pressing headset and installing fork on 29er

andrdre

New Member
I'm new to the area and I was wondering if anyone could give me rough estimates on what LBSs in the area would charge for pressing a headset and cutting/installing a new rigid fork on a 29er frame? I'm trying for the first time to build up my own bike, but I don't trust myself when it comes to pressing the headset and cutting the fork. Thanks for the info!
 
M

mjs3350

Guest
Hi, I'm not sure how much a shop would charge, but it's pretty easy to pop your old headset and press the new one in all with about $20 worth of materials from a hardware store. I built this one and it worked great on my new Chris King Headset:

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/09/29/homemade-headset-installation-tools/

to make the headset removal tool, i bought a 1" diameter copper pipe, about 1.5 foot long. I split the pipe into 4 sections at one end, about 5" up the pipe, and spread them out. Insert into headset and bang the cups out.

Not sure if it's proper etiquette to link to a different forum, but if you google " diy headset removal tool" or something similar you'll find out what i mean.

As for cutting the fork and and installing the crown race onto it, you can also do that with a pipe cutter and a piece of 1 1/4" diameter PVC pipe, but if you're not comfortable doing that you might want to take it to a shop.

These tool sizes are assuming a 1 1/8" headset/fork.
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
I'm new to the area and I was wondering if anyone could give me rough estimates on what LBSs in the area would charge for pressing a headset and cutting/installing a new rigid fork on a 29er frame? I'm trying for the first time to build up my own bike, but I don't trust myself when it comes to pressing the headset and cutting the fork. Thanks for the info!

dude - for a cheap headset press try this:

i used some 3/4" threaded rod, some big ass fender washers, and two nuts for a headset press. it worked great, and cost about $5. just put the threaded rod through your headtube, run the headset cup down to the frame, put some fender washers on next, and add a nut. add fender washers (use 3 or 4 on each side) and a nut on the other side. tighten the nut, and the headset slides right in. repeat on the other side.
 

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don

Well-Known Member
The homemade presses that clark and mjs talk about will definitely work well.

But if you are building your bike for the first time I would be wary about doing it myself unless you have a mechanical background in something else. They are both easy to do but if you have something wrong like a buggerd headset or inside of your headtube - it can make thing messy quick.

Also, if you don't swap parts around a lot a headset press (even a homemade one) isn't needed - most likely it would be cheaper just to bring it to the shop.

I would look for a good LBS in your area. Then ask the mechanic if you can watch while he does the job. Just bring the frame, fork, headset, and stem to the shop (and maybe the seatpost/seatpost clamp) if you can.

Installing the headset properly you will need to do the following:
- make sure the inner HT is smooth and round, ream if necessary
- press the cups in
- press on the lower race
- measure the fork with spacers and the stem installed
- remove fork, then cut
- bevel cut and smooth the inside wall of steerer tube
- pop in a starnut
- re-install and tighten properly. A decent shop mech will get that HS just right - not too tight but not too loose.

With the frame at the shop, I'd ask them to chase the BB threads too.

There is plenty of other stuff to install on a build that will keep you busy - but might as well get the important stuff done correctly.
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
pop in a starnut

the first time i did this i had to turn to my LBS. the tool the shop had was much better than the insane method i was attempting to use... which did not work at all.

for anyone who messes this up - when you end up with your starnut totally sideways and stuck, not all hope is lost :eek:
 
Good opportunity to find a nice LBS in your hood... Check the Shop Directory for one close to you.

I have cut many a head tube (mostly the WRONG way), and have done numerous Franken-stalls of headsets... I hope I'm finally starting to get it right (or at least close). It sounds like you're on a serious trajectory here... 29er, rigid fork... my kind of build. If you're including a King headset and, say a Vicious Cycles fork, that's a $400 reason to take it to your LBS.

If you're hell-bent on becoming master of your own mechanical domain, the advice/links provided here are very good. Biggest lesson learned for me (when cutting down a headtube)... A. You can always shorten it, but you can't lengthen it. B. Measure 3 times, cut once. and C. Pipe-cutters ensure a nice straight cut, but will typically flare the tube at the cut, causing major headache getting the crown race to fit over the tube, requiring additional filing/sanding... Better to use a hacksaw with a cutting guide (IMO).

But ALL of these things require some (albeit minimal) investment. Unless you're likely to repeat it 2-3 times over the next 2 years, I say use this opportunity to make friends with your LBS...

What are you building, BTW? Good luck!

Peace,

BB
 

Ian F

Well-Known Member
I agree about taking it to a LBS... While I do have a DIY press set up similar to what's described above, I also have a set of King press adapters which makes the set-up work 100x better since it ensures the cups are aligned. Screwing up the cup install can screw up the frame in a void-your-warranty way...

I also agree about the pipe-cutter comment about flaring... BTDT... PITA...

I've also invested in a cutting guide, star-nut installer and cup removal tool... but I've built a fair number of bikes over the years...

Shop rates can vary depending on the shop. Some charge per the job... some by the hour... some with a 1-hour minimum charge... however, developing a relationship with a shop over time can make these rates much more flexible.
 

warcricket

Like a Jerk
do not underestimate the power of a hammer, wooden block, and screw driver. all the specialty tools are just variations of these. that being said, bring it to the shop.
 

TonyC

Active Member
I'm new to the area and I was wondering if anyone could give me rough estimates on what LBSs in the area would charge for pressing a headset and cutting/installing a new rigid fork on a 29er frame? I'm trying for the first time to build up my own bike, but I don't trust myself when it comes to pressing the headset and cutting the fork. Thanks for the info!

Since you are new to the area check out a few LBS. Go with the one that floats your boat..
I just had a LBS do the same install. Took the wrench 15 minutes while I was BSing with the owner..

Costs: depends on the bike shop..

It's nice to build up your own bike, but leave HS/Steerer cuts/Wheel building to the pros.

What 29er are you building??
 

don

Well-Known Member
do not underestimate the power of a hammer, wooden block, and screw driver. all the specialty tools are just variations of these. that being said, bring it to the shop.

I have to laugh as I have used a hammer and a wooden block to "press" in a headset.
 

Ian F

Well-Known Member
I have to laugh as I have used a hammer and a wooden block to "press" in a headset.


I think we all have, at one point another... although it was a steel headset going into a steel frame... and I was 13 years old at the time... 26 years ago... :rolleyes:

I remember an article in one of the bike rags years ago about wrenching... there was test where dending on how you scored, ranked your experience... those with the most experience were described as "having broken enough stuff to know what works, what doesn't, and what can work some of the time..." At that time, all the neighborhood kids came to me because I was able to get those new-fangled "hand brakes" (back when coaster brakes on a BMX bike were still common) to work...
 

andrdre

New Member
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm building a Soul Cycles Dillinger 29er with the SC fork. It will take me a little while to save up for a suspension after the $ I spent on the frame and components, although I got the frame at a pretty good price. I'm itching to get it built.
 
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