Tange terious headsets

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geocycle
Posts: 1728
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Tange terious headsets

Postby geocycle » 30 Oct 2018, 8:45pm

I have one of these on my new spa Ti audax and am not convinced by it. It is very hard to adjust to have enough preload to hold all the bits together and not too much so the steering feels stiff. The slightest tension on the top bolt seems too much so that the wheel tracks the road when the stem is tightened in the usual way. I’m used to FSA on my other bikes which are easy to set up and run very loose. Could it be damaged in some way? Is there anything I can check to get the headset run more freely? If not I’m considering replacing it but don’t have the press tool so it will be bit of a nuisance.

fatboy
Posts: 3346
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 1:32pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby fatboy » 30 Oct 2018, 9:56pm

I'm putting together a Steel Audax so am playing with the headset. I've had your problem in setting up and it was caused by the mudguard range fouling on the bottom bit of the headset. Maybe that's your problem?
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

fastpedaller
Posts: 2072
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby fastpedaller » 30 Oct 2018, 10:22pm

geocycle wrote:I have one of these on my new spa Ti audax and am not convinced by it. It is very hard to adjust to have enough preload to hold all the bits together and not too much so the steering feels stiff. The slightest tension on the top bolt seems too much so that the wheel tracks the road when the stem is tightened in the usual way. I’m used to FSA on my other bikes which are easy to set up and run very loose. Could it be damaged in some way? Is there anything I can check to get the headset run more freely? If not I’m considering replacing it but don’t have the press tool so it will be bit of a nuisance.


If that's the taper roller on both top and bottom it's the same as I had (same name). I just couldn't get on with it, and I've been (successfully) fitting headsets for 40 years. A cheap ball bearing headset (with not-cheap ball bearings) changed the bike (Spa Tourer) into what I expected, and it felt like a different bike. It's quite easy to fit a headset without a press tool if you are good with mechanical things - just some large washers, a large nut and bolt and some patience. If not, then it's a small job for the LBS.

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby Brucey » 30 Oct 2018, 10:36pm

not used that particular headset (does it have a roller bearing at the bottom only?) but I am not a fan of roller bearing headsets in general; for me they all too often have made bikes feel rotten to ride and difficult to adjust the headset. Others feel differently about it I know, but I have tried several and never been that impressed.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pwa
Posts: 10255
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby pwa » 31 Oct 2018, 8:08am

That headset was the one thing I wasn't impressed with when I bought a frameset from Spa. Fortunately it didn't come fitted so it was just a matter of buying the nicest headset I could find (from Hope) and getting an LBS to fit it for a tenner. The Tange is still in a bag in a parts bin and will one day make its way to the tip for metal recycling. I have spoken to other Spa customers who have disliked that headset and not used it.

geocycle
Posts: 1728
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby geocycle » 31 Oct 2018, 9:08am

Thanks for the replies. I will check out the mudguard idea fatboy and have a further investigation. If not then it might have to be a Hope headset and a trip to the LBS.

Samuel D
Posts: 2860
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby Samuel D » 31 Oct 2018, 9:39am

My Spa Audax frame also came with a Tange-Seiki Terious SRN headset (with roller bearing at the bottom and balls at the top). The bearing preload must be set more precisely than with all-balls headsets, but it wasn’t as sensitive as other people have described. This makes me wonder if these bearings are sometimes assembled in the wrong order.

I say this because I noticed it was possible to assemble the roller-bearing end with the loose race on the wrong side of the rollers (the race being conical, i.e. flat, unlike the curved cup of a ball bearing that would prevent incorrect stack order).

Mine died an early and rusty death so I wasn’t thrilled with this headset for other reasons.

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby Brucey » 31 Oct 2018, 10:02am

terious headset specification here;

http://www.tangeseiki.com/jm/products/headset/standard/standard-threadless/standard-threadless-1-1-8/terious-srn.html

rollers in the bottom and balls in the top.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samuel D
Posts: 2860
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby Samuel D » 31 Oct 2018, 10:14am

Right. Note the loose conical race goes above the rollers, not below them. That’s obvious to some but probably not all Spa Audax customers who find themselves assembling these things from a bag of parts with no instructions or diagrams – which is exactly how Spa Cycles delivered it to me.

No doubt a roller bearing is more sensitive than balls to fork races and frame cups installed askew, so there are other explanations for the widely reported difficulties with this headset. But check the assembly order first.

NetworkMan
Posts: 695
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 11:13am
Location: South Devon

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby NetworkMan » 31 Oct 2018, 8:21pm

My Spa Touring frame came with a Tange Terious ANM (it might be AMN) which has rollers top and bottom. It was a little difficult to adjust at first but has since been fine, not needing any adjustment for three years or so.

I notice that these Tange headsets are what I believe is called an 'X' headset where the bottom race is shaped / \ and the top race is \ /.

The last (ball bearing) 1" one I took apart was arranged with top and bottom like this / \ , which must be a non-X configuration. IIRC CJ wrote in Cycle some 15 years ago that an X headset was particular suited to situations subject to misalignment and or short head tubes. Does anyone have any other information on the merits and demerits of the two types? Just curious ...

Brucey
Posts: 35573
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby Brucey » 31 Oct 2018, 10:39pm

I'm not sure that whether the contact angles are /\ top and bottom or \/ top and /\ bottom (X type) is so important as many other things. It is mainly the difference between the top race being pulled to one side vs it being pushed to one side, if you like.

Obviously any headset will work at its best if it is properly aligned, and that means the frame is properly prepped and the headset bearings are correctly assembled, lubricated and adjusted. Once you have done that, you are left with several things that are important but not obvious.

a) Contact angle is important. Ball bearings typically make angular contact at about 45 degrees nominal. Most roller bearings have smaller contact angles than that.

b) The contact angle determines the amount of seal movement. A low contact angle means that the seals move more than with a high contact angle. More seal movement means more seal wear and more chance the seals are going to leak.

c) Traditional ball bearings make variable contact angles; because the races are curved, once the bearing is subject to high lateral loads the contact angle changes in your favour. [this cannot happen in roller bearing headsets].

d) steerers bend under service stresses. This misaligns the bearings. In traditional ball bearings this is accommodated (albeit imperfectly) by the curvature of the raceways. In cartridge bearing headsets the cartridge moves on its seating. In roller bearings one or both raceways move. None of these misalignments is 'perfect'; it is a case of choosing your poison. However IME the raceways don't always settle back into position in the case of roller bearing headsets.(*).

e) In order not to rattle, headsets need a small amount of preload on the bearings. The lower the contact angle, and the more free surfaces there are squashed together, the more preload you need. Thus traditional ball bearing headsets need very low levels of preload, cartridge bearing headsets need more than that, and shallow angle roller bearing headsets with loose raceways need the highest preload of all. More preload = more drag in the bearings. So does more misalignment.

(*) With a roller bearing headset you can do a little experiment. Ride the bike normally and in the last mile or so, avoid turning the steering a long way. Pull the bike to a halt using the rear brake only. Pick the front end of the bike up and turn the steering from one side to the other. Then do it a second and third time. If you notice that the steering binds on the first movements but less so in the second and third, this means that the raceways are misaligned when you are riding normally, and move back nearer where they are meant to be when the steering is turned. No wonder the headsets feel draggy...

When I take a used 1" roller bearing headset apart it I nearly always obvious that

1) there has been enough movement to allow metal to metal contact where there should not be

2) there are clear signs that the raceways have not been sitting in a properly aligned state

3) there are always clear signs that the rollers have been sliding lengthwise under load and wearing this way

4) there is usually more corrosion than I'd want or expect.

Simply because an 1-1/8" steerer is stiffer there is less misalignment in these headsets, but the same problems still exist.

My bottom line is that if the measurement of a good headset is that it should not rattle, should turn freely, and be long-lived, there isn't any real need to look beyond a traditional cup and cone style headset if you use 1" threaded or 1-1/8" threaded/threadless with a steel steerer of moderate length. Beyond that you can argue there is merit in cartridge bearings that can articulate in extremis, especially with flexible steerers (long, carbon, highly stressed etc. If you want a roller bearing headset, try to find one where the contact angle is correctly arranged, i.e. like a motorbike headset (where the contact angle is about 60 or 70 degrees to the horizontal (I have seen one or two) and use it with a very stiff steerer only.

BTW if you look on the tange link you will see that the strongest version of the 1-1/8" threadless 'terious' headset (the 'thunder') has ball bearings top and bottom; bigger ball bearings than normal in the bottom.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MikeF
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Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby MikeF » 1 Nov 2018, 9:54am

pwa wrote:That headset was the one thing I wasn't impressed with when I bought a frameset from Spa. Fortunately it didn't come fitted so it was just a matter of buying the nicest headset I could find (from Hope) and getting an LBS to fit it for a tenner. The Tange is still in a bag in a parts bin and will one day make its way to the tip for metal recycling. I have spoken to other Spa customers who have disliked that headset and not used it.
I have one of the Tange double roller bearing headsets on my Spa Tourer. I can never seem to adjust it properly. The Hope headset looks really good, although expensive, and the "Hed Doctor" fitting looks really good instead of the crude star nut system. I've used the plug system meant for a carbon steerer, so I haven't used a star nut. The problem is I have virtually no experience in replacing a headset.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

geocycle
Posts: 1728
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby geocycle » 7 Feb 2019, 2:56pm

Just as an update to this. I replaced the Tange headset with a Hope at the weekend. The Hope is so much better and really makes my Spa Ti audax feel its full value. Fitting was relatively easy, the only issue was removing the crown race where I chipped some paint. Thanks for the advice here and on other threads.

MikeF
Posts: 3728
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Tange terious headsets

Postby MikeF » 7 Feb 2019, 8:27pm

geocycle wrote:Just as an update to this. I replaced the Tange headset with a Hope at the weekend. The Hope is so much better and really makes my Spa Ti audax feel its full value. Fitting was relatively easy, the only issue was removing the crown race where I chipped some paint. Thanks for the advice here and on other threads.
I think I might do the same in the summer.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master