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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I would post some info on this (for anyone else that has one) since I was a little surprised to find a loose ball headset (haven't seen one in many years) still being used. And this one was a bit unusual (especially the lower races).

This is an OEM WTB Zero Stack headset (says Race on it) that came stock on a 2006 Jamis Dakar XC Comp, but I've seen it listed on quite a few other bikes as well. When I took the fork off my Dakar, let's just say I was a little surprised and annoyed to have loose bearings fall out. It took me a little while just to figure out how this thing was put together (for a moment, I thought a cartridge bearing had fallen apart).

Ok, starting at the top, you have a typical topcap (not shown)that goes above the stem, then starting below your stem and spacers, you have an upper sleeve (the big thing that says WTB on it), then a compression ring. This is pretty typical stuff.

In the next pic, you can see the upper race and a wire circlip. if you use a razor knife, you can easily pop the wire circlip out, then gently lift the upper race to expose the bearings. Be careful because there are a lot of them (somewhere between 30 and 40), and they are really small.

The lower bearing setup is pretty much identical. Because the lower race (like the upper race) is held in place by a wire circlip, you also have an additional race (the crown race) that is installed on the fork.

My Suggestion: Don't bother trying to service yours if you have one. All those little bearings are just too much of a pain in the ass, plus, in order to service the lower bearings, you need to have your frame inverted. If yours is due for servicing, I'd suggest replacing it instead. That's what I will likely do next time.

FYI. The bearings are slightly larger than 1/8" bearings. I lost a few when the lower basically fell out when I removed my fork, and I had some 1/8" bearings so is used them . Because they are slightly smaller, they won't really work as bearings, but they will work as spacers between the original bearings to prevent a open spot (don't put the undersized ones together, space them around the race).
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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trailville said:
This is an OEM WTB Zero Stack headset (says Race on it) that came stock on a 2006 Jamis Dakar XC Comp, but I've seen it listed on quite a few other bikes as well, and it may be similar to a "team" model as well.
The Team is a cartridge bearing unit, if you want a cheap replacement for your headset you can get them on e-bay cheap. I've used them on two bikes and they are set and forget.

http://cgi.ebay.com/WTB-Team-Intern...Accessories?hash=item562a791f72#ht_500wt_1182
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mtnbiker72 said:
The Team is a cartridge bearing unit, if you want a cheap replacement for your headset you can get them on e-bay cheap. I've used them on two bikes and they are set and forget.

http://cgi.ebay.com/WTB-Team-Intern...Accessories?hash=item562a791f72#ht_500wt_1182
Thanks, I edited out the mention of the Team. I saw it mentioned in another thread and someone in that thread mentioned loose balls, but I'm guessing he had the Race.
I'll probably go with a Cane Creek when I need to service it again, I've had good luck with them and I know I can remove the seals to re-grease the bearings (may be able to do that with the WTB also, but I know I can the the CCs).
 

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trailville said:
Thanks, I edited out the mention of the Team. I saw it mentioned in another thread and someone in that thread mentioned loose balls, but I'm guessing he had the Race.
I'll probably go with a Cane Creek when I need to service it again, I've had good luck with them and I know I can remove the seals to re-grease the bearings (may be able to do that with the WTB also, but I know I can the the CCs).
Same bearings as the CC (36/45)...that is why I got one since it is just as serviceable as the ZS3 for about 1/2 the price
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mtnbiker72 said:
Same bearings as the CC (36/45)...that is why I got one since it is just as serviceable as the ZS3 for about 1/2 the price
OK, you convinced me. I just placed my order. Not really half the price though, there is a seller selling ZS-3s for about $6 more (when you factor in shipping). But I never really liked paying $30+ for headsets anyway. Don't even get me started on CKs:rolleyes: .
 

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trailville said:
OK, you convinced me. I just placed my order. Not really half the price though, there is a seller selling ZS-3s for about $6 more (when you factor in shipping). But I never really liked paying $30+ for headsets anyway. Don't even get me started on CKs:rolleyes: .
Did you replace your WTB Race headset for the WTB Team headset yet? If so, did you remove the fork crown race or used the same one for the WTB Team?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
l8rmike said:
Did you replace your WTB Race headset for the WTB Team headset yet? If so, did you remove the fork crown race or used the same one for the WTB Team?
Not yet. I'm waiting until the next time I service my fork.
I would replace the crown race. Normally I would say there is no way a crown race from a loose-ball headset will be the same as one from a cartridge bearing headset, but with the unique design of the WTB, I guess it is possible. But differences between crown races are not always obvious, so the safe bet is to just replace it.
 
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