Perpetually loose headset

Home Forum Bike Forum Perpetually loose headset

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Perpetually loose headset
  • Premier Icon steveh

    Normally an ovalised head tube in my experience of similar things but if the bearings need changing then it could be hard to tell what it is.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Changing bearings first makes sense. Have you changed anything else?

    last time it was serviced they said its almost had it, they tightened it all up and it lasts about one ride then its all over the place again…

    no not changed anything, he put another stem stacker on last time and said it needed it?


    Chances are that it’s the original headset and the bearing cages are distorted. First port of call should be for new bearings and seals if at all possible.

    What is the condition of the crown race?

    it looked okay last time i fiddled with it, what should i be looking for with the crown race, distorted?

    My first thought was an ova listed head tube too.

    Don’t take this the wrong way 🙂 bat as you’re asking if it’s a tapered steerer, are you not esp bike-techy?

    It’s times like this that a good LBS can save you a lot of time. Any chance the headset wasn’t fitted correctly?


    Well, two reasons really:

    1) A distorted crown race might slip around on the steerer, especially if the headset won’t tighten.

    2) If the race it pitted then it’s new headset time.

    Don’t take this the wrong way bat as you’re asking if it’s a tapered steerer, are you not esp bike-techy?

    Non taken, your right, but i’m getting there…. to be honest when its been in before recently they new it was like this i’m sure, they mentioned they didn’t have the headset in stock, but I’d rather just get the new bearings and do it myself

    I’ve left it too long really, but bombing down the hills at the long Mynd at the weekend at what must have been close on 30 miles an hour with my front end rattling and shaking has put life into perspective… 🙂

    Premier Icon euain

    You might need another spacer on the steerer?

    If the steerer is up against the top-cap, when you tighten the preload screw, you’re not pre-loading the bearings but just trying to compress the steerer. You should have the stem or top spacer with a couple of mm clear above the top of the steerer.


    Yep, try another spacer under the topcap.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Sounds like thats already been done
    he put another stem stacker on last time and said it needed it

    cool, cheers, will inspect

    I’m tightening correctly, the headset bearings need replacing too, but would that account for a lot of play in the headset, or is there something else up?

    I don’t even know if the steerer is tapered or not, never had reason to check? If it isn’t could this account for it, if there is a widget in there for adaption?

    I plan on taking it apart tonight… to take a look anyway…

    Premier Icon tiredjohn

    One more suggestion, check the star nut (the thing down the fork you screw the top cap into before you tighten the stem) is firmly in place. I had exactly the same problem and it turned out mine was slipping up and hence not compressing the head set array to the correct pressure when I was tightening the stem.


    1. check there is enough spacers under the top cap so any lips are not bottoming out on the top of the steerer.

    2. check the star nut is low enough in the steerer so that the base of the top cap isn’t bottoming out if it has a stepped bottom.

    3. if the steerer is tapered make sure that the taper finishes well before the split taper ring that sits down into the top bearing as if this sits on top of the taper and not into the bearing it will prevent the headset from tightening or cause it to losen (depending on how close it is).

    4. Make sure all the bits of the headset are there.

    One way to check if it’s a tapered headset is look at the crown on the fork. It will be bulkier to accommodate the 1.5 inch section of steerer and looking underneath you should see the steerer pass through the bottom.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    you’re definitely loosening the stem bolts before tightening the top cap ?

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

The topic ‘Perpetually loose headset’ is closed to new replies.