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  1. #1
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    Installing FSA Orbit X headset on Ouzo Pro carbon fork

    I'm installing a new Orbit X headset on a Ouzo Pro fork and have a couple of questions.

    First, I can't make sense of this aluminum compression ring. Without it, the headset seats fine. With it, the adjusting cone won't seat completely over the upper bearing cup. Can I toss this aside, or is there something else I should be doing to get this to seat with it? The FSA instructions aren't great on this...

    Second, is there any need to grease the fork race, cartridge bearings or upper cup? My last headset was a needle bearing one and this is new to me. Many thanks.
    Last edited by c_dale; 02-15-2004 at 07:16 PM. Reason: clarity

  2. #2
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    Shouldn't be a problem

    I have an FSA Orbit X for a 1" steerer. Seems like an obvious one but I assume you've to the bearing cups in the correct position as far as lower and upper cup?

    The compression ring is supposed to tighten up around the steerer. Uncompressed, the ID of the ring is about 1". The slight gap, if any, should be covered by the top o-ring and will not affect the functionality of the headset. The ID of the bearing itself is too large to function without the compression ring.

    Another silly question but is it possible that you have a 1.125" steerer and a headset for 1" steerer?

    As for the second part, it's no to all. No need to lubricate anything except to ease assembly.
    Last edited by boneman; 02-16-2004 at 11:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by boneman
    I have an FSA Orbit X for a 1" steerer. Seems like an obvious one but I assume you've to the bearing cups in the correct position as far as lower and upper cup?

    The compression ring is supposed to tighten up around the steerer. Uncompressed, the ID of the ring is about 1". The slight gap, if any, should be covered by the top o-ring and will not affect the functionality of the headset. The ID of the bearing itself is too large to function without the compression ring.

    Another silly question but is it possible that you have a 1.125" steerer and a headset for 1" steerer?

    As for the second part, it's no to all. No need to lubricate anything except to ease assembly.
    Those are great points. I checked, re-checked, and checked again to see if there was anything like that that i was missing. Unfortunately, I don't see anything like that. My question really boils down to this... the compression ring fits down inside the top bearing, but the adjusting cone won't fit all the way down so that it's flush with the top crown because it has a metal flange on the bottom that butts up against the compression ring. It fits will without the compression ring and I'm wondering if FSA, perhaps, changed the design without updating the (mediocre) instructions. I've posted the photos below. You can see the compression ring installed, the adjusting cone with the flange below it and how well it (doesn't) fit. Am I missing something with this installation?

    Thanks for the help!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Installing FSA Orbit X on Reynolds Carbon Fork-dscn1501-small-.jpg   Installing FSA Orbit X on Reynolds Carbon Fork-dscn1503-small-.jpg   Installing FSA Orbit X on Reynolds Carbon Fork-dscn1504-small-.jpg  

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Give FSA a call?

    Based on the photos, everything seems correct but I agree that the gap's quite large.

    Before resorting to filing down the top of the compression ring or the bottom of the bearing cap, I'd give FSA a call.

    Full Speed Ahead Headquarters
    12810 NE 178th St. Suite 102
    Woodinville, WA 98072
    Phone – 425 488 8653
    Toll Free – 877 RIDE FSA
    Fax – 425 489 1082
    e-mail – info@fullspeedahead.com

  5. #5
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    Orbit X

    It looks from the photo like you may have two things confused. It looks like you have the split ring thing going in under the top piece of the headset. My experience is that the split ring is the fork bearing race and the solid ring goes on the steerer just under the final piece of the headset.

    However this was really confusing on the last Orbit X I purchased because the fork race was solid on that one and had to be pressed on rather than easily slid down onto the fork.

    Eddie



    Quote Originally Posted by c_dale
    I'm installing a new Orbit X headset on a Ouzo Pro fork and have a couple of questions.

    First, I can't make sense of this aluminum compression ring. Without it, the headset seats fine. With it, the adjusting cone won't seat completely over the upper bearing cup. Can I toss this aside, or is there something else I should be doing to get this to seat with it? The FSA instructions aren't great on this...

