how regularly do you service headsets

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  • how regularly do you service headsets
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Hope untouched in 4 years

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    pretty much never

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Never… if/when they go, i get a new one.

    mariner
    Member

    How did you access the bearings?
    Knock them out or service in situ?

    Premier Icon Sir HC
    Subscriber

    Everytime I give the lower legs a service, every 40hours or so.

    prawny
    Member

    My commuter headset has never been ‘serviced’ in the 18ish months i’ve had it. I dropped the fork out a bit and brushed some grease around it on Friday when I was chasing a creak but that’s it.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Err….

    At work the headsets get serviced once a year – just before we sell the bikes. They’re untouched before that and are all OK. Maybe we’ve been “lucky” in buying decent Treks and Specializeds. If they are sealed cartridge bearings then they don’t need anything done to them.

    At home, I run a mix of Hope, Cane Creek and FSA. Only the latter has required a bearing change and that’s on the fatbike so subject to quite a lot of adverse contaminants 🙂

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    mariner – Member
    How did you access the bearings?
    Knock them out or service in situ?

    in the Hope one, a wee bit of leverage with a flat screwdriver and pop the cartridges out, wipe down, regrease cups and surfaces, all back in (didn’t open up cartridge)

    Whenever I service forks. So erm… every few years?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Since a failed experiment with Crank Bros headsets which needed regreasing virtually every ride and still ended up as a pile of manky rust after less than a year its not something I really bother with.

    I think i replaced the lower bearing on my commuter (an FSA headset) after about 5 years. Headsets with sealed cartridge bearings last pretty well

    P-Jay
    Member

    My MO for the last couple of years has been ignore them because they never go wrong, then get a new bike which for some reason will come with a headset with open bearings in a race which will die and seize mid descent and I’ll pap myself – get something with cartridge bearings in and give them a clean anytime I have the fork off.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Chris King – I check them once a year, but have only ever needed to do something to an Inset 3. The Tripster and the Niner – every year and will almost always have to replace the lower AC45 bearing. They’ll have done around 5000-8000km by this point and whilst its a pain, it’s okay.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Depends on the headset.

    The one on my cheap road bike, got really grindy after a ride in heavy rain. Turns out there was no sealing & the caged bearing were running completely dry. I cleaned it all up & stuck tons of new grease in there, but the lack of seals means it needs regular attention.

    The Cane Creek S2 on my hardtail though never really gets looked at. I used to give it a re-grease whenever I dropped the fork out for a service, but it’s so well sealed that the grease always looked fresh and it seemed like I was doing it for the sake of it. Must be almost a decade old now on the original bearings…..

    philjunior
    Member

    Since going to integrated headsets, I don’t seem to need to service them.

    Service tended to be “wait for it to go crunchy and chuck a new cartridge in” previously, and was maybe once every couple of years with a decent headset.

    Edit – now I think about it, my last commuter had a cheapo £10 or so M part headset, and after literally tens of thousands of miles (more than 5 years worth) of all weather Glasgow commute I noticed a crack in the frame halfway through servicing it. I’m sure it was helped by the fact I was running a full mudguard so it didn’t get salty water splashed up at it so much.

    I do remember having to service headsets a lot more often back in the day, so in junior’s case, maybe see if you could put a grease nipple on somewhere or replace with something better? Cane creek seemed good last time I got a non-integrated one, bearings lasted years and years – I may have replaced them once in 10 years or so.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I got a chris king headset fitted on my jake the snake in 2007, haven’t touched it since then and it’s still really smooth. Ridden lots of miles all through winter and it’s still perfect.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Don’t touch them unless/until they feel shit or sound shit, then whack some more bearings in.

    Hope needs doing on the s/h fattie. Cheapie FSA on the commuter-cum-graveller doesn’t, 15,000 miles from new.

    edlong
    Member

    When they get noisy, sticky, graunchy.

    Premier Icon rone
    Subscriber

    Since going to integrated headsets, I don’t seem to need to service them.

    Service tended to be “wait for it to go crunchy and chuck a new cartridge in” previously, and was maybe once every couple of years with a decent headset.

    This.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    About once per year when the bike gets it’s annual full service, or when I hear a squeak/it feels a bit heavy. Only had issues once with an OEM set that was severely lacking in grease, easily sorted.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    My recently purchased Rocky Mountain came with a Cane Creek headset. Amazingly it seized solid – I mean unable to actually turn the bars solid! within 4-5 rides (all pretty dry!).
    I got a replacement, unfortunately the same, under warranty – I’ve got a RaceFace in my 10 year old Yeti that hasn’t been touched… a Hope, an old Syncros in my singlespeed (that’s certainly seen some weather), all untouched.

    Won’t be buying another Cane Creek that’s for certain.

    philjunior
    Member

    The one on my cheap road bike, got really grindy after a ride in heavy rain. Turns out there was no sealing & the caged bearing were running completely dry. I cleaned it all up & stuck tons of new grease in there, but the lack of seals means it needs regular attention.

    I think even my cheapo headset had some sealing.

    You could put a section of inner tube around each open face to stop crap getting in, which was a technique from the olden days, but it will also hold any water that gets in, particularly in the lower race.

    daern
    Member

    Hmm, odd. I have a Cane Creek 110 on my SC and it’s been absolutely bomb proof despite my best efforts to kill it. I’ve heard that the cheaper ones (10-series) aren’t well sealed though, and this tends to be the killer for lower bearings…

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Sounds like I might just leave the gravel bike one for now as it is working just fine ! Cheers.

    bgascoyne
    Member

    haven’t touched my stumpy headset since I bought it in 2007! Still smooth as 🙂

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    practically never

    If the forks come out or get replaced, then I’ll clean it up and regrease.

    Just regreased my roadbike headset for the first time since about 1989. That was slightly digital steering, but I think due to the grease being solid and the balls not turning rather than pitted bearing surfaces. Not tested it yet.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    On my HT, which sees all the mankiest rides, about once a year, infact took it apart last night and it was still well greased (a Hope one).

    I was prompted when on Sat junior said his was squeaking (18 month old Genesis Core 20) and when I pulled it apart it was dry and a bit rusty. That said, he rides it to scoool, it gets pretty wet regularly and I don’t think I have ever been into it to load with grease 😳

    Must do Gravel bike later methinks, as also probs overdue….

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I have a Cane Creek 110

    That’s the one thats supposed to last 110 years isn’t it? And costs £110?
    Definitely wasn’t one of those! 🙂

    amedias
    Member

    Don’t touch them unless/until they feel shit or sound shit

    ^ that, which annoyingly is ‘now’ after Pivot 24/12 at the weekend 🙁

    Every six months on my roadie when it gets stripped and rebuilt. Once a year in my MTB. I oop the bearings out give everything a wipe and clean, or replace if they feel a bit ropey.

    Klunk
    Member

    the no brand on the wifes spesh is still buttery smooth after 10 years.

    lister
    Member

    I service a fleet of Genesis core 24 and 26s and had to strip every headset down last winter, they were all dry and some corroded. There don’t seem to be many seals on them. A polish and regrease seems to have made them happy for now but I suspect they’ll need doing again after the autumn mud sessions.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    When they need doing. A bit gritty, time to replace. Play in headset, tighten up, still play, check bearings & replace as necessary. Almost always it’s the bottom bearing. Have rarely needed to touch the top, whatever the brand. Not counting cage bearing headsets which will need doing every few weeks and constant adjustment to sort play out. Get rid and go cartridge.

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