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I have a 1980 Huffy "Good Vibrations beach cruiser which has been in parts for a little while. I was able to find and put back together everything except I am missing one of the metal cups which are at the top and bottom of the head tube of the frame where the handlebars/fork assembly goes through. This little cup holds the bearings allowing the handlebars to be rotated freely without wobbling so this little piece is somewhat important to make the bike ridable again. I'm not sure of the exact name of this part unfortunately.

Where would I be able to find a replacement for this piece to be able to get my beach cruiser back on the road?

  • This should have a threaded headset, so I'm guessing you're talking about the upper and lower headset races. Maybe you can confirm this by looking at parktool.com/blog/repair-help/threaded-headset-service ? – Batman Aug 6 '15 at 22:27
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    In any case, you can pick up a threaded headset for 20 bucks, once you measure the dimensions. So, I'd probably just buy a whole new headset. – Batman Aug 6 '15 at 22:32
  • Ah I see I didn't even think to measure the diameter of the head tube to look for another headset. – John Aug 6 '15 at 23:27
  • Well, you need to take several measurements -- the details are at the bottom of the park tool page for common cases, or this link: sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-headsets.html. I'm guessing its going to fall under B.M.X / O.P.C. – Batman Aug 6 '15 at 23:34
  • Batman has it right. I wish he had responded instead of commenting, so I could "up vote". – Alistair H Aug 13 '15 at 21:10
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You're looking for a headset. These come in two forms, threaded and threadless, based on whether your fork has a threaded steering tube. Both are available for all budgets.

Headsets come in a couple of sizes, so use a pair of vernier calipers to measure the size you want. Park Tool has a howto on servicing a threaded headset, however assuming you don't have the right tools:

  • you can remove the old headset using a long flathead screwdriver and a hammer (both the cups and the crown race);
  • It's best to install the new headset with a headset press, however, you can gently tap the cups in with a dead drop hammer and a piece of wood, but pay attention to the alignment of the cups, they must be aligned else you'll get weird steering effects.
  • Similarly you can install a new crown race using an old seat tube (etc.) larger than the steerer (but not so large it will damage the race). Again alignment is important.

Make sure everything is installed in the right way. It's an easy part to accidentally install upside down because you've had one too many beers. If your steering feels funny or wonky or is binding up, there's a good chance you've installed a part in backwards.

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