|Judging by the patina, I'd say it's been a very long time since this was cracked open!|
So, yesterday I dug into this head set to see what was up. This appears for all the world to be the stock Tange', "Micro-Adjust" head set that was spec'ed on complete Treks in 1978. Back then Trek was mainly a purveyor of frame sets, not complete bikes, and only complete bikes were sold in the Mid-West at the time. This makes sense with the one I have as it sports a World of Bikes sticker from Iowa City.
You might note that this head set has the 'limited slip' style bearing adjustment where saw-tooth looking machined teeth integrate with each other- one set on the knurled bit you can see here, and another set on the mating ring that sits above it. Adjustments to this style head set are made by loosening the lock nut on top and gripping the knurled bit and making the adjustment. Then you tighten the lock nut. Yes- it's hard to make fine adjustments with this sort of head set. But, it is what it is. Apparently, travelers like this sort of head set, but I'm not into taking the fork off for transport, so that's a bit lost on me. Anyway.....
|My first peek inside. Note the machined teeth on top of the bearing race.|
|The crown race after fork removal. |
|Spotlight on the upper bearing race. (Yes- it really is that dim in my shop!)|
|Wiping away a bit of the goo revealed a pretty decent looking bearing race.|
I feel that just a solid servicing of the parts will result in a smooth, good operating head set. No need for tricks or a full-on replacement here. Not for a townie bike, at any rate. So, I will be doing that and after this I think it will end up that I am done doing any major maintenance or changes here. I think I'm going to skip the powder coating idea as well. Minimal money in, maximum benefit to me as a bike.
|While Ishiwata tubing is not a CrMo that 'the cool kids' would be excited about, it is good stuff.|
So, I decided to weigh the fork, for grins. Keep in mind that the crown race is still on there, and that is a good bit of metal too. Gunk and grease still attached add a bit, but what do you think this steel fork with a 'forged semi-sloping Cinelli type'* crown weighs? Okay.....the answer is......
That's pretty light, and it shows what the protocol testing of frames and forks have done to steel bikes over the years. There is no way a road bike fork in steel would ever come out of a major factory over seas now and weigh anything close to that. I know my Raleigh Reynolds 631 uni-crown steel disc fork weighs well over 1000 grams, as a for instance. Not apples to apples, but it gives you an idea of how much things have changed over the years. While an 820 gram fork, (with chunky steel crown race!) sounds great, it also points up that factories are being overly-cautious with regard to durability and safety. Probably not a bad idea in our litigious world.
Stay tuned for more updates on the townie rig.
*Much of the spec information I gathered on this Trek TX502 was garnered from the website "Vintage Trek"