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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For folks using a FSA Orbit Z 1.5R headset, I need some help/tips, please...

I got a FSA Orbit Z 1.5R installed on my new frame, and I'm having a hard time with those two rubber rings (upper & lower) in terms of the following...

(A) While everything is being tightened up, those rubber rings (upper & lower) want to bulge out from one side or another. Any trick to this so that they remain inside nicely? Having done so many re-do's, I gave up and just pushed in the bulged part of the rubber rings back in there by a thin screw driver (so the rubber ring isn't in a perfect-circular shape inside, but rather zig-zag at those places that I pushed it in).

(B) Rubber compresses, so it's much harder to tell whether I got the headset "not tight enough", "over tightened", or "just right". It still feels like I can tighten some more (as rubber keeps getting squeezed more).

I guess these rubber rings are just to keep the dust out from in-between the cups and cap/race? I wonder if I can skip these rubber rings, so that I can get the tight/sung feel without a soft 'give' feel of rubber when adjusting...? It's silly that the cups or the cap/race don't have a 'groove' for the rubber rings to stay put. (Maybe a Cane Creek Double Xc Flush is better on this point?)

In contrast, the classic 1-1/8" Chris King was so much easier to install and adjust (without having to guess/worry about "too tight" vs "not tight enough").

Any tips would be appreciated,
- PiroChu


 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
top cap

I'm reporting back belatedly that, soon after the previous/original post, I managed to figure out what I had done wrong. So, now I put the rubber rings "over" the thin gap "afterwards" (pic below), and that was that! :blush:

Anyways, now, I have a different question about this headset for those of who using this headset. Does your "top cap" (the one that sits above the upper cup, not the one sitting above the stem) rotate after some riding? :confused: I mean, I believe I have tightened the headset properly (tight, but not over-tighten), and the top cap stays/rotates together with steering (on a bike stand). However, after some riding, I see that the top cap starts to get slightly rotated around a little by a little. (I know this because I first put the "FSA" logo at 6-o'clock, then find it somewhere else later on during a ride.) Is this normal/OK? Or, does this mean I still have the headset loose (more to be tightened/squeezed out), although it really doesn't feel like loose?

Thanks,
-PiroChu
 

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Strange, mine does not do it. Can you rotate it by hand? Maybe there is too much grease under the cap... How much clearance you have under the steer tube cap? Maybe you don't have the 3-4mm clearance between the tension cap and top of steer fork tube
Anyway, thanks for the drawing of the installation - mine was doing the same because I put it wrong. Would it hurt them to include installation instructions?!? Not everybody is a pro mechanic...
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bxb40 said:
Strange, mine does not do it. Can you rotate it by hand? Maybe there is too much grease under the cap... How much clearance you have under the steer tube cap? Maybe you don't have the 3-4mm clearance between the tension cap and top of steer fork tube
Anyway, thanks for the drawing of the installation - mine was doing the same because I put it wrong. Would it hurt them to include installation instructions?!? Not everybody is a pro mechanic...
Thanks for checking in on this post, bxb40.

Actually, I can't rotate it (or spacers on top of it) with hand at all. But throughout the ride, I think it eventually rotates (not spins). In any case, I've not had to re-tighten the headset and no prob with performance, so I think it is/was functionally tightened. I've stopped paying attention to how my "FSA" logo (having started at pointing 6-o'clock) is now everywhere, hahah.

On a separate subject, I just realized this weekend that my upper rubber ring was totally shredded (about to be chopped & come off). The lower rubber ring is still OK, but that's the one that tends to get "swalled" (into the gap) at around 9~12-o'clock range. Anyway, I just went to a local hardware store to pick up a pair of thicker-diameter (generic) rubber rings (<$1) from the plubming aisle, and these fit better, I think. The only thing I needed to be careful with these new rings is that you adjust the headset first (with the swinging of the handlebar left and right to check that it's not too tight/draging), then put the rings over the gaps. It's because these tougher thicker-diameter rings kinda slows down that "swinging" test. It fooled me, and I undid the properly tightened headset/stem, thinking that I somehow tightend it too tight, only to find out it was the (slight) rubber-ring drag, hahah.