    Second, is there any need to grease the fork race, cartridge bearings or upper cup? My last headset was a needle bearing one and this is new to me. Many thanks.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Clarification

    On my Orbit X, the fork crown race is solid and the compression ring, fitting into the upper bearing is split.

    On my Orbit Extreme, the fork crown race is split and the compression ring is also split. Note that the two rings are quite different in size and profile.

    Both are 1" steerer set ups.

    It definitely looks like the upper compression ring is correctly placed but I if it did come with a split crown race bearing, worth looking into. FWIW, my split fork crown race had a much rougher finish than the upper ring and the upper ring fits quite nicely, either model, into the upper bearing when fitted without the steerer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eflayer2
    It looks from the photo like you may have two things confused. It looks like you have the split ring thing going in under the top piece of the headset. My experience is that the split ring is the fork bearing race and the solid ring goes on the steerer just under the final piece of the headset.

    However this was really confusing on the last Orbit X I purchased because the fork race was solid on that one and had to be pressed on rather than easily slid down onto the fork.

    Eddie
    The most difficult part of this entire installation is making sense of FSA's instructions... from looking at the pictures on the supplied instructions, I gathered that the solid ring was the fork race. I pressed it on (it was tight). The Orbit X picture on the instructions, when compared with the other models, didn't show an installation of the compression ring. That's why I'm wondering why the compression ring was even included-- have they designed it out, yet still included it?

    Do you recall if your Orbit X has the flange on the bottom of the top piece of the headset?

  8. #8
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    FSA installation directions

    Quote Originally Posted by c_dale
    The most difficult part of this entire installation is making sense of FSA's instructions... from looking at the pictures on the supplied instructions, I gathered that the solid ring was the fork race. I pressed it on (it was tight). The Orbit X picture on the instructions, when compared with the other models, didn't show an installation of the compression ring. That's why I'm wondering why the compression ring was even included-- have they designed it out, yet still included it?

    Do you recall if your Orbit X has the flange on the bottom of the top piece of the headset?
    These are FSA instructions-

    Threadless Headset Installation
    Please read carefully. For best results, consult a qualified mechanic at your nearest
    professional bike shop.

    1. Install the headset crown race on the front fork, making sure it is seated completely and level on the fork crown.

    All FSA threadless headset crown races except the DL and The Pig are split to permit easy installation without tools. The Pig and DL crown races may require a fork race punch to seat completely. see eflayer2's post.

    2. Make sure your frame™s head tube is properly faced, then install the upper and lower cups onto the frame™s head tube using a headset press.
    3. For the XLII cartridge bearing model, cartridges fit only one way.
    · For the Xtreme cartridge bearing model, cartridges are pre.installed in the cups and should never be removed.
    4. Make sure the crown seal is in place in the lower headset cup. For the DL model install the lower seal onto the crown race. For the Xtreme model (1.1/8l. only), install the conical seal into the crown race with the cup side facing up toward the cartridge bearing.
    5. For the XLII cartridge bearing model, cartridges fit only one way.
    · For the Xtreme cartridge bearing model, cartridges are pre.installed in the cups and should never be removed.
    6. Insert the fork™s steerer tube into the frame, with all bearings in place. Place the top
    adjusting cone (the part with the USA patent number on it) on the top of the fork steerer and slide it down until it rests against the top bearing. For the XLII and Xtreme, the compression ring fits directly against the bearing followed bythe cover (see drawing)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by boneman
    These are FSA instructions-

    Threadless Headset Installation
    Please read carefully. For best results, consult a qualified mechanic at your nearest
    professional bike shop.

    1. Install the headset crown race on the front fork, making sure it is seated completely and level on the fork crown.

    All FSA threadless headset crown races except the DL and The Pig are split to permit easy installation without tools. The Pig and DL crown races may require a fork race punch to seat completely. see eflayer2's post.

