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So i'm fixing a friends headset for him, 1" threaded, only done one other threaded headset... got a ritchey headset for him and of course i mixed up the order of the pieces, question is, the bearings face towards the headset cup, right? (ie, top bearing down against cup and lower bearing up against cup)... I've replaced the crown race and installed the cups, put the thing back together and cant get it to feel right, i tighten it down to where the headset is nice and smooth, and there is forward and backward play, if i tighten down to remove the play, the bars can't move... any advice? thnx.

I really appreciate threadless after this! Threadless takes me about 20 mintues to replace, this thing has been 2 hours of pain and its still not right.
 

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bikerboy337 said:
So i'm fixing a friends headset for him, 1" threaded, only done one other threaded headset... got a ritchey headset for him and of course i mixed up the order of the pieces, question is, the bearings face towards the headset cup, right? (ie, top bearing down against cup and lower bearing up against cup)... I've replaced the crown race and installed the cups, put the thing back together and cant get it to feel right, i tighten it down to where the headset is nice and smooth, and there is forward and backward play, if i tighten down to remove the play, the bars can't move... any advice? thnx.

I really appreciate threadless after this! Threadless takes me about 20 mintues to replace, this thing has been 2 hours of pain and its still not right.
I think you've got the order right, because it'd be tough to get it wrong. Bottom to top:

Crown race. Lower Bearings. Bottom cup pressed in frame. Top race pressed in frame. Top bearings. Top cup threaded on top of steerer.

Ideas, some of which you've doubtless tried:

Check that the crown race, as well as the bottom cup and top race are all tight and square, and that the faces of the frame or crown didn't pick up a burr during dis/assembly that is keeping them anything less than perfectly square. Not limited to threadless, but worth checking all the same.

Make sure you've got a keyed washer between the top cup and the locknut. It's the devil to get an adjustment right and tight without it.

Try getting it adjusted to what seems about right (cup only,) backing it off a little bit, then bring the locknut down. If you don't have a wrench on both the cup and the nut, you'll never get it adjusted right - though I expect you know that one.

It's a trial and error process for the patient soul. Threaded headset adjustment is close behind wheelbuilding as one of cycling's great mysteries. Good luck!
 

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Ritchey headset bearing orientations

bikerboy337 said:
So i'm fixing a friends headset for him, 1" threaded, only done one other threaded headset... got a ritchey headset for him and of course i mixed up the order of the pieces, question is, the bearings face towards the headset cup, right?.
Yes, generally the ball retainer cage does face the cup.

bikerboy337 said:
(ie, top bearing down against cup and lower bearing up against cup)... QUOTE]

Hmmm.... This doesn't sound right. Since cartridge bearings are usually already assembled into the cups, I assume that this uses ball retainer cage (non-cartridge) bearings? All the Ritchey non-cartridge headsets I've seen have the cups on the top for both upper and lower bearings - so the ball cage would also be facing up on both top and bottom.

Another potential variable is that some of the Ritchey headsets use different bearing sizes top and bottom (larger balls in the more heavily loaded bottom race), so make sure you've got the correct balls for each end.

A quick way to check for the correct retainer orientation is to hand-assemble the individual bearings and check to see if they turn smoothly. Before you put the fork in, assemble the bearings and races of the top bearings together, press firmly together, and see if it turns smoothly. If not, reverse the bearing cage and try it again. After inserting the fork (but before assembling the to bearing), press the bottom race firmly together, and check to see if it turns smoothly. Again, if it doesn't turn smoothly, try reversing the bearing cage.

However, probably the best way might be to simply throw the cages away and use all loose balls. You can usually add an extra ball or two to each bearing, increasing its life.
 

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First of All, no dumping on threaded headsets, Second...

another poster gave the correct order of parts, as to the bearing, I don't know Ritchey headsets at all, but a good rule is: if you have balls in a retainer, look at one side and then the other and see which side has the largest amount of the surface of the balls most visible (retainer least visible), especially as the ball surfaces curve and go into the central hole. This side is the one in which the inner bearing surface fits (inner refers to the actual bearing contact surface with the smaller diameter). On many headsets, this means that the lower, inner race has the smaller diameter, so you drop the retainer/balls unit on so that the retainer is up, and you put on the larger diameter bearing unit.



bikerboy337 said:
So i'm fixing a friends headset for him, 1" threaded, only done one other threaded headset... got a ritchey headset for him and of course i mixed up the order of the pieces, question is, the bearings face towards the headset cup, right? (ie, top bearing down against cup and lower bearing up against cup)... I've replaced the crown race and installed the cups, put the thing back together and cant get it to feel right, i tighten it down to where the headset is nice and smooth, and there is forward and backward play, if i tighten down to remove the play, the bars can't move... any advice? thnx.

I really appreciate threadless after this! Threadless takes me about 20 mintues to replace, this thing has been 2 hours of pain and its still not right.
 
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