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Non-threaded headset maintenance
#1
My trusty road bike is approaching 6000 miles on it. Not much replaced due to good routine maintenance I've been doing.

Would non-threaded headsets need maintenance though? Couldn't find much information, but I haven't looked deep. Thought I'd invoke the brain trust here.

Occasionally I'll wipe away grease that escapes to the outside of the frame. Not much comes out, maybe wiping once or twice a year.

The headset is sort of loose, in that the wheel turns very easily. I don't feel any play in it, nor any rough spots while the wheel is spinning and the wheel turned while lifted off of the ground. This ease of turning is not a problem generally, assuming I keep at least one hand on the handlebars.

I'm wondering if it's time to drop off at my LBS for a tear down and bearing replacement. Thoughts?

Thanks

AndrewB
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#2
Well, in general all bearings should be inspected for wear and greased in regular intervals (when possible). That includes the headset. If it is maintained well you will not need to replace anything too often, as with all bike parts.

Check e.g. http://bicycletutor.com/overhaul-threaded-headset/ for the general idea and http://bicycletutor.com/adjust-threadless-headset/ for the setup. If you once understood how to setup a cup and cone bearing everything should easy. I personally find threadless headsets to be (slightly) easier to setup than the old style threaded ones. That reminds me: I should do the inspection on my road bike while we have rain-and-mud-cyclecross-season here, spring will come.
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#3
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/threadless-headset-service

First part of this article should help you out figure what to do...

Good luck!
Reply
#4
Ahhhh! Thank you for the links. I will check them out!

And Joe, you are thinking like me. With some potential upcoming rains in the central California area, I'm considering dropping my bike off at the local store.


AndrewB
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