Saturday, December 31, 2011
Catrike headset bearing swap...
Catrikes are built with two headsets to allow a strong and smooth pivot point for the front wheel assemblies and this just seems like such a high quality and good looking setup.The headsets are readily available from most any bike shop and they'll almost never wear out when they're properly assembled and maintained.
Both of our Villagers use Cane Creek ZS22 headsets with one oddball piece. Catrike swaps out the top bearing for a plastic bearing which is probably some sort of nylon or delrin. They supposedly do the plastic bearing thing to slow down the steering to make the trike more stable.
It takes a lil' more guesswork to properly tighten a headset with plastic bearings compared to a normal set of caged or cartridge bearings like I've done thousands of times, soooooooooo, in comes some Cane Creek cartridge bearings and I'm sure they must be more durable than a slick piece of plastic. It's nice that we can easily get these tiny parts with a few clicks of a mouse and minimal searching by going to www.canecreek.com . The conversion takes a pair of 38mm bearings and two 38mm compression rings. I haven't done the switch over yet but there will surely be joy in the land once I get around to it.
Once the switch is completed, we'll have a spare set of stock Catrike top bearings for Jetaime's trike so she should be set for years. There's no real notable reason for me to want to switch from the plastic top bearing to cartridge top bearings other than simply wanting to do it. I've not heard of any issues with the plastic bearing but I'm just a guy who likes what I like and the cartridge bearing is my preference. We'll see how handling and durability might be affected since we can observe these sibling trikes as the mileage accumulates.