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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Fully submersed in the pond of eternal frustration of bike tinkering, I have encountered yet another but hopefully the last problem. :idea:

I'll start with thanking you guys with the past Qs i've had. :D

So I've only dealt with threadless... and when a threaded comes up with no "threaded race" (as per park tool) I have no idea what to do.

Its a single speed built up by previous owner. When I bought it everything was working properly, yesterday I found the fork wiggling a bit while i was working on it.

The general idea for tightening headsets I got from tutorials online was to tighten the threaded race and locknut (correct me if I'm wrong) together with two spanners. But as you can see in the pic the headset only has the locknut and in the middle theres a trimmed cable hanger (my best guess).




ANYWAY, so the big question is ---- How do i tighten this thing?



This has been a slow and painful but somewhat enjoyable build. Hope you guys can help me out!
 

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Militant commuter
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Is that race threaded, but without wrench flats? There were other (usually cheap) threaded headsets that had knurling on that race instead of flats...you tightened it by hand and held it in place while wrenching on the locknut.

You know...threaded headsets are pretty cheap -- if this thing can't be adjusted to your satisfaction, it could be replaced with something more suitable.

And, my guess is that center piece is a sawed-off reflector bracket.
 

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At first glance on my laptop it looked like quite a contraption, until I figured out that there 2 photos. Like many cheap headsets of the era, the upper cup doesn't have wrench flats. It was adjusted with soft jaw pliers, and a keyed washer (or the reflector bracket) kept it from turning when the top cup was tightened.

Adjust it that same way, and contrive to hold the cut off bracket as you tighten the locknut.

BTW- if you don't have soft jaw pliers, you can use an old belt, or scrap of leather and a pair of Channellock pliers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey thanks FB & silverstar... I don't see any movement in the upper cup as I tighten the locknut, the washer and bracket are both keyed. but I still find that after tightening the locknut there is still a little play after a while. There is still a bit of wiggle when I rock the bike back and forth with brakes on. I've hand tightened the upper cup as tight as I can, would I have to tighten it more?
Cheers
 

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Militant commuter
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Yes, try to tighten it more using the method FB describes. It may never be able to reduce all the play, though, and as I'm sure you know, threaded headsets start to come loose after a period of time. If the bearings are getting old or worn, it may just be time to pull the trigger on a new headset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can i just buy new bearings? Not skint... but just don't wanna throw out and go into the trouble of replacing a headset when i can just replace the bearings/
thx!
 

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Militant commuter
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Sure, if the races are in good shape, it's easy to replace the (probably) caged bearings with loose ones. That doesn't necessarily eliminate the tightening problem, though, but it may help and is an inexpensive experiment in any case.
 

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clarinetcola said:
....
There is still a bit of wiggle when I rock the bike back and forth with brakes on. I've hand tightened the upper cup as tight as I can, would I have to tighten it more?
Yes, you can't really get enough preload just by hand tightening. Use a bit of leather and a pair or channellocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ohhhhhhkay.... i think it's snug enough now.
Gotta take it out for a spin to see if the 44x20 is good for a 35km hilly commuting round trip, some time next sunday.
Gotta go practise now :sad:
 
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