Headsets for flaired headtubes?

A mate has an old track frame with a flared headtube that needs a headset put in it. Rather than being just a straight bit of tubing, there’s a cup at each end of the headtube, but they don’t look like bearing races. I’m assuming you can get a headset that sits in the cups? Or is it possible to get a headset that has a longer base on it so that it can sit on top of the cups but still be seated tightly in the headtube?

Anyone had experience with a frame like this?

I’d post a photo but the frame’s at the shop.

Any help would be radical!

Like this?

Mine is a strange one, it has the belled lugs, but normal cups pushed in there (Stronglight needle bearing, plastic cups)

You may need to source a Chater Lea headset if you can’t make a normal press in one work

My new (old) Lewis (or Repco) pathracer is like this. it’s got bearing races that sit in there, with loose bearings. Absolute prick to work with. And yeah, it looks similar to the top pic of the post above. The headset was included with the frame when I bought it, so I was lucky.

I have no idea why I have a normal HS in my frame, it’s perplexing, it may have been a mod made when the dropouts were changed and the bidon/shifter mounts installed.

If it ain’t broke…

Yeah what a prick. I might have to try find a headset that’ll still press in despite the cups…probably not likely. Ugh.

I might have just the thing at home. I’ll have a look on friday and get back to you with some pics.

The ‘old English’ headsets are a much better system then pressed-in cups, not needing frame facing or reaming but self-aligning for minimal bearing wear. Although the small bearings can be a pain, the cups last almost for ever. TDC and plenty of other manufacturers made suitable headsets. Try an old bikeshop or the interweb thing. Tom Wallace in Brisbane had several NOS TDC a few years back but I don’t know now.

Blakey, the internal headtube dimension is the same as normal. I suspect your frame was fitted with the Stronglight because they didn’t want to or couldn’t fit the proper headset. The plastic cups were easy to fit and very light but the roller bearings didn’t tolerate misalignment well.

Most of the Chater Lea headsets I’ve come across used their own unique size.

erle: Cool, cheers mate.

LittleWheelsandBig: That’s reassuring news. Do you mean that the frame cups actually hold the bearings, or are they just cups to hold the race itself?

I’m going to drop into the local old school road shop and see if they have anything hidden deep down.

Here’s a pic of the steerer tube, doesn’t really show the inside of the tube but gives you an idea of the flaring:

Cups to hold the races, similar to the current internal headsets but with the races free to correctly align themselves. Being steel to steel contact, there is no problem about wearing the frame.

Cool, cheers. I’ve dropped Collectible Cycles an e-mail, so fingers crossed!

Any word on this headset? I still have one here if you need it, sorry i got slack with getting back to you.

Sekt, if you have sourced one, I’d be interested in looking at Erle’s to see if I can use it on my frame.

Cheers erle! I e-mailed Frank at CC and he did have some, but he hasn’t got back to me with his bank details yet (it’s been a while).

I could well be very interested in grabbing your one if I don’t hear back from him. Do you mind hanging onto it until I get word?


Blakey: I’ll keep you updated!

That headset isnt going anywhere, so if either of you need it, just let me know.

Thanks mate.