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Problems Adjusting Headset
#1
I just went through the head bearings on my Schwinn MB. Took the forks off and cleaned and greased the bearings. I did not move the races.
Now on reassembly I find if I tighten the top nuts so there is no play in the steering, the steering is too tight, so I need to leave a bit of a play in it so it moves freely side to side.

When I first assembled it I needed to readjust after the first ride as there was lots of play present as bearings settled in.

The other thing I find is that the steering feels kind of dead. I do not get much feedback from it. Some of that may be due to my getting a steel framed 1985 Fuji del Rey road bike and now my aluminum Schwinn MB feels a bit unresponsive. But I think there may be some other things happening. Some may be due to suspension forks dampening road feel.

Anyone ever experience this?? It seems straight forward maintenance.
Will open again to see if anything is damaged.
Never Give Up!!!
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#2
George you probably know this, but did you place the bearings in upside down? Had this happen to me once.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Thanks Bill

I thought of that and double checked. I do not think that they would fit upside down anyway.
Never Give Up!!!
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#4
I have had this happen. I had to play with it for a while. I had to tighten that lower bolt until it was snug and there was no play in the fork. then hold it in place with a wrench and then crank the other bolt down on top of it so it stays tight.
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#5
(12-29-2010, 11:03 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  I thought of that and double checked. I do not think that they would fit upside down anyway.
Oh, but they will, young Jedi. They will. Smile
The open side always faces the cup, and the cone always enters to the cage side.
Headsets can be confusing compared to hubs. They are not always opposite per side.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#6
Thanks for calling me young, grasshopper. :-)) Happy New Year you all.

Son of a gun. I tried putting the upper bearing upside down with the closed end down on the head tube race and tightened the top nut and it did fit. The forks turned smoothly too. So you are right about that, they do fit both ways .

(You were right about that possibility Bill)

Looking at Alex's how to video it shows the top and bottom bearings open end is down. Lower bearing open end sitting on the fork race and upper bearing open end sitting on the top head tube race. Both open ends facing down. (Should have taken photo before disassembly.)

Is that correct??

BTW I see from your other post you still did not get the elastomer goo out. :-))
Never Give Up!!!
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#7
The open side always faces the cup, and the cone always enters to the cage side. RobAR
^^^^^^^^^^
This is opposite of what I found on Parker site.

However looking at it carefully it seems to fit better and smoother if I do put the open end up towards the cup like you say.So I think you may be right. It looks different than Alex's bike. Very confusing for a simple job. Got to take disassembly photos always.

"Headset Assembly from Parker site.
If the headset is using bearing retainers, check the orientation of the retainers before installing. Inspect the metal cage that retains the ball bearings. The cage traps each ball with a hook. Look for the open side of the ball retaining hook. This open side of the cage should face the cone shaped race, not the cup shaped race. If in doubt, install the cage, and place the race inside and turn. If the cage is correct, it will feel smooth. If the cage is upside down, the cage retainer will rub on the race and it will feel different. Reverse the cage and test again."



http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/threaded-headset-service
Never Give Up!!!
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#8
Photo No.1 = Wrong
Photo No.2 = Right

Photo 4 = Wrong.
The top "cup" will rest on the frame of the cage and not the balls.
The balls are in contact with the "cone" as required.
Imagine the set up without the cage,!
Ride hard or ride home alone!
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#9
George - I was just seeing if you were paying attention. Good job!

Actually, I was well-oiled last night. Cold beer. Wink
That's why I say there is no 'rule' on how a headset goes together as there are so many variations - cups in the tube, race in the tube, etc.
Too much fun.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#10
Hhehehe glad to be of help I hope Tongue . "I really don't drink ,but when I do it is black coffee! Stay thirsty my friends!". Glad you got it right Big Grin.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#11
Thanks to all for the input. So much for how too info. Lots of variations.
Ye I 'd be better off just using loose plain bearings, cant get those upside down.

Thats why my bike felt funny. Glad I finally got to it. To think I blamed the new tires I got and gave them away. Shees.

Surprising that Parker said open end on cones. But that is for a different set up, and if I did not have bad luck I'd have no luck at all.
So always take disassembly photos now that digital cameras make it a snap.
Never Give Up!!!
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#12
Just wanted to let you know I really admire the design on the paint job above Smile
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#13
(01-03-2011, 12:12 PM)Bill Wrote:  Just wanted to let you know I really admire the design on the paint job above Smile

Bill means that he admires the man that would be seen in public on a frame painted like that!
Okay - I'm sorry. But Bill started it. I always love those schemes from early '90s!
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#14
He He its the Schwinn spiderweb motif. 1991.

Re did my head bearings, but its cold and rainy here so test will have to wait.
Next the head bearings and crank on the Fuji del Rey 1985. Will take pix this time. Did the wheels and replaced cones.
The spokes were rusty on it and respoke would cost as much as new wheels.($60 per wheel) Soo I cleaned the spokes with crocus cloth and painted them with super durable black oil enamel paint. Looks great.The rims were black.
Never Give Up!!!
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#15
Had a break in the rain so I took the bike for a short test ride.Yep thats why the steering felt funny. The bearings were set upside down. Amazing that they fit both ways.The bike feels lively again. I did head bearings on motorcycles, much more complicated but at least they only fit one way.

Both info on Parker site and this site covers head bearings that are different than these. Thats what got me in to trouble to begin with. Otherwise I would have looked more carefully.

Soo always take notes and photos on disassembly. Fuji is next. Live and learn.

Thanks RobAR for pointing that out, and CyclerUK. Take it easy on the brewski. :-))
Never Give Up!!!
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#16
(01-04-2011, 12:08 AM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Had a break in the rain so I took the bike...
They say it never rains in southern California. Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before. When it rains, man it pours!
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#17
YE we were having some epic rains . So much for experts predicting La Nina dry winter. They do not know sheet.
Seems all parts of the country are having some severe weather this winter.

Its back to mostly sunny but too cold for me to ride a bicycle. Getting to be a California woosie.
I remember when I lived in Boston and went to Miami Florida in the winter. I was walking around in a T-shirt and the locals in winter coats. Now I am like one of them.:-))
Never Give Up!!!
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