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Obscure / wierd headset. Help please!

Bike SpannerBike Spanner Posts: 8
edited January 2015 in Workshop
Hi all
So, the headset bearings on my winter bike are totally knackered and I was stupid enough to think it would be an easy DIY fix….
Bike is specialized secteur elite 2010. Headset is FSA as standard on this model. On taking it apart and doing a little research (sorry you are dealing with a mechanical moron here) it seems to be what is called ‘semi integrated’
Problem is the bearings are caged with 25 in each cage. Cages and bearings are totally gone. Despite my best efforts it seems replacements are not freely available
Also the integrated part in the headtube seems pretty rough to my eye.
Questions are:
1) Can I replace the caged units with ones that have less than 25 bearings- will they fit?
2) Is it possible to replace the integrated part of the headset – I’m guessing this involves some brute force and/or specialist tools if possible at all?

Any possible solutions gratefully received!


  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    If it as I guess knock the cups out and replace headset with new. New cups will need pressing in.

    Very common headset standard.

    Read the info on Parktools.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Thanks for the info. Seems replacing the whole thing will require a few tools i don't have. Still a little confused as to why i can't find any replacement 25 cages + bearings if this is a common set up? Seems to be loads of 22 bearing cages available - does anyone know if they are interchangable?
  • It'll be a similar job as this one
    I wouldn't bother with trying to find like-for-like caged bearings you have in at the minute. VP MH-P03K will be compatible with your bike according to an old Specialized compatibility chart (can't find a link online, sorry).
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Yes, read my awesome guide above. The chap that commented on it said it worked on a 2011 Secteur. It's a little bit of a faff but you can replace them with sealed cartridge bearings, which require very little maintenance, for less than a tenner.

    You need these: ... ble-x2.htm
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    You have as standard what's called a "mindset". It's a stupid design which specialized use in most of their alloy bikes. You can knock out the whole thing (including the angled sleeve that those tiny little balls were sitting in) to expose an angle inside the frame. This will take a standard cartridge bearing (probably 41mm diameter) but you will need a slimmer expander wedge beneath the top dust shield and a couple of tiny shims. A trip to your local bike shop and a friendly chat with the mechanic should find these, along with a donation to their biscuits fund.
  • Cheers buck
    That guide is spot on, and it's the exact same headset that i have so i know it will work for my bike! You've saved me hours of mind numbing internet trawling and a good few quid to... much appreciated.
    Bearings ordered, fingers crossed for the hammer and screwdriver approach!
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