inserting headset into damaged headtube

Dear people of FOA,

I recently purchased a frame (2 actually) on ebay based on one image and a damn good price.

When inspecting one of the frames I realised there were two places on the headtube, one on the top and one on the bottom, where the frame had been dropped and slightly ovalised.

I heated up the tube and banged it a little but not much happened. I tried fitting an old steel race and managed to get it into the headtube. My question is, if i fit an aluminium headset without getting the damaged tube repaired will my headset 1 get fucked, and 2 simply not spin well.

At the end of the day its only going to be my vintage roady. I will not train or race on it. I dont really care if it doesnt spin perfectly. So should i just go for it?

here are some pictures for you to check out. they dont really show the damage very well but they will have to do.

photo by 2joes2, on Flickr

photo by 2joes2, on Flickr

photo by 2joes2, on Flickr

Just go and get it reamed. Probaby only cost you a few $$. If you try and stick a headset in there it’s probably going to join the tube and become out of round. ie won’t spin properly and will wear out quickly.

I was told it would cost about 250 by cecil walker - getting it done by Kev Wigham.

Fark. Leaves you with a bit of conundrum then doesn’t it.

Hmmmm… $250? Seems expenisve*.

I’d try squeezing a cheap headset in there first and see how it goes. If it’s fine, you’ve saved yourself $250.

*Seems? Well this seems to be a waste of my time. That is a 900 nicker in any shop you’re lucky enough to find one in. And you’re complaining about 200? What school of finance did you study? It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the fucking century. In fact, fuck it, Nick, I think I’ll keep it!
Probably my favourite movie.

you don’t ream it, that will just make the tubing thinner right where you don’t want to. Correctly, you use a mandrell to try and ease out the flattened tubing. It’s impossible to give good advice since we cannot see how far out of round it is, and what it might take to make it acceptable. Similarly, Bender is probably right when he says a headset pressed in will wear out quicker, but since the key point is about the alignment of the top and bottom races relative to each other, they might wear out in the short term - like 2 or 3 years. If the frame cracks it’s headtube in under 2 years there’s no harm in that, is there.

its off by about two mill. 31mm in one direction 29mm in the other.


Had a similar problem with my McBain, small ding in the top of the headtube. Sasha at Pony didn’t think it was worth panel beating, installed as is, seems okay. I’ll let you know how it is in three years.

I managed to install it. I gave it a bit more of a whack and managed to push it out a little. unfortunately the stack height of the headset i had planned to install was to short for the fork anyway. (yes i know what youre thinking: SPACERS!!! unfortunately this particular HS doesnt accommodate for spacers). So im going to have to buy a new headset anyway. Anyone got a 600 headset for sale??

If you get rolly to buy my hillman he might give you the headset out of it hahaha.
What about a pipe expander.