FSA Headset bearing replacement

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by adam2008, 4 Mar 2016.

  1. adam2008

    adam2008 Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I need a bit of help, the headset on my road bike feels as rough as a badgers arse, I have taken it apart and given it a spruce up and re grease but still rounds rough. So I am guessing I need a new set of bearings.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction for the bearing or if I can change them from the semi-caged bearing to the enclosed ones? Or if the head set is just rubbish... an alternative to replace it with.
    My headset currently is FSA No.10P 1.1/8" Semi Integrated.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    Try this:


    I've just sent FSA an email on your behalf as I can't find an FSA no.10 anywhere. I'm guessing the bike is a fair few years old?

    Alternatively, find the correct size of the balls in your headset with a digital caliper and buy some more. You can always do away with the retainer cage and just fit the balls in the headset and leave a gap of of about 1-2 balls to allow them to move. I did this with my old headset and it worked a treat, better than when caged. They're still going strong and cost me around £4 for 100 balls. It can be more of a pain to assemble/disassemble, as you have loose balls instead of them being held within a cage, but if you use enough good grease they'll be fine.
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2016
  3. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    Check the races in the upper and lower cups (ie 4 in total) and if they are ok then just get some bearings of the same size and pop them in the cages in place of the old ones.

    If the races are pitted then you will need a new semi integrated headset - the main consideration is the internal diameter of the headtube so that the new headset fits snugly into the frame.
    migrantwing likes this.
  4. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member


    I emailed FSA directly, on your behalf, and recieved this email today:

    Fab Foodie, Dogtrousers and hondated like this.
  5. hondated

    hondated Veteran

    You've just proven why this forum is so great. Well done.
  6. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    If you had caged bearings then the Crown Race will need to be replaced as the Orbit Z has angular contact bearings - 36 x 36 by the look of it- the new CR will come with the headset.

    The old one needs to be carefully pried away and the new one pressed on.
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2016
    migrantwing likes this.
  7. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

  8. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    @accountantpete, do the figures 36 x 36 refer to the inside and outside angle in degrees of the ACB or the angle of each bearing in the upper headtube and lower headtube? It's always been something that has flummoxed me,
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2016
  9. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    Thank you, kind sir :smile: (although I did slip up with 'recieved' instead of 'received')
  10. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    Hi @migrantwing - my understanding is that some manufacturers prefer a 36 degree angle for the crown race (for stability) whilst keeping the designed 45 degree shelf in the headtube for the internal headset. So they use 36 x 45 bearings ie internal is 36 and external is 45.

    Some makers prefer 45 x 45 and a few use 36 x 36 where the internal shelf is also made 36 degrees.
    migrantwing likes this.
  11. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    Thanks for verifying that, @accountantpete. As knowledgeable as ever :smile: Hope you're well.
    accountantpete likes this.
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