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bmxdirect-headset-installation

Integrated Headset Installation

Here’s a re-up on a classic post. C’mon you should know this stuff!
Installing or replacing an integrated headset is probably one of the simplest maintenance things you can do on your BMX. Learn how to get it done right.

You will need grease, a decent automotive wheel bearing grease is good, a rag, a rubber hammer and a 6mm allenkey. Make sure you have stripped and cleaned your frame and fork before you get going. If you have just painted your bike make sure there is no paint or residue on the inside the headtube on the bearing facings, if you are replacing your headset clean all the old grease and dirt from inside with a rag. You can use a light lubricant to clean it, we use WD40, or Q20 works great.

Here is what you will need; Grease, a rag, a rubber hammer and a 6mm allenkey.
Here is what you will need; Grease, a rag, a rubber hammer and a 6mm allenkey.
Apply a dab of grease to the angled bearing facings on both the top and bottom of the headtube. Smear it round lightly covering it evenly and throughly.
Apply a dab of grease to the angled bearing facings on both the top and bottom of the headtube. Smear it round lightly covering it evenly and throughly.
Add a little grease to your fork race and slide the bearing down the steerer tube. Take note of which way the bearing goes on. Seat the bearing nicely on the fork and the fork into place seating the bearing snugly into the frame.
Add a little grease to your fork race and slide the bearing down the steerer tube. Take note of which way the bearing goes on. Seat the bearing nicely on the fork and the fork into place seating the bearing snugly into the frame.
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Now do the same on the top bearing. Slide it into place, it should be snug in the headtube.
Now do the same on the top bearing. Slide it into place, it should be snug in the headtube.
Notice the angled part of the bearing faces towards the frame. With some frames the bearing may show out above the frame slightly, this is normal. Other frames the bearing will be flush or covered by the head tube.
Notice the angled part of the bearing faces towards the frame. With some frames the bearing may show out above the frame slightly, this is normal. Other frames the bearing will be flush or covered by the head tube.
Now grab the angled wedge ring and push that onto the bearing, it will slot in to the bearing, the headset cap comes next and some head set spacers if necessary.
Now grab the angled wedge ring and push that onto the bearing, it will slot in to the bearing, the headset cap comes next and some head set spacers if necessary.

 

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Loosen the bolts on the stem and slide it over the steerer of the fork. Do not apply grease the steerer tube of the fork.
Loosen the bolts on the stem and slide it over the steerer of the fork. Do not apply grease the steerer tube of the fork.
With new parts some minor force may be needed to get the stem on to the fork. Use a rubber mallet to tap it down gently. Check that the bearing in the bottom is sitting nicely in the frame before tightening your bolts.
With new parts some minor force may be needed to get the stem on to the fork. Use a rubber mallet to tap it down gently. Check that the bearing in the bottom is sitting nicely in the frame before tightening your bolts.
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Tighten the headset cap down so it pulls everything together real nice. At this point you may want to put your bars on. Spin the bars round a few times and get the perfect rotation. Make sure your stem is lined up with your fork and bars.
Tighten the headset cap down so it pulls everything together real nice. At this point you may want to put your bars on. Spin the bars round a few times and get the perfect rotation. Make sure your stem is lined up with your fork and bars.
Check that there is no 'play' on the bearings- a loose rocking forward and backward feeling, if there is; repeat the step above by loosening the stem bolts, tighten the stem cap a little bit more and then the stem bolts should be tightened again.
Check that there is no ‘play’ on the bearings- a loose rocking forward and backward feeling, if there is; repeat the step above by loosening the stem bolts, tighten the stem cap a little bit more and then the stem bolts should be tightened again.

Troubleshooting:
My headset is creaking or making a dry noise!
– It could be one of many things: A broken bearing, a cracked frame, incorrect installation or your headset just may need to be cleaned and re-greased.

If 1 of my bearings are broken, do I need to buy 2 new ones?
– No, you can replace just the broken one if needed.

I’m missing some parts of my headset, can i get a new part?
– Nope sorry, you in for a whole new headset kit.

My headset is rocking and i cannot get it to stay tight!
– Sounds like you need to add an extra headset spacer under your stem. Or you have not put it back together properly. Got through the steps again and make sure everything is back in place.

If you are unsure and need assistance go ahead and give us a call. Advice is free and will usually save you some frustration, check out Contact page for details.

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