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Thread: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

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    Default Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    New (to me or in general) bike day is special: I get a special six pack, listen to a great album, and that’s how I spend the evening: building up my new ride. I have a skeleton crew tool set. Plenty of allens, a small assortment of Bottom bracket tools, cassette, chain whip, chain tools, a ho-made PVC crown race setter, like two cheapo torque wrenches, cable crimps and a rubber mallet, etc.

    Incoming Kelly Deluxe eBay find reminds me the tool I always have to go to a shop for is anything involving headset cups. Have either had painters install the cups, or frames have come with HS preinstalled from factory or previous owner.

    But I have had to get a shop on more than one occasion to remove or install cups and I’m thinking about just getting a press finally. I would love to get one that doesn’t cost a fortune but that can handle both 1.125 and 44mm headtubes/sets. Anything out there affordable? Is this one y’all think is worthwhile to have at home in the first place? I am going to have to go use somebody’s in a bit here.

    Other essentials/ fun hacks, kludges, jury rigs, too: discuss.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Homemade headset cup press..any tips?- Mtbr.com

    threaded rod + big washers + constantly checking the angle that the cups are sliding in at (do one cup at a time).


    as far as the cup remover, get a copper pipe cut to a bit longer than your head tube, cut some slots into it and flair out the strips.
    DIY headset cup removal tool | To Travel is Better Than to Arrive
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinclair View Post
    Give up cycling, keep riding the bike.

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I have several permutations of the above threaded rod and washers. One thing you may want to look for at the hardware store is bushings: the washers that are big enough in outside diameter to fit the headset may have an undesireably large hole; a bushing can fill that space economically and take some slop out.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I now have an actual headset press, but for years made due well enough with the homemade allthread-&-washer setup. The "real" cup remover was relatively inexpensive, so I got one of those right off the bat (and glad I did, esp w/ the false-starts I sometimes had with he homemade press when I wasn't paying enough attention). YMMV
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Disclaimer: I haven't used it this way (and probably won't have occasion to for some time), but I think all of my bikes with external headsets have short enough headtubes that I can use my bottom bracket press for it. Anyway my plan next time I have one to install is to see how that seems like it'll work first. I have the surprisingly nice, inexpensive Wheels Manufacturing universal BB press. I suspect (but again haven't confirmed) the universal drifts would work at least as well as a big washer for a 1 1/8 cup but I might need a bigger one for larger than that.

    Edit: this guy Universal Bottom Bracket Press is what I have, which has the same diameter threaded rod as the headset press, just much shorter (and shorter handles). Says shells up to 132mm wide (and I think my head tubes are all 120mm or less, though I could imagine being on the edge of long enough for the second cup, since an external headset sticks out more than a pressfit BB ever does - will report back if/when I ever need to use it)
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    my headset press was the last tool i bought for myself. cost:use ratio was never favorable. and still isn't. but it also serves as a BB press, so i could justify it a little more.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    my headset press was the last tool i bought for myself. cost:use ratio was never favorable. and still isn't. but it also serves as a BB press, so i could justify it a little more.
    This is why I don't have one. I have all my bikes shipped to my buddy's shop anyway so having them take care of the press fittings right away is pretty easy.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I've aways had to have my headset cups installed by a shop on my bike builds due to not having the tool. Irks me but I just wouldnt use a press enough to justify the cost so have never bought one. On a side note, your evening plan sounds like a good one to me, OP.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    my headset press was the last tool i bought for myself. cost:use ratio was never favorable. and still isn't. but it also serves as a BB press, so i could justify it a little more.
    I use mine on headsets almost never. I use it on bottom brackets, for myself and friends, regularly. I finally upgraded from a crappy Park Tool home mechanic one to a compact and very nice one from Wheels MFG. I wish I'd had it years ago.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    The cost equation becomes much more favorable when you buy slightly used - I upgraded from homemade threaded rod/washers and the difference is worth it to me.
    I paid less than $50 for a Cyclus HS press with fittings for 1", 1.125" & 44mm
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I only have external HS frames (except for 1 bike), and gentle but firm tapping with a rubber mallet and plenty of grease has always been successful for me in installing HS cups. Removal of HS cups is done with a 3/4" diameter aluminum rod (about 10" long) and a small metal hammer - alternately tap on different parts of the cup and it's out in 45 seconds. I have multiple CK headsets that are on bike #3 or #4 that show no signs of wear on their interference fit sleeves.

