Intergrated head-set advice

Davywalnuts

Chief Kebab Taster
Location
Staines!
Me again! :smile:

For a while now i've noticed play in my front forks but chose to ignore it with the intention of getting it looked at, but its proving difficult as cycling is my only form of Transport and I only have one bike.

My work colleague has noticed this and how bad it has become.

Ive stripped it all apart and the bearings seems fine still, but the top bearing cartridge sits slightly loose and this seems to be whats making the forks play.

Now, does this mean through my ignorance the head tube has worn down internally, and can I "pad" it out internally with say sello tape so the bearing cartridge sits snugger into I can drop it in to a LBS?

Ta!
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
No idea what you can do about it....but this is precisely the reason I'd avoid integrated headsets.
 

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
As I didn't know what an integrated headset was I looked it up on Wiki

Integrated headsets

A relatively recent development, integrated headsets do away with the upper and lower cups on threadless headsets and instead seat the bearings directly against the head tube of the frame. Favored sometimes for their aesthetic appeal, integrated headsets reduce the number of parts involved in the headset assembly. Prominent standards for integrated headsets include Cane Creek's "IS"[citation needed] and Campagnolo's standard, which is nameless apart from the manufacturer name. Chris King, a leading headset manufacturer, offers a vehement argument against the implementation of integrated headsets.[4] The basis of King's argument is that headtubes with bearing "seats" are far from being machined with reasonable precision. The headset cartridge bearings therefore sit somewhat loosely in the headtube of the bicycle (as opposed to being press fit). During use, the bearings, under thrust loads, will rock in their seats and will easily damage the softer frame material (often aluminum, although some titanium frames are manufactured for integrated headsets). Given enough damage to the frame, there would be no choice but to replace the frame, especially if the frame is made of an aluminum alloy (titanium and steel can potentially be repaired, but usually at great cost to the consumer). King also argues that the integrated headset is largely a cost-cutting measure for many of the larger bicycle manufacturers, since integrated headsets are somewhat cheaper and take less time to install.

:smile:

Did you get your frame second hand on Ebay Davy?

Hopefully it's not as bad as it sounds from Wiki.
 

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
Just read a bit more about them, and the bearings are usually quite loose. Have you just tried putting plenty of grease on them and re-tightening?
 

MartinC

Über Member
Location
Cheltenham
Davy, you need to be clear whether the play is in the bearings or between the cup and the frame.

If it's the former then just pack it with grease and get a replacement bearing (or headset if the bearings aren't obtainable) fitted as soon as you can.

If it's the former then the frame is worn and the more you ride it the worse it'll get. If your bike shop has the correct tools they can re-cut the seating for the integrated cup if the head tube isn't too badly worn. Packing it with PTFE tape might be enough to stop it getting worse until then. If the frame is too worn then you might be able to Araldite the cup in to stop it moving and this might last for a while. Otherwise the frame is shot.

Integrated headsets may be light and good looking but they need to be watched - if they're not kept well adjusted they can quickly wear the frame.
 
OP
Davywalnuts

Davywalnuts

Chief Kebab Taster
Location
Staines!
redjedi said:
Given enough damage to the frame, there would be no choice but to replace the frame, especially if the frame is made of an aluminum alloy :sad:

Did you get your frame second hand on Ebay Davy?

Hopefully it's not as bad as it sounds from Wiki.
Eeeek... I think the Zebra is dying.... :sad::sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:
 
OP
Davywalnuts

Davywalnuts

Chief Kebab Taster
Location
Staines!
MartinC said:
Davy, you need to be clear whether the play is in the bearings or between the cup and the frame.

If it's the former then just pack it with grease and get a replacement bearing (or headset if the bearings aren't obtainable) fitted as soon as you can.

If it's the former then the frame is worn and the more you ride it the worse it'll get. If your bike shop has the correct tools they can re-cut the seating for the integrated cup if the head tube isn't too badly worn. Packing it with PTFE tape might be enough to stop it getting worse until then. If the frame is too worn then you might be able to Araldite the cup in to stop it moving and this might last for a while. Otherwise the frame is shot.

Integrated headsets may be light and good looking but they need to be watched - if they're not kept well adjusted they can quickly wear the frame.
Thanks Martin, good up date there for me to digest.

I've stripped most of the headset out now, now I know how it dismantles and works.. Except I couldnt get the bottom cartridge bearings out... and now I think its damaged it as its no longer smooth... however... the top cartridge bearings seem fine.. it seem to be internal wear in the top part of the headtube, were the cartridge sits thats causing the movement.. Ive tried the sellotape job and messed it up completely pushing the cartridge right up, millimetres, but enough. However a sliver of sellotape just at the front of the cartridge instead seems to be better.. In the mean time, my steerings shot... am naff at this self-machanic malarky! hahaha.

thanks again for your help!
 
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