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Queries about a possible quick release bicycle head set

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  • Queries about a possible quick release bicycle head set

    For the special trike here, I need to take the fork off to fit it on the bike carrier on the Jeep.
    It presently has a 1 inch threaded stem, and I have to undo it all and then assemble it again,
    and the balls are falling out of the cages etc.

    I have searched "quick- release - bicycle head set" but mostly get aviation head phones.
    Q's for the bike experts on here:
    What is this set at Niagara called a "Semi Integrated Threaded headset"?
    Would replacing the old parts with this be of any help in disassembly compared to the exposed cages of the old set?

    Failing that, I can order two of these "cartridge bearings" to suit 1 inch

    and turn my own parts from 6061 to support them, maybe loctiting the bearings into the frame tube side.
    I am thinking of a "knock off hub" on top of the stem that I can quickly spin off, without all the loose parts
    Before I do that I would appreciate any comments. -Thanks

  • #2
    The semi integrated refers to how deep it sits in the head tube, so this one sits a little deeper (has a lower "stack height") than a conventional but not flush like an integrated.

    To make the fork easily removable you'd need a fork with a threadless steerer tube (almost all modern bikes have them), a top cap with a cam actuated lever for bearing preload and a QR lever for the stem bolts. Loosen the stem, remove the bearing preload, slide out fork. Shouldn't be too hard to fab something, but it'll take some experimentation to get the cams right so they're ready to use but clamp tightly. I once forgot to tighten my stem/ steerer bolts and that was not a fun start to the ride!


    • #3
      Yep, you'll need to start this conversion with a new fork that has a long uncut steerer tube. And I found a 1" threadless headset for you that uses cartridge bearings. You will still need to use care to avoid everything falling on the ground but at least the small bearing balls won't be springing away for freedom thanks to being contained in the cartridge bearings.

      The semi integrated set you linked to uses caged balls. I'd suggest you go with something more like I linked to below that uses cartridge ball bearings which means you don't need to see the balls directly. And that means you're not worried about grease all over the place and dirt getting into the bearings as easily.

      Here's the headset. There are other similar options of course but this was more to show that you can find a cartridge headset that won't totally break the bank.

      You'll need a similar fork with similar specs for length and trail to what you have now as well but with a threadless steerer tube.

      to remove the fork on a threadless setup you SHOULD only need a single 5mm allen key. That will work for both the head set tensioning cap as well as the stem clamp bolts. It's so easy to do it that way that I would not worry about fast action lever toggles or the like. What WILL take a bit longer is what you do with the handle bars with all the cables attached to it.

      When you re-assemble for a ride you'll tension the preload with the top cap bolt and then align the bars to the wheel and tighten the stem bolts. Then you're ready to go.
      Last edited by BCRider; 07-17-2017, 09:24 PM.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada


      • #4
        Matt and BC, Thanks very much for that info.
        I think that Ritchey is a good one and certainly the right price, so I ordered it.
        I could not find any 1 inch ones on Niagara, they are all 1 1/8 inch

        The fork is my weldment; it contains the gearing/shaft to take the hand crank down etc.
        There are no handle bars on top of the steerer tube on this version.
        So I will have to cut off the old 1 inch threaded tube and weld on a plain tube.
        But do I have to do that, or can the old threaded be used?


        • #5
          Make up some head bearing assembly pullers when the new headset arrives. Make it fit the housings, not the sealed ball races, suitably sized washers, nuts and threaded studding will do. The lower bearing should be a tight fit on the 1" steering tube. Don't cut the steering tube too short, start longer than you think and add some of the tube spacers, you can always shorten it later.
          I doubt if the old threaded tube could be used as the new bearings will most likely be deeper.
          If you have a lathe, you could cut the threaded section off and fit a stepped section of thicker walled tube into place. A 2 1/2" overlap with a sliding fit Locktited with 601 or 638 would stand several tons pull.
          Last edited by old mart; 07-18-2017, 04:02 PM.


          • #6
            I ride a lot over 100 miles a week and use you will never have to buy one agian I got one on 2 of my bikes kings are best you can get they never wear put my last bike i gust sold had 30,000 miles on it and king never ware out


            • #7
              ....The fork is my weldment; it contains the gearing/shaft to take the hand crank down etc.
              There are no handle bars on top of the steerer tube on this version.
              So I will have to cut off the old 1 inch threaded tube and weld on a plain tube.
              But do I have to do that, or can the old threaded be used?
              The whole thing that makes the new setup into a "rapid take down" setup is the use of the clamp on stem and tensioning cap. With the right two screw stem you end up with only the one 5mm allen wrench as your total tool list needed to take down the front end. But the stem needs more length than what you have at present as the threaded steerer tube will be too short. Besides, the crest relief on the threaded section will be less than stellar for clamping the threadless stem onto and it would leave you with a possible issue of the stem walking off the threaded clamping area or cutting into the stem ID and making consistent steering bearing pre-loading an issue. So no, I don't see you using the existing steer tube unless it's to cut off the threaded portion and weld on an extension of unthreaded steerer tube. If you opt for this extension idea then make sure the joint is located such that you can insert the star nut without fouling the weld seam area.

