How do you know if a headset is bad?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How do you know if a headset is bad?

    I recently got a redline monocog 29er, and I read a lot of reviews that complain that the headset is crap. How can you tell if it is bad or going bad?
    It would make it difficult to steer? Can it possibly fail catastrophically and cause injury, or is it more of a gradual degradation causing incresing annoyance? Some of the reviews are a few years old, and I'm wondering if maybe the components used in these bikes have changed over the years. I'm prety new to mountain biking and not all that familiar with bike construction.

  2. #2
    Brant-C.
    Reputation: bcaronongan's Avatar
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    in my case, it starts to creak when i hammer.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  3. #3
    Old man on a bike
    Reputation: Bikinfoolferlife's Avatar
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    A properly adjusted and maintained headset, even one at the bottom of the ladder, will work fine in most cases for quite a long time. If you plan on abusing your bike's front end with extreme riding and/or not maintaining it or keeping it properly adjusted, well, all bets are off even on the best headsets. You can get a very good quality headset for $100 that performs no differently than a $25 one, but the $100 one may have an advantage in higher quality components for the long term. Some designs need more frequent maintenance than others. Don't worry about yours until you get a nice long life from it, or screw it up by not taking care of it. It is highly unlikely to fail catastrophically, though. What headset came on that bike?
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  4. #4
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    It says cane creek "aheadset". I searched for it online and it looks like there are a few different versions of the aheadset. Looking at pictures of aheadsets online, none of the pictures I see look exactly like the one on my bike, but it looks like the "aheadset STS" is the closest match.

    Like the one here, except the top cap on mine is just a smooth rounded black cap with no markings on it:
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/164...p=205%20CACST7

  5. #5
    Old man on a bike
    Reputation: Bikinfoolferlife's Avatar
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    That headset should be fine. Just take care of it, make sure it's properly adjusted and give it some loving maintenance on occasion (cleaning and greasing the bearings essentially). FWIW Aheadset is the name Dia-Compe (in the US that is Cane Creek now) originally came up with when they introduced the threadless headset.

    Now, if your frame was poorly prepared, that could be a different problem which could shorten your headset's life...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  6. #6
    I Have Cookies
    Reputation: ae111black's Avatar
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    that head set is a 5$ piece but they work great! keep it clean lubed and properly adjusted and it will last for years!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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    Kimo

  7. #7
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    Ok, I just took it apart for the first time and put it back together. I can understand cleaning and lubing it, but not sure how it could possibly be "adjusted". Do you just mean torqued down properly?
    Also, how often would you guys recommend doing maintenance on your headset?

  8. #8
    Old man on a bike
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    You adjust a threadless headset simply by making sure its cups are set square in the headtube (hopefully your headtube was faced), and with proper preload. Not complicated.
    Older threaded headsets were a bit touchier to adjust and keep tight, the threadless are pretty simple...

    Frequency of service depends on conditions you ride in, the wetter the more frequent, otherwise probably annually is fine maybe even longer.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  9. #9
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    Reputation: yakmastermax's Avatar
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    What kind of grease should you use for mantaining a headset.

    I never knew you were even supposed to mantain your headset.
    Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

  10. #10
    ^ That's what I do
    Reputation: Hopping_Rocks's Avatar
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    Just normal waterproof grease.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

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