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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could ask elsewhere, but THIS forum has been most helpful in the past, and many of you swear by Chris King Headsets.....

I need to install one for a friend...

For those of you that install your own, how necessary is it to use the King press tools? Assuming that a guy has faced and prep'ed the head tube, and uses a good press, can a King Headset be installed reliably without the tools (seen here)...has anyone experienced problems by NOT using the King Press tools?

I could always buck up and buy the tools I guess, but since I install a headset about once a year and most are not Kings, I would rather not buy such a specialized tool.

Thanks for any advice, and recommendations.
 

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Use wood

Before I had the official tools, I used 3/4 inch plywood or whatever wood blocks.Cut 2 blocks maybe 3x3 inches,drill holes in them to allow the press rod thru,and all will be fine.Same for the crown race-the wood acts as a nice cushion for things.

I've installed quite a few CK's this way and never had a problem.
 

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I've installed a lot using the Park Tools headset press. There was a thread on here this week with a broken Cane Creek headset that was blamed on a homemade headset press that pressed on the top of the cup. I'd recommend that if you homebrew a press to install the headset that you configure it to press on the inside inside of the cups so it presses on the part of the cups that goes into the frame (not sure how to make that more clear). Or, you could give your lbs $5 to install the $130 headset, might be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Totally clear....

el-cid said:
I've installed a lot using the Park Tools headset press. There was a thread on here this week with a broken Cane Creek headset that was blamed on a homemade headset press that pressed on the top of the cup. I'd recommend that if you homebrew a press to install the headset that you configure it to press on the inside inside of the cups so it presses on the part of the cups that goes into the frame (not sure how to make that more clear). Or, you could give your lbs $5 to install the $130 headset, might be worth it.
I understand what you mean about where to press the cups, thanks. (edit, Kings Tech manual says to press the top edge of the cups...I understand what you are saying, but apparently it is only applicable to the broken headset in the referenced thread)

Without getting into all the details, my LBSs will not be installing this Headset. I feel what you are saying....it is just not an option.

The options are either to press it with a Park Press without the King cup tools (and possibly some wood or whatever), or buy the cup tools for 30 bucks. I just dont want to buy a tool that will not get used more than a couple times a decade.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
 

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King headsets, unlike most others, must be pressed in by the outer edges. The bearings are pressed in to the cups at the factory, so they reinforce the outer cup edges.

Do not use a conventional headset press adapters with a King headset. Pressing against the bearings will damage them.

I've used a few large fender washers stacked on top of each other to press in King cups with a typical headset press tool.
 

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I haven't read the entire thread about the broken headset, but I thought the King tools and instructions specifically say you should press on the outside of the headset cup to prevent damaging their bearings.

In the past I have done several King installations (most of them with the same headset) using just a rubber mallet. I had to be careful and went slow to make sure it installed evenly. Last year, I finally bought a "proper" press from ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mountain-Bike-B...ryZ27953QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I've only used it once so far, but it worked well.
 

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I haven't done a KING but I use the threaded rod and washer stacks to do HS and BB on everything. Works great and cost about $5 in parts from the hardware store.

That being said, I'd probably be more inclined to get the "proper" tools with a HS that cost $130.

J
 

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I think the King tools are not necessary.

The key is to flip the tool fittings/adapters so the flat part is resting against the cups.



francois
 

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unit said:
I could ask elsewhere, but THIS forum has been most helpful in the past, and many of you swear by Chris King Headsets.....

I need to install one for a friend...

For those of you that install your own, how necessary is it to use the King press tools? Assuming that a guy has faced and prep'ed the head tube, and uses a good press, can a King Headset be installed reliably without the tools (seen here)...has anyone experienced problems by NOT using the King Press tools?

I could always buck up and buy the tools I guess, but since I install a headset about once a year and most are not Kings, I would rather not buy such a specialized tool.

Thanks for any advice, and recommendations.
Grease 'em up, get a 8" - 12" piece of 2x4, place the cup in the head tube, place the 2x4 on top of the cup and tap, tap, tap in with the hammer. I've done it 6 times now with Mike T's method.

BB
 

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francois said:
I think the King tools are not necessary.

The key is to flip the tool fittings/adapters so the flat part is resting against the cups.



francois
That's exactly how i installed a king headset recently. The idea to use big washers is a good one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ohhh green...

Nat said:
I've swapped my CK headsets multiple times between frames without any problems using the homemade press seen below.

Speedub.Nate (I think) ought to be along with his animated gif any minute.
.
Gotta love that wonderful green! the color of envy.....
 

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Edit: I was going to say that I never understood why people dropped the coin on a King headset and then skimped on the installation -- but then reread your post -- sounds like a proper installation is not an option.
 

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CJones said:
Edit: I was going to say that I never understood why people dropped the coin on a King headset and then skimped on the installation -- but then reread your post -- sounds like a proper installation is not an option.
I do it myself for the same reason I don't pay a shop to fix a flat or change out brake cables: it's something that I can do competently in my garage.

I don't understand why there's such mystery surrounding headset intallation. It's a matter of pressing a piece into a tube. There is no measurement to take, no cutting to do, no threads to ruin. It's one of the simplest tasks there is. It takes me only a minute per cup.

If you look at the Park headset press, I mean really take a gander at what it is, you'll see that it is a threaded rod with two flat surfaces on either end that sqeeze together when you turn the crank. All those notches just let you quickly set the distance to your head tube so you don't have to twist-twist-twist all day. It's a simple tool that costs about $100 more than my homemade tool.

I've told this to people via PM before: just try it once and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
 

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Nat said:
I've swapped my CK headsets multiple times between frames without any problems using the homemade press seen below.

Speedub.Nate (I think) ought to be along with his animated gif any minute.
.
amen nat. i'm glad i'm not the only one... it's more important (imho) that you have the proper tool to remove the headset from the frame (to avoid the long screwdriver/hammer method).
 

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Nat said:
I have one of those too. It cost me $0.60.
BRILLIANT!

I use the cheap washer and long threaded bolt/rod method but never thought to do that for a headset removal tool. perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nat said:
I have one of those too. It cost me $0.60.
care to give details? Is that about a 1 inch pipe. do you use it to set the base plate too? perhaps a slightly larger pipe for that task?

I was going to build one of these myself, but all my pipe was 2 inch or larger....time to trip to the hardware store again.

I have made a lot of my own tools over the years, bearing press, chain whip, FW removal tool, Cassette removal tool, King disc adapter puller for SS hubs....now a cup remover....brilliant.
 
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