammer and block of wood and gotten it perfect every time. Others...well, let's just say it ended with a frame & headset write-off. I've installed everything from a $10 used box special to a set of Chris Kings with the hammer & wood block technique, so far, so good. I keep meaning to make a headset tool of some sort but I never get around to it. And yeah, grease is your friends, lube up the frame & cups and everything goes in nicely.

    Find a cheap $10 bike at a garage sale or something, or maybe pick up a free one from the curb on garbage day. Bash out the headset cups with a screwdriver or some other tool then try to put them back in. Do it a few times and if it goes well each time then you should be able to install the headset on your good bike without too much difficulty. If you keep messing up, you know it's best for someone else to do it for you.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hahdtail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    79
    what kindof grease mates?

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Yeah you could mess up your frame, but honestly, you'd have to really screw it up. Bang that sucker in with a 2x4. If it starts looking crooked, quit banging!

    Any grease that is slippery. The objective is to just get that thing in place without having to knock the crap out of it.

  10. #10
    Legend
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,287
    I have pressed all of mine in using my fork. Put the bottom part of the headset on the steerer, put the fork in the frame, put the top stuff in the top. Use stem, spacers, and the topcap ... screw down, repeat adding spacers to get it in there ... almost guaranteed straightness.

    Not sure if it's a great idea, but I've had good luck. I have only used sealed bearing headsets, though, so I am not sure if that matters.

    Oh ya, if the frame is new, you might want to consider having the headtube faced.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,235
    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    I have pressed all of mine in using my fork. Put the bottom part of the headset on the steerer, put the fork in the frame, put the top stuff in the top. Use stem, spacers, and the topcap ... screw down, repeat adding spacers to get it in there ... almost guaranteed straightness.
    That's an interesting technique. I wouldn't have thought of doing that. It's a clever hack though. I like it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    159
    As promised here is my headset press. It is very similar to the threaded rod style with a few mods that I think make it work better. Those mods would include using 2 wood blocks and keeping on of the blocks stationary. this method works great and there is very little risk of damaging anything IMO. take it slowly at first and make sure the cup is going in straight and you're good to go.

    here is a pic of the completed tool.

    You can see a complete write up here:
    http://bikelife365.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Old Punk
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by hahdtail
    what kindof grease mates?
    Valvoline syn power synthetic automotive grease has been my favorite flavor, but any grease will work. It's not a good idea to mix, so clean everything and use the same grease that you pack your bearings in.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  14. #14
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,111
    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff
    Valvoline syn power synthetic automotive grease has been my favorite flavor, but any grease will work. It's not a good idea to mix, so clean everything and use the same grease that you pack your bearings in.

    True, just about any kind of grease will work.

    The important part is that the grease must be SUPER CLEAN! As in no contamination of any kind.
    Keep grease in a gun or similar, use clean rubber gloves, and keep your workspace ultra clean when working on any kind of bearings.
    The usual bucket of grease with a paint brush standing in a corner of the bench, is a sure way to keep things at their worst. I know that is frequently seen at the LBS, but it is a sure no-go.


    Magura

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Quote Originally Posted by ettore
    I have pressed all of mine in using my fork. Put the bottom part of the headset on the steerer, put the fork in the frame, put the top stuff in the top. Use stem, spacers, and the topcap ... screw down, repeat adding spacers to get it in there ... almost guaranteed straightness.
    I'd recommend against it. When you assemble the headset first like that, you're actually pressing it in via the bearings, which isn't a great idea. Also, if it's a difficult press (longer skirts or tight interference), then it's hard to get enough torque to completely press the cups in.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hahdtail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    79
    i took it to the lbs. $15. why not

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Because you can do it just as well yourself, for less than $15 worth of parts, and end up with experience and a new tool.

  18. #18
    Class Clown
    Reputation: dundundata's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,766
    i'll most likely be giving the ghetto method a try when I get a new fork. I like the idea of the threaded bolt and washers for the cups, some cut piping to remove the old cups and a pipe to install the crown race.

  19. #19
    Old Punk
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata
    i'll most likely be giving the ghetto method a try when I get a new fork. I like the idea of the threaded bolt and washers for the cups, some cut piping to remove the old cups and a pipe to install the crown race.
    I tried to upload some pics, but they are too large, 488mb only, c'mon mtbr! My threaded rod idea also removes the old races. A 5/8 washer just catches the races and clears the i.d. of the headtube. Grind 2 flat sides opposite each other on the washer and it will slide in vertically but lays flat on the races inside the tube. Put a nut on the 5/8 threaded rod, then insert the nut/rod into said ground washer and pound the race out. Comes out straight and clean every time.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  20. #20
    Old Punk
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    529
    ^^^^ Oops, that's for a 1 1/8 headset. 5/8 washer won't work on a 1 1/2. Duhh.... Maby 3/4 will.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff
    I tried to upload some pics, but they are too large, 488mb only, c'mon mtbr!
    There are lots of ways to compress pictures, but one way that might work for you in windows is to right click the picture or group of pictures you have selected, and go
    send to > email recipient. there will be an option to make pictures smaller or keep them the same. choose smaller, and it will give you some size options and then attach them to an email ready to send. You can then save the smaller attached pictures.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff
    I tried to upload some pics, but they are too large, 488mb.
    488 is HUGE

    google something called jpeg re-sizer. on the net i upload files that are around 50k

