Headset press

Hi, bit of a longshot, but I’ve got a loose headset and while trying to fix it myself without the correct tools I obviously fucked it up. Does anyone have a spare I can use to fix it/know when a cycling shop will be open?

Nothing here.

Seems like I’ll have to delay my HuanDao until a bike shop opens. Cheers anyway mate

Bearings are something that I still leave to the pros. The tools are in my wishlist, but I really should get myself a repair stand first.

So should I.

I usually do too, I even told myself not to do it bevause I’ll fuck it up but i didn’t listen… didn’t want to ride with vibrations coming through the front fork, and now I can’t ride it at all :person_facepalming::rofl:

What size? And where are you?

Modern headsets don’t need a press, just tightening in the right way.
They do come in various sizes though.

Traditional headsets do need one, they normally come in 7/8 for road bikes, and 1" for MTB’s.

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I’m not far from 101, members hotel. I think you’re right that I don’t need one. The bearings are stuck half way up the fork tube atm :person_facepalming:
As for the size, i found this in the owners manual (Cannondale Topstone 4 for reference)

I’m not the most techincal person when it comes to bikes, as you may have guessed, so i believe that’s the bearing sizes you’re after?
Appreciate you reaching out mate

Yup, looks like a tapered headset, with the lower bearing larger than the top one. No press needed.
Now I am just wondering what exactly you did, and why you think its irreversible.
If you tightened up the headset (with the center bolt), you might have it too tight, but damaging the bearings by doing that is not easy.
Did you try to reverse your action?

I think I have some used but good bearings in one of the boxes, but I am 25km from the 101.

That’s a relief, cheers mate.

I too am wondering how I fucked up so bad :person_facepalming:

Just been up JiuWu so when I get to the hotel I’ll DM you a picture.
The bike has just had new bearings, it has been serviced, paid 150 quid just before i arrived, and took it back to the LBS 3 times after the service and it still wasn’t sorted, and didn’t have the time to take it back a 4th.

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If you post it here, more people could help.

How’s that? Inner race is wider than the steerer tube. It shouldn’t be able to get stuck.

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I bet its just too tightly fastened, too much preload, with the bearings going heavy now.
Everyone who has adjusted headsets knows its a bit of a balancing act.

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My technic is to tighten bit a bit while blocking front wheel to check for play. Once there’s no play, just tighten the stem.

But if it’s released already, the bearing should come out, or at least not be stuck halfway the steerer tube.

Anyway, we’ll see in the photos.

I bet some bike shop will open tomorrow.


My apologies for taking so long.

The bearings are stuck here, and doesn’t shift no matter how hard my skinny arms try force it up or down.

Ok, that is an easy one. That green ring is tapered, smaller at the bottom. The bearing is tapered the other way, so they create some pressure if you preload / tighten the headset.

In this case, just slightly tap the bearing down, just next to the green ring. Alternate location to tap around it. Maybe some wood and a hammer.

It should just pop out.


After that, position the bearing where it should be in the frame, position the green ring in the bearing (some slight greasing if available), then top it up with the spacers, the headset, a small spacer and the top cap.

Adjusting is like @Membrillo mentioned, finger tight on the preload, while pushing the front brake and rocking the bike forward and backward.
Initially you will feel some play in the fork, turn the preload bolt very very slowly till that play disappears.
That is the time to tighten the stem, then a very slight tightening of the preload bolt.
You should be good, check after a ride, and repeat if needed.
Watch out, setting preload is really turning the allen key some degrees only, use very small steps.


What a guy, I appreciate the help mate. Once I’m riding I’ll cycle that 25km and drop off some beers (if you drink)

First fix it :rofl::rofl:


Maybe it’s the kind of thing that you buy last, and then say “I’ve should bought it first”.

@GrumioThePleb is it fixed?

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I couldn’t get a hammer so I had to go all MacGyver, I used a chopstick and my heavy hiking boots to get it loose :rofl: It’s better than it was and is ridable but still not perfect so I’ll drop it into a bike shop when I can. I appreciate all the help from you and Eric, can do that beer run now haha