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Replacing the headset bottom bearing

nachetetmnachetetm Posts: 41
edited September 2018 in Workshop
My headset, if I am not wrong (I didn't install it) is a Columbus Compass ceramic for 46mm headtube (steel) and straight 1-1/8 fork. In the last five hundred kms has developed some play and after checking everything I found rust around the bottom bearing, that also feels a bit gritty.The bearing is a ceramic 41.8x30.5 45ºx45º bearing that I should replace but I don't know what is my best option, so I would appreciate some help:

-Should I go with the original Columbus ceramic bearing? It didn't seem to last much and on top of that I don't find it on sale anywhere, only the complete headset.
-Several ebay shops sell bearings from dubious origins, should I assume they are censored ?
-In other stores I found some FSA, Ritchey and Enduro bearings, FSA being the cheapest and Enduro the most expensive. Are the Enduro worth the price?
-Should I go for stainless, ceramic or normal steel?

Btw, the steering tube (carbon) got a bit marked. It seems okeysh to me but i'll try to take a picture and post it here as I would like a second opinion regarding if I should be worried or not.

Thanks!

Posts

  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,771
    it may be the grease has been flushed out/contaminated, you can take out the bearing a clean it, if it feels rough fit a new one

    i'd just use stainless, pack it with a decent waterproof grease and also apply some on the outside when fitting

    never found enduro any better than other bearings, fsa work fine

    cosmetic marks on the steerer are fine, it's dents/cracks/deformation that you need to watch out for
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • The replacement single bearings from eBay et.al. should be fine if you need to replace the bottom bearing. You may just find that a quick clean and re grease is all that’s necessary. Check that the play isn’t due to the head tube being damaged / deformed or any replacement bearing will be a wasted effort regarding play in the system. The main benefit of ceramic bearings are their lower weight they normally don’t last any longer than steel. If I were you I would get stainless steel replacements if you intend to use the bike in all conditions especially as winter is here now.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    The replacement single bearings from eBay et.al. should be fine if you need to replace the bottom bearing. You may just find that a quick clean and re grease is all that’s necessary. Check that the play isn’t due to the head tube being damaged / deformed or any replacement bearing will be a wasted effort regarding play in the system. The main benefit of ceramic bearings are their lower weight they normally don’t last any longer than steel. If I were you I would get stainless steel replacements if you intend to use the bike in all conditions especially as winter is here now.

    What kind of idiocy is this response?

    OP, Please ignore the random blurting of Biker Grove
  • sungod wrote:
    it may be the grease has been flushed out/contaminated, you can take out the bearing a clean it, if it feels rough fit a new one

    i'd just use stainless, pack it with a decent waterproof grease and also apply some on the outside when fitting

    never found enduro any better than other bearings, fsa work fine

    cosmetic marks on the steerer are fine, it's dents/cracks/deformation that you need to watch out for

    That's actually what I did, take the bearing and clean it. Although the rust coming from the outer cage is pretty much gone, it still feels a bit gritty. There was plenty of grease, but the water somehow got to the bearing. I'll go for stainless bearings, probably fsa, as they are the cheapest.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  • An upgrade on this topic. I ordered an FSA stainless bearing (TH-870S), following the numbers printed in the original headset bearings (30.5x41.8, 45ºx45º), but the new ones don't fit properly. The inner side is different and the new bearing has play when placed on the crown race. So at the end I placed back the original one and returned the replacement: the next time I grease the steering I will try again but I am really puzzle, as even ordering something that it should be compatible it ends not being it... :?
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