  23. #23
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,119
    As low as $47 for the right tool:

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...=1137&bih=690#

    But if you have to ask, just go to a bike shop.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,235
    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    And that "right tool" is essentially a threaded rod with some large washers.

    I actually like the one I bought on eBay better. That one has a machined part that fits perfectly inside a Cane Creek S-3 bearing. So I press my cups with the bearings in place, the wide part of the fitting applies all the pressure to the cup, and the narrow part of the fitting fits inside the bearing to help hold the alignment.

    The same guy machines some fittings for 1.5" headsets. Those fittings are on my "to buy" list. I am likely going to be getting a frame soon with a tapered head tube.

  25. #25
    Takw/agranofsalt
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,534
    If you are careful you can use a bench vise in a pinch. I use the home made threaded rod and washers myself.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Quote Originally Posted by NorKal View Post
    If you are careful you can use a bench vise in a pinch. I use the home made threaded rod and washers myself.
    I've broken a vise doing that. They're designed to hold, not press.

  27. #27
    Come see me after class
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,424
    I just eyeball it and whack it in with a mallet. Works every time (many times), and I've yet to damage a frame.

    I love integrated headsets though...

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I've broken a vise doing that. They're designed to hold, not press.

    I can't imagine. Wouldn't the headset or head tube fail long before a vise? !!

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I can't imagine. Wouldn't the headset or head tube fail long before a vise? !!
    Not on the vise I broke...

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,663
    Quote Originally Posted by hahdtail View Post
    i have to put in a 1.5 headset into an aluminum frame, how badly could i finagle this up?
    I have never, EVER used a headset press to install a headset press. This includes installing headsets in customers frames.

    I've always used a soft faced hammer (specifically a Thor Hide faced one), plenty of grease and gentle taps. Never damaged a head tube or a headset with it, much easier to get the cups in straight and less likely to flare the head tube then presses seem to be. Sadly the hammer was no cheaper than a lot of presses.

  31. #31
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,868
    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    I have never, EVER used a headset press to install a headset press. This includes installing headsets in customers frames.

    I've always used a soft faced hammer (specifically a Thor Hide faced one), plenty of grease and gentle taps. Never damaged a head tube or a headset with it, much easier to get the cups in straight and less likely to flare the head tube then presses seem to be. Sadly the hammer was no cheaper than a lot of presses.
    A rubber mallet works the same way. I've installed over 30 heatsets this way, and never encountered a single problem. In fact, I even made a homemade headset press out of a threaded rod and some washers, and I still prefer to use my rubber mallet and/or a small piece of wood.

    Having a very clean head tube and properly greased headset cups will help.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,235
    How do you guys hold the frame securely whilst you hammer at it?

  33. #33
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,868
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    How do you guys hold the frame securely whilst you hammer at it?
    I supported the frame with one hand under the down tube while hammering with the other while the frame's in a normal stand. It helps if you can press hard on the headset to get it seated slightly prior to hammering, because then there's less worry about alignment when you start swinging .

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,663
    I get the frame in a work stand, then put one hand flat against whichever end of the head tube I'm not going to be hammering. I also press the headset in intially with my fingers, it doesn't go far but enough that it stays put if you were to turn the frame upside down.

    Alternatively, sit down, hold the frame vertically with the dropouts resting on the floor and grip it between your legs while your girlfriend watches, have fun

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy View Post
    As promised here is my headset press. It is very similar to the threaded rod style with a few mods that I think make it work better. Those mods would include using 2 wood blocks and keeping on of the blocks stationary. this method works great and there is very little risk of damaging anything IMO. take it slowly at first and make sure the cup is going in straight and you're good to go.

    here is a pic of the completed tool.

    You can see a complete write up here:
    http://bikelife365.blogspot.com/
    Just want to add my snippet. I done this for the 1st time in my life tonight, using the home-made headset press, and it was almost too easy. I just used a longer rod and no coupler, which i found in home-depot for I think $4, then with the nuts and washers, i was all in for under $5. Greased up the cups then went in. I have a Park Tool stand, and for the bottom cup, i just turned the bike upside down on the the stand, which meant gravity worked with me rather than against me.

    It really was all too easy. For the sake of $5 and from the word of a noob, use that method.

    Cheers !

