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What are the best integrated headset bearings, standard or something else?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by I like Skol, 13 Jan 2018.

  1. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this..........

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    Just had to dismantle the headset on my carbon bike for the first time, it was getting a bit clicky after 18 months of neglect. Dead easy to get the sealed bearings out, just pull out with fingers.
    Lower bearing has some external rust obscuring some of the markings. Top bearing is TH MR121.1-1/8 45X45. Lower bearing is TH MR168.1-1/4 and also looks like 45x45?

    Bottom bearing wasn't bad but I suspect has had some water in it and is slightly notchy. I popped off the seals and forced in some fresh grease so it will live a while longer yet.

    I want to get some replacements ready for the next time and can find normal, standard bearings no problem. My question is, should I be looking for something better or more durable? I have seen stainless steel versions which I guess would be good because it seems to be water ingress & corrosion that is the problem rather than wear & tear.

    I have searched the forum and can't find any threads about this but I can't be the first person in this situation. Does anyone know which bearings are best and why?
     
  2. OP
    OP
    I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this..........

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    And another thing, they are blooming expensive! About £15 each, or am I looking in the wrong places?
     
  3. bpsmith

    bpsmith Veteran

  4. Ffoeg

    Ffoeg .

    Location:
    The Isle of Carl
    Blue Hills likes this.
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

  6. When replacing headset bearings you need to get identical bearings otherwise you run into problems.

    You need to confirm the following:

    1 - OD (Outside diameter)

    2 - ID (Internal diameter - you need 1 /18 top and 1 1/4 bottom)

    3 - Depth (measure yours and confirm that the new ones are EXACTLY the same depth - should be around 6mm)

    4 - Angle of contact area (You have 45 x 45 - the bevels on the inside and outside are both 45 degrees - some have 36 degree bevels which you don't want).

    Also - it sounds like they have reinforced the steerer at the bottom by making it slightly thicker which should mean that you use a 1 1/4 crown race which is slightly bigger than normal. I would definitely want to get a spare one of these whilst they are around.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this..........

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    All useful info guys, thanks. Next time I pop them out I will run the Vernier caliper over them just to make sure the markings do correspond with the size/height etc.

    Aire Velo Bearings look very competitively priced, great link thanks.
     
  8. Who cares? :tongue:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this..........

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    Anyone that rides a bike enough to wear them out, so not you obviously! :tongue:
     
    potsy likes this.
  10. ryanme

    ryanme Member

    Location:
    Somerset

    This is the issue ... in the UK you need to be popping open that headset more regularly and giving it a clean and relube.

    Cane creek bearings are £15 for a pair of 41/42mms and the larger sizes 47mm+ up around £18-22 each.

    stainless bearings are good yes, but the seals are often the same so pose no real benefit, just get a bit hotter on your servicing, depending on use etc, 6 monthly intervals or so
     
  11. Getting mighty cold in here.