Loose Headset, yet not…?

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  • Loose Headset, yet not…?
  • gixerator
    Member

    play in the stantions ?

    carlos
    Member

    If the forks are new does the steerer sit a mm lower than the top of the stem or is it flush?? If flush then it could be that the star nut isn’t applying enough pre load on the headset.

    Well maybe anyway

    Premier Icon Paulio
    Subscriber

    Are they Rock Shox forks with U-turn? I’ve got Revs that feel like the headset is loose unless the travel is set to the max or min travel. Actually is a small bit of play in the stantions before they move into the travel.

    Premier Icon Leku
    Subscriber

    Try an extra headset spacer?

    I had an issue where the base of the headset topcap was recessed and was touching the top of the fork steerer, thus not allowing me to tighten the headset properly.

    Try an extra headset spacer?

    I had an issue where the base of the headset topcap was recessed and was touching the top of the fork steerer, thus not allowing me to tighten the headset properly

    I was typing up a long winded explanation to explain that exact problem but Leku is clearly more eloquent than me!

    Check the topcap. If its not totally flat on the steerer side – that caused similar symptoms for me (ie the recess used up the 2mm ish between the top of the spacers and the steerer).

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Ah – Leku’s / CSW – you may have it. I have a 4mm spacer on top of the stem and the cap’s on top of that – the cap is recessed and the top of the steerer protrudes above the Stem into the space.

    I’ll give it a go (why didnt I think of that).

    Cheers all!

    RE Forks – the are Revs but non u-turn dual air.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Right. Experienced biker here.

    Checked everything; Wheels, Forks (new), Stem, Bars, brake caliper, headset. But WHY do I get that loose headset feeling during riding – even up and down the lawn?

    What else could it be?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Grrrr. So thats a no. Put all the spacers plus some extras under the stem to leave a 5mm “gap”. Took the opportunity to clean the headset and ensure all the bearings/rings were seated properly.

    Done up tight, no avail. Fyi Its a Cane creek double XC 2 using a 1/18 bearing at the top and a 1.5 bearing into the cup at the bottom, which fits onto the “reducing” crown race – any issues with these?

    Klunk
    Member

    put your finger on the lower race between the fork and the headset rock the bike on the brakes for you feel any play ?

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I spent an hour trying to fix a loose headset until I discovered that the piece of laminate flooring on which the front wheel was resting slid 3mm fore and aft.

    😳

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Subscriber

    What frame is it? On some frames the head tube is too short to take a Rockshox tapered steerer as the taper is too long. Effectively the upper race is tight on the top of the taper before it’s tight on the top of the headtube.

    Amazingly there isn’t a standard for the length of taper on a tapered fork so this is an issue. It’s a known problem on On-One 456 small frames for example. It sort of hints at it at the bottom of the specification here

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Ah – hello Klunk. No play, tried this already.

    Boris – important to understand its a 1.5 Headtube & 1 1/18th fork with reducer headset – Intense Tracer.

    I’ve even ridden it around the garden with the fork locked out, and ridden the HT in comparison.

    Bloody frustrating!!

    gixerator
    Member

    Is the crown 100% central, if not I have had the bottom bearing not quite straight which meant the steerer wasnt and the crown wouldnt seat perfect. Is the steerer tapered or 1 1/8th?

    tazzymtb
    Member

    not using floating rotors are you? had the “hmmmm something is moving with the front brake on” like a loose headset does, having checked everything about a gazillion times it turned out to be a little bit of play in the floating rotor 🙄

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure the race is straight, and its a 1 1/8th steerer.

    No floating rotors….

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    Was going to say disc rotors. Are the bolts loose, even 6 bolt ones? Had me stumped myself not so long back.

    bikeneil
    Member

    Pads moving in the caliper?
    Cone washer/angled shim missing from headset?
    Loose front QR?
    Bars loose in stem?
    Play in your wrists?…

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    No to pads
    All headset pieces present and correct
    QR is Maxle light, done up tight
    Stem/bars (and even ODI grips) checked and tight.

    Could be the fork bushings, but it new since Jan, about 2000k on it. Tomorrow I’ll pump it up hard to make sure it’s not top out….. (its Dual air).

    Premier Icon TrevorB
    Subscriber

    A long shot but, have you checked the rear shock bushes? Worn bushes can give the same ‘feeling’ of a loose headset.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Now, Trevor its funny you should mention that. I’ve had issues over the last few months with s small amount stiction in the lower rear shock bush after installing a TfT enduro set (the non top hat one). When I rode the bike `I could indeed feel a “rattle” through the frame

    I fixed it and the bikes had 20 or so rides since then, and “leaning” on the saddle doesn’t result in stiction. It could of course till be present…. It just feels very front biased – is it usual to feel that with even a small amount of sticton?