Cheers,
- PiroChu
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Lil' Update

PiroChu said:
I just went to a local hardware store to pick up a pair of thicker-diameter (generic) rubber rings (<$1) from the plubming aisle, and these fit better, I think.
I've been using the thicker rubber rings from a local hardware store, and they've been working fine..., except they also eventually crack and fail. (I've also applied SuperGlue in big cracks here & there to delay the failure.) Replacing them is cheap & easy enough, but I just got sick of having to pull out the fork each time just for that.

So, here's my new alternative: a black zip tie SuperGlued as a ring. I chopped the square "head" off (kept the thin-taperd side for gluing) to length, filed down the cut side a bit thinner (for better gluing surface). If the "tightness" of this zip-tie ring is just right, it stays on there pretty good. Mine occasionally slid off (thru super-bumpy sections), so I put dabs of ShoeGoo on inside just to give it a rubber-like texture. Now it's staying on better. Still cheap, and easier to replace (without pulling out the fork).

Anyway, essentially anything to cover the lil' gap from dust works fine. The headset still performs fine, so no complaint there. But, next time when the time comes, I'll probably pay a bit more and go with the Cane Creek Double Xc Flush, which seems(?) to have a better design for seal rings.

Cheers,
- PiroChu
 

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noMAD man
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Piro, I have the same headset on my Nomad...1.5 headtube and 1.125 fork steerer. On the dust seals, I ended up going to a good hardware store that lots of bins of o-rings and fiber washers. I actually ended up using some neat fiber washers that worked perfectly instead of o-rings. They seem more durable too. Just another option.

Yeah, I've noticed the under spacer top cap tends to move slowly over time. There's no looseness or problem. It just does it. Initially I thought this model headset was just a fancy reducer set, but I researched the bearing numbers, and found that while they are the same diameter as a 1.125 headset, they are deeper/taller bearings which probably helps a bit. I've pounded the heck out of this headset, and it's been great.
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi TNC,

Thanks for all your comments (about fiber washers, top-cap, bearings).

I meant to post a pic earlier, so here it is...

So, I'm guessing that your fiber washer is pretty thin ( = or < than thinkness of the gap), and you're "sandwitching" it below the top cap (as opposed to "over the gap" as with an o-ring)...? (If "sandwitching", does it always remain centered below the top cap even after numerous rides, or does it eventually get off-centered a bit?) Anyway, I'm sure your fiber-washer solution looks less ghetto than mine, hahah...

Cheers,
- PiroChu
 

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noMAD man
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Yeah, the fiber washers are the exact diameter needed to keep them from moving around, and yes, they're sandwiched in the stack. As far as appearance, you can't even tell they're there unless you get a high intensity light and shine it in the gap. They've stayed put, haven't broken down, and won't get affected by UV. These were plumbing fiber washers, so they're also waterproof. There's always more than one way to skin a cat, as they say...LOL!
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,014 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
TNC said:
Yeah, the fiber washers are the exact diameter needed to keep them from moving around, and yes, they're sandwiched in the stack.
That's brilliant!! :thumbsup: I'll definitely have to try that next time, when my zip ties fail or when I have to pull out the fork. (Or maybe sooner, 'cause it just sounds so cool.)

Hopefully I can find something that's that thin with the correct/exact inner diameter (outter diameter can be more-or-less).

Thanks again for the fiber-washer idea,
- PiroChu
 

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Quick note to say thanks, you guys rock. You have sooooo helped me set up my OrbitZ headset (was also confused about the rubber rings - now I know what to do with them & how to improve them)...VERY much appreciated.
 

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Bbbrad said:
Quick note to say thanks, you guys rock. You have sooooo helped me set up my OrbitZ headset (was also confused about the rubber rings - now I know what to do with them & how to improve them)...VERY much appreciated.
LOL yep me too... just put mine in last night and was like WTF !!!! :confused:
 
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