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Grinding headset
#1
Hi; I just bought a used, rather nice Columbus frame to build a lightweight for my daughter. It has (had) a no-name roller- bearing headset which was decidedly crunchy, to the extent that when the forks were turned backwards it almost jammed. Also there is a half-ring patch of bare metal on the lower front of the steering tube ..... no sign of damage to the forks or frame, so I suspect poor installation of a worn headset and have bought another. Anyone else come across this type of uneven friction? Don't want to put out a bike with wonky steering!
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#2
Is there anything matching that worn patch on the inside of the head tube on the frame that would indicate rubbing? The pic's not good enough to really see how damaged the steerer is, but it doesn't look like anything to worry about from what I can see.

You may want to have the head tube on the frame "faced" at a shop to make sure the ends of the tubes are parallel. If they're not, they'll hold the two cups of the headset slightly off of alignment from each other and that could cause the binding you felt. If it is that, the new headset may have the same problem.

(Or it might have just been a crappy headset and replacement will fix everything...)
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#3
Hey, Dave, thanks.
There is a matching patch of wear on the inside face of the lower cup. I stuck a Vernier on the front and rear of the head tube ( the cups are still fitted ) and there is only 0.2mm difference front to rear which would appear to be well within 'Jonathan's shaky hand' tolerance. Or maybe that's the problem.
I am wondering if there might have been a foreign body in there at some stage. New headset time.
Anyway, I don't think it is an issue, just putting it out there in case anyone has traumatic memories of something similar!
Seeya later.
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