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Headset service cost

Old 04-14-20, 09:35 PM
  #1  
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Headset service cost

Being quarantined I thought it would be a good time to start servicing my bicycles. With the help I've gotten on here I've been able to clean and put new bearings in two of my bikes bottom brackets and wheel hubs. I'm not sure if I want to tackle doing the headsets so I'm wondering what a fair price would be to have a shop do this?
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Old 04-14-20, 09:39 PM
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If you can overhaul a bottom bracket and hubs, you can overhaul a headset.
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Old 04-14-20, 09:55 PM
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Headsets are easy...easier than a bottom bracket. Go for it.
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Old 04-14-20, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by arex View Post
Headsets are easy...easier than a bottom bracket. Go for it.
Maybe I'll give it a try
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Old 04-14-20, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Maybe I'll give it a try
headsets are relatively easy with the proper wrenches. Do you have them?
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Old 04-14-20, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
headsets are relatively easy with the proper wrenches. Do you have them?
I'm not sure what wrenches I need.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I'm not sure what wrenches I need.
Can you post a photo of the headset?
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Old 04-14-20, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Can you post a photo of the headset?
I have 2 I would like to do first. Miyata 912 and Specialized Sequoia

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Old 04-14-20, 11:22 PM
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Headset wrench like these. I think the 32/36mm works for the Sequoia. But not the Miyata.



Last edited by rgvg; 04-14-20 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:25 PM
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The Shimano requires a special set of wrenches that can be found on ebay.

for the other one, you'll need to measure the nuts. They're typically 30, 32 and/or 36mm

for the Shimano

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Old 04-14-20, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rgvg View Post
Headset wrench like these. I think the 32/36mm works for the Sequoia. But not the Miyata.


I have a 32 that fits the Sequoia but the 912 is smaller.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
The Shimano requires a special set of wrenches that can be found on ebay.

for the other one, you'll need to measure the nuts. They're typically 30, 32 and/or 36mm

for the Shimano

Do the Shimano come in different sizes?
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Old 04-14-20, 11:32 PM
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There is only one size Shimano with the scalloped nuts
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Old 04-14-20, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
There is only one size Shimano with the scalloped nuts
They are pricey. Can't just use vice grips with a rag around the nut to protect it? lol
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Old 04-14-20, 11:45 PM
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I just saw these on ebay, looks custom made and reasonably priced

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Headset-wre...QAAOSwVMFdd7xh

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Old 04-14-20, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
They are pricey. Can't just use vice grips with a rag around the nut to protect it? lol
I'm not laughing.....
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Old 04-15-20, 12:49 AM
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Please oh please don't go the vise-grip route with your poor headsets!
Only philistines would use such tool on a headset!
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Old 04-15-20, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
They are pricey. Can't just use vice grips with a rag around the nut to protect it? lol
Glad your laughing about this. I've found that, given the stresses on the HS (rough roads, rail crossings, potholes, curbs, wooden bridges, etc) it's best if you get the lock nut/top nut really tight. Or they loosen during use. Since the flats on the adj nut/top race and the top nut are so thin, there is great risk to the parts if you use loose fitting wrenches, yup you must have two. And since the process of getting them real tight may loosen the bearing clearance (backing the top race out even a degree or two) you'll likely need to do this two or three times until it's just right. IOW using two correct wrenches multiple times each time the HS is serviced.

I trust you have a good metric vernier caliper so you can measure the parts and know what size wrenches you need. Mm?

So, for the hex parts either purchase the right wrenches (you could need two of the same, ex: 36mm, or two sizes) or find a co-op with them. If you buy, buy good ones. Cheap/bargain wrenches will not fit snugly and will bend from the forces you need.

For the Shimano HS either purchase them or see if one of us will loan em. Anyone near by? Put out the call. Great coffee, fresh cinnamon rolls, and a pack of TP as a thanks.
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Old 04-15-20, 04:34 AM
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I've heard an adjustable wrench on the flats is fine for the scalloped headset nuts.
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Old 04-15-20, 04:34 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Maybe I'll give it a try
I can assemble the headset just fine, the BB I needed help with as they took it apart for shipping even after I ASKED them not to. I didn't have the right tools for that.

I believe I do now...
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Old 04-15-20, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
They are pricey. Can't just use vice grips with a rag around the nut to protect it? lol

Purists will say no.


Practical people will say yes, of course.


There are two issues:

a) will it work (yes)

b) will it mar the headset (not if you are careful)


For b), if possible use a spanner with flat jaws, that fits tightly against the projections of the locknut. Carefully snug it down until it is tight enough not to slip, make sure the spanner is aligned with the locknut (I put use hand around it and feel with fingertips where the spanner grips the nut), and take it off. Especially if all you have is a vise-grip, use a pair of bits of thin ply, soft enough to crush/cushion/grip the locknut. Bits from the boxes satsumas come in are excellent.


Shimano using this type of locknut and cup configuration was the height of hubris[1]. I bought the special spanners when they were cheap, but before that I just used normal ones and care (and grease on the the threads - always. Always. ALWAYS.)


[1] internal cable routing is probably second, but lots frame makers have made that sin, only Shimano would use a birthday cake as a model for a bicycle part.
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Old 04-15-20, 05:08 AM
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Is the headset on the Sequoia use loose bearings? It says it is sealed. Does that refer to a seal between the cup and "cone?"
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Old 04-15-20, 05:11 AM
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As my mechanic Uncle Joe used to say, "Proper tools give good results". Which I never fully understood til I met this one girl...uh never mind, a story for different forum.
Back on topic, the '86 Ironman came with that style Headset. I used a rag and huge wrench. It works , but be careful as it doesn't take much to jack it up.
BTW, I ended up replacing that headset with a standard style nut, but if I were you I'd get the correct wrench if I planned on using the star style nut. Because when you overhaul headsets and it can get tricky. Too loose and there's a chance (after many miles) of ruining the headset. Too tight and it's like riding a unicycle and I don't know how to ride a unicycle. But for most DIY wrenchers that's the fun of it. You get it just right and you feel confident about your build. Ultimately you should get the correct tool.

Last edited by texaspandj; 04-15-20 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 04-15-20, 05:21 AM
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Head sets are easier to work on than bottom bracket and/or wheel hubs, in my opinion. Have a look a Head Set Rebuild and see if that bolsters your confidence. My advice is do it yourself...
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Old 04-15-20, 05:23 AM
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I've owned several bikes with the scalloped headset nuts. I've never purchased the tool. And I've never buggered them up either. Where there is a will, there's a way.
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