I am trying to service my headset and have difficulties in removing the bearings from the headtube. Those bearings seem to have accumulated some dirt over time and are feeling a little bit grindy. I suppose I am missing out on something here as the bearings seem to have a really tight fit in the tube and I cannot remove them by hand. I also tried to apply some slight pressure from inside with the wooden handle end of a brush with no success. Is this something special like maybe threaded into the tube? Is it even possible to remove those easily?

top bearing

  • Ok, I figured out the tight fit seems to be normal because the bearings are pressed into the tube when installed. In all tutorials I watched previously the bearings could easily be removed. So is removing the bearings in my case (not having any special tools to press the bearings back into the tube) still an option? What else can I do for servicing as good as possible (just regrease?) and remove dirt?
    – conste
    Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


You can release the bearings by removing the snap ring holding the bearing race in place. At about the one o'clock position there is a gap in the snap ring, which sits between the grey and the black circles.

A (disposable) knife blade can be useful (thin enough) for prying the snap ring just enough to release it, wear safety specs.

Clean and grease the bearings then reassemble, consider swapping top and bottom for increased life.

  • 2
    Ah, how did I miss that... Thanks for the tip! Now I've put everything back together, but I'll try that next time.
    – conste
    Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 21:49

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