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Steering feels gritty

DanieljephcottDanieljephcott Posts: 334
edited December 2016 in MTB workshop & tech
Hello all,

After not using my bike for two weeks the steering was locked up. Didn't take much to unlock it with a slight tug but if I lift the front up and move the handlebar left to right it feels gritty. No performance issues and bike rides the same as it always has but it is concerning me.

Most rides are very muddy so the bike does get cleaned a lot. I've also used the jet wash last couple of times due to quite a bit of sheep poop.

Do you think I've blown some dirt into the headset? Any ideas on what I should do.

I would imagine I need to take the forks out and clean inside the head tube.

Your help and advice would be great. Please advice in complete novice steps :).

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Depends on the headset.
    Loose balls - clean/lube. Replace if rusted.
    Cartridge bearings - replace.

    Don't aim a jetwash at bearings, if you have to use one.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldad wrote:
    Depends on the headset.
    Loose balls - clean/lube. Replace if rusted.
    Cartridge bearings - replace.

    Don't aim a jetwash at bearings, if you have to use one.

    As always some wicked advice I just wish I knew a bit more about that you where talking about :). This is my bike just incase it helps:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobi ... lsrc=aw.ds

    So do I undo the stem and then undo the Allen bolt at the top of the headset and then the fork drops down?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Depending on the parts, but you'll have to remove the compression wedge and it may need a bit of a tap on top of the steerer to get it started.
  • Is there a step by step guide to doing this job?

    I want to give it ago myself but a bit worried that I'm going to mess it up. Off to bike park Wales on the 15th Jan so don't want to do something that I can't fix by then.

    I imagine I just need to undo it, take the fork off, clean and re grease and put back together.

    What grease do I need.

    Thanks again all
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,465
    Have a look on YouTube. You should find what to want on there including how to clean down your bike properly. Listen to cooldad and rookie as lots of experience over the years.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Is this basically what I need to do:

    https://youtu.be/v_NxyaFxB0g

    Is there a specific type of grease needed? Also is gt86 ok as degreaser to clean the parts?
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,465
    Looks about what you want. GT stuff ok to clean and strip down but not lube. Use decent grease easily available.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Thanks for all the info. I'll get some grease and a little grease gun and give it ago today. Will let you know how I get on :)
  • Sorry one last question. I would imagine that I have the cartridge bearing type, do I need to take apart the bearing, clean and re grease? I was watching a video where they took the seals out of the bearing and gave it a good clean and grease and put it back together.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    You only need to grease them if they are loose balls, cartridge have grease inside, although a little on the outside when fitting is never a bad idea, especially the lower as it also helps keep some crud out. You don't need a grease gun, just a smear on your finger.
    You can try and remove the seals but it's still hard to clean inside, so replacement is better.
    Parktools, link below, tells you how to do everything, and gives details of the different bits, like types of headset etc. Info is kept up to date as well.
    The Cane Creek website has a headset compatibility thingy.
    Unfortunately the link to the bike doesn't have any specs, so no idea what's in there, but the Cube site will probably have info.
    Once the stem bolts are loose, pushing down on the forks will often loosen the compression ring enough so the forks drop out easily. Sometimes they just drop out nice and easily anyway, normally when the bike is up on a stand and you don't expect it.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    ...and put a spacer or block in the caliper to prevent you actuating the brakes when you are effecting the repair.

    Actuating the brake could cause a nuclear explosion and end all life in the universe as a result.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    When you take the forks out, be prepared for there being loose ball bearings, they can go everywhere and you'll never find the little bastards.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Probably cartridge though....
    "headset FSA 1.5E ZS, Tapered, Top Zero-Stack 1 1/8" (OD 44mm), Bottom Zero-Stack 1 1/2" (OD 56mm) "

    https://www.bike24.com/p2111914.html
  • That's the one. Took it all apart and the bearings were rusty I think or covered in censored that wouldn't clean. The top bearing was different though it wouldn't come out its like it was stuck in place.

    I look the stem off and undid the preload at the top. Pulled the forks off and a cartridge bearing fell out the bottom. When I took the spacers and then the tapered cap off the top there was a metal ring with a split in it. I took that off but attached was like a lid to the top bearing. I couldn't actually take the cartridge out.

    I've cleaned it all up the best I could and greased everything and put it back together. Seems a little better but no perfect so I think I need to replace them.

    Only thing is I have no idea how to take the top bearing put.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Screwdriver through the headtube from below against the outer race, sharp tap with a hammer, catch it as it pops out!
  • The Rookie wrote:
    Screwdriver through the headtube from below against the outer race, sharp tap with a hammer, catch it as it pops out!

    Was literally typing a reply. If you look at the picture of the part. Below the tapered cup that has fsa written on it there's a black plastic cap that pushes onto the frame. This is the part I hadn't removed thinking it was part of the frame. I'll know now next time.

    I need to order the replacement and get it swapped over. Seemed to be an easy enough job though.
  • Just been chatting to chain reaction as I'm ordering some pads for bike park Wales. He said that this part is better quality:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobi ... prod130954

    Might get this ordered.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Cheap and will do the job. Until you jetwash it.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Well jet washing won't be happening again. So are you saying this is a censored quality part? Should I stick to the original part or is there a better quality that anyone can recommend.

    Also any tips on how to compress the cups to the frame? Don't fancy buying a specific tool.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Nope, looks perfectly good and basically a CRC own brand thing. I've used a few god knows what Chinese headsets and they've worked fine.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    I use either a bit of wood and a hammer, or a home made press which is just a length of threaded rod, a couple of big washers and some nuts. Do one cup at a time and it's easy.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldad wrote:
    I use either a bit of wood and a hammer, or a home made press which is just a length of threaded rod, a couple of big washers and some nuts. Do one cup at a time and it's easy.

    Great idea. Should be able to get those bits from Homebase for about £6.

    Thanks again :)
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    I've beat one in with a rubber mallet before (all that was available an hour before a race run). It's still in there three years later and running fine. Not sure I'd recommend that method though unless you've just crashed so hard it's forced the top cup out of the frame!
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