DIY Headset press

One of my biggest gripes about the Airborne Green Goblin was the headset any sign of damp or water and the thing stiffened up and made the steering less than smooth.  With my Goblin being a 2011 version, the stock headset would be coming up 3 years old so it was due a change.  The stock headset is integrated however with increasing popularity of tapered head tubes mean that there aren't lots of options available for replacement.  I did manage to grab a cane creek headset from eBay in the correct spec and at first glance it looks a solid part, complete with removable sealed bearings.

The new headset with removable bearings
You can instantly see the difference between a nice shiny new part and the old well used part.  Removal of this type of headset is pretty straightforward and you can buy specific tools such as the Park Tool Head Cup Remover . However i found a couple of sharp taps with a flat headed screwdriver at the right angle ensured the cups dropped out without issue.


Old headset, grubby and full of dirt

Old vs New bearing cups
Now you can also buy your own headset press, but there's not much fun in that.  So I wanted to create my own a trip to home depot helped me find a 1/2 inch rod, a few nuts and some large washers, I also decided to use a socket to ensure that the cup lined up perfectly.  Its best here to install one cup at a time, otherwise trying to do both together can cause them to move around and be difficult to align correctly.

DIY headset press with socket for alignment
During 
After


All back together
Once lined up and set, the process took around 30 minutes in total to remove the old headset and press in the new with a let extra time for removal of the bars and forks either side of that.  I'm pleased to say that instantly the action is much smoother with no grinding and the bike is handling much, much better!