    Before anyone mention it, yes all the pivots etc have been checked.

    jimmyjames
    Member

    Try cranking down the top cap a bit more. I found my Cane Creek headset rattled ever so slightly even though it felt properly adjusted (i.e. I couldn’t actually feel any play). Gave the top cap an extra 1/8th of a turn (or something) and all was well. Just make sure the bars still turn nicely.

    my ODI grips wobble a bit when they’re worn – i.e. the grip moving around in the clamp, no matter how tight it is

    brake pad movement (my XT brakes suffer this as well)

    does the reducer headset use a shim which might cause additional play? (not actually sure how they work)

    can you feel where the wobble is coming from with your finger tips?

    rs
    Member

    are you using a proper star nut and top cap or one of these other expanding wedge devices? I had a problem with one of those fixed by going back to a star-nut.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Pete, its a crane creek XX2. The Lower 1.5 bearing sits on a crown race for a 1 1/8th and the races “inner” is the inside diaemeter of the 1/5 cartridge. The headset cup is angled and sized for 1.5. Up top, the compression ring is bigger reducing the inner diameter of the 1.5 bearing in the same way.

    I checked the ODI’s – no movement. The “rattle” I would describe as a “dull thud”. It could be fork top out but the static test doesnt reveal that, and I have the -ve higher than the +ve (110 vs 100psi, 12st rider) whch should prevent it.

    As mentioned I cant feel play at the crown when performing the usual test.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    rs – its a star nut.

    Premier Icon TrevorB
    Subscriber

    When did you notice this ‘loose feeling’? Have you replaced anything recently, or has it just ‘crept up ‘ on you?
    From experience (my son has a tracer & I have a 5.5) the back end bearings can ‘go’ from one ride to the next. You appear to have checked to death the front end, then it’s time to widen the search.
    Sorry if I appear to be teaching granny to suck eggs…..

    TheBrick
    Member

    possible ovalised head tube? This can give this sensation as the head set will loosen all the time rt be inconstant in it’s tightness.

    I presume you have done the front brake on hand round top race, bottom race, fork stanchions, disk mount, disk calliper and anything else.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    No worries Trevor. I had a 5.5 before and this bike is new (’10) ridden since Jan onwards – I can’t detect any play in the rear end, and all the bolts are tight.

    TheBrick – the headset never loosens and given the age of the Bike, this shouldnt be an issue.

    I’m pretty much down to Fork bushings (despite it being a new fork), or stiction in the rear bushes.

    One other thing – I’m running a coil shock and although I’ve checked the preload for slack could this be it?

    Check the bolts are tight between the rotor and hub. If lose you get a little movement making you think its the headset or forks when you hit the brakes.

    damion
    Member

    Can you do the headset up too tight? So that there’s resistance turning the bars. Still feel loose? Certainly wont be the headset then, unless its a cup issue. Err, not much help then? Sorry.

    Premier Icon Shackleton
    Subscriber

    I thought I had the same problem with the wifes Commencal Super4. Only diagnosed it when I noticed that I could feel what I originally thought was a loose headset by lifting the saddle a couple of mm. Turned out to be the lower bushing on the shock.

    I doubt it will be preload slack as long as the preload ring is tightened onto the coil.

    My fork bushings went on a pair of Pikes and only worked that out after turning the bike upside down and trying to rotate the lowers fore and aft and detecting a slight movement (invisible to the eye).

    AllenKeys
    Member

    Apologies if someones mentioned this already but dont use your brakes to check the headset. Grab the steerer tube clamp of your stem and the crown and pull/push. Eliminates the brakes to a certain extent. Also I’ve had two pairs of Fox Floats with slight stanchion movement from new. From what I recall it used to be a ‘feature’ that TFtuned could fix. Maybe RS have added it.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a “maintenance wndow” tomorrow so I’ll check the rotor (although I can feel the looseness without the brakes on) and fork lowers.

    Cheers all.

    JamieMc
    Member

    Check the join of the steerer with the fork crown. I had a set of pikes that were giving a similar knocking as if the headset was not loaded propperly. Turned out that the steerer had play in the fork crown. you should swap out the forks you are running now for another set (a mates of a spare if you have)and check if the play is still there. its one way of isolating the problem and ruling out a problem with the forks. good luck, i know how freaking annoying it can be having a problem and not being able to isolate it!

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Have you covered the saddle yet? I always have a loose headset feeling but I think its because my pads move a tiny amount within the caliper.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I have ridden it for a few weeks bigjim, (I had a go at locating it before) just thinking “sod it, when whatever it is falls off I’ll know”.

    The I take my £800 Steel HT out and it feels better straight away than the boutique bike which is VERY annoying!

    konaboy2275
    Member

    Make sure the headset seals are getting trapped, don’t put too much grease in it.

    If you’re using a hope headset have you added enough washers / shims?

    Check frame for cracks… 🙁

    walleater
    Member

    Put your finger in between the stanchion and arch in such a way that your finger is pressing against both. Now rock the bike and you’ll feel slight movement if it is the fork bushings.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Well, had the entire front end apart (and trimmed the fork to remove the spacers above the Stem). No difference. Tried all the advice above, including riding with the front brakes slightly applied to reduce any rattling pads.

    At the same time by BB cups need replacing which gave me an opportunity to look for cracks and clean/tighten the pivot bolts. No issues.

    aaaarggh….

    JamieMc
    Member

    Did you try my suggestion of swapig out the forks for another set, just to see. I never thought it possible but worht doing just to check

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 45 total)

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