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Little help here? Headset question.(13 posts)

Little help here? Headset question.cydswipe
Nov 3, 2003 7:04 AM
I was cleaning my bike yesterday and found this stap of rubber ring dangling from my headtube where the fork meets. What's the deal. Should I take it in? I've never dealt with headsets much. I'm looking at my copy of Zinn's. Don't see much in the way of rubbery rings on the bottom cup. Doesn't feel like road gime. It's stretchy. Man, I hope the pic isn't too huge too.
re: Little help here? Headset question.Rusty Coggs
Nov 3, 2003 7:21 AM
It's a seal to keep out crud. a lizzard skin or piece of innertube can do the same thng.
re: Little help here? Headset question.hawayyan1
Nov 3, 2003 7:22 AM
It's the plastic washer that goes between the fork race and the bottom headset cup to keep out dust/moisture.
You'll be fine but...biknben
Nov 3, 2003 7:28 AM
Many headsets have a plastic ring at the bottom. It is nearly worthless, but does block some grit from having a direct path to the bearings. Over time, debris is going to get in there with or without the ring.

I'd recommend you pull those bearing out and clean everything up. It doesn't look too healthy. You can toss the damaged and ring and be fine. In the future you may want to remove the headset, clean, and regrease more often. It's likely that a lack of maintenance is what caused the damage to the ring.
You'll be fine but...Rusty Coggs
Nov 3, 2003 8:03 AM
It's hard to be 'fine' with bearings full of crap,and the lower race is one of the more icky places,due to what the front wheel tosses up.. Granted some seals are better than others,but a lizzard skin is a cheap way to help keep the crud out.
keeping grease fresh is cheaper yet. nmSteve_0
Nov 3, 2003 8:33 AM
yeah..............Rusty Coggs
Nov 3, 2003 9:03 AM
...but can't you tell form his post that he has no clue about HS or maintenance? Not that it is rocket science but there are some that are turly disenfranchised.
good point. nm.Steve_0
Nov 3, 2003 9:17 AM
Nov 3, 2003 10:12 AM
Hey, the only way for me to learn is to ask/post. If I had the tools I'd try to fix it myself.
12 inch crescent wrench. nm.Steve_0
Nov 3, 2003 10:18 AM
Here's some help...biknben
Nov 3, 2003 10:40 AM
The Park tools web site has really good info on bike maintenance. Here's the page regarding Threadless headsets. It discusses replacing an entire headset. All you need to do is disassemble, clean, lube, and reassemble.

The headset is commonly neglected because you can just wipe off all that gunk on the outside and it
i looks
fine. The problem is what is happening
i inside.
There is just as much grit and grime inside that will do damage over time.

At worst, you are shortening the life of the headset by not cleaning and lubing it. This is not something to sweat about but it should be done as part of regular maint. depending on much you ride and the conditions you ride in. Wet weather is nasty to HSs. The water coming off the tire pushes all the grit up into the bearings.

BTW, the Lizard Skin booties are worth mention but they are nothing more than a filter. Plenty of crap is still getting to the bearings.
filters....Rusty Coggs
Nov 3, 2003 12:54 PM
Yeah,some are better than others. Mine is real nasty on the outside and clean on the inside.
Thanks for the info! Knowledge is good. -nmcydswipe
Nov 3, 2003 5:03 PM