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Do it for Deegan
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cleaning and re-greasing my headset bearings and realized I didnt keep track of which one was which. I did notice that one of them has ball bearing just fractions smaller (its a total possibility that its just my imagination) than the other. If it is smaller would it go on top or bottom? Or is it not important and it doesnt matter which one is on top or bottom?
 

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Professional Crastinator
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6,696 Posts
You should probably measure to make sure. You don't need a vernier caliper, you can just measure with a crescent wrench or something to compare big to small.

If they're the same - same ball dia., same race dia., then they are reversible. Just make sure you put the ball retainers in the right way so they are not grinding in the cups.

It always seemed that the lower race got beat up much faster than the upper so I made it a point to swap them periodically and got much longer life out of them.

-F
 

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Do it for Deegan
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have retainers. I put them on and it felt too stiff so I switched them around and they feel better now but still not as loose as before. Im not sure if thats because the top nut is to tight or if its just the new fork or if the bearings are still not set up right
 

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Professional Crastinator
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6,696 Posts
Sealed bearings are not


Retainer bearings are not


This one maybe
Sealed bearings AND retainer bearings can be swapped top to bottom (I have done it on the trail with Cane Creek sealed and old Aheadset retainers), but as there is a chamfer on the sealed bearing and an "open" side to the retainer, you have to orient them correctly so that they fit the cup and the inner race (the "cone" if you will) properly.

Ones that are not "swappable" have different sizes or different types of bearings top and bottom.

If your headset is really worn - like from dirt grinding in there - the balls on the bottom probably are smaller than the top balls, and/or have worn the cup to the point where the proper size ball bearings won't run smoothly in the cup. Time for a new headset. Swap them earlier next time.

-F
 
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