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Integrated headset fit question(3 posts)

Integrated headset fit questionfz4vgq
Sep 29, 2002 10:42 AM
I just checked my bike out pretty thoroughly now that it has it's first couple hundred miles on it. When checking the headset adjustment by using the front brake/rocking method I noticed it seemed a little loose. I loosened the stem pinch bolts and tightened the top cap bolt down and retightened the stem pinch bolts..... still seems a little loose. So I decided to remove the front end (no biggie, my mt. bikes also have the same cane creek integrated headset and have overhauled them every year without any problems. when removing the fork from the headtube I was suprised to see the lower headset bearings come right out of the lower headtube, Is this normal? my mt. bike bearing assemblies have to be tapped out lightly with the Park tool. The upper bearing also came right out, after cleaning all the excess grease out of the headtube and wiping down the upper and lower bearing assemblies I installed them back into the headtube only to notice they seem to fit rather sloppy, is this normal? I put everything back together, torqued the top cap bolt and stemm bolts to the required torque spec and it still seems a little loose, not real bad, it takes a concerted effort to notice it but it just doesn't have that rock solid feeling like my mt. bike headsets? sorry for being so long winded I just wanted to provide all the info I can. also the bike has only been ridden on pristine roads and a local car racetrack that lets the local cyclist ride on days when no races are scheduled, the pavement is new and smooth.
re: Integrated headset fit questionAtombomber
Sep 29, 2002 3:41 PM
My brother had a similar problem with his integrated headset on his bike. From brand new, the headset was either too tight or too loose. We just couldn't get it to be perfect. After scratching our heads for a long while, we decided to take a closer look at the cups (the machined suface of the headtube). When the frame was painted, they painted inside the headtube, so the bearing/frame interface was not perfect. We used a commercial paint stripper to get down to bare aluminum without marring the surface. (If you need to do this, be very careful not to get the chemical onto paint that you want to remain). Reassembled, and adjusted the headset, and worked perfectly.

The same scenario might not apply to your bike though, but it doesn't hurt to check. If that's not the case, check out the Chris King website for why integrated is not the most thought out system.
Which Integrated type?Calvin
Oct 1, 2002 4:52 AM
There are different "standards" or types of these headsets. For the IS without cups, the bearings are a slip fit in the frame headtube. There is no pressing involved. For this type, the idea is the pre-load from the adjusting bolt will press the bearings into the sloped area of the headtube ID, and take out all play. Adjust it just like a threadless system. Make small adjustments at a time until play goes away.

If you have the low profile with cups, the cups are pressed in, and then the bearing installed inside this cup. See the difference at Headset Types

Below is the IS without cups. Is this your type?