Lightweight headset spanners

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mjr
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby mjr » 13 May 2019, 6:44pm

nsew wrote:I’m sure Park 32/15 is available.

Park HCW-6 if anyone's looking for it.

Inspired by thoughts of roadside headset repairs, I ask about roadside BB adjustment at viewtopic.php?f=5&t=129959
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Sweep
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Sweep » 4 Jun 2019, 9:15am

gaz wrote:
fenderbender wrote:I used to carry a Cool Tool ... and now managed to source a nos 32mm wrench. :P

https://www.ison-distribution.com/engli ... t=2CLTLH36


Many many thanks fenderbender and gaz.

For as I said I bought one.

And already it has proved its worth.

Did some fettling on a hybrid tourers headset recently - all seemed well after testrides - set off on one of my overnight loaded rides the other week and all seemed well before I set off. Didn't do any home adjusting/retightening before I set off as I was afraid of messing up something that was just fine.

Not sure at all what happened but at 5:30am in a country park south of Manchester where I'd stopped to make four espressos I discovered that the headset was seriously loose. The whole bike was rocking like a giant seesaw, helped of course by all the weight on the back.

Tightened it up using the cooltool add-on and the Xtools big tool on the locknut and all is well, even after a subsequent semi loaded trip on the same bike over Salter Fell:

salterfell.jpg
salter fell (hornby road) roman road


A fair bit of that road is better surfaced than that (though still no tarmac in sight) but much of it is far far worse.

thanks again folks :)
Sweep

pwa
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby pwa » 4 Jun 2019, 9:32am

I know some don't like Aheadsets, but this sort of problem just doesn't happen with them. If they worked loose, which they don't, an allen key on any old multitool will fix it in less than a minute. I'd never go back to traditional headsets for that reason. I've been using Aheadsets for about 18 years now and my headset problems are down almost zero compared to the string of issues I had with traditional headsets before.

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Sweep
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Sweep » 4 Jun 2019, 9:41am

pwa wrote:I know some don't like Aheadsets, but this sort of problem just doesn't happen with them. If they worked loose, which they don't, an allen key on any old multitool will fix it in less than a minute. I'd never go back to traditional headsets for that reason. I've been using Aheadsets for about 18 years now and my headset problems are down almost zero compared to the string of issues I had with traditional headsets before.


Fair point pwa (and the bigger X tools tool for the locknut sure isn't light!) - I do have two aheadset bikes (well three if you count a Dahon speed Pro but that has headset issues of its own which just shows that Dahon can muck up anything even on an expensive bike) and agree that they are more resilient, but I really like the traditional headset bikes I have any don't want to scrap them - two are also effectively self builds and the ease of adjustability of bar height was most welcome - as long as I sourced the right size of frame I knew that I would be sorted.

But yes a certain faffing over whether there is too much movement (a tiny bit of movement in the whole bike as you rock the bike with the front brake on seems inevitable) is a bit of a drag. I hope I haven't done any damage by my offroad riding when it was rather seriously loose - will take it apart and check at the earliest opportunity.
Sweep

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Mick F
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Mick F » 4 Jun 2019, 9:58am

pwa wrote:I know some don't like Aheadsets, but this sort of problem just doesn't happen with them. If they worked loose, which they don't, an allen key on any old multitool will fix it in less than a minute. I'd never go back to traditional headsets for that reason. I've been using Aheadsets for about 18 years now and my headset problems are down almost zero compared to the string of issues I had with traditional headsets before.
My first experience with one is on my Moulton.

It's a 1" threadless Ahead. Easy peasy to set up and adjust once you've sussed out the strange arrangement with the cone and washer system inside the steerer. I understand that "normal" bikes have a starred washer to grip, but Moulton in their wisdom have something akin to a quill stem cone thingy down there that the top cap screws into.

Still, it works well so long as the cone grips properly ............. which it didn't until I'd sussed out how to improve the grip.

Like you, I wouldn't go back to a threaded adjustable one again. Mercian could possibly be fitted with the Moulton system. Next time I'm tinkering with nothing better to do, I might strip both bikes down and see if the Moulton one will fit Mercian. I don't see why the non-threaded cups and fittings wouldn't go over the threads on the steerer. It could be that the head tube is a different gauge, but I doubt it as the headset isn't Moulton-specific.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby pwa » 4 Jun 2019, 10:11am

Mick F wrote:
pwa wrote:I know some don't like Aheadsets, but this sort of problem just doesn't happen with them. If they worked loose, which they don't, an allen key on any old multitool will fix it in less than a minute. I'd never go back to traditional headsets for that reason. I've been using Aheadsets for about 18 years now and my headset problems are down almost zero compared to the string of issues I had with traditional headsets before.
My first experience with one is on my Moulton.

It's a 1" threadless Ahead. Easy peasy to set up and adjust once you've sussed out the strange arrangement with the cone and washer system inside the steerer. I understand that "normal" bikes have a starred washer to grip, but Moulton in their wisdom have something akin to a quill stem cone thingy down there that the top cap screws into.

Still, it works well so long as the cone grips properly ............. which it didn't until I'd sussed out how to improve the grip.

Like you, I wouldn't go back to a threaded adjustable one again. Mercian could possibly be fitted with the Moulton system. Next time I'm tinkering with nothing better to do, I might strip both bikes down and see if the Moulton one will fit Mercian. I don't see why the non-threaded cups and fittings wouldn't go over the threads on the steerer. It could be that the head tube is a different gauge, but I doubt it as the headset isn't Moulton-specific.

