New Vitus ESommet Headset Bearing replacement

Darbs

New Member
Jan 24, 2022
12
3
Staffordshire
First post!

Had a look through the forums but couldn't find anything specific on this. Anyone got any tips or tricks for replacing the headset bearings on the Esommet without removing all the cables? For the sake of neatness they've compromised the longevity of the bearings (not to mention ensuring you can't just replace the actual bearing) and mine went about 3 months in. I could kick myself for not being more careful when washing etc! I've contacted Vitus but they've nothing helpful to add apart from using blocks, which I'd already thought of!! I assume it might be possible to place two packers for the headset press to sit on while the cables stay on the gap between them.

Any help be much appreciated
 

dave_uk

Member
Nov 15, 2021
103
53
uk - Staffordshire
Hi and welcome, I have not yet taken my appart but CJaMTB has, see here:

There more on the head bearings here in case you missed it:

BTW - I am from Staffs too.
 

Cisco

Active member
May 1, 2018
186
182
Elderslie
First post!

Had a look through the forums but couldn't find anything specific on this. Anyone got any tips or tricks for replacing the headset bearings on the Esommet without removing all the cables? For the sake of neatness they've compromised the longevity of the bearings (not to mention ensuring you can't just replace the actual bearing) and mine went about 3 months in. I could kick myself for not being more careful when washing etc! I've contacted Vitus but they've nothing helpful to add apart from using blocks, which I'd already thought of!! I assume it might be possible to place two packers for the headset press to sit on while the cables stay on the gap between them.

Any help be much appreciated
First post!

Had a look through the forums but couldn't find anything specific on this. Anyone got any tips or tricks for replacing the headset bearings on the Esommet without removing all the cables? For the sake of neatness they've compromised the longevity of the bearings (not to mention ensuring you can't just replace the actual bearing) and mine went about 3 months in. I could kick myself for not being more careful when washing etc! I've contacted Vitus but they've nothing helpful to add apart from using blocks, which I'd already thought of!! I assume it might be possible to place two packers for the headset press to sit on while the cables stay on the gap between them.

Any help be much appreciated

You don't need to remove the cables to replace the bottom bearing but you will have to remove the HS cup from the frame as the bearings are not available separately. I had to resort to a drift to remove the bottom cup. The replacement Acros bottom cup includes a new crown race; If you have had some heavy crashes and the knock block has been disturbed it is the crown race that will have rotated on the steerer, I had to (carefully) dremmel the old one off to avoid damage to the steerer assy.

You will need to remove the cables to replace the top bearing/cup. It's not a problem but you will need to bleed the rear brake when it's back together.

To avoid future water ingress you need to seal the holes around the cables with putty or dense foam and apply plenty of grease to the new bearings to avoid water gathering and passing the seals. Also, after you wash the bike stand it up on the back wheel to allow any water to escape into the down tube. It's the water ingress that is destroying these bearings.

Good luck with it, Frank
 

CJaMTB

Well-known member
May 9, 2020
401
377
Dartmoor
For info, had an email from CRC today (ongoing issues!), which mentioned that a completely redesigned headset is on the way and is about 3 months away. Will be asking whether this will be available FoC to existing owners.
 

Darbs

New Member
Jan 24, 2022
12
3
Staffordshire
You don't need to remove the cables to replace the bottom bearing but you will have to remove the HS cup from the frame as the bearings are not available separately. I had to resort to a drift to remove the bottom cup. The replacement Acros bottom cup includes a new crown race; If you have had some heavy crashes and the knock block has been disturbed it is the crown race that will have rotated on the steerer, I had to (carefully) dremmel the old one off to avoid damage to the steerer assy.

You will need to remove the cables to replace the top bearing/cup. It's not a problem but you will need to bleed the rear brake when it's back together.

To avoid future water ingress you need to seal the holes around the cables with putty or dense foam and apply plenty of grease to the new bearings to avoid water gathering and passing the seals. Also, after you wash the bike stand it up on the back wheel to allow any water to escape into the down tube. It's the water ingress that is destroying these bearings.

Good luck with it, Frank

Hi Frank

Thanks for the reply. Out of interest, how did you insert the bottom bearing (I purchased the whole assembly a while ago) and got anyway with not taking the cables out? Assuming you used a headset press that requires the top to sit flush on the top of the steerer tube while pulling in the bottom?

Cheers

Matt
 

Darbs

New Member
Jan 24, 2022
12
3
Staffordshire
For info, had an email from CRC today (ongoing issues!), which mentioned that a completely redesigned headset is on the way and is about 3 months away. Will be asking whether this will be available FoC to existing owners.

Thanks Dude, read your earlier post, wish I had before I blindly spent £80. Need to find the receipt now and contact CRC. Not sure how they'll cure it while the cables still go down into it! Be interesting to see.
 

CJaMTB

Well-known member
May 9, 2020
401
377
Dartmoor
Yeah, I'm not sure, but was wondering if there'd be some kind of cowl or seal where the cables go into the headtube. Others have solved this far more elegantly, but then I don't see what was wrong with having them just sat on the outside of the frame!?!
 

Cisco

Active member
May 1, 2018
186
182
Elderslie
Hi Frank

Thanks for the reply. Out of interest, how did you insert the bottom bearing (I purchased the whole assembly a while ago) and got anyway with not taking the cables out? Assuming you used a headset press that requires the top to sit flush on the top of the steerer tube while pulling in the bottom?

Cheers

Matt
Hi Matt,

My HS press was no use for this job. The largest press was too small for the bottom cup and, as the cables were still in when I did the bottom, the normal press could not be located in the top.

I used a block of wood at the bottom and a bar with a threaded hole (actually the handle for my press! as this could sit between the cables) and pulled them together with a 10mm threaded rod. FFS !
 

Dahnhiller

Member
Apr 9, 2021
6
4
Wales
Out of interest, when replacing the bearings, did you notice any damage to the fork steerer from cable rub?
 
Last edited:

SurreySteve

Member
Jan 9, 2022
30
10
Surrey Hills
Hi Matt,

My HS press was no use for this job. The largest press was too small for the bottom cup and, as the cables were still in when I did the bottom, the normal press could not be located in the top.

I used a block of wood at the bottom and a bar with a threaded hole (actually the handle for my press! as this could sit between the cables) and pulled them together with a 10mm threaded rod. FFS !
I'm waiting for mine to arrive before XMAS... then hopefully will have time to remove the headset and replace before I ride it. With XMAS post I need to order the headset and some external mounts now rather than wait for it to arrive.

Since you took it all apart any gotchas/barriers to just replacing the headset with a real one and externally routing everything?

ZS56/28.6 seems easy to replace
ZS66/40 seems more difficult and I might have to stick with for now?

Dropper I'm hoping can be routed back from the motor area as hopefully the wiring for the controller?
Potentially use the internal routing in chainstays if I can get the hose and outer through somewhere? If not I'll just cable tie...

I'd rather not have to drill a brand new frame and invalidate warranty from day 1.
 

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