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Thread: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

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    Default Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    Bottom headset cup in my Ti litespeed Appalachian will move in fore-aft, but not in side direction. I think my calipers indicate a slightly ovalized steering tube.
    Any solutions?
    Is there a slightly larger 1" cup in can press in there?
    JB Weld?
    Or forget about it in just ride it as is.
    The frame had a pretty hard life, but I really like it on the road with the new generation larger road tires.
     

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by rabo View Post
    Bottom headset cup in my Ti litespeed Appalachian will move in fore-aft, but not in side direction. I think my calipers indicate a slightly ovalized steering tube.
    Any solutions?
    Is there a slightly larger 1" cup in can press in there?
    JB Weld?
    Or forget about it in just ride it as is.
    The frame had a pretty hard life, but I really like it on the road with the new generation larger road tires.
    I'd try pressing in a new headset before I'd decide the head tube was ovalized. I've seen at least one misshapen lower cup that acted like you describe. Plus inner and outer diameters are two different things, so you can put the calipers on the head tube inner diameter once you have the bottom cup out.

    edit: I was just remembering - doesn't Cane Creek make their 110 headsets available as uppers and lowers, each in two slightly different sizes? Someone else will have to answer that as I cannot find it on their website.

    Last edited by j44ke; 09-30-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    I've had luck using sleeve retainer goop to fill up spaces in out-of-spec fitments like this.

    https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-37424.../dp/B0002KKTIG
    CJ Bryan | @waltz | Ride dirt and weld things.

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    King makes oversized headsets (and undersized crown races). I would also consider cleaning it up and putting some bearing retainer/slip-fit compound and seeing how long that lasts before I sprang for a new $250 custom headset. I like green Wurth, but don't really know anything else about the many other options that serve a similar purpose.

    Having said that, I can't imagine being able to measure a round hole with anything other than a taper, whereby you'd also be able to get a feel for the roundness of the hole. So don't trust your calipers entirely.
     

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    Without absolute numbers my calipers that I set on the outside of the head tube show play when rotated 90 degrees, but as Jorn said, that is arbitrary.
    Thanks all for your input.
     

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    For the record. How do you imagine it became ovalized? I ask because one time, at band camp, I spent way too many hours chasing a clicking Ti frameset for a good friend.

    After much disassembly and head scratching he fess'd up the bike was the victim of a roof rack incident. The head tube was ovalized because it was STRETCHED. No cure.

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    After much disassembly and head scratching he fess'd up the bike was the victim of a roof rack incident. The head tube was ovalized because it was STRETCHED. No cure.
    On a twenty-year-old frame that would otherwise be written off, this sounds like a job for a heavy bumping hammer followed up with a new, decent-quality headset installed with epoxy. Will it ever be perfect? No. Will it be any closer to the bin? Probably not. Worst case scenario, it's truly f*cked. I'd certainly take the chance on unf*cking it, given it's got one foot in the bin already.
     

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    Default Re: Ovalized head tube (solutions?)

    I rode it with a steerer extender on a 90 mile gravel ride that involved miles of brutal washboard descending.
    After this I noted the play in the cup.
    Thinking about it, my uncle worked for a blacksmith 80 years ago, he showed me that you increase a tubes size with an impact from a harder metal, but decrease it with a softer material (wood). Made some brass fishing rod bushings that way.
    Brass versus Ti though, sounds like a lost cause.
    Cane Creek did not have an oversize.
    Locktite it will be.
    Thanks again.
    Last edited by rabo; 10-02-2019 at 09:52 PM.
     

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