steering head bearings...

i need some advice... i have searched for similar topics but couldn't find what i needed so who can help...

when i went to go out on the bike today the steering was very stiff and when i moved it left and right etc it was a smooth action when central but at either end there was a small knocking and grinding sound and it was much stiffer and notchy...

i picked the bike up by the forks and there is a liitle play in them...

now i think the steering head bearings must be done for (which would explain the brown stuff that is always appearing on my mudguard from the headstock).

i went looking for headstock bearings on many bike websites and they seem to be about £32 for my bike (48dollars)

am i able to go to a bearing shop/maker and get some rather then get from a bike shop... it just seems like a lot of money for a few bits of metal and balls...

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