Headset bearings

snedden9485 Posts: 57
edited July 2009 in Workshop
Just saw the article on headset bearings, as a guide, how often should these be greased up? Are they something that will generally take a long time to wear out? Obviously neglect and water entering the bearing would severely limit their life, but are they generally something that last a long time?
2009 Cervelo S1
2008 Specialized Allez Elite


  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I have an MTB which is now 11 years old and the headset still spins perfectly despite never having been dismantled. More surprising still is that it still has the original bottom bracket.

    The kid's cheaper bikes are always needing these things servicing / replacing.

    I think it depends much more on the quality of the seals than on the bearings themselves.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    It does depend on the quality of the seals. Chris King you just fit and forget, cheap ones you will be cleaning the lower bearing very frequently, especialy if you ride without mudguards.
  • careful
    careful Posts: 720
    Unless you ride a lot in the rain, once a year might be a good idea - if it is still ok after a year you should be ok to leave it alone.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If riding without mudguards in winter, you'll be lucky if they last a year, never mind servicing them. Check them at least monthly - loosen the stem and drop the fork to check condition - regrease and refit only takes a few minutes. You can pop the seal and repack, but very hard to restore a bearing if it's rough - swap the top and bottom bearings if you can extends the life
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • rickhotrod
    rickhotrod Posts: 181
    If your headset has ball bearings in a cage, take the cage out. This helps stop indentations/pitting forming on the bearing races.