    2. Make sure your frame™s head tube is properly faced, then install the upper and lower cups onto the frame™s head tube using a headset press.
    3. For the XLII cartridge bearing model, cartridges fit only one way.
    · For the Xtreme cartridge bearing model, cartridges are pre.installed in the cups and should never be removed.
    4. Make sure the crown seal is in place in the lower headset cup. For the DL model install the lower seal onto the crown race. For the Xtreme model (1.1/8l. only), install the conical seal into the crown race with the cup side facing up toward the cartridge bearing.
    5. For the XLII cartridge bearing model, cartridges fit only one way.
    · For the Xtreme cartridge bearing model, cartridges are pre.installed in the cups and should never be removed.
    6. Insert the fork™s steerer tube into the frame, with all bearings in place. Place the top
    adjusting cone (the part with the USA patent number on it) on the top of the fork steerer and slide it down until it rests against the top bearing. For the XLII and Xtreme, the compression ring fits directly against the bearing followed bythe cover (see drawing)
    I found those on the FSA site-- since they don't mention the Orbit or Orbit X, I didn't pay too much attention. I'm going to resort to calling FSA this afternoon or stopping by my LBS to figure out what's going on with this headset.

    Thanks for the help!

  10. #10
    rider formerly known as
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    don't worry

    everything is alright. When you install spacers/stem and tight it up with Reynolds gismo the compression ring is gonna pop in, don't worry. Out of "special" installation tricks I'd recommend to cover seals (both on cartridge bearings and external) with vaseline. The TH "red" seals are only so-so, vaseline will keep water out for longer bearing life good luck
    Always Look At the Bright Side of Life Monty Python, Life of Brian

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycloPathic
    everything is alright. When you install spacers/stem and tight it up with Reynolds gismo the compression ring is gonna pop in, don't worry. Out of "special" installation tricks I'd recommend to cover seals (both on cartridge bearings and external) with vaseline. The TH "red" seals are only so-so, vaseline will keep water out for longer bearing life good luck
    And you are correct, sir...

    With quite a bit elbow grease (and about half an hour of work) I managed to work the compression ring down by installing the stem and using the Reynolds gizmo... as well as weighting the handlebars and rocking the fork back and forth gently-- which was really what did the trick.

    Thanks to all for their help!

  12. #12
    rider formerly known as
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_dale
    And you are correct, sir...

    With quite a bit elbow grease (and about half an hour of work) I managed to work the compression ring down by installing the stem and using the Reynolds gizmo... as well as weighting the handlebars and rocking the fork back and forth gently-- which was really what did the trick.

    Thanks to all for their help!
    still recommend on vaseline, I have Orbit X on MTB and after 1.5 years of abuse had to take it apart, clean, grease and do vaseline trick. When I took it apart bearings were rough, the races were rusted b/c seals didn't keep water out (when installed I didn't seal it with petroleum jell) and rust deposits on headtube. Luckily bearings are not hard to repack, cartridge bearing seals can be taken off with a needle, and damage wasn't extensive to justify new set of bearings.

    Not that I am knocking on FSA, good headset but in this matter it is no diff from any other cartridge headsets, except for CK with stainless steel bearings.
    Always Look At the Bright Side of Life Monty Python, Life of Brian

  13. #13
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    Hi - I'm new to this forum and had a similar issue with installing a FSA Orbit-X headset. The top and bottom cups went in OK using a big bolt and washers as per Dave Moulton website. When it came to the actual bearing installation, I noticed that the parts included did not match the diagram on instruction sheet. I did catch that the split ring was noted to be the crown race and that was verified on this thread. The compression ring (not shown in assembly diagram with instructions) was positioned on top under the adjusting cone. Result? BIG gap. After tightening the star nut bolt and rocking and rolling, there was no progress so I tried contacting FSA via email. I did not get a response so I took the whole thing to LBS for advice. A quick look and the main guy said, "That's not right." With a sideways glance at me, he removed the stem, disassembled the headset and slammed the solid ring (which I thought was the top compression ring) on to the steerer with a slide hammer. He put the split ring on top and everything fit perfect. I showed him the instructions that I was trying to follow and he just shook his head. "The pieces don't even match the diagram", was his reply. He also advised that cranking down on the bearings to try and get the solid ring in to position as I was trying to do would likely damage the bearings. I notice that in the top photo of the original post that the compression ring on top appears to be split - visible at top left? If so, that's how the LBS assembled mine which conflicts with the directions which clearly state that the split ring is the fork race on all but DL and Pig models. Anyway, my .02.

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