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Ritchey Headset Help

JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
edited January 2008 in MTB workshop & tech
I'm trying to remove my Ritchey Logic headset, and having a 'mare.

I've removed the stem and the stack rings, however when I go to drop the fork out, it's well and truly wedged.
The top of the headset seems to be jammed on.
There's a tiny split-ring on top of what appears to be the plastic bearing cup! That's jammed solid, and no amount of tapping it round with a screwdriver and hammer seem to make it budge.

I'm assuming i've done something terrible, as whacking the top of the steerer with a mallet fails to make it move at all (with the forks held off the ground).

The headset and frame are about 5-10 years old (the bike was one of the last steel Spez. Stumpys) - awesome, but now suffering from a gritty headset.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    They often get stuck as the wedge/retainer stays in place. A tap usually frees it... could have got bonded to the steerer. I'd spray with GT85, pref Plus Gas, leave then tap the steerer. Or bash it!
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Ah - Thanks
    I completely forgot to give the outside of the steerer tube a good spray with lube - I've got WD40 - Is Plus Gas better? Just wondering whether to track some of that down as well?
    Have given it a good spray and retreated until tomorrow evening when I shall return with mallet in hand!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Plus Gas is handy stuff - a bit potent, but frees up rusted and bonded parts. Its a penetrating lube. See how you go with WD40 though.
  • ROCHAROCHA Posts: 266
    I've had the same problem with that headset. It locks a lot harder than most headsets 'cause the plastic piece below the stem and just above the bearings has a conic shape.
    So, the more you tighten it the more it wedges in and the more it gets stuck.

    I've used a big iron tube and a pair of trousers :oops: to take the fork out.
    1-Grab your old pair of trousers (preferabily jeans as denim is more resistant) and cut one of its legs out.
    2-Tye the piece of denim to the frame in the place where the headtube meets the downtube. The piece of cloth must be wrapped aroun both toptube and down tube and you must have some slack above the toptube.
    3-Put your big tube through the gap between the top tube and the piece of jeans. The end of the big tube must seat on top of the fork tube.
    4-Push up the end of your big tube that is further away from the fork. Since you have a big long tube you can use this leverage to force the fork down.

    I've used a piece of my old jeans cause a wire (the first thig that came to my mind) would damage the paint and would probably dent the downtube.
    You obviously need to hold the frame still by pushing the tobtube down as you push the big tube up. Spraying it with something also helps.

    Goood luck!
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Thanks for the leverage suggestion - After 24 hours soaking in WD40, it won't budge an inch - so the trousers and long persuader bar look like the next option - after that, it's a retreat to the LBS, credit card in hand - Shame it's January, and the credit limit is toast!
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Guys, thanks for your advice. Just to let you know I solved the problem after a bit of lateral thinking - Actually, feeling like a bit of a muppet for not earlier thinking of something so obvious (although it wasn't listed in the bike repair manual)...

    I put the saddle back on, took the bars off and turned the bike upside-down.
    Placed a 2 inch block of wood under the top of the fork tube.
    Firmly grasped the down-tube where it meets the bottom of the head tube (it's upside down still, at this point)
    Picked the frame up about 4 inches, then swung it down on to the block of wood, applying my full weight at the same time.

    Thunk - top race popped right off!

    Bottom race and shell disgustingly surface-rusted.
    Will see if I can get a new race / suggestions for replacement.
  • Will SnowWill Snow Posts: 1,154
    ...i used a set of tweezers o a nail or something long and thin... means you can get rite under the conic bit... and no hammer needed!!! lolol
    i ride a hardtail
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