Can't remove headset

Jimmy Doug

If you know what's good for you ...
Hi all,

Hope someone can help out.I want to grease the bearings in my semi-integrated headset after cycling 3000 kms in rainy Scandinavia. Before I left I managed to remove the headset and grease, but now I can't remove it no matter how hard I hit it with a rubber hammer. I've tried squirting WD-40 but to no avail. I don't understand why I can't do it now, whereas 6 weeks ago I could (although I had to use the rubber hammer quite vigorously as I'd never done it in three years of owning this bike.) Any ideas?
In case it helps, here are a couple of photos:

IMG_20120827_153038.jpg


IMG_20120827_153055.jpg
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Do you mean can't get the fork steerer out of the head tube?
You may need specialist tools to actually remove the headet.
See here for details.
 
OP
Jimmy Doug

Jimmy Doug

If you know what's good for you ...
Thanks for that linky - it's an excellent article.

Do you mean can't get the fork steerer out of the head tube?
Yes, that's what I mean. What I want to do is simply get to the bearings so I can grease them. As I said, I did manage it before going to Scandinavia this summer and I managed it by tapping quite hard with a rubber hammer. Today this didn't work, and I resorted to hitting it harder and harder with a metal hammer (after placing a piece of wood on top); actually, I've hit it so hard that the thing is deformed a little, and I now have to tap the spacers to get them back on.
I can't remember if I removed the plastic cover that I've marked with an arrow last time:

IMG_20120827_153038.jpg


I don't think I did, but after all the struggling I couldn't help but think something must be stopping the tube from moving. I had a quick go at removing it, but I didn't want to force it off.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I'm no expert on semi-integrated as most of the family's stable are old-style quill stems, but on all the modern headsets I've seen the steerer slides out easily as soon as the stem is removed.
My best guess is that it's not the plastic cover, but that inner dark ring, which might be a bearing race, or some sort of retainer for a sealed bearing, has welded itself to the steerer tube. If that is steel and the steerer is aluminium + a bit of water (especially if any salt in the air) you could have something like what occurs with aluminium seatposts in steel frames.
Thinking back I had one Norwegian customer north of the Artic Circle... I sold him a lot of couplings because he was getting rid of a lot of aluminium "plumbing" and replacing with stainless steel..... a lot of his problems were down to maritime climate.
 
OP
Jimmy Doug

Jimmy Doug

If you know what's good for you ...
Ah yes, that all makes sense. The frame is aluminium and the post is steel. Although I didn't spend a lot of time by the coast, there was a hell of a lot of rain: you can see in the photos that the post is quite rusty. That gives me something to go on...
 
OP
Jimmy Doug

Jimmy Doug

If you know what's good for you ...
I've found a course of action. I will soak it in WD-40 overnight and attack it with a bigger hammer! I know it sounds drastic, but after scouring on the Internet I see no other option apart from buying that expensive Park tool which I can't afford. I'll do it in a couple of days. Will keep you informed.
 
Location
I'boro
i took one apart very much like that - i don't know the right way to do it but i took the plastic looking cover off and the inner ring somehow and the lot fell to bits without a hammer - i would give that a go before getting brutal
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
It looks like that inner ring is acting like a compression ring - you need to prise that up and off. The black top should then pull off and the steerer will also fall through in theory!
 

Steve Malkin

Veteran
Location
Cheshire
^^ What Pete said.
On my headset, that inner ring is plastic with a V shaped profile and has a split in it. I think its purpose is to ensure that the steering column gets centered properly in the bearings.You can prise it out carefully using something sharp and pointy.
Hopefully you haven't deformed it too much with over enthusiastic hammering - a bigger hammer is not always the way forward!!
 
OP
Jimmy Doug

Jimmy Doug

If you know what's good for you ...
Ah! Didn't think of that! Actually, that's not true: I did. It's just that I don't remember doing that last time. I thought that inner ring was the bearing race! God! I've still got a lot to learn about bicycle mechanics! I'll give it a try on Thursday morning as I'm not working. Cheers for your input, guys!
 
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