21 votes
Accepted

Should amateurs install their own headsets?

The headset is a straightforward unit. Two cups are pushed into the frame with an interference fit and the crown race is smacked onto the top of the fork in a similar way. In the past, when I have had ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 13.9k
14 votes

Used WD-40 on headset and now it loosens daily

Using WD40 on a headset should not cause it to loosen. Something else is wrong. You need to find out what that is. First - don't ride the bicycle until the problem is identified and fixed. Doing ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
  • 10.6k
12 votes

Broken stem tube – LBS "just" lowered handlebars. Is this safe?

Here's how I would fix the problem. This could all be done by somebody with basic tools and basic knowledge. Get a quill-threadless stem adapter and a new stem. This will allow you to fit the new ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.7k
12 votes
Accepted

Got a new frameset, don't know why I need this split ring collar?

That looks like the compression ring for a threadless headset. Images by keithonearth on Wikimedia Commons, reproduced under Gnu free documentation license More information found at Sheldon Brown
David D's user avatar
  • 21.3k
12 votes

My bike's adjustable stem keeps falling down

What you have is an adjustable stem. The headset is the pair of bearings in the head tube that the fork steerer tube runs in, that allows the handlebars and fork to turn. You are tightening the ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Is lithium grease suitable for lubricating the steel headset cups when pressing them into the aluminium frame?

Yes, totally suitable. Of all the remotely common grease types, there's not really a scenario on bikes where the type matters for this application unless it's a titanium or stainless frame, and then ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
10 votes

Broken stem tube – LBS "just" lowered handlebars. Is this safe?

What you have now is a bit of a hack, but it could be good temporarily so long as you don't over-stress things somehow, and if you can tolerate the lower handlebar. (Note, I haven't seen how your ...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
9 votes

Got a new frameset, don't know why I need this split ring collar?

It is indeed a compression ring, David D’s diagram is helpful to illustrate the following: What it does is transfer the force of the cap bolt to the inner face of the cartridge bearing. That then ...
Swifty's user avatar
  • 12.8k
9 votes
Accepted

My bike's adjustable stem keeps falling down

There are quite a few adjustable stems where you would NOT tighten the correct bolt. Also tightening this bold too hard can lead to a catastrophic failure of the stem. For quite a few of those ...
tobltobs's user avatar
  • 206
9 votes
Accepted

Can't remove fork from head tube!

The grey part is a wedge and has a split in it. You could use a metal pick to pry it out at the split. If you deform it in your attempt, file or sand off any burrs before you reuse it. If you hit the ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 13.9k
9 votes

How can I remove very stuck headset spacers (alu/carbon)

I went ahead with the rotary tool (Dremel) and general cutting disc. I cut two grooves side by side in the top spacer and prized one of them open with a flat screwdriver. Once the aluminium is thin ...
Swifty's user avatar
  • 12.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Is stem cap redundant after tightening stem bolts?

Yes this is correct. Once the stem bolts are tight, they hold the system together. The top cap can be loosened without releasing the preload. You could try it out and you should find that the stem ...
Swifty's user avatar
  • 12.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Road bike headset: the spacer above the stem can rotate but not the ones below, is it wrong?

When the stem is clamped in place, it's enough to keep the headset in place. The top cap is used only for adjusting headset bearing preload and keeping water and dirt out of steerer tube, so in ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 22k
8 votes

Is my carbon fork steerer tube damaged by overtightened stem bolts

In practical terms, it's impossible to tell for sure in a case like this. It's probably fine, but there's no way of knowing absolutely via visual inspection. The surface indentations from the stem ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Amount of spacers below the stem for steel 1 inch steel steerer

Common threadless steel steerers have essentially no practical limit for this in either 1" or 1-1/8". There of course is a theoretical limit, but it's going to be a very large number, way over 12"/...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
8 votes

Is stem cap redundant after tightening stem bolts?

As noted, the cap is theoretically not needed to hold the stem in place, but in the rare situation you need a stem adjustment on the road/trail you'd have a hard time of it. I've removed a spacer ...
Sody Pop's user avatar
8 votes

Should amateurs install their own headsets?

I'd once bought a naked new Italian steel frame that I intended to build up myself. There were three things that I had done by the shop that sold me the frame. That was mainly because I didn't want to ...
Carel's user avatar
  • 8,289
7 votes
Accepted

Freezing headset cups to ease installation - does this actually work?

According to this link the thermal expansion of aluminum 6061 is 13 micro inches/(inch x °F). A headset has a diameter of 1.125 inches, and circumference of 3.5325 inches. Assuming you change the ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Frequent fork swapping, best practice?

I have done such a thing for many years with a rigid carbon fork for winter and a suspension fork for summer. At the beginning I simply called the headset manufacturer and ordered another crown race ...
Deleted User's user avatar
  • 9,978
7 votes
Accepted

My fork stem is rusted - should I replace the forks?

The corrosion can be removed from the steerer with no problems. If the corrosion was bad and extended into where the top headset bearing sits, there might be a problem as the steerer would not fit ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Unobtainium headset size?

The product you are looking for is called "headtube adaptor" or "headset reducer". Once you know the name, you should be able to find them online. If the headset is in good shape, there should be no ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 22k
7 votes

Is this a crown race?

Yes, the piece in the lower left is the crown race. Split types (with the slit) should gently pinch onto the crown race seat of the fork. What's important with that type is that there's zero play (...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Headset labeling - Does this qualify as EC30?

30.03mm is a measurement one might expect to get off the OD of a 1" JIS cup (called EC29 in SHIS, from the 29.8mm frame bore). That's consistent with the "22.2/30.0/26.4" on the label. However, 26.4 ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is this headset's name per the Standardized Headset Identification System

Yes ZS56/40 - Zero stack with 56 mm bore diameter and 40 mm fork crown race. It is zero stack because it is a black cup containing the silver bearing, but the bearing ends up inside the frame tube (i....
Swifty's user avatar
  • 12.8k
7 votes

Is lithium grease suitable for lubricating the steel headset cups when pressing them into the aluminium frame?

Grease will do much more to protect it than nothing, with many mechanics preferring marine-grade grease if near the ocean or salted roads. Optimally, you should use an anti-seize compound. In ...
cyanrarroll's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Which way to use a crown race removal tool?

Here is a picture of instructions for a tool similar to yours. This picture shows putting a screwdriver in the holes to drive out the crown race. Since yours are threaded I'd put a bolt in each hole ...
David D's user avatar
  • 21.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Stiff/binding headset

There is almost a certainty that debris has been carried into your headset and bearings due to being exposed to the elements. It's also quite possible that there is corrosion. The obvious fix is to ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 978
7 votes

Should amateurs install their own headsets?

If carried out carelessly, even changing a chain can cause bad damage to the frame. Consider headset installation against other commonly carried mechanical tasks on a bicycle. Why does nobody (usually)...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
7 votes

Question about stem play

When it's properly adjusted, there should be no perceptible play or movement. Sometimes the above needs to be qualified that imprecision or imperfection in the parts can still allow some play, ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How does this stem/headset work?

You loosen the wedge bolt to lower the stem. What's going wrong here is the adjustable part of the stem has been raised to cover the wedge bolt. You need to swing it down using the bolts on the sides ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar

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