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dekes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    227
    Make sure you get your frame's headtube reamed and faced. I've seen plenty aluminium frames with cracked headtubes because the owner didn't want to spend $15 at a bikeshop getting it done.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Dekes View Post
    Make sure you get your frame's headtube reamed and faced. I've seen plenty aluminium frames with cracked headtubes because the owner didn't want to spend $15 at a bikeshop getting it done.

    Would this only apply to a new frame that hasn't had a headset installed before?

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Would this only apply to a new frame that hasn't had a headset installed before?
    It applies to any frame which hasn't been faced and reamed before.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    It applies to any frame which hasn't been faced and reamed before.
    Ok, but suppose you are replacing a headset on a bike that has had no problems with fit, or alignment of the headset. Wouldn't it be safe to assume that the new headset could be installed without worrying about facing and reaming?
    Do most frames come already faced and reamed and ready for the headset? If not, why not?

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,734
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Ok, but suppose you are replacing a headset on a bike that has had no problems with fit, or alignment of the headset. Wouldn't it be safe to assume that the new headset could be installed without worrying about facing and reaming?
    Do most frames come already faced and reamed and ready for the headset? If not, why not?
    No, I would still check it. Just because one, specific headset worked up until now, doesn't mean it or a new headset will continue to work well. I've reamed and faced several frames which had undersized head tubes. You could absolutely press a headset in and it would work, but it's just asking for trouble.

    Most frames do not come reamed and faced. The reason is money. It takes time and tools to do so, so most companies just roll the dice nothing bad will happen within the warranty period. In fact, a lot of new frames I've seem still have paint on the head tube and BB faces. Once you get into high end frames, and definitely custom frames, and lot of them do come prepped and ready to go, but even then I'll throw my tool on there just to double check.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dekes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    No, I would still check it. Just because one, specific headset worked up until now, doesn't mean it or a new headset will continue to work well. I've reamed and faced several frames which had undersized head tubes. You could absolutely press a headset in and it would work, but it's just asking for trouble.

    Most frames do not come reamed and faced. The reason is money. It takes time and tools to do so, so most companies just roll the dice nothing bad will happen within the warranty period. In fact, a lot of new frames I've seem still have paint on the head tube and BB faces. Once you get into high end frames, and definitely custom frames, and lot of them do come prepped and ready to go, but even then I'll throw my tool on there just to double check.
    This

  42. #42
    Wanderer
    Reputation: Toff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    845
    I made these after seeing this thread.

    (MkIII) Homemade Headset Tools...

    The headset press works great. The headset remover worked fine a few times for me but eventually the copper bent. Need to make another one.

  43. #43
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,731
    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Yeah you could mess up your frame, but honestly, you'd have to really screw it up. Bang that sucker in with a 2x4. If it starts looking crooked, quit banging!

    Any grease that is slippery. The objective is to just get that thing in place without having to knock the crap out of it.
    This is brilliant.
    I don't rattle.

  44. #44
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,731
    Tap one cup in lightly. Open your bench mounted vice and tape some slats or thin wood onto the jaws. Lift the bike and place the cup and headtube in the vice, making sure the headtube/cup is perpendicular the jaws. Tighten the vice till the cup bottoms out on the head tube.

    Tap in the other cup and do it again.

    Open a cold one.
    I don't rattle.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This is brilliant.

    Thank you. And thanks for bringing up that old post. Sometimes I even amaze myself!
    Last edited by smilinsteve; 07-22-2011 at 08:17 AM.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    8
    Eh, very hard, apparently. I called up my local bike shop (I need some a new headset 'cause my bearings are....Bad) and they said they could do it there, or I could buy the part and do it at home. Well, before I did anything, I tried ripping out the headset of an old broken down bike out back of my house. I eventually managed to get that sucker out, but I had chunked up the frame pretty good. So, I looked around on eBay and Amazon, and luckily found the tool. I bought it. I am now waiting for my new headset and tool to arrive.
    My advice, only attempt this if you're good with tools, have lots of time on your hand, and don't mind breaking up your frame.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    120
    I don't think ripping the headset out of a broken down bike in the back of your house is comparable to removing a headset from a properly maintained bike kept indoors for it's entire life

    It's not that bad. It can be frustrating and the first time is a little nerve wracking, but it's really not that bad.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    8
    Same concept :/

    But whatev'. It was a killer experience for me and I'm not going to even attempt putting on/removing a headset on any bike until I have the proper tool.

  49. #49
    banned
    Reputation: marpilli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3,993
    I used a rubber mallet, a smear of grease, heat gun, and my freezer to install mine. Worked fine. Details and pics here if you're interested.

    To remove them, a 1" piece of copper tubing and a hammer work nicely... I must sound like a neanderthal... Hammer, me get hammer to fix it!

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Proflexrider View Post
    Same concept :/.
    One is likely to be stuck or frozen in the frame, the other is not. A headset that has been properly installed in a bike that hasn't been left to the elements should come out after a couple of good wacks.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •