Of course, you could just cut to the chase and purchase one. You can spend anywhere from $50 for a Torx Headset press from Pricepoint to $145 for Park Tool HHP-2 Headset Press from Universal Cycles, but going the DIY route you can cut that cost in half, if not more. It might not be pretty, but it gets the job done for a fraction of the price.
Your first stop on the DIY train should be Instructables. I saw this early on but wasn't particularly thrilled with it. Digging deeper in the interwebs, I came across these versions:
- Improvised Headset Press
- This one claims it will run you about $6.
- Bicycle Commuters version is the one I decided to emulate, although they claim the total cost was $15. In there post they also show their own crown race tool. I have something similar only it's made from cast iron instead of PVC.
- Here is a Bike Hack. You'll find Bike Hacks in the Feed Tube which always has interesting DIY tips for other bike related things.
- This has to be the worst type of DIY headset press.
You could visit your local bike shop and pay a pro with the right tools 10 bucks to do it right in 5 minutes while you wait. Most people will do this once or twice in the lifetime of a worthy bike (at most), and anyways, it is good to support your local economy. Save the DIY for repacking your bearings, brake adjustment, and TRUING.I think if I were dealing with a Chris King or comparable bling, bling headset I would take it to my LBS to have it done right but at the Hanover Recycled Cycle Shop, spending $25 clams is more than sufficient for what I am doing.
As I mentioned earlier, I went with the Bicycle Commuter's version because I felt the copper reducers were perfect for fitting within the cups and ensure that it works. The only drawback to this addition is the price. These reducers were $10 a pop. Without them, the total cost would be a mere $5.
I went with the 5/8's threaded bar but I think the one I got is too long. Guess I could always cut it down to size.
Here it is on its trial run. Decided to put the cups from the Nishiki on Fuji to see how it works. I read on one of the websites/blogs that you should freeze your cups to get some shrinkage (yikes) but I just greased them up and the head tube.
On the bottom of my DIY press, I have two nuts tightended down but you still need to hold onto it to keep it from rotating when tightening the top. The reducers fit nicely into the cups.
Here is the finished product. I was quite simple. Took but a few turns and both cups slid in nicely. One thing I noticed is that the fork for Fuji was cut for the smaller headset that came with it so I couldn't get the top, lock screw on it. I thightened it down as tight as it would go. Looks like Fuji will have be used for something that doesn't require turning.