Your threaded headset is a staple in your fixie bike and will require annual checks (often during your yearly tune-up) for wear and tear and for re-greasing the ball bearings
Use this guide as a reference when you decide to overhaul your threaded headset. We will help give you simple instructions within this article that will help you maximize the efficiency of your overhaul.
What You'll Need
- Used Toothbrush;
- Cleaning solvent;
- Waterproof Grease;
- 32mm Spanner Wrenches for older 1-inch headsets;
- 36mm Spanner Wrenches for larger 1 1/8-inch headset.
Removing the Brake Cable, Stem and Wheel
- Disconnect your fixie bike's front brake.
- Take the brake cable off the lever.
- Unbolt the front wheel carefully.
- Unscrew the stem's tightening bolt enough to hit it with a hammer to knock the inner wedge loose.
Dissembling the Headset for Adjustments
- Loosen the locknut enough until you can remove it.
- Remove spaces by holding the fork in place with one hand and using the other to unthread the adjusting race. (Keep count of the number of spacers and their order.)
- Take the fork out of the frame by sliding it down.
Cleaning Your Threaded Headset
- Use cleaning solvent and a rag to clean the bearing races on both the frame and fork.
- Inspect the bearing races (four) to check for grooving or pitting. This will require the headset to be replaced.
- Use a toothbrush and solvent to wipe down the ball bearing cages.
- Wipe the ball bearing cages with a dry rag to remove all moisture.
- Check the ball bearing cages for any bends or excessive wearing out. This will require them to be replaced.
Greasing Up the Headset
Apply a generous amount of grease on the bearing races and again after installing the ball cages.
Assembling the Headset Back
- Slide the fork back up through the frame and tighten the adjusting race using your fingers.
- Remove any excessive grease squirting from the sides.
- Place your spacers back on the fixie bike and thread the locknut using your fingers.
Adjusting the Headset on your Fixie
- Use a spanner wrench to hold the lower adjusting race and use a second wrench to tighten the locknut.
- Ensure the headset turns freely.
- Rock the fork of the bike backwards and forward to ensure the bars spin freely with no resistance.
Re-Install the Wheel, Stem and Brake Cable
- Bolt on the front wheel and coat the shaft with a layer of grease (not too much).
- Install the handlebar stem.
- Reconnect your front brake to the fixie's front wheel.
Overhauling your fixie bike and its threaded headset will take no time. The more you do it, the better your skill and perception will be with it. Enjoy other tips by us.