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Hi everyone,

I own a Kestrel Evoke frameset which I believe is the 05 model although it was bought two years ago. My only problem is with the headset. When tightened down via the top cap and starnut, it gets very hard to turn but I when I loosen it a little bit, before tightening the stem bolts, there's play. I just can't get the headset to work perfectly. I believe the culprit is the bearing cups, which hold the bearings, and are slightly larger in ID than the bearings so this explains the play. Anyways, I have had mechanics from two different bike shops adjusted this headset for me and after a couple of rides, the play comes back. At this point, I just want to sell the frame but I am convinced that maybe the problem is just poor quality of the headset and design. For zero stack, there's basically only two models out there in the market, and both are sold under the cane creek patents, which effectively limit competitors. I hate monopoly:mad2:

Now, here's the wrenching part I need help on. Is it possible to fit a Chris King headset in there? What tools and CK headset model should I buy? Any insights would be appreciated.

 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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WheresWaldo said:
No, it is not possible. CK does not like integrated headsets for this among other reasons (he has an agenda and wanted his integrated headset to be the standard). He does not make a single compatible Cane Creek or Campagnolo integrated headset.
Though 'zero-stack' is not the same as 'integrated', the answer, as far as CK is concerned, is still no. There is no standardization in cup size for the zero-stack, so you would have to find one that is made to specs to replace the one you have. - TF
 

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thoughts...

There is no reason for a headset not to stay in adjustment. The play is NOT caused by the fact that the bearings slip into the cups by hand, since they should have a 45 degree contact angle.

There is a possibility that seats (in the frame) for the removeable cups need to be recut. If the faces of the head tube where the cups seat are not parallel, then the bearings will not adjust properly.

If you have the original headset in the frame, trash it and try a new one. It's probably been ridden for so long in a misadjusted condition that the bearings are ruined. While the cups are out, the frame could be checked for head tube problems - if you can find someone with the skills to do this.

Angular contact cartridge bearings require a significant preload torque. The top cap should be tightened until you feel some obvious drag as the fork is turned, then loosened a fraction of a turn - just enough to eliminate the drag. If the bearings are too tight, it will be obvious upon riding, as the fork will not readily return to a straight ahead position after turning.

As already noted, be sure that the steering tube is at least 1mm below the top of the stem, otherwise the bearings will never adjust properly.
 

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Old Skool
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804 Posts

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Old Skool
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804 Posts
Spacer configuration?

I agree that having the steerer a bit too long may be the culprit here. If, in fact, your steerer is a touch too long, my follow up question to this is would be: Do you have a spacer under the stem (between the stem and the top of the headset)? If no, do not shorten the steerer, instead add a spacer (the thinnest you can get) under the stem. This will take care of the steerer length issue and provide a more even preload on the headset. My experience is that threadless headsets usually adjust more easily when there is a spacer in this position.
 

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Get a longer expansion plug. I had similar issues with several FSA headets on my BLUE.

Getting a long expansion pluf helped in keeping things tight. Now it's PERFECT! The HT is fine as well.

I use the Token 25mm one.



They also have a 50mm

 
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