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Was having problems with my steering and now realise that the bearing are shot to pieces, but cant get at them to replace them? I have a fron suspencion Mountain bike.

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There is an allen screw in the cap on your stem an a couple that clamp the stem to the steer tube of the fork. Take the cap off entirely and loosen the allens on the stem so that the stem can be removed. Now slide the fork down and out of the head tube. If your headset permits bearing replacement, you are all set and can just do that, but if the whole headset needs replacement, you have a much bigger task on your hands. There are tools to do the job, but given their cost and the frequency which you need them, it may be better to just take it to the shop. However, if you are determined to do this with basic tools, here's what you'll need:
A block of wood or piece of 2x4
A mallet or single jack (hammer/jack hammer for single-handed use)
A hacksaw
12" of 1" EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing; available at the hardware store)

Cutting a 12" section of the EMT off and de-burring the cut end, cut an "X" into the cut end of the pipe.
Flare this "X" out slightly and push the good, uncut factory end through the headtube until the flared section is past the headset bearing cup. Now take your hammer and beat the headset out. Repeat for the other headset bearing cup.
Clean the area of the headtube that receives the headset cup and make sure there are no burrs, then apply a small amount of grease (bike specific) into the same section. Now, using the block of wood to protect your new headset, tap the new cup in gently until the entire circumference is started into the headtube and then beat it in all the way. Repeat these steps for the other side.
Now reinstall the fork and stem, tightening the cap before clamping the stem.
Align the stem and clamp it.
Test and tune the tightness of the cap - if it isn't tight enough, the headset will seem sloppy and noisy.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009


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