Replacing a threaded headset

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
63
Tokyo
#1
Never done it before. Aside for wheelbuilding and facing (way out of my league, methinks), this is the last thing I haven't done.

The old steel frame I just got sent over from the Netherlands has a knackered Miche needle-bearing headset which is beyond repair. Well, the bottom half is completely done for, but I'd rather swap out the entire thing and replace it with something sparkling and shiny.

Is this worth MacGyvering or should I not bother and get a shop to install a new one? The wise old Sheldon Brown says use a long screwdriver down the head tube and a hammer, but that seems a wee bit too ghetto. It's just that the tools for this particular bit of bike work seem to be a bit on the steep side for something I expect to do perhaps once again in the next ten years.

This be the frame with the offending headset in all its grindy glory. Boooooo.
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stanc

Maximum Pace
Sep 4, 2011
255
41
58
Brighton
#2
First of all, that's a nice looking frame. This is the only bit of maintenance I wasnt confident with & would always leave to a shop. There was far to much chance of me buggering it up (technical term).
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
The tool used for this is actually cheap - there is an OEM brand called GRUNGE and they sell the headset cup remover ffor about 3,000 JPY or get the Park Tool model. (RT-1 Headset Cup Remover)

You can actually make your own using a peice of aluminum or steel pipe - but time V $$ it is probably cheaper to get the right tool. Also I would recommned getting a rubber mallet/hammer.

It's also a great tool for knocking out old press in bearings on modern bikes.
 
Likes: bawbag

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
I have the Campy headset stack / facing tools. This allows for removal, refacing and installation. To remove the old headset you can use the 3 pronged (or similar) 'smacker' (FE knows) - it inserts into the headtube and the 'fingers' expand slightly allowing you to hammer out the old headset from the opposite direction. Please don't use the screwdriver method! That is a very ghetto method and will just bugger the inside of the headtube - if you're lucky to get it out at all. Once you have the old cups out - then you need to clean the tube and generally reface it slightly so the new cups will fit exactly square. Then you need to press them in. Barring a proper headset stack press (like the Campy) you can use a threaded rod, some big washers and just slowly squeeze them in one side, then the other. Applying a very small amount of teflon anti-seize is a good idea - or regular anti-seize paste. I have quite a few NOS headsets floating around, by the way.
 
Likes: bawbag

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
63
Tokyo
#6
Thanks, guys!
I could only find the park tool tools online so I was a bit shocked at the price of the "smacker" (nice name) and the headset press. I guess they're not really aimed for your average cyclist.

Mr Astuto, I will sling you a message either this evening after work or tomorrow regarding those headsets and probable capitulation to the fact that a pro with the right tools is much more likely to do a fine job.

I may do the DIY method at a later juncture, but I should stop being such a Yorkshireman for once!
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#7
Where are you located? I replaced the old headset in my Cannondale MTB a while back, I too just took a piece of pipe and cut it so if had four fingers and then used that to pop out the old races, they came out really easy on my bike, then I used a DIY race press.....


Very simple and it works great.
Getting the right headset was the trick, there are a ton of them out there and some are very similar, if you can get the right replacement set then doing it yourself would be fine, but if I were you, I'd get hold of Tim (GSAstuto) and arrange to take your frame by his shop to have to old set removed and a new set installed, for the time and money you will get a top job done and you will get the chance to meet Tim and have a good conversation. You will also get to drool over some very nice bike stuff.

Cheers!
 

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
63
Tokyo
#9
Indeed!
I like their no-frills nature - they're built to go (relatively) quickly and that's it. I've also got a soft spot for 531c tubing, as my first ever "proper" bike was built with it.