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How to remove and fit new headset bearing cups

LordBanksLordBanks Posts: 358
edited October 2008 in MTB workshop & tech
Any advice?

I've just bought a new headset and want to install it.

Thing is, how do i remove the old bearing cups? Years back i replaced a headset on a bmx using a rubber mallet and some wood.

Can i use this method or will it destroy my bike??

Is there a tool i can buy to remove and install the cups which isn't too expensive?



  • AdamMAdamM Posts: 3
    You can remove old headset cups with a long screwdriver and a mallet.

    Yes, you can install new ones with a block of wood and a mallet, but I wouldn't recommend it. Next step up is a threaded rod and oversized washers, which works but can be a bit of a faff keeping everything lined up. Then you have dedicated a headset press which makes the job super easy but isn't needed if you only do this once in a blue moon.

    Where are you based? If in London you're welcome to pop 'round to mine in Clapham and I'll do it for you in 10 mins (including having a beer) :D
  • LordBanksLordBanks Posts: 358
    Aye, not bothered about the old cups, i just don't want to damage the new ones, or worse still, bust me frame.

    haha, thanks for the offer mate, i'm up in Newcastle though, bit of a trek.
  • BikerbaboonBikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    i have been looking at this also....... £35 is the best i can find for the tool...
    you can do it with a mallet and wood but you can damage the frame and or head set.
    If you have a large G clamp then that can do.
    Or radicaly if you have a good local bike shop then they can do it for you in 5 min and charge £10.

    I love to build the bike my self but paying £10 to get the headset sorted right sounds good to me.
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  • AdamMAdamM Posts: 3
    As bikerbaboon points out, your LBS has all of the tools for such a job...

    Probably a few people in your area will have them as well, if you can find them.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    read parktools

    all the info is there.
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  • hucking_fellhucking_fell Posts: 1,056
    Park Tool Headcup Remover From £24.99
    Park Tool Headset / BMX BB Bearing Cup Press From £35.99

    The £60 would be paid for by not paying my LBS to do it 4 times.


    just found this. X-Tools Headset Cup Remover From £14.99

    Looks pretty much the same as the Park Tools one.

    And this. X-Tools Headset Press Workshop Tool From £34.99

    Which looks unnecessarily more complicated than the Park Tools one though.
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  • LordBanksLordBanks Posts: 358
    Thanks for the tips.

    I've been surfing around on other bike forums, and the general consensus of opinion is to knock them out myself (I'm gonna make one of those headset removers) and then use a bench vice to put the new ones in. I can't really see the point of buying a specific tool just for headset installation when all they basically are is a vice anyway.

    And, i tried the LBS, they said if i brought the bike in built it was a week until they could do it and it would cost 25 quid, or if i took the bike in with the forks etc removed, 3 days and 15 quid, seems a bit of a faff on to be honest.

    Thanks again fellas :D
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Removal - large ball-pein hammer, piece of aluminium bar to use as a drift.

    Installation - Rubber mallet, lump of oak floor-boarding and copper grease.

    It's worked for me for 20 odd years and never had a complaint yet... :D
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