How To Make A Headset Cup Press/Install Tool
How To Make A Headset Cup Press/Install Tool

I need to replace a headset and my
options were either to make the tools or buy the tools. And it’s a lot cheaper to make the tools. I already made a tool to remove the a headset cups. And I have a
video for that. And now I have to make a tool to put the cups back in. To press them back
in. This is the tool I made. Its a half inch threaded rod about one
foot long. And I have four fender washers here. I may go ahead and
add another pair of fender washers here. So there would be three on each side. I have a pair of nylon washers. A pair of flat washers. And then a pair of flange nuts And so the whole tool basically just
goes together like this. With a nut on each side. Like this. And you want to make sure that you grease
the nylon washers there. And you probably want a little bit of grease down in the threads of the threaded
well. Now I’ll show you how to use it. Okay, I’m ready to reinstall the cups onto the frame here. There’s like a…actually a race on
the top here so I just go ahead and set that down. I’ve already greased around inside
there. Greased around on here. And just kind of set that in there as best I can. Now I’ve got the tool here. So slide this up through here. Slide the flat washer..or the fender washers,
the nylon washer, the flat washer on there. And I’ve got the flange nut on there. And
screw this down here. Okay, I want to get this cup up here is flat as possible in there. And then
tighten this down and get it as centered as possible. And just kind of tighten this down by hand. Hold it there place. And I’m only doing the one side first. So this has got a nice flat
surface down here to go against. So I get that all centered there. Get a Crescent
wrench down here. And then tighten this nut up here. And this will press the cup…and I wanna
keep an eye on it and make sure that it’s going on straight and not going on crooked. And then press this down. Like that. And then check to make
sure that there is no gap around there like that. And that actually looks pretty good. Okay, now lets do the lower cup. Okay, same thing on this side. I greased around the cup
there, and here inside the head tube there. And just go ahead and tighten this on
there. And try to get it nice and straight. Get the cup started in their straight to
begin with. As best as possible. Then tighten this down by hand. And try to get nice and centered as well as possible. Put a Crescent wrench down here to hold this nut. And then tighten this down. And as you’re tightening it in, you wanna make sure that it’s
going in straight. And so there. That looks like it’s fully
on. No gap. Anyway, I hope that you have found the
this video useful. I think this is a pretty
cool tool. It cost I think probably less than eight
dollars to make. And as compared to the commercial Park
Tool that the cheapest one by Park Tool is about
seventy dollars. And it works really well. It’s real easy to
make. Just go down to your local hardware
store and buy these parts. Anyway, if you found this useful, please
subscribe to my channel. There’s a link right down here. And you can also check out my video for the cup remover tool that I made. And anyway…Thanks!

80 thoughts on “How To Make A Headset Cup Press/Install Tool”

  1. Guillaume Bourdel says:

    Very useful tool!
    You can use it for other puproses such as pressing one-piece crank bottom bracket cups in the frame or putting back sealed bearing in the hub (using the fender washers you have with this tool along with the wheel axle and nuts). I think there's another use to this tool but I can't remember…
    Great video, as usual 🙂

  2. Michael O'Rourke says:

    Cool I use 2 blockc of wood and a hammer

  3. Esuper1 says:

    elegant contraption, i like it.

  4. Vicente Soares says:

    excellent video………….

  5. Rich B says:

    Nice clear and concise video!
    I made the same removal tool earlier this year. Except, I rounded the sharp edges off so they didn't dig into my aluminum frame.
    And I used a rubber automotive bushing i had lying around to hammer in the new cups. I have Internal bearings btw. Yours I would not hammer.

  6. sakoudas says:

    why don't you just hit them with a rubber hammer ?

  7. 206coconutz says:

    $8.00 worth of hardware at the store bought me what I needed to make this DYI tool. Saved lots of $$$ on a specialized Park tool or having a store mechanic do it for me. Works like a charm! I had my upgrade headset installed very quickly.  Thanks for posting this how-to shyflirt1!

  8. David says:

    what can we use in place of a vinyl washer rubber?

  9. David says:

    Works well thank you!

  10. Jonathan Singgih Pranoto says:

    hey the tube for headset removal, whats the material?

  11. Nicholas Cheng says:

    managed to fit my headset into new frame using this method and some knocking for leveling it
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Julio Flores says:

    I made close to the same tool. I just used a 1/2 inch bolt, the other side is the same. I found using the opposite side without a lock nut made threading the bolts together more difficult. I also used a smaller washer in the cup as a locator, or else the bolt wants to wander a bit, which will put the cups in slanted.

    Kudos to putting this out there just the same.

  13. Calvein Sileutte says:

    Big help for me thanks.

