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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm pretty sure i know what is going on, but i figured i'd throw this out to see if i might be lucky and wrong.
switched forks on my road bike. the guy at the local bike show cracked the crown race taking it off the fork i was replacing. after going to a couple of other shops i found a race that appeared to fit. it appeared to be almost, if not, identical to the original race. when the guy at the shop made the comparison, it was only a visual one, however, because i did not have the bearing retainer with me at the time.
had the race put on the new fork, installed it on my bike and now a hissing, swooshing sound - like metal lightly rubbing against metal is coming from the lower cup.
i've installed lots of headsets over the last 10 years of working on my bikes. i've adjusted my headsets probably hundreds of times. i know how to make proper headset adjustments and i adjusted this one dozens of times trying to get rid of the sound.
its still there.
the headset turns easily without a knocking and/or clicking sound. it doesnt grind. (though my girlfriend described the sound as being a light, grinding sound. it doesnt quite sound that way to me.) it seems to spin just like my other well-adjusted headsets. it just makes this swishing sound. it almost sounds like it needs more grease, though i've liberally greased both the cups and race.
this is my diagnosis: i think that the replacement crown race may be just a tiny, tiny bit off and therefore just doesnt fit exactly right. when i sit the bearings on the race, they appear to fit, though there is an ever so slight wiggle and wobble as i spin and rock the bearings (in the retainer) on the race. it doesnt just spin as tightly and snugly - on the race - as it could. especially compared with others which have appeared to be a bit tighter. other bearings will spin rapidly and for dozens of rotations on the race with just a slight twist. these bearings will spin for a couple of rotations and then stop.
i have lots of headset parts, including a lower cup and race with the bearing retainer it came with. my last resort is to have a shop install the race and lower cup and be done with it. of course its a hassle taking the bike to the shop. and i've been trying to avoid that small hassle, if possible.
also, after the guy at the shop cracked my original race, i'm just a bit leary of letting another wrench have another shot at another race.
thought also about trying to get a set of bearings that might fit just a bit more snugly on the race. though they they may not match the cup as well.
well, i'm interested in any thoughts and advice and feedback and suggestions. i know there are plenty of folks out there who know a heckuva lot more about headsets than i do, brilliant minds out there who can give me a bit of free advice. even if that advice is to go ahead and drag the bike down to the lbs to replace the cup and race.
thanks.
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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650 Posts
Well,

If it were me I would ride it like it is. The bearings aren't fitting in the race perfectly. Save up some money for a Chris King(if it is not integrated). While your waiting for it to go out. You might not even notice the slight sound that it makes.
Its not like your gonna hurt the frame or fork . The headset was killed when the race snapped. Now finding a replacement is going to cost you more than a whole new headset is worth(maybe it already has, seems like you went to a great deal of stress allready).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the bull said:
If it were me I would ride it like it is. The bearings aren't fitting in the race perfectly. Save up some money for a Chris King(if it is not integrated). While your waiting for it to go out. You might not even notice the slight sound that it makes.
Its not like your gonna hurt the frame or fork . The headset was killed when the race snapped. Now finding a replacement is going to cost you more than a whole new headset is worth(maybe it already has, seems like you went to a great deal of stress allready).
so you think the bearings will just wear out quicker because the bearings dont fit perfectly?
without any real catastrophic occurrances?
that is my real fear. while i cant imagine what might happen, i'm having nightmares about something really bad happening because i ignored the warning sounds.
so what do you think: will the bearings go first? and give off a horrible grinding noise when they do, so i'll know that i need to replace the headset.
i'd thought of that option - just riding it into the ground - but frankly, i've never had a headset that didnt - with a little bit of adjustment, rotate nice and smoothly and quietly. this is smooth, but not silent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
no...

the bull said:
heard of a catastrophic headset failure. Have you?
It will get rough if anything...
never heard of one.
i guess i've been letting my imagination run wild.
i think i will take your advice and just ride it and see what happens. i've taken it on a couple of test rides up and down the street and i havent heard the noise when i'm on the bike. only time i hear it is when i test it by holding the bike and rotating the fork and wheel.
yeah, a chris king would work rather nicely.
now if only i could find a place that sells them at a decent price...
 
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