Replacing bearings in headset - Help

Changing the bearings in my headest. The lower one doesn’t seem like it wants to “snap” into place. In doesn’t go completely up inside the headtube. It is almost like it needs to snap into place but it needs to go on another mm or two. Tried everything including some gentle persuasion with a rubber mallet. I know it is simple but any help would be appreciated

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It might help to tell us what kind of bike, or headset you’re using. External cup? Internal? Integrated?
Is it possible that the new parts are the wrong dimensions or incorrect somehow?
The bottom bearing also usually had a 45deg angled side that goes towards the head tube, and a flat side which goes towards the baseplate on fork. So it does matter which way it’s flipped (usually)

You can make a press with a couple of bits of wood a long bolt big washers and a nut.

Drill holes in wood and put it through the headset and bearings. Use the wood against the bearings (after you’ve made sure everything is correct) washers on either end.

Slowly tighten the nut and it will press the bearings at either end into place.


I use clear assembly grease on cartridge bearing surfaces to make them easier to push. It shouldn’t be too hard to push them in, I find most modern(ish) headsets now don’t require tools to install new bearings.

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Unless it’s an unusual headset that I’m unfamiliar with, you shouldn’t need tools to get the bearings in. Either the orientation is incorrect or you’ve got the wrong lower bearing… Something ain’t right.

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This has been resolved guys. Thanks for all your help. Just a stupid thing

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