  14. Andro Muteli says:

    it's really my favorite multi tool 🙂 if u want i can send in FB options of tool

  15. Scott L says:

    Great video shyflirt1!  I went to my local hardware store today and got the parts ( minus the nylon washers because they didn't carry any ) and it work perfectly to install my headset cups…awesome!  Thanks!!!! 🙂

  16. confecorazonyacero says:

    Great video, very useful. Thanks for sharing. Regards from Spain.

  17. Jeannette Masiala Sungu says:

    I didn't did this part and place the new bearings on the old pieces because I thought they look well. The bike is holland granny bicycle type. The fork and special the handlebar holder is very long and also is the state very oblique. I think I need to do this job again cause there is still little vibration. Maybe is it the steerer tube that can not attach properly. I will check this first and if this not help than I do it all over with the tools seen on the video.

  18. Ivan Robles says:

    I made one of these was working good at first but it started misaligning and I tried to tap the bolt but I bent the whole bolt any tips on making sure it goes in straight?

  19. O. Mason McGonagall says:

    Absolutely marvelous! You saved me time and money. I'm building a touring bike from the ground up and the whole project seems to be one huge cost after another – not the way things were when I was a bit younger – every bike tool has me contemplating a second mortgage. I didn't really want to pay the local bike shop to do any of the work on this build for me – I wanted to get to know modern parts on modern bikes first hand. So, I thankfully found your video, went to the hardware store, picked up the parts for this simple device for well less than $20, and set my external threadless headset without a hitch. I used a slightly larger threaded shaft (5/8") and the largest (1 and 1/2" diameter) fender washers I could find. I know there are even larger headtubes, forks, and headsets than mine, so to others out there who are giving this a try, just be aware of the size of fender washers you'll need to press the headset down evenly without your innermost fender washers floating off mark toward the inside of the headset where they would mar the area where the bearings set in. The inner washers on your threaded pipe headset cup press are the ones that matter the most size-wise – make sure they cover the entire top and bottom edges of your headset. Thanks a ton, RJ The Bike Guy, and best wishes.

  20. Brian Barber says:

    I hope you don't mind a suggestion to improve the tool.  I would switch on of the regular nuts with an acorn nut at the end of the threaded rod.  It is much easier to get the tool into position and if you have the closed end of the tool with the acorn nut at the top of the headtube, it is much easier to turn because you can swing the handle of the wrench or the ratchet in a complete circle.

  21. Rodney Hidalgo says:


  22. Isaia Neioti says:

    Very clever and so simple. Thanks for your ideas.

  23. Chris Militerno says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are my home mechanic savior.

  24. Ric Liang says:

    Two questions:
    1) What if the cup isn't going in 100% straight?
    2) Can you please do a video on a pressfit bottom bracket?

    Excellent video as always!

  25. MangoSmoothie16 says:

    what is the point of the nylon washers?

  26. Jani Virtanen says:

    you are professional 🙂 i always like to see home made tools,, definately i will try build that one in next week when i buy material for that project,, and in Finland professional tools are way too expensive 🙂   have a nice day RJ +1

  27. Mark Brent says:

    Thanks!!! I just used on my BB30 PF 30. Quick and easy. Beats trying to eyeball it in then lightly tapping. Looking forward to looking at other DIY items you have.

  28. VelociPat says:


    What if I were to use a slightly shorter rod (8" ) and locked a flange nut with a regular locknut on one end and tightened only the other end? I imagine that this would work just as well, no?

    Also…what if I were to use a cordless drill with adjustable torque settings to tighten the top nut instead of doing it by hand??

  29. Desi says:

    these 2 tools would be perfect, just perfect for the new "pressfit" threadless bottom brackets fraud.
    I suppose Park Troll and its friends thought they could sell us more stuff but it was without counting on DIY people like you.
    You could rename the video and attract more people, really, I'm sure some guys out there are thinking: how am i going to install/remove this "pressfit" thing without buying tools?

  30. Michael Alderman says:

    Question: why the nylon washers? What purpose do they serve? This is super helpful.

  31. (((Soundafek))) says:

    I'll let u borrow my bearing press RJ.

  32. greenscobie86 says:

    Very helpful. Made this for like $6 from Home Depot and stuff I had laying around the garage.

  33. Brian Chabot says:

    Hey Thanks RJ
    I'm building a aluminum touring bike. This has saved me some big money thank you thank you thank you.
    And I'm learning some great helpful stuff.

  34. RQ says:

    if available, will cooling or freezing the cup with LN help seat the cup ?

  35. B Schroeder says:

    Great video. Saved me a bunch of $$$. Thanks.

  36. Awesomev1188 says:

    do you need the nylon washers

  37. Kevin Omura says:

    Brilliant, thanks RJ!

