I'm building a bike from scratch, and went to my LBS today to get the head tube faced. They told me I don't need it (they also told me they don't have the tool), but when I look at the frame, there is some visible unevenness at the top end of the head tube. Also, the bottom end is far from flush. This is the first time I do this, so unsure to keep looking for a shop that can face the tube, or just install the cups. It's an new aluminium frame. See the picture below, does it need facing?

I'll be installing a zerostack headset with industrial bearings btw, not loose ball bearings.

head tube unevenness

  • 5
    I can't answer your question, but do try another bike shop. Could be your first LBS was really just a sports shop or a bike-from-a-box assembler.
    – Criggie
    May 26, 2017 at 12:45
  • 3
    Definitely hit up another shop. A second opinion never hurts.
    – jimchristie
    May 26, 2017 at 12:56
  • 1
    Also, this frame looks like it uses an internal or integrated headset, so we'd need a photo that shows inside the frame to tell whether it's already been faced.
    – ojs
    May 26, 2017 at 16:29
  • 2
    I'd definitely hit up another shop if only because almost every shop which is capable of correctly assessing this will already have the tools.
    – Batman
    May 26, 2017 at 16:45
  • I went to a different shop, the could do it but didn't give me any advice on whether it was needed or not. They did a fine job, and the bearings are completely flush with the frame now, so al good.
    – bwindels
    May 31, 2017 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


Any actual bike mechanic will understand the value in facing/reaming preemptively. Unless it's clearly already been done, visible symptoms don't really count for much here. It is true that it's pretty rare to come across a frame that needs it in the sense that otherwise it can't be a bike with a reasonably adjusted headset.

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