Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

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redvision
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Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby redvision » Mon Nov 19, 2012 13:55 pm

Currently off the bike following a hernia op :evil: , but went to move my winter bike this morning and the headset was grinding again.
I say again because ever since i have had the bike there has been issues with the headset.

The bike inquestion is a 2012 Felt F85. Bought it new from wiggle in may.
By end of June it was in the LBS having headset looked at because it was making a grinding noise.
LBS said it was due to the type of headset (FSA Orbit C-40-cup 1.125" --> 1.5") which doesnt have sealed bearings and therefore easily and quickly gets crap in it. Has any one else had difficulties with these headsets?
Anyway, they cleaned it and regreased and then wiggle reimbursed me for the cost.

End of August LBS had it again, and again in mid October, only this time they said that they would probably recommend replacing the headset with something more reliable.

Now the trouble is the bike is still under warranty until May. Wiggle have been great throughout and have said if the headset fails then they will replace, but only with the same headset. So basically the problem would no doubt persist.

If i were to change it can someone advise me on a headset i can replace it with?
The LBS have said that its an unusual size headset so there arent as many alternatives. Is this right?

If i were to persevere with it, how easy are headsets to clean? My LBS is 25miles away and whilst wiggle have been great at reimbursing me, im thinking it would be a lot easier in the long run if i can clean and regrease it myself.

Thanks for any advice.

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nicklouse
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby nicklouse » Mon Nov 19, 2012 13:59 pm

redvision wrote:LBS said it was due to the type of headset (FSA Orbit C-40-cup 1.125" --> 1.5") which doesnt have sealed bearings and therefore easily and quickly gets crap in it.

LBS spouting rubbish.

they are sealed.

http://www.probikekit.com/us/fsa-orbit- ... adset.html

and as they are just bearings there is not much to change.

sure it is not the top cap rubbing of the frame or caught dirt between the caps and the frame?
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redvision
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby redvision » Mon Nov 19, 2012 14:10 pm

Thanks for the quick response.

I have no idea tbh.
I am only just getting started with bike maintenance and learning how to repair bike issues myself, but i have never had any experience of headset repairs until i got this bike.

How do i check if its dirt between the caps and the frame?
(sorry if this is a stupid question :oops: )

Think i may well be looking for a new lbs after this then!

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drlodge
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby drlodge » Mon Nov 19, 2012 15:28 pm

Undo the stem from the forks, lower the forks from the frame, take it all apart, clean, grease and put back together again.

Fixed? There really isn't much to a headset, just two sets of bearings and 4 bearing surfaces.
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redvision
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby redvision » Tue Jan 08, 2013 18:24 pm

bringing this thread back up...

bearings on headset are shot again.
decided to have a go at looking at it myself and the lbs were right - the bearings arent sealed. its a ridiculous design imo. this is how they are http://www.bike.com/item/fsa-headset-bearings/1000C306/

the upper bearing ring is smaller than the lower, but neither have any type of seal protecting them. and they were completely covered in crap!

i can see this is a problem which is going to keep recurring.
what a ridiculous design!

anyway, does anyone know if i can change the headset for one with sealed bearings?
the size isn't the standard 1 1/8th, here is the full spec: FSA Orbit C-40-cup 1.125" --> 1.5" integrated, w/ aluminium 15mm conical spacer, 2 X 10mm aluminium headset Spacer, 1 x 5mm aluminium headset spacer, Felt Tornado top cap & 2024 anodized aluminium bolt

are there any alternative headsets which will fit?

i really dont want to be going through this every few months.

would really appreciate some help and advice.

thanks

giropaul
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby giropaul » Tue Jan 08, 2013 18:52 pm

You say that this is your winter bike - I'm suprised therefore that the mudguard isn't keeping the wet and grit out of the bearing. Maybe having a mudguard that is as wide as the forks might help.

If you haven't got mudguards (i.e. not really a winter bike :twisted: ), then there's a touch of deja vu here. Headset bottom bearings really don't like rain and grit. If you don't want guards I'd get an old pair and cut a small section to go through the fork crown and deflect the grot. Combined with a "gaitor" maybe this would help.

I've dropped enough forks out of un-maintained, no guards, bikes ridden in the wet (and seen the muddy, gritty water that comes out) to realise that no bearing is going to like working in that environment.

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tim wand
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby tim wand » Tue Jan 08, 2013 18:54 pm

Different I know , but similar problem, I found the Cane Creek Website very useful once I had my headset bearing dimensions. All the Cane Creek Headsets are sealed, and it appears Merlin have a lot of them on sale at the moment at about half R.R.P on Flea bay or direct.

Hope also do a selection of quality headsets were you can spec the top and bottom cups and bearings and the diagrams on their site might be bang on what your head tube profile is.

From Memory my F65 wasnt on the cane creek site but the F85 was. so I d start there.

viewtopic.php?f=40004&t=12898501

redvision
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby redvision » Tue Jan 08, 2013 19:36 pm

tim wand wrote:Different I know , but similar problem, I found the Cane Creek Website very useful once I had my headset bearing dimensions. All the Cane Creek Headsets are sealed, and it appears Merlin have a lot of them on sale at the moment at about half R.R.P on Flea bay or direct.

Hope also do a selection of quality headsets were you can spec the top and bottom cups and bearings and the diagrams on their site might be bang on what your head tube profile is.

From Memory my F65 wasnt on the cane creek site but the F85 was. so I d start there.

viewtopic.php?f=40004&t=12898501


Thanks, will look at that now.
Fingers crossed there will be the right sized sealed bearings!!

Thanks for the replies.

Guess the one good thing is i was able to take apart and reassemble the headset myself! so chuffed at that.

patrickf
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby patrickf » Wed Jan 09, 2013 20:42 pm

I've just found that the bearings on my Trek 1.5 were on their way out and totally rusted so there wasn't much point in trying to clean them up.

The headset design looks similar to yours, but it appears that Trek use their own special bearings.

In the end I had my LBS install a new headset with sealed cartridge bearings. At least I know I can get replacement bearings for the new headset.

DesWeller
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby DesWeller » Wed Jan 09, 2013 21:00 pm

I'm really confused now. All the drawings of the FSA Orbit tapered headset you name have sealed cartridge bearings. Are you sure that the headset really is the one you think it is?

redvision
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Re: Headset woes - what are my options? Help!

Postby redvision » Thu Jan 10, 2013 13:43 pm

DesWeller wrote:I'm really confused now. All the drawings of the FSA Orbit tapered headset you name have sealed cartridge bearings. Are you sure that the headset really is the one you think it is?


Yup im certain. Not only are they open, they are in a round thing holding them, but it doesnt grip or secure the bearings that well and two from the lower headset dropped on the floor - took bloody ages to find!

I have ordered a new cane creek top and bottom headset to replace the current FSA one so i will post pictures then of the open bearings.

giropaul wrote:You say that this is your winter bike - I'm suprised therefore that the mudguard isn't keeping the wet and grit out of the bearing. Maybe having a mudguard that is as wide as the forks might help.


Have cruds on the bike, they have been on since mid summer (they are the only ones which fit).


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