  38. Elliott Meager says:

    Thank you so much! This is a genius homemade tool and has saved me so much cash and any damage to my new paint job. I'm restoring a 1970s Road bike. Your videos are great. Thanks again

  39. G ZA says:

    what about the diameters for the washers?

  40. 01Farscape says:

    What type and brand of grease do you recommend for the bearings, threads etc? Thanks

  41. Victor Rivera says:

    would a c clamp also work?

  42. Tony B says:

    Mr Rj man I recently bought a Marin Nail Trail 2009 with a 1 1/8 headtube.. is that mean i can get any 1 1/8 standard or integrated headset? Noobie here and thanks in advance

  43. John Fitzpatrick says:

    This is awesome. I plan on making one tomorrow. Great idea using the nylon washers to minimize friction!!!

  44. Kung Fu says:

    I replaced the cups in my Trek today and it was not fun with this tool; however, I thought about it, I went out and bought an additional 3 Washers ( I think they were 1/ 5/16) just a fraction smaller than the headset tube on the bike and stacked those washers on the inside of the fender washer at the bottom, so I did my top cup first. This actually keeps the threaded rod more centered without having to fuss with it. For the bottom cup, again I bought washers close to the same size of the ID of the cup that I installed at the top and again allowed the rod to stay more centered. When I did this, they went in a lot easier than fussing with keeping everything straight. This worked for me… Also, keep the bike tube straight up and down.

  45. Galt Barber says:

    This worked perfectly.

  46. joray su says:

    HI RJ
    Dose this tool can also use in install the Press Fit bottom bracket ?

  47. Rendy Sormin says:

    sir, why you use nylon washer?

  48. richman502 says:

    Nice Job buddy

  49. fespo276 says:

    Just did this tonight! Total parts were $3.97. Thanks!!!

  50. Joe Auty says:

    are the washers the same diameter as the rod ?

  51. Peter Pancho says:

    what is keeping the frame head from cracking or splitting, same with cups of headset,etc? I've always wondered this. thanks!

  52. Chino says:

    He says and a lot it's funny

  53. Fck'in NonStick!!! says:

    RJ the Best Bike guy in Town! 😀

  54. Justin Flores says:

    thank for the tip, did this today and the tool worked great – $7 in materials

  55. Zhan You says:

    What happens if we insert the cup without the tool ?

  56. Million435 says:

    Why not a thicker rod if most headsets are anywhere between 1-1.5in? Would it not be more stable?

  57. Luvin Zuniga says:

    RJ whenever I run in to trouble with my bikes you always have the answer. Your the man!

  58. Marcos Fredrickson says:

    Made mine for $3.30. Thanks RJ

  59. MentalMagic says:

    What if I used a wooden squad and hammer the board?

  60. BRICKCITY9MM says:

    I made and bought one of these last year for about $1.50 at my local hardware store…..Your the man.

  61. Blue Collar says:

    Mine always goes crooked as soon as I start pressing it. Does the head tube need to be reamed?

  62. Marcos Montano says:

    Just made mine and it worked perfectly 😁

  63. TheNoisePolluter says:

    I had a really interesting idea of dipping the cups into liquid nitrogen so that they would get really cold, shrink down temporarily and slide right into the steer tube???

  64. Mikey Krome says:

    Where did you get the threaded rod?

  65. billybike says:

    many thanks for this video…I fix my MTB with this diy tool…👍👍👍👍

  66. SuperNelly27 says:

    Fantastic I will be making this tomorrow to fit my new nuke proof head set

  67. proxybox says:

    To center the tool and to prevent it from shifting like in the video, I used a 1 1/4" washer on the inside with a nut holding it so the threaded rod didn't shift. So it would be nut, 1 1/4" washer, large washer to span the cup, small washer, nut.

  68. Redzuan Hashim says:

    thank you RJ

  69. Carloswithac says:

    Thanks, RJ! This will save me some money on my bike build.

  70. Norman Scheck says:

    Thanks for the video RJ, very helpful with the ideas.

  71. poor mans mtb says:

    I saw your video on the cup remover and made me one and just tried it for the first time today and man it works great

  72. Ryan M says:

    RJ… Would there be any disadvantage to using a thinner threaded rod? I have one handy, think it's 1/4", and would like to use that so this rod doesn't go to waste.
    Thanks for all the great videos!

  73. A R says:

    beats using a hammer! great stuff

  74. Patrick McCary says:

    I will be using this idea this weekend on my resto mod build

  75. RJ The Bike Guy says:

    For more bike repair videos hit the subscribe button 🛑 and click the notification bell ►

  76. kirpaljeet singh says:

    Too cool!

  77. Guillaume Damagnez says:

    Useful thank you.

  78. Thomas L says:

    what is the purpose of the nylon washer?

  79. ewanok says:

    You can get a press and a removal tool for £10 each on ebay.

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