Changing Headsets - FSA TH857 Semi-Cartridge to Hope Conventional 1 1/8 headset

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by EasyPeez, 31 Oct 2018.

  1. EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    I shall soon be swapping my headsets.

    I'm reasonably confident in servicing my current headset - taking it apart, greasing bearings, putting back together etc

    I've never changed a headset before, but I had assumed (perhaps naively) that it would just be a case of taking the current one apart, stacking it in the right order on the workbench and fitting the new one with the corresponding parts in the same order. Is there a bit more to it than this?

    Having just read through the Hope tech manual there's a few bits that are beyond my comfort zone. These bits for example -

    "If necessary ream the bore and face each end of the head tube. Chamfer the inside edges of the head tube at both ends."

    Is this just for a completely new build with a new frame? Can I assume that I can ignore this?

    "Press in both cups (2 and 3) using a headset press fitted with Hope adaptors. Use the laser etched Hope logo to ensure the cups are fitted in the correct end of the head tube."

    I don't have a headest press or any Hope adaptors. I can fit the cups on my current set by hand. Will a hand/careful use of a rubber mallet suffice with the new one or do I need to buy the things mentioned?

    "CUTTING STEERER : Fit forks into frame. Slide the complete top assembly and stem over steerer. Ensure all parts are pushed together firmly. Scribe a line flush with the top of the stem. Remove stem and cut steerer in a straight line 3mm below the line."

    Again, I'm hoping this is just relating to a new build? If my steerer is correct length now then no reason to expect to have to alter it to work with a new headset, or is there?

    I've tried a couple of Youtube vids but can't find much specific to Hope headsets other than the odd new-build project.

    Any advice from anyone with experience of fitting Hope Conventional headsets much appreciated.


  2. Threevok

    Threevok President of the Not From Brazil party

    South Wales
    Fitting a Hope conventional headset is not different from installing a cheaper one

    with the exception that you may not want to use two blocks of wood and a hammer.

    There is no need to cut the steerer in your case, or face the frame
    EasyPeez likes this.
  3. iluvmybike

    iluvmybike Well-Known Member

    You might need an additional spacer, or even smaller, depends if the stack height is different. But best fitted with a proper headset press or you could mangle the cups or at worst the frame
  4. Most of the more complicated bits are for new built bikes. Straight replacements are as you thought originally.
    EasyPeez likes this.
  5. OP

    EasyPeez Über Member

    Yeah, I've ordered a set of matching spacers to account for any discrepancies in stack height.

    I appreciate what you're saying. Trouble with all these tools is, they're not cheap are they? Fair enough if you're a mechanic, but for something like a headset press I can't see how I'd use it more than once or twice in my lifetime, and for the amount I'd need to pay for a press I could pay the LBS to fit 3 or 4 headsets. My thinking was I'd try to fit by hand, give it some very gentle attention with a rubber mallet if need be, and if all that fails take it to the LBS to finish the job.

    I like learning new skills and would love to have all the tools for all the new jobs that come along. Hopefully one day. But for now finances (not to mention work/storage space) make it hard to justify.
  6. iluvmybike

    iluvmybike Well-Known Member

    Just buy cakes for them, ask nicely and let the LBS do it for you - they can be a tight fit and you just risk damaging expensive components using a hammer of any kind
  7. minininjarob

    minininjarob Active Member

    I've fitted loads of headsets and used to use the hammer and wood method. Proper presses are expensive but you can make your own by buying some thick threaded bar and large washers/nuts to press each cup in. Used this for a while now and it works a treat for a home mechanic and costs less than £5 from a local bolt stockist.

    However this worries me:

    I can fit the cups on my current set by hand.

    That sounds like you might have a stretched headtube, worth getting checked I think before you proceed.
  8. boydj

    boydj Guru

    On many modern bikes the headsets simply slide into place on bevelled ledges inside the head tube, with no need for presses. Even the crown race is often split so that it can be slid on easily.
    EasyPeez likes this.
  9. iluvmybike

    iluvmybike Well-Known Member

    Yes - an integrated headset has the bearing seats machined into the frame. But the headset according to what the OP titled the thread with was a standard one with pressed in cups?
  10. Nigelnightmare

    Nigelnightmare Senior Member

    EasyPeez likes this.
  11. OP

    EasyPeez Über Member

    I think it's more likely to be my brain than my headtube that's defective - I think I was confusing the cups with the bearing races. I will have removed the latter by hand to get at my bearings to service them, but I won't have taken the cups out of the headtube as there's no need to do that to service/replace bearings is there?

    So this will be the first time I've needed to remove existing cups (and then press in new ones) so it looks like I will need to either buy a headset press, or get the LBS to fit the new headset?

  12. OP

    EasyPeez Über Member

    Inegenious - love it! I can't see me finding time though at the moment to be honest, I'm just so busy. Also, how do you get the existing cups out of the headset first? Does that require a different DIY tool?!
  13. Rusty Nails

    Rusty Nails We remember

    Here and there
    I've made a headset cup remover out of an old steel seatpost. Two vertical cuts with a hacksaw, at right angles to each other, or three cuts at 60 degrees apart, about 6cms long, then spread the cut end out a bit. I've used it scores of times over the years and It's never failed yet.
    Threevok and EasyPeez like this.
  14. rogerzilla

    rogerzilla Guru

    Modern Taiwanese frames are usually well prepped but I've had to face a lot of old steel frames and forks to sort out headset problems. Traditional loose-bearing headsets are also fussier than cartridge headsets because they don't self-align.
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