headset help

by TheHatter   July 23, 2013  

I'm going a little crazy trying to finish my bike build and a bit of help would be most appreciated.

I've fitted and adjusted a few aheadsets before so I know the basics however my new build with my new aheadset just isn't working. Its all fitted but when I tighten the topnut to get the correct tension there is still loads of play (back and forth). Tighten it a bit more and theres still a bit of play and moving the bars left right is way to stiff. For info its a cane creek headset in a steel frame with spacers above and below the stem.

I've searched the net but its hard to get any advice beyond the basics which i already know.

so my sanity rests in your hands...

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Is the headset cap compressing the spacers? Some caps have an internal ridge and this can, when tensioned, catch the top of the fork steerer tube rather than compressing the spacers/stem. Easy way to find out is to stick another spacer on it and see if that works, you can always remove it. You may need to cut the steerer if it's fouling the top cap's ability to compress the headset correctly.

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [265 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 12:17

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Ok to check:

Do you have a crown race installed to the fork?

Presuming it is an integrated headset you will have:

Crownrace on fork
Bearing
Frame
Bearing
Compression ring (ring that fits inside top bearing with a split in it)
Dust Cap
Spacers(optional)
stem
Headset cap (should compress onto either the stem or spacers not the steerer tube)

If you have all of these installed correctly your problem could be your dust cap is compressing onto your frame rather than the compression ring, this can be fixed with spacers.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 15:53

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Thanks velosam, that was a good shout but just tried it with a bigger spacer at the top and its not that.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 17:01

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Hi SammyG
Thanks for the list - I have all of those things installed and can;t see much room for error. I used a proper headset press for the cups and everything else just presses in so don't see what could be wrong.
The only thing I'm wondering about is the crownrace on the fork as i didnt have the correct tool and therefore maybe its not seated correctly.
Will strip it all tomorrow and start again.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 19:30

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Couple more things to check, are the bearings in the right way up? Do you have the split top cone installed properly so it is under compression from the top seal? Sometimes it needs a thin washer between the cone and seal cap.

If you're in doubt about the crown race then take the fork to your lbs, buy a couple of energy bars, smile sweetly and ask if they'll give it a Wang with a crown race setter.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [859 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 19:47

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Cane creek have fantastic tech docs online: http://www.canecreek.com/tech-center/headsets/manuals I'm not sure if an incorrectly seated crown race would cause your problems.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 20:01

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Ah just had another thought, are you using a starnut or an expander?

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
23rd July 2013 - 20:03

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SammyG wrote:
Ah just had another thought, are you using a starnut or an expander?

thanks Sammy
I'm using a starnut = do you think that could be an issue as I was wondering if it was maybe a little off centre?

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
24th July 2013 - 17:22

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erm, how do i put this Blushing

just stripped it down and realised there was no compression ring. I'd been playing around with different spacers and then left it while waiting for new spacers to arrive in the post and during this time the compression ring must have disappeared. I had a spare from my old bike which had the same headset and its now fine so my humblest apologies but most of all gratitude for all the advice - this is a great site!
Smile

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
24th July 2013 - 20:39

3 Likes

Good news, enjoy the bike!

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
24th July 2013 - 20:54

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