MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

HEADSET REBUILD - INTRO

DISASSEMBLE HEADSET

CLEAN & INSPECT

INSTALLING THE HEADSET

ADJUSTING THE HEADSET

 

THE VINTAGE ROAD BICYCLE HEAD SET- INTRODUCTION

Basically, there are four sets of bearings to worry about in the average vintage road bicycle.  Five, if you wish to count the freewheel bearing set.  However, for this discussion, the freewheel bearings will not be considered.  Freewheels are difficult to work on and, for the most part hardly worth the effort since new old stock (NOS) freewheels are readily available at the time of this writing.  Assuming, of course, that one is not seeking the best of the best in Freewheel Land.

The four bearing sets that can be easily rebuilt include the wheel hub, the bottom bracket and the head set bearings.  These three bearing sets, four actually since we are talking about two wheels, are of great importance to the smooth operation of any bicycle, be it an entry level department store offering such as this mid-seventies Supercycle or the top dog in any given Velo kennel.  Poor bearing condition, and/or adjustment, equals poor bicycle performance combined with diminished component life expectancy.  In other words, the bearings will wear out very rapidly and the quality of the ride will mimic the action of most vacuum cleaners.

Of the mentioned bearing sets, the head set bearing assembly is by far the easiest to rebuild.  And the most forgiving, since rotates, at fairly slow speeds, and rarely, if ever spins.  However, the head set bearings are subject to frequent impact, water washout, oxidation and certainly poor maintenance habits, since the assembly is so accessible.  Generally, if it is easy to get at on a bicycle, it will probably be misadjusted.  Damaged seat post clamp bolts, distorted seat lug cavities, dented or gouged seat stay tops, and over-tightened head sets seem to be the most likely targets for poor maintenance skills.

However, as mentioned, the head set is easy enough to work on.  That said, the novice or even experienced mechanic can get into a bit of trouble now and again as this fundamental component comes apart and goes back together.  More often than not the trouble crops up because because the correct tool for each particular task is not available.  But a couple of simple tricks, for lack of a better word, will make the task flow smoothly and with minimal grief using some pretty simple improvised tools.

NEXT - DISASSEMBLING THE HEAD SET

 

 

 

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