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After transporting my GFs bike to and from France my GF's headset seems to be a little bit loose. There were no problems setting up the bike in France (we have to remove the forks for both journeys). And I have undone and retightened the components of the headset to try to stop this. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and how they solved it.

It is not a massive amount of movement, but just a bit. I have undone the stem, and retightened using my torque allen key, undone and redone the top cap, and done this several times. I have also taken of the spacers to look at the bearing. I can see anything obvious, it seems a bit odd if it is the top cap or stem is not in place as I have tried to ensure I apply enough down force to compress the headset/stem to try to get the best seal.

Any thoughts?

7 comments

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Velo_Alex [73 posts] 3 years ago
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Have you made sure the bearings are installed the right way up?

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 3 years ago
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The only thing I can think is your missing the compression ring?

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Colin Peyresourde [1794 posts] 3 years ago
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We didn't take anything out, or leave anything behind (I think), but I guess it is worth checking that this is all there (because I didn't really pull it apart and mess things around I assumed that it was all good - it worked going out there, but not coming back....though we disassembled it outside coming back).

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 3 years ago
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Ah, do you know the correct method to go about tensioning a threadless headset?

1.) Loosen bolts on stem which secure it to the steerer.

2.) Tension the bearing using the bolt in the top cap (not too much).

3.) Tighten the bolds on the stem.

Maybe better explained by Sheldon Brown.

The other thing that has gone wrong for me in the past is having slightly too small a spacer. The top spacer (or the top of the stem) needs to finish a little higher than the the steerer tube or you're just tightening the top cap onto the steerer tube without tensioning the bearing.

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Jack Osbourne snr [587 posts] 3 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

Ah, do you know the correct method to go about tensioning a threadless headset?

1.) Loosen bolts on stem which secure it to the steerer.

2.) Tension the bearing using the bolt in the top cap (not too much).

3.) Tighten the bolds on the stem.

Maybe better explained by Sheldon Brown.

The other thing that has gone wrong for me in the past is having slightly too small a spacer. The top spacer (or the top of the stem) needs to finish a little higher than the the steerer tube or you're just tightening the top cap onto the steerer tube without tensioning the bearing.

+1 to all of this

also... tighten the top cap by feel rather than to a specific torque. Tighten up and check for play. tighten up a smidge more and check again. If steering stiff its too tight. once you've got it roughly there, fine tune until just tight enough to eliminate any play.

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Colin Peyresourde [1794 posts] 3 years ago
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Cool. Will give it a go. If it doesn't work I'll wait till the bike explodes.

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Welsh boy [340 posts] 3 years ago
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There is always the chance that one of the bearings is worn, they dont last forever and develop play once they are on the way out.