    I hope I don't get flamed for my barbaric methods.
    Drop bars not bombs.

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I've made some plywood fittings with a hole saw so I can use the same contraption on press-fit bb bearings.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    No flame from me, however, I have only done that on a cheap Ritchey headset on a surly. King headsets I think would withstand everything just fine, it would be head tube damage I would always wonder about.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    I have done the nuts and washers, (way way way) back in the day used wood and a hammer but then I bought a headset press, cup remover and crown race remover. But alas i sold them all as I do it so infrequently now I just don't need it.

    -Joe

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Did it once with a block of wood and a rubber mallet, in my living room (NYC apartment, ya know). Not recommended, although with persistence it did finally work. Never gonna forget which SOB suggested that, lol.
    Evan Marks

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    The three things I don't do at home are face, chase and press. Gotta give the LBS a little love....
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    my headset press was the last tool i bought for myself. cost:use ratio was never favorable. and still isn't. but it also serves as a BB press, so i could justify it a little more.
    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    I've aways had to have my headset cups installed by a shop on my bike builds due to not having the tool. Irks me but I just wouldnt use a press enough to justify the cost so have never bought one. On a side note, your evening plan sounds like a good one to me, OP.
    You can find decent headset press for less than 50chf/usd these days. I would say one might not want to deal with another tool if space is a premium but cost is not an issue. It's not like a headset/bb press was an high tech thing. Don't know what LBS charges where you live but a single trip to the LBS to press a bearing and I'm charged way more than those 50chf around here + I'll have to wait a few days to get the job done.

    Price is not really a good reason to avoid using a proper press.

    I admit having used the mallet + wood once in the past because I didn't have the tool ready and wanted the job done in the same week-end. Bike was an inexpensive beater anyway. Still rocking the same headset 10y later afaik.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    For some people there is a pleasure in the owning and using of high quality tools which goes beyond just getting the job done. Also good tools have a high resale value if you no longer need them, they probably depreciate less than high quality bikes. Having said that, although I own two sophisticated headset tools, if I am just pressing headset cups without reaming and facing I tend to use my home-made tool (see below) to save getting one of the others out of its box.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    With the number of bearing press applications in today's bikes - headsets, bottom brackets and hubs at least - I think it pays for everyone who is mechanically inclined and works on their bikes to invest in a basic bearing press. Here's one from Wheels Mfg that will do the job and is not too spendy. It is but a fancy version of a threaded rods, washers and nuts, but those long handles will come in handy, believe me.

    Amazon.com : Wheels Manufacturing Economy Bearing Press : Cycling Bearing Press : Sports & Outdoors

    Additionally, what you really need to do a good job are the appropriate bearing drifts, like the King HS drifts and a few common sized hub bearing drifts, and you'll be all set.
     

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    Default Re: Home mechanics essentials: should I get a headset press? & other essential items

    Add me to the list....GET THE HEADSET PRESS. I'm generally in favor of getting whatever tool you need, learning how to use it, and becoming mechanically self sufficient. As an example, a few years back I needed to replace some Campy UT bearings, so I bought the Var puller and setting tool. In the intervening years I have used the tools at least a dozen times on the bikes of friends and a couple of my own. It has seen so much use that I keep a stash of SKF bearings (as opposed to OEM Campy) bearings on hand. The general deal is that the recipient of a repair has to pay up for both of us at an after ride Chipotle social/lying session after the next World Championship event.
     

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