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Rebuilding a frame after gettting it painted. Splurged and purchased a Chris King Aheadset, after all the gushing going on on this forum.

I wanted my LBS mechanic to press it on. He said (over the phone, without looking at the headset) that some of the Chris King sets require special and very costly Chris King tools to do the press fit.

Too costly, he said, for his blood. He doesn't think any other bike shop in town has paid the $$$ for the tools, either.

Has anyone else run into this? I may have to send it back and get something else.

Guidance would be appreciated.
 

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Chili hed & old bike fixr
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They only require adaptors for the headset press that they should already be using, I think they may be $25 for the set. With a modicum of mechanical aptitude they could put something together out of shop junk that would work fine.
 

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Shirtcocker
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curlybike said:
They only require adaptors for the headset press that they should already be using, I think they may be $25 for the set. With a modicum of mechanical aptitude they could put something together out of shop junk that would work fine.
Yup...also I think I'd be wary of any shop that can't install a King Headset and is too cheap to get the proper tools to do so.
 

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Banned
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Yeah, the King headset tools are required for HS installation just like the Campy wine bottle opener is required for opening wine bottles.

You need to find another LBS.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Yeah, nonsense.

I heard this kind of thing from 1 LBS. They had some kinda DIY headset press, it turned out, not the "real tool." They installed crown races with a length of pipe and hammer.

Not that thousands haven't been installed this way, but it rubbed me wrong to see that done to my carbon steerer tube. I haven't been back.
 

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eminence grease
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If you pull the removeable bushings off the standard-every-shop-owns-one Park headset press, it works just fine. I learned this fun fact from a custom builder and in turn, I've pressed dozens of them with nary a problem.

Sounds like your LBS guy isn't interested.
 

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Installing a HS is really simple. I installed my CK threadless with a rubber mallet and a pipe.
 

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Twitterpated
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Forrest Root said:
Yeah, the King headset tools are required for HS installation just like the Campy wine bottle opener is required for opening wine bottles...quote]

Love it. Exactly.

I'm a total newb at headsets. I've installed two (one was a Chris King) with a generic-no-name press, and it worked out great.

Here's a thread where I asked about the same issue basically.

Thanks,
Tshirt
 

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Juanmoretime
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terry b said:
If you pull the removeable bushings off the standard-every-shop-owns-one Park headset press, it works just fine. I learned this fun fact from a custom builder and in turn, I've pressed dozens of them with nary a problem.

Sounds like your LBS guy isn't interested.
+1! I've been doing the same thing TerryB described for years with King headsets. A standard Park headset press does the job very well without the bushings. This way the press is only pressing on the cup and not on the bearing.:idea:
 

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Boobies!
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LBS is probably pissed that you didn't buy the headset from him...It is nice to have the "right" tool, but as the poster above says, people should be able to improvise...

Worse case, you can make your own "remover" using the right diameter EMT tubing from Home Depot that will just fit inside the head tube & saw some slits--instant Park-style cup remover, and make your own cup "press" with a piece of threaded stock, some big nuts and a couple of short sections of flat stock. You could probably even find something the right size to center on the cups under the nuts/flat stock to add a little more control.

Crown race install--get another piece of copper heavy wall tubing that will slip over the fork tube, and a mallet.

Just work carefully--it's not rocket science, but you do want everything to start in square...
 

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Juanmoretime said:
+1! I've been doing the same thing TerryB described for years with King headsets. A standard Park headset press does the job very well without the bushings. This way the press is only pressing on the cup and not on the bearing.:idea:

I too do this as I learned from a to do it this way if you don't have the king pieces, I am only a headset press away from having my own mini shop set-up at home as I get impatient when I get a new rig....
 

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Details...

EMT is what type of pipe? Copper to install is best? Compressing the cups, how much? Is there a snap or click when finished? Spacers on top of the cup, are they compressed by the stem? How about spacers above the stem, compressed by the top cap? Thanks in advance.
 

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Boobies!
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EMT = heavy wall conduit, & you want the OD it to be small enough to clear the cups that are installed. The slots need to be cut like the Park remover (2"-3"'), and flared out slightly (and debur a little to prevent scratching), so that you can pull the other (non slotted end) through, and then push back, and the four "wings" you have created will wedge against the inside edge of the cups. You can then tap on the end of the tubing, & you should be getting even pressure on four points to drive out the old cups. Work slowly, with light taps.

You can even use a long punch, and work around the inside edge of the installed cup, light tap, move your punch 180 deg, light tap, 90 deg light tap, 180 deg light tap, so you are only moving the cup slightly with each tap, taking care not to score the inside of the head tube.

The advantage of the remover is that it is less likely to damage the inside edges of the old cup, and also less likely to score the inside of the head tube. I see them on eBay relatively cheap, too.

As far as installation--assuming that your head tube has been properly faced (ie top and bottom surface are square to each other), you need to make sure that the cups start in square, and as you turn in the nuts ( or press) that they stay square. Sometimes this means loosening the nuts and moving your plates to a slightly different position.

They are not usually a super tight fit--check before you begin--there is probably a typical tolerance to know if your head tube will take the headset you have. (Sheldon may have this posted) Once they are started in correctly (ie not jammed), they will also naturally want to move square as you tighten down carefully because that is the path of least resistance.

(Brave souls have done this by hand with a hammer and block--again if you are careful, & they start in square you can do it--but the risk of jammimg is higher, or of slipping with the hammer, etc. etc.)

Fully installed is more by feel than anything--what you should get is the cup evenly seated all the way around, with no gaps between cup and frame edge. This is where the accuracy of the "chasing" comes in. Don't overtighten--just ease up to no gap.

Installing the crown race: copper is nice because it is softer than the material of the race, and you can place it directly against the crown race as you put it on the fork and not worry about marking it. (It also mashes nicely on the hammer end as you tap.)

Again, start slow--you want to tap it to start the race on, and check that it is going on square (even gap). Once it is well started square you can use a little more pressure. Like the cups, it is on when it bottoms out---you can even hear the difference when you are tapping it.

****I have not done this on a carbon fork, so others may have better suggestions******

The rest of the bits--the races/bearings on bottom; races and bearings on top, and spacers are all loose fit, then do your first adjustment by tightening the top cap, then tightening your stem.
***sorry, missed the deal re King headsets--that the bearings are not loose fit***
I find this a little hard to get right--usually I work in a stand, with the wheel out so I can have a hand underneath to guide the whole shebang into place, then put on the top bits, spacers, then stem, then cap. One of those jobs where a third hand would be helpful. Tighten cap once you have the play out with some pressure from underneath, then tighten stem and check. Usually takes me about three tries, but that might just be me.

Laying out the bits in a logical fashion helps a lot.

Check your specs--you want the fork to end slightly below the top face of the stem--there should be a slight difference in height. In fact, you should check this carefully, because the stack height of new and old headset may well be different.

Remember the top cap more or less just holds the thing together with no play, and the stem is what keeps it all together.
 

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hello
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I've pressed CK cups using a homemade headset press with thick big ass washers that I've been using for many years. No harm done.
 

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At home I've use the old 2x4 and Mallet Tools, which I think Park doesn't offer anymore. But in the last 5 years I've been getting them pressed at the shop. As for a shop without a Headset press... Well, I think we all know the answer to that one.
 
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