Weston Chain Gang

Welcome to the Weston Chain Gang forum. We are a group of cyclists that ride regularly from Weston-super-Mare. We meet at Priory school on Saturday at 8:45. Rides vary in distance between 60 and 100 miles with a stop for cake. Ridet nec genere!


    Headset Maintenance for beginners

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    showmethecakes

    Posts : 320
    Join date : 2012-07-01
    Age : 104
    Location : Weston-super-Mare

    Headset Maintenance for beginners

    Post  showmethecakes on Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:50 pm

    Always check your headset for wear and tear. The first thing to test is the amount of free play in your steering. Lift the front wheel off the ground using the handle bars. Look at the bottom of the headset. If there is a gap of about 20mm between the bottom of the head tube and the top of the fork, everything is fine. Just pack with grease and check again in another 12,000 miles.

    If there is no gap this would suggest your bearings have seized up or are maybe too tight. Stand to the side of your bike and with one hand holding the frame, kick the rim of the front wheel. If the wheel turns only minor adjustments are necessary. If the wheel does not turn, get a mate to hold your bike and belt it with a mallet instead. If there is still no movement it means you've got a time trial bike. These are built to go in straight lines at moderate speed so steering is not an issue.

    If you are sure the shop keeper did not sell you a time trial bike you will need to remove the forks and bearings for further inspection and maintenance. Remove the handlebars and top bearing and belt the top if the forks with a large lump of wood. This avoids damage to the top of the forks. If wood is not enough, place wood on forks and hit wood with hammer. Do not use hammer after taking alcohol or other drugs that may inhibit your ability to operate machinery.

    Once the wood has split you will be free to hit the forks directly with the hammer. Damage at this point is not a concern as you have to get the forks out anyway.

    Once the forks have plopped gently from the frame,collect any other pieces that may have fallen out as well. Most of this will be crap that has collected in your headset for a number of years so chuck it all away.

    Now look to see if the bottom bearing is still attached to the frame. If so reverse the forks and insert from the top of the frame. Use the forks as a battering ram to remove the bottom bearing, in pieces if necessary.

    Once you are sure you have removed everything that remotely looked like it shouldn't be attached, gather the pieces together and start to wonder how it all went together.

    That ball race is meant to be circular. Don't straighten it out until you are confident you can get it back into the bearing cup. Now find all of those tiny ball bearings and place the steel balls, bearing cups and ball race into a dish with some de-greaser. Slosh it around and tip excess de-greaser down the sink. Now count the ball bearings again. You should now have less bearings that you started with so less work to do putting them back. As a bonus, your wife will be delighted with that shiny kitchen sink!

    Re-assemble the bearing with whatever parts you have left and reverse the instructions for removing the bearings. Hit into place with hammer, slot in the forks, re-attach top bearing and bars and fill any gaps with grease. Job done. Now sit back with a pint of beer and say to yourself - "Good job."
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    anti-climb max

    Posts : 544
    Join date : 2012-07-05
    Age : 104
    Location : location location, homes under the hammer, flog it

    Re: Headset Maintenance for beginners

    Post  anti-climb max on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:09 pm

    mine's a monocoque, are you sure that this procedure won't result in any fertility issues?
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    showmethecakes

    Posts : 320
    Join date : 2012-07-01
    Age : 104
    Location : Weston-super-Mare

    Re: Headset Maintenance for beginners

    Post  showmethecakes on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:45 pm

    Monocoque's should not be a problem. Just be careful not to hit any protrusions too hard while banging and use plenty of grease.
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    Martin
    Admin

    Posts : 475
    Join date : 2012-06-24
    Location : Worley

    Re: Headset Maintenance for beginners

    Post  Martin on Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:58 am

    Brilliant!
    Have you ever thought of writing a bike maintenance manual - ADHD and the art of bicycle maintenance.
    I'm looking forward to the next chapters on wheel bearing replacment and bottom bracket removal.

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    Re: Headset Maintenance for beginners

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