              Since you will only be using the stem as a locking on device instead of a bar clamping device you could cut down the stem's extension if you like. Or you may find it handy to mount something to the stem. Depends on the overall design and if you need anything mounted.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada


              • #8
                Here is the special trike showing the steering head.
                The forks and wheel contact point are abnormally far in front of the head centreline, as I found that makes for better
                straight line tracking.

                BC, yes I can turn an extension and cut the old tube back, maybe "spigot and recess" to get it accurate.
                What wall thickness would be best , I think I have 4130 0.065 inch and a thicker one, maybe 0.082 inch or so

                Matt, Thanks I ordered the Ritchley one from UK last night and it is on the way.
                The 1 inch size is not common. I was not able to find the "threaded" 1 inch with the cartridge beaings at all.


                • #9
                  What I did to save a vintage bike fork was that I got a piece of steer tube the same size as the original and I made up a slightly over size sleeve to fit into the ID. I then split the sleeve so it sprung its way into the ID. I deliberately left a rough finish on the internal sleeve and I silver soldered the joint. The rough finish promoted good wicking of the silver solder/brazing into the joint. And from the amount it ate up I'd say it worked like a treat. But if you are welding the joint then mostly the split internal sleeve would be more of an alignment tool and a heat sink to avoid burn through.

                  As for the trike that's a lovely job! I've got a couple of questions though. Why the foot AND hand cranks? Just so both can be used or for different users? And the other one is about the small connecting tube between the steerer tube and the fork bridge tube. That seems like a pretty flexible small piece. I'm curious about why you didn't make that piece somewhat more stout?
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada


                  • #10
                    BC, Yes I was thinking tonight to use 56% silver braze to add the non threaded top, to reduce warping,
                    and your split tube sound like a good way.

                    The foot and hand cranks are for my son who has a disability.
                    The trikes I have made over the years have all had hand and foot cranks.
                    It is good exercise for him and it has paid off in upper body strength and mobility.
                    This summer we are riding almost every day and he goes 6 miles and I am sure he could do longer now.
                    that is why I want to remove the fork: to put the trike on the bike carrier to go on longer trails.

                    Good observation on the connector.
                    Originally I was going to add a connection from the top of the steerer tube up to the forks, and the black lock rings can be seen in the photo.
                    However the connection is solid 3/4 inch 4130, heavily braze fillet welded at both the steerer tube and the fork cross tube.
                    I did some manual stress calcs and now have 2 years of it banging into and up the concrete kerbs here.
                    The sidewalks here in Flint are in terrible condition. The trails are newer and smoother.
                    I am sure the connector is a lot stronger than the little bearings and the steerer tube itself.

                    When I build the final version of this trike it will adult size and I will have to make a few parts stronger.
                    Thanks for the comments, they all help to get this design better.


                    • #11
                      Ah, that's sweet then. I just assumed that it was tubing.

                      It's great that you were able to make something like this that makes your son smile. And best of all it allows the two of you to get out and do something together where a disability doesn't matter. I'll bet he races you every chance he gets, right?
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada


                      • #12
                        1. I think that the connector between the head tube and the forks should be triangulated...two tubes coming from the bottom of the steerer tube down and outward to the forks.

                        2. Consider redesigning the connector / steerer tube tube connection so that the steerer stays in the head tube all the time, with the bearings adjusted then left alone. The connector to the fork can then be arranged to clamp onto the bottom of the steerer tube with a quick release clamp. For extra security, add a close fitting tube that will slide up into the steerer tube.

                        This way you can merely slide the end of the connector over the bottom end of the steerer tube, clamp it, and your ready to go.


                        • #13
                          How about a breakaway neck assembly , or folding neck..... The same idea as the hinge on a folding bike..


                          • #14
                            Looks nice.. 'intentful'.

                            I would go with a threadless system as mentioned and then figure a quick release system for the fork. A male stub projecting below on the steerer, and then a female counterpart on the fork. Use either 5mm bolts or a cam/quick release. Possibly something like a key to keep everything in phase if using round, or maybe machine self centering counterparts... square, hex, splined (scrounge bb/crank parts and adapt?), etc. In my world, 5mm is quick release.


                            • #15
                              The other thing, turning the neck 90 degrees may make it easy enough to load.
                              If its front wheel drive only, will quick release rear wheels help ?
                              Last edited by 754; 07-18-2017, 11:32 PM.