I like the Hope Head Doctor system which has an expander thing rather than a star washer to grip inside the steerer, and the headset has cartridge stainless bearings and rubber seals, all to be encased in grease for peace of mind.https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Hope-Head-Doct ... LHUfD_BwE#

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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby rjb » 4 Jun 2019, 11:01am

Mick F wrote:
Like you, I wouldn't go back to a threaded adjustable one again. Mercian could possibly be fitted with the Moulton system. Next time I'm tinkering with nothing better to do, I might strip both bikes down and see if the Moulton one will fit Mercian. I don't see why the non-threaded cups and fittings wouldn't go over the threads on the steerer. It could be that the head tube is a different gauge, but I doubt it as the headset isn't Moulton-specific.


BBB made an adaptor for just that job. BHP20/21. from memory one was for a 1" the other for 1,1/8" are they still available?
lots of discussion on the forum.eg. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70664&hilit=crepello+ahead
I think the expander wedge secured the adaptor in the fork column then a seperate top bolt allowed the preload adjustment on the headset.

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At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

Brucey
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Brucey » 4 Jun 2019, 11:15am

Mick F wrote:…... Mercian could possibly be fitted with the Moulton system. Next time I'm tinkering with nothing better to do, I might strip both bikes down and see if the Moulton one will fit Mercian. I don't see why the non-threaded cups and fittings wouldn't go over the threads on the steerer. It could be that the head tube is a different gauge, but I doubt it as the headset isn't Moulton-specific.


Ahead parts will go over the threaded part of the steerer, fit badly and be a PITA for ever. Worse yet they may ruin said threads and cause it to be impossible to fit a proper headset ever again.

Ahead headsets have pluses and minuses. On the plus side the typical construction (with cartridge bearings that just drop in and sit on tapered seats, and which BTW isn't the exclusive province of threadless) allows some articulation with is potentially useful if you have a long and flexy steerer. On the minus side the same construction means you need more preload for the bearings not to rattle horribly, and the cartridge bearings are almost invariably nothing like as strong as a well-designed loose-ball assembly.

Given that a good threaded headset will (quite predictably) work for years without being touched, and many A-head ones I have owned have not been like that, I'd favour a threaded headset from that standpoint. On a road bike I think Ahead stems (even in 1") are lumpen and ugly things. They usually also have bolts and sharp edges placed in exactly the right location to eviscerate you in the event of a prang.

A major black mark against 1" threadless is that the standard is already nigh-on orphaned; plenty of road bikes are made in 1-1/8" threadless and plenty are made in 1" threaded, but 1" threadless is now very rare in new bikes. Already you can't easily buy 1" Ahead stems (most folk end up shimming a larger one) and whilst you can buy 1" threadless headsets still, the choice isn't exactly burgeoning and there is no reason to expect it to increase any time soon.

I've owned (and still own) both types and I know which I prefer. I've still got 1" threadless in the Brucey fleet and that stays as long as I trust the (all carbon) fork in that frame. When that fork goes, so will the headset too, I expect. I certainly wouldn't convert from threaded to threadless in 1", not without a very special reason to.

cheers
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pwa
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby pwa » 4 Jun 2019, 11:37am

I am sure a traditional threaded headset managed by Brucey will work well, but most were managed by people like me who found them fiddly to get just right. And like 1" threadless they are not as common as they were and the choice is getting thinner on the ground. And what sort of headset would you like to take on a tour? One that requires headset spanners (plural) or one that can be tweaked with the same allen key that exists on your multitool and does other things on the bike?

I agree with Brucey on one point though. On a traditional looking bike with a slim head tube a threaded headset with a quill stem looks a bit nicer.

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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Brucey » 4 Jun 2019, 12:08pm

there's currently a much larger choice in 1" threaded than 1" threadless, and I expect that discrepancy to only get worse not better. If you buy a traditional loose ball threaded headset it will last for decades (on a bike with mudguards) and if the worst happens it can be rebuilt by the side of the road using a packet of ball bearings (available anywhere) certainly well enough to last days or weeks. Its not a good idea but I've even known folk ride for thousands of miles with a loose threaded headset that was, on the move, simply tightened by hand occasionally.

By contrast if you have a headset with cartridge bearings it is 'easy to work on', right up until you need new cartridges. Then it becomes a major PITA, simply because there are hundreds of such bearings and no bike shop carries them all. Most bike ships don't have 1" threadless headsets in stock these days. I'd rather eat worms than use an unproven headset of this type on tour.

I've carried a small tool that weighs ~15g or something that will let me retighten/adjust my threaded headset on tours and I've never needed it. I've also not had to touch most of the threaded headsets I own at intervals much shorter than ten years regardless of mileage. It could be argued that, once it is set up, I'm more likely to break a frame than have to adjust the threaded headset in it.... :wink:

cheers
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Mick F
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Mick F » 4 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Thank you for your sage advice again Brucey.
I'll forego the idea of fitting 1" threadless to Mercian!

You advised me to buy a threaded 1" for Moulton just for the bearings as these will eventually wear out.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/headsets/ta ... et-silver/

I pulled it all apart a week or three ago, and tried to lift the seals on the bearings to fit new grease in there, but I couldn't prise them off without the danger of damaging them. They felt fine - even the bottom one - but the outside of them was getting tarnished and dare I say it? ..... rusty a bit.

Main question though:
In the fulness of time, on a bike with 1" threadless, what happens if you need a new headset? They're getting to be like rocking-horse poo even now.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Brucey » 4 Jun 2019, 12:35pm

probably it will be the lower race that fails and this can be replaced with an assembly from a 1" headset that is either threaded or threadless.

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Re: Lightweight headset spanners

Postby Mick F » 4 Jun 2019, 12:39pm

Mick F. Cornwall