Headset. Balls down?

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Headset. Balls down?

Postby mitzikatzi » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:39 pm

I thought when when installing ball bearings in a headset the rule was "balls hang down" (in the cage).

Today I read that the balls should face each other like this.
Image

So what is the correct way?
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by BNA » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:07 pm

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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby Dan » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:07 pm

Balls onto race face. I was told the other week to ditch the cage entirely and run larger bearings packed in with loads of grease.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:21 pm

diggerdantheman wrote:I was told the other week to ditch the cage entirely and run larger bearings packed in with loads of grease.


Don't know about larger bearings. One extra in number, maybe. Or a general rule I've always is followed is pack in as many as you can, with them all still sitting flat on the race - and then remove one.

The cages themselves are really just a tool to help in quick assembly. More an issue in a mass-production line where time is $$$ more so than for your average tinkerer. It's just a convenience thing otherwise.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:22 pm

I like bearings in cages, i can't stand opening up an old bike and having a bunch of little bearings go flying about the place.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby rkelsen » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:24 pm

Use whichever side has the balls sitting properly on the race.

Some headsets use an adjustable outer race at the top. The one in your picture uses an adjustable inner race at the top.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby DarrylH » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:29 pm

A headset like that is two cup&cone bearings with the top cup facing up and the bottom cup facing down so the cages will need to be opposite to each other. Try putting them in the same way and you will be running on the cage and not the bearings. Bearings are designed for a certain size ball and bigger will not fit - you can put more in without the cage but not bigger.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:30 pm

+1 to rkelsen's point.

Do a dry install (sans grease) without any lock nut etc feel the different orientations with your hands as you turn the cups. I remember trying to get that tactile sense of what was right when I first starting pulling these apart and reassembling with the cages.

It's probably easier felt with the cups & races not actually installed in the frame.. but the wrong way up you should feel the little cage claws dragging where they shouldn't.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby Mustang » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:28 pm

Re the first thread, I just installed Campy record (new) & these were the instructions, just would not fit the other way anyway.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:18 pm

Loose balls FTW, one more than were in the cage. When installing, grease is the word to stop them disappearing down the head tube.
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby mitzikatzi » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:41 pm

And just how easy is it to buy loose ball bearings "rolls eyes".

Anywhere to buy online or is flea bay as good as anywhere?
I am guessing for a headset "grade" is not super important?
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Re: Headset. Balls down?

Postby Dan » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Moruya bicycles sells loose. Bike parts plus more as well.
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