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A word about VO headsets

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A word about VO headsets

Old 05-16-19, 08:37 PM
  #1  
SamSpade1941 
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A word about VO headsets

Recently I went to the LBS to have them install a VO headset on my NOS Motobecane Fork , they called me about a week ago saying the race fractured , and that I needed to get a replacement, so I ordered a replacement from VO to get a second call today from the LBS stating that the second race fractured as well .

This LBS has a very knowledgeable staff with a lot of experience working on bikes of all vintages , more specifically I trust the mechanic (who is also the owner) performing the install . He stated that the race was for this race for the headset was really cheaply made , he also located a suitable replacement race for me and did not charge me for it .

I have mostly had good experiences with VO products I can't say the same of their headsets, or their brake pads . I would highly recommend using your original headset if possible or locating a good quality used French headset before purchasing one of these .
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Old 05-16-19, 09:19 PM
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ryansu 
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Interesting I have installed a couple VO headsets and not experienced this issue, VO seems pretty stand up I hope they replaced the races at no cost or just for shipping. Hope your Moto is back on the road soon OP
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Old 05-16-19, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Interesting I have installed a couple VO headsets and not experienced this issue, VO seems pretty stand up I hope they replaced the races at no cost or just for shipping. Hope your Moto is back on the road soon OP
Actually I was charged for the replacement crown race at full retail plus shipping. It was not a princely sum but honestly it still leaves a bad taste , on other hand they replaced a nut on the VO sprung saddle I had when it came off during a ride. So I am not going to be overly upset I just am not going to buy any more of their crown races.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:40 PM
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Which part is breaking? The crown race? It is machined a touch undersize? If it is the crown race, have you (or the shop) checked the fork? Now that you have a headset that works, this is a moot point but if the fork is oversized, this may come up again.

Now, if the part that broke isn't the crown race, forget everything I said.

Edit: Just noticed this is a Motobecane. French. I don't like to bad-mouth bikes based on country origin, but those of us who have worked on French bikes have learned to expect everything when it comes to adherence to standards. I owned two Peugeots and spent a summer assembling Motobecanes and Peugeots.

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Old 05-17-19, 05:33 AM
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An unusual part to break methinks. I've slammed, er tapped a few of them into place. Or course they've been the correct size.
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Old 05-17-19, 06:43 AM
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Trying to install a 26.4 crown race on a fork milled to 27.0?
Good luck w/ that.

-Bandera
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Old 05-17-19, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Trying to install a 26.4 crown race on a fork milled to 27.0?
Good luck w/ that.

-Bandera
Agreed. Just checked an original fork from a GJ and its 27.
Here is Sheldon's crib sheet:
Sheldon Brown Headset Crib Sheet
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Old 05-17-19, 06:56 AM
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That's odd. I don't know if I've ever seen a crown race break. Perhaps this is a bad batch of crown races? So far so good with my VO headset and I recently bought another. One thing I do like about VO headsets is that they let me mix and match so I was able to buy a JIS headset with a 26.4 crown race.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Trying to install a 26.4 crown race on a fork milled to 27.0?
Good luck w/ that.

-Bandera
Not the case ... this a fork with a crown shoulder milled to 26.5
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Old 05-17-19, 07:06 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Agreed. Just checked an original fork from a GJ and its 27.
Here is Sheldon's crib sheet:
Sheldon Brown Headset Crib Sheet
ISO vs JIS headsets. identical (i think) except the fork crown diameter. there's like a 0.2mm on the diameter difference. i had to mill a fork last time I installed a new headset on a circa 1984 TREK.
the LBS let me do it myself. He had never used the tool after 10+ years in business. the mill still had the shipping wax on it. a $25 tool rental fro a $593.95 tool. sounded fair to me!

possibly maybe that was what caused the fracture during install. sure sounds like it. probably not a VO problem (unless they are not calling out ISO vs JIS.... not sure) .
and it's some really esoteric info for the bike shop owner to keep in his mind - what with 53million different bottom bracket sizes out now.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
An unusual part to break methinks. I've slammed, er tapped a few of them into place. Or course they've been the correct size.
Again this isn't a size issue. I know that is always the default idea someone likes to arrive at. I did not have the tools to cut the shoulder myself but my LBS did and the mechanic is a very experienced.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
Not the case ... this a fork with a crown shoulder milled to 26.5
Very interesting!
Could the differences between the 26.5 shoulder and the 26.4 race ID be great enough to cause breakage?
Poor crown race tolerances?
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Old 05-17-19, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Very interesting!
Could the differences between the 26.5 shoulder and the 26.4 race ID be great enough to cause breakage?
Poor crown race tolerances?
Something was weak, the original race fractured after he cut the shoulder on the fork and attempted to install it, he told me when he calipered it before install it, the race was right at 26.4 , same thing with the second one. His opinion of the VO races are that they are cheap and honestly I agree at this point. I do most of my own work but I can't cut a crown race shoulder myself I just do not have the tools. He actually had the correct Campagnolo tool and used it. versus using the more modern Park tool version.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:15 AM
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A shame it took all that to get the bike together.

Hopefully that's the only hitch you have with the old Moto.

Great bikes. I have two.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:17 AM
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It's not broken. It's a split race.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
A shame it took all that to get the bike together.

Hopefully that's the only hitch you have with the old Moto.

Great bikes. I have two.
Had I used the original fork it may not have been a problem , but the chrome was pitted and wasn't cleaning up as I would have liked . I got lucky and was able to source a NOS Grand Jubile fork for my Grand Jubile, however the crown race shoulder had never been cut. The reason I did not use the original headset was some pitting on the metal . It was function just not as pretty as I wanted it to be . The VO headset looks really nice , I am just not impressed with the races at this point. My mechanic found me a suitable replacement that installed without incident.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
Had I used the original fork it may not have been a problem , but the chrome was pitted and wasn't cleaning up as I would have liked . I got lucky and was able to source a NOS Grand Jubile fork for my Grand Jubile, however the crown race shoulder had never been cut. The reason I did not use the original headset was some pitting on the metal . It was function just not as pretty as I wanted it to be . The VO headset looks really nice , I am just not impressed with the races at this point. My mechanic found me a suitable replacement that installed without incident.
Your fork had nothing to do with it. Installation instructions for the split crown race were included with my VO headset, so I assume they were with yours too. Apparently your mechanic isn't as knowledgeable as he thinks he is.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Your fork had nothing to do with it. Installation instructions for the split crown race were included with my VO headset, so I assume they were with yours too. Apparently your mechanic isn't as knowledgeable as he thinks he is.
Can you be helpful without being rude or sarcastic.? FYI that new headset didn’t have an instruction sheet with it

Why bother commenting IF you can’t be nice .

Last edited by SamSpade1941; 05-17-19 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
Why bother commenting IF you canít be nice .
You were making factually incorrect claims. I'm sorry you thought it was rude.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
You were making factually incorrect claims. I'm sorry you thought it was rude.

You were rude in your delivery . I donít want or need your opinion if you canít be polite .
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Old 05-17-19, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
You were rude in your delivery . I donít want or need your opinion if you canít be polite .
The fact that the VO headsets come with a split crown race is not an opinion, and I'm not posting for your benefit since you already have a different crown race. I'm posting for anyone else who might read your post and think there's something wrong with VO headsets.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Your fork had nothing to do with it. Installation instructions for the split crown race were included with my VO headset, so I assume they were with yours too. Apparently your mechanic isn't as knowledgeable as he thinks he is.
Mine had a doc that mentioned the race. The documentation that comes with VO stuff is variable, sometimes good, sometimes vague, sometimes suffering from lack of effective translation.
Used to that from decades past.
These are not super expensive headsets, and even fewer now have French threading.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The fact that the VO headsets come with a split crown race is not an opinion, and I'm not posting for your benefit since you already have a different crown race. I'm posting for anyone else who might read your post and think there's something wrong with VO headsets.
They could have included instructions and get this your communications style is lacking . Youíre not helpful being a a sarcastic know it all.

they also could have said hey this is a split crown race when I called to order a replacement ..

Last edited by SamSpade1941; 05-17-19 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
They could have included instructions and get this your communications style is lacking . You’re not helpful being a a sarcastic know it all.

they also could have said hey this is a split crown race when I called to order a replacement ..
As I said, my intent was correct the mis-information in your original post not to be helpful to you. I guess it's not surprising that you were offended by that. Thank you for your feedback on my communication style. I will try to be more delicate with you in the future.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:35 AM
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I didnít think the caged bearings had a split race, only the sealed.
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