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  • Fitting fork and BB questions

     tomlevell updated 11 years, 7 months ago 6 Members · 10 Posts
  • Butters

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 11:51 am

    I’ve read that when installing a fork and the bottom bracket, it’s very important to get it right. However, is it easy to get it wrong?

    I’ve not done either before, but would rather do it myself than pay for someone else to do it. Plus, I have to learn how to do these eventually.

    I’ve seen the bolt and 2 washers method for the headset, which seems to work ok. But, BB installation seems very straightforward – just screw both ends on; I don’t see how one would have to pay to have that installed (maybe I’m missing something).

    Input/tips for installing this gear for the first time?

  • matt.will

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Having the right tools is the main issue with the BB (and associated crankset). Forks are quite easy so long as you’re happy getting the crown race onto your forks, getting the star-fangled nut in straight and cutting the steerer to the correct length (get it too short and your forks are pretty much ****ed)

    Your best bet’s to get a decent mtb maintenance book – Park Tools or similar – and a reasonable bike-specific toolkit, which will both help you do these things properly, and save money in the long run.

  • tomlevell

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 1:29 pm

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/

    Bottom Bracket – Depends on what type your putting in. If it’s square taper/octalink/ISIS then it’s a simple splined tool and follow the BB instructions. The main issue comes with the threads in the frame.

    If they are damaged or have lots of paint in them they will need chasing which is a specialist tool. In 20 years of messing around with bikes I’ve never had the problem as there should be no paint from the manufacturers and resprayers should have protected them.

    Make sure you don’t crossthread the cups and if in doubt take it out and start again.

    Also remember the non drive side is a reverse thread so don’t get frustrated when it won’t go in as your trying to put it in clockwise. Done that plenty of times.

    Hollotech 2/Race Face system etc – Needs a different tool. Follow the instructions again. The plastic nut on the shimano only needs to be hand tight with the tool as it’s just to preload the bearings and the pinch bolts on the non drive side cranks do not need to be uber tight.

    Oh yes and theoretically with the outboard bearing ones you should face the BB shell. Again this should be done by the manufacturers so it may be just a case of peeling the paint off the edge of the shell where the bearings butt up to.

    Forks and headset you need to be quite careful and check numerous times your doing things right/straight.

    I’ve installed one headset with washers and threaded rod but it wasn’t very satisfying (also installed one using a vice) so until I bought a headset press I always got the bike shop to do it.

    Headset – Again headtube should be faced as the BB shell above and the inside reamed to the correct dimension. If your pressing it in yourself make sure the cups are square and keep checking as if they go in too cockeyed you could flare the headtube.

    Install the crown race on the forks. If it’s an FSA split race then it’s easy otherwise I’ve successfully used plastic waste pipe to knock it on the bulge. Be careful using anything metal as that the bearing surface.

    Install the forks without cutting the steerer tube. Add stem and spacers and maybe a few more for good measure as you can’t add tube back on after cutting. Mark your cutting point and remove. Then redo that step again to make sure!

    Cut with a hacksaw. Not a pipe cutter. Use either a cutting guide, or a pair of stems or by site. Some people put masking tape round to help.

    Install a star nut for the headset topcap to connect to. Again the proper tool is ace but if you want to knock it in without put a bolt in and tap it in gently ensuring it is inline with the tube.

    If your steerer is Carbon GO TO THE BIKE SHOP.

  • tomlevell

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve seen the bolt and 2 washers method for the headset, which seems to work ok. But, BB installation seems very straightforward – just screw both ends on; I don’t see how one would have to pay to have that installed (maybe I’m missing something).

    If it goes wrong you can kill your frame. I always used to get the bike shop to whack them in as I bought the headset.

    Proper bike tools rock but aren’t cheap.

  • Gunner

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Sound tips from tomlevell, but I’d just echo what Matt said, having the correct bike specific tools is absolutely priceless, and a great confidence booster when you see the jobs you suddenly become capable of doing.

  • matt.will

    Member
    8 December 2008 at 10:14 pm

    but I’d just echo what Matt said, having the correct bike specific tools is absolutely priceless

    Although I do use a threaded rod, two metal plates and two big nuts to put headsets in. And a plastic pipe to fit crown races. Perhaps I should practice what I preach….

    (though it hasn’t gone wrong so far!)

  • Gunner

    Member
    9 December 2008 at 8:38 pm

    but I’d just echo what Matt said, having the correct bike specific tools is absolutely priceless

    Although I do use a threaded rod, two metal plates and two big nuts to put headsets in. And a plastic pipe to fit crown races. Perhaps I should practice what I preach….

    (though it hasn’t gone wrong so far!)

    😆 😆 😆

    And I’ve tightened a bottom bracket lock ring with a hammer and a flat headed screwdriver 😯 😯 😯

    😆 😆

  • BMR

    Member
    9 December 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Gunner I thought we all did it that way

  • SeanO

    Member
    12 December 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I too have fitted headsets with a vice and threaded bar/washer setup. The vice I did myself and it really sh*t me up as you can’t really tell how much force you’re putting into it. It worked though.

    The next time I got a fitter at work, who is also into bikes, to do it with a threaded bar. I was still nervous as it was my beloved 5 but he was well skilled and did the job a treat! Phew 😯

    Anybody fancy chipping in to get a proper tool between us? 😉

  • tomlevell

    Member
    13 December 2008 at 11:18 am

    They aren’t that expensive. No need to buy Park as it’s not going to be in use everyday.

    Without shopping around.

    Cyclus are decent quality at a good price.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cyclus_Headset_Press/5300003485/

    These are very nice to use too as your not going to score the inside of the head tube with a big screwdriver

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cyclus_Headset_Cup_Remover/5300003487/

    And if you don’t like the DIY options fot the crown race these are handy too.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cyclus_Crown_Race_Fitting_Tool/5300003499/

    The problem is once you’ve started can you stop?

    Star nut setter. Ace.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Park_Tools_Threadless_Nut_Setter_For_Forks/5360013523/

    Fork cutting guide. Ace.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Park_Tools_Threadless_Fork_Guide_Set/5360013520/

    :0)

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