Headset bearing cup replacement

RichardB

Slightly retro
Location
West Wales
Just a quick query ... refinishing a frame. Have removed the headset bearing cups and now want to reinstall in the frame. I've seen people using tools and jigs for this on YouTube, but is it OK just to use a couple of wood blocks and a hammer to tap the cups into place? Happy to make up a jig with a long bolt/washers etc if necessary, but won't bother if it's OK to tap everything into place carefully with a hammer, with vital parts suitably protected. Aware of the need to apply force so that things go in square. Thanks for any advice.
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
A press is better, I’ve use a homemade version, works really well.

image.jpg
 

si_c

Guru
Location
Wirral
Bearings are one of the few things I tend to take the frame to the bike shop for - last time it cost me a tenner. Worth it to my mind personally - I've got a made up headset press but it can sometimes take a while to get it in square and I'd rather get it done right.

It's something I do very rarely though - once in the last 4 years.
 

midlife

Guru
The races can only fit one way down the tube and they stop when they reach the end. As Rogerzilla says care needs to be taken with alloy cups :smile:
 
OP
RichardB

RichardB

Slightly retro
Location
West Wales
Thanks all. The cups and frame are steel, so I will try the block and mallet approach first. No problem to make up a puller with a bolt and washers if it doesn't go well. Thanks for the advice.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Deplorable Brexiteer
Location
London
Unless a bearing is a FT fit in a hole and can be easily pressed or squeezed in a bench vice, I just whack 'em in personally and I'm not just talking about bike bearings. The trick is to be careful to start them as straight as possible so they don't get wedged on the piss and only use small amounts of persuasion until the cup has properly entered the head tube. I tend to use a length of pipe over a shaft, or a flat block of wood and hit those with the hammer. That way you avoid impact damage to the part and it goes in straighter. When a part appears to be fully seated visually, I give it another, harder final whack just to be sure. You don't want a bearing part seating itself further once assembled and under load as it messes up the adjustment.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I've done it with two blocks of wood on a very expensive steel frame and Dura Ace headset. As has been said, make sure the logo's are lined up ! :laugh:

Just take your time and ensure the cups are going in straight. For the £3.99 above, I'd be tempted to get that.

Only bash stuff if the bike is a skipper. :whistle:
 
OP
RichardB

RichardB

Slightly retro
Location
West Wales
I've been quite happy in the past to fit wheel bearings in cars and m/bikes with a block of wood and a hammer. From the sound and feel it is easy to know when the bearing has 'bottomed' in the hole. Bicycles are a bit more delicate. In fact, now I think about it, this is exactly how I fitted new head bearings to a Triumph Sprint 955, but I had forgotten that I also had the cups in the freezer overnight. Thanks for the reminder - that should make it easy.

Have ordered the press tool - I couldn't make one up for that price (country hardware stores not the cheapest).

Thanks all. ^_^